The crisis of democracy in Turkey and Egypt

Apr 28

A 2012 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 71 percent of people in Turkey and 67 percent in Egypt prefer a democratic form of government. And yet when it came time to vote, people used the ballot box to favor authoritarian leaders – Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Egypt and Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Turkey. Democracy is not just the will of the majority, it is...

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America needs a real policy regarding Syria

Apr 17

A version of this was published in the Florida Times Union on April 10, 2017 How do you solve a problem like Syria? First, by being honest. This maybe the greatest humanitarian tragedy of our lifetime. Earlier this month, the number of Syrian refugee crossed 5 million with half of those being children. A conflict that began in March 2011 with ordinary Syrians...

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Turkey’s Unethical Interference in American Civic Society is Dangerous

Apr 10

Patheos, April 6, 2017 I serve on the board of Atlantic Institute of Jacksonville, whose mission is to promote diversity and inclusion through engagement and dialogue. Atlantic Institute was founded by members of the Hizmet (Service) movement led by Fethullah Gulen, who lives a reclusive life in Pennsylvania. Turkey wants Gulen extradited because of his alleged but...

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An Un-Presidential Speech

Apr 10

Huffington Post, March 1, 2017 Moments after Donald Trump’s first speech to Congress, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, and CNN commentator Van Jones, a Democrat, both declared the speech as “presidential.” If the dictionary definition of presidential as “having a bearing or demeanor befitting a president; dignified and confident” is...

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Trump’s “Extreme Vetting” Undermines National Security

Feb 13

A President who received only 46 percent of the votes and currently stands at 36 percent approval ratings, has undone what the past two President’s assiduously avoided – signal to the world that America is at war with Islam, not just radicals who want to do us harm. Trump’s executive order approving “extreme vetting” that blocks visitors from seven...

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Failing to Stand Up for the Vulnerable

Feb 13

Following Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from 7 predominately Muslim countries and issuing a moratorium on most refugees, except for Syrian refugees who are banned indefinitely, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry said, “There are terrorists in other countries who want to kill us and have leveraged a weak vetting system to do so.” Such...

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