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Growing Anti-Mosque Hysteria in the Heart of America PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay M. Safi   
Aug 18, 2010 at 05:51 AM

The “Ground Zero Mosque” controversy is gradually developing into a national hysteria threatening to shack the image, and potentially the reality, of the United State as an open society and a beacon of freedom and civil liberties. The campaign against the proposed mosque in lower Manhattan has already dwarfed the one mobilized early last year by European far right parties to ban Swiss Muslims from building minarets for their mosques. The anti mosque campaign is a testimony to the growing influence of the American far right in media and political circles and a sad commentary on the ability of Muslim bashers to sway public opinion in the post 9/11 America.

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Engage Muslim Americans to Prevent Radicalization and Promote Security PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay M. Safi   
Nov 25, 2009 at 10:38 AM

Speculation is an important exercise in philosophical debates and social gatherings, but not in public policy reviews or criminal investigations. Yet this is what happened during the hearing conducted by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Friday, Nov. 19.

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Examining the Religion Building Enterprise PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay Safi   
Nov 30, 2006 at 07:00 PM

This article is a condensed summary of a more elaborate paper on the question. click here to view the full version.]

Blaming Islam for the lack of democratic and scientific developments in Muslim countries is not a new idea but an old enterprise, rooted in the nineteenth and twentieth century European Orientalism. The late Edward Said succeeded, in the 1980s, in unmasking Orientalist notions within Western academia and exposing its false pretense. In his seminal work, Orientalism, Said demonstrated that Orientalist views of Islam were used to justify the European colonial ambitions in the Muslim world. Said's monumental work was pivotal for the eventual transformation of Middle Eastern studies in Europe and the United States, as it forced the academia to embrace more scholarly and objective methods when studying the Muslim world.

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Islam's Encounter with American Culture PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay Safi   
Apr 17, 2005 at 07:00 PM

Making Sense of the Progressive Muslim Agenda

The Progressive Muslim Union (PMU)’s drive to realign Islam to progressive values has stirred a controversy that was felt beyond the American shores. While the immediate questions of the controversy evolved around the right of women to lead a mixed-gender prayer, the discussion revealed deeper and profounder issues and concerns. At the core of the debate lies the old question of understanding divine intent and relating the revealed word to social context and cultural practices. How does one interpret Islamic sources in the contemporary world? How can one differentiate the universal elements of Islam from cultural practices that have particular relevance to specific time and place? And, above all, how does Islam affects, and is affected by, American cultures and traditions.

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Overcoming the Cultural Divide PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Louay Safi   
Oct 23, 2004 at 10:33 AM

The September 11 attacks on America invoked, among other things, a debate over the quality of religious education in Muslim societies. The calls for educational reform of Islamic religious schools have been most recently echoed by well-positioned individuals in the West. Several scholars, journalists, and commentators have concluded that the fanaticism that motivated the highjackers who drove civilian airplanes into civilian targets is rooted in an educational system that teaches hate and intolerance. Traditional religious schools in Muslim societies, the argument goes, have become breeding grounds for religious fanatics who are willing to use force and violence to impose their narrow views of the world on the rest of humanity. The new advocates of curtailing religious and strengthening liberal education would like to see increased pressure on Muslim governments to restructure religious curricula to achieve the desired end. Under this pressure, the Pakistani government has already closed several religious schools.

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The Qur'anic Narrative
The Qur'anic Narrative


Leading with Compassion
Leading with Compassion



Palestine
Palestine



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Tensions and Transitions
in the Muslim World



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Peace and the Limits of War


Challenge-of-Modernity
The Challenge of Modernity 


Blaming

Blaming Islam


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Foundation of Knowledge



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