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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Reconciliation Or Resistance: Post-Election Dilemma

Nov 23

Huffington Post, November 22, 2016 It will be an understatement to say that the world changed in the wee hours of Wednesday, November 9. For some in America, it marked the beginning of a new dawn as the party and ideology they voted for won and won big — not just winning the presidency, but also both houses of Congress and majority of state legislatures. For...

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London elects its first Muslim mayor to a sense of hope

May 26

London elects its first Muslim mayor to a sense of hope Florida Times Union, May 16, 2016 Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, being elected Mayor of London, topples a pervading narrative and in its wake leaves behind unparalleled opportunities. The son of Pakistani immigrants rising to run one of the leading cities in the globe is almost as remarkable as the more celebrated story...

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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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Turkey and India Lurch Towards Illiberal Democracies

Nov 17

Published on Huffington Post, November 13, 2015. Turkey and India are both democracies and significant American allies. Both India and Turkey are secular countries ruled by strong-willed leaders rooted in religion-based politics, Islam for Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Hinduism for India’s Narendra Modi. Both leaders have shown an uncanny ability to...

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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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