CAIRO – Officials from the Homeland Security, State and Justice departments have been engaged in “unprecedented” meetings withtwo dozen young Muslims on several issues, topped by reports about the radicalization of Muslim American youth. “For me, this conference is about trying to find out what it means to be an American Muslim in terms of political and civic engagement,” Omar Sarwar, the Columbia University graduate who ditched a career in banking to go back to school and study politics and religion, told The Washington Post on Sunday, July 15. Organized by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC), the National Muslim American Youth Summit was held over the weekend in Capitol Hill.
Jocelyne Cesari, is an Associate at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and Center for European Studies and teaches at the Harvard Divinity School and Government Department. Dr. Cesari is a French political scientist, tenured at the French National Center for Scientific Research in Paris and specializing in contemporary Islamic societies. Before coming to Harvard, she served as an Associate Research Scholar and Visiting Professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs. At Harvard, she is Director of the interfaculty Islam in the West Program (see http://cmes.hmdc.harvard.edu/research/iw). This research program produced a major publication, the Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States, which was published by Greenwood Press in September of 2007. She also coordinates the new web-based initiative on contemporary Islamic thinking called islamopediaonline (www.islamopediaonline.org).
Her areas of expertise include Islam and globalization, Muslim minorities in Europe and America, and Islam and politics in North Africa. Over the course of her career, Dr. Cesari has published fifteen books and more than fifty articles in European and American journals. Her most recent books and articles are :Muslims in the West After 9/11: Religion, Politics and Law (2009, Routledge), “Islam in the West from Immigration to Global Islam”, Harvard Middle Eastern and Islamic Review, (8) 2009, pp.147-275, When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States (Palgrave 2006) and European Muslims and the Secular State (Ashgate 2005).She has also received grants to write the reports “Islam and Fundamental Rights” and “The Religious Consequences of September 11, 2001, on Muslims in Europe” for the European Commission (see www.euro-islam.info).