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Zineb’s War on Islamic Fascism

In August 2011, in the midst of the Arab Spring, Zineb El Rhazoui, a young Moroccan-French woman, stood in a packed forum on human rights in the Arab world and…

A Prophet in His Own Land

I just finished reading an eye-opening book by the Tunisian scholar Hela Ouardi, a professor of French literature who has waded brilliantly into Islam’s canonical texts, written by Sunnis and…

Don Corleone (The Godfather) and Jacques Derrida

An Offer We Can’t Understand

A long time ago, one of my professors told me a joke that went something like this: “What do you get when the Godfather meets [the deconstructionist] Jacques Derrida? An…

Muslims in the West: Chronicle of a Crisis Foretold

In the 1960s, long before Sudan was blacklisted as a hotbed of terrorism, the Sudanese novelist Tayeb Salih published a novel that is considered a masterpiece of modern Arab literature….

Donald Trump

Trump, Islam and the West

Understandably, Donald Trump’s suggestion that non-US Muslims seeking entry into the United States should be barred until we figure out what is going on with Muslims and the United States…

The Koran Fragments of Birmingham

The recent discovery of fragments of a Koran dating back to the early decades of Islam was major news around the world and a source of great excitement to Muslims…

Religion Against People

I continue to be baffled by the persistence of religions, even when their effects on human beings and our world are nothing short of cataclysmic. In Muslim-majority nations, Islam has…

How to Deal with ISIS

As the world awakens to the destruction of the ancient Mesopotamian cultural heritage and more killings of Christians by the Islamic State or ISIS, most people will just simply sigh…

Joan of Arc - Miniature from the 15th century (detail)

Terrorism and the Failure of Patriotism

Many people are asking what, exactly, is causing Muslims to be behind so many acts of terror and whether something could be done to change the situation for the better….

Headline on the cover of Charlie Hebdo after attacks

Murderous Fictions

The terrorist massacres in Paris on January 7th, and now the complaints about the portrayal of Islam’s prophet Mohammed on the surviving cover of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, are…