Remembering Martin McGuinness: Why Peace is Worth the Sacrifice

If you want to make peace, you don’t talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies. – Moshe Dayan It is perhaps a good thing that few people today remember that terrorism was once synonymous with the Irish. But the period of conflict in Northern Ireland between 1969 and 1998, known as The Troubles, was responsible for around 3,700 deaths and 50,000 injuries in … Continue reading Remembering Martin McGuinness: Why Peace is Worth the Sacrifice

Those Who Single out Islam Don’t Understand Terrorism

“Nothing is easier than to denounce the evildoer; nothing is more difficult than to understand him.” – Fyodor Dostoevsky The average person might be surprised to find out that George Habash, the founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), was an Orthodox Christian. Sirhan Sirhan, the Palestinian nationalist who killed Robert Kennedy, was also a Christian. So was PFLP leader Wadie … Continue reading Those Who Single out Islam Don’t Understand Terrorism

An Appeal to Republicans to Save the Legacy of a Great Party

To my Republican Friends, I have never voted for your party at the national and state level in my adult life, but I grew up in a very conservative part of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I know many of you. I only speak to my own experience, but any overt racism I endured was the exception to the rule. Although I was younger, I also … Continue reading An Appeal to Republicans to Save the Legacy of a Great Party

Donald Trump Desecrates the CIA Memorial Wall

On January 21st, 2017, Donald Trump surprised me yet again. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Memorial wall is one of the most understated, yet most powerful, monuments to those who have given their lives for the United States. It is a simple engraving on a marble wall. The top reads, “IN HONOR OF THOSE MEMBERS OF THE CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES IN … Continue reading Donald Trump Desecrates the CIA Memorial Wall

Reflections on 2016 – Fighting Extremism in an Authoritarian Age

I was born in Pakistan and lived in Texas from the age of two until last year. Despite having a Muslim name, I am more likely to condemn a stranger for ordering their steak well-done or pronouncing pecan as “pee-can” than I am for the language that they pray in or the person that they believe should have succeeded Muhammad 1,400 years ago. I identify … Continue reading Reflections on 2016 – Fighting Extremism in an Authoritarian Age

Anjem Choudary and the Media’s Failure to Report on Islamic Extremism

Anjem Choudary, who the BBC characterized as “one of the best known Islamist speakers”, was sentenced to five years in jail for promoting ISIS. Along with declaring the legitimacy of ISIS, Choudary praised the 9/11 attacks, refused to condemn the 7/7 bombings, and founded Islamist groups like al-Muhajiroun and Islam4UK. He was often painted as an irrational psychopath, but his effective use of mainstream media … Continue reading Anjem Choudary and the Media’s Failure to Report on Islamic Extremism