Denial of Alt-Right Extremism Led to Charlottesville Tragedy

Sep 02

An abbreviated version appeared in the Florida Times Union, September 2, 2017 A few months ago, I asked a former state legislator, why he failed to cite far-right terrorism as a national security challenge during his panel discussion regarding immigration and refugees. He asked me to cite one evidence of far-right terrorism in America. Oklahoma City. That’s just...

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Trump Speech to Muslims in Saudi Arabia Misses the Mark

May 27

A version of this editorial appeared in the Florida Times Union, May 27, 2017 President Trump’s uncharacteristically monotonic speech to a gathering of Muslim leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, went off without any gaffes, to the great satisfaction of his advisers. Trump’s speech was similar to that of President Obama in Cairo, eight years ago. Both Trump and...

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Trump Is the Face of Modern Fascism

Mar 19

I broke the law. While appearing on a local public radio show, I compared Republican Presidential frontrunner Donald J. Trump to Hitler and fascism. Thereby I violated Godwin’s Law (an internet adage), which states that thou shall not invoke Hitler or fascism in a civil conversation. I am loath to invoke such loaded terms. But Trump makes it both easy and...

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Pluralism in Islam — Between Scripture and Praxis

Aug 02

A version of this article first appeared in the July/August issue of Islamic Horizons. Egyptian writer Mona Eltahawy in a New York Times article recounted her 2005 encounter with Mohammed Akef, the then spiritual leader of Muslim Brotherhood. When she suggested to Akef that the verses in the Quran regarding women’s dress have several interpretations, Akef...

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We Shall Not Overcome, Unless We Stop Living in Denial

Jun 22

Huffington Post, June 22, 2015 Mourners gathering for a prayer vigil for the nine martyrs killed at Charleston’s Mother Emanuel Church sang “We Shall Overcome.” Watching the video, I felt being transported to the Morris Brown AME Church, where this vigil was being held. It was hard to hold back the tears. My heart believes that we shall indeed...

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Je Suis Humain: A Plea to Embrace Our Humanity

Jan 17

For the first time since World War II, the Grand Synagogue in Paris did not host its normal Shabbat services on Friday, in the wake of terrorist attacks that started with Charlie Hebdo and ended in a bloody standoff at a Jewish kosher shop in Paris. This hostage taking at a Jewish business is one of many indicators suggesting a rise of anti-Semitism in Europe,...

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