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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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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Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam

Apr 28

A version of this article first appeared in the May/June issue of Islamic Horizons. The Fort Hood killings, the Times Square terror plot and the Boston marathon bombing were all ostensibly carried out in the name of Islam. All terrorists are not Muslims and nor are all Muslims terrorists. Yet, a disproportionate number of perpetrators of violent attacks claim doing...

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The Hubris of the Islamic Label

Mar 02

The Hubris of the Islamic Label

Posted on Huffington Post on Feb 25, 2015. Islamists, defined by AP as those who favor, “reordering government and society in accordance with laws prescribed by Islam,” view their interpretation of Islam as Islamic, often to the exclusion of other point of views. In the West, an amalgam of ideologues, from the far-right conservatives to the libertarian...

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