The Finns Party elects a chairman with past convictions for statements against Islam

The election of Jussi Halla-aho (currently holding a position as a MEP) as the new chairman of The Finns Party has caused political trouble in Finland and rebellion against the party’s new leadership. The two other government coalition parties, Keskusta and Kokoomus, announced that they do not want to continue cooperation with The Finns Party and its new management. Moreover, The Finns Party faced immediate internal splitting as 20 MPs, including all those with minister positions, decided to leave the party and form a new parliamentary group named Uusi Vaihtoehto (“New Alternative”). The Premier Minister and chairman of Keskusta, Juha Sipilä, together with the Minister of Finance and chairman of Kokoomus, Petteri Orpo, commented that the gap in common values between the three government parties has grown now to the extent that the government cannot continue its work in its current composition anymore.

Much of this political mutiny and resentment is based on Halla-aho’s past convictions. In 2010, the Helsinki Court of appeal convicted Halla-aho for breach of the sanctity of religion for the quite Islamophobic statements in his personal blog Scripta. He declared in his posts for instance, that “Prophet Muhammad was a pedophile and Islam justifies pedophilia and. Pedophilia was Allah’s will.” The statement was then ordered by court to be deleted from the blog. However, although the posts date back to 2008, Halla-aho stated in an interview after the recent elections that he is not going to distance himself from his previous blog posts.

Jussi Halla-aho is not however the only member in the party leadership with public statements against Islam that have led to convictions. Namely, MP Teuvo Hakkarainen, the new second Vice-Chair of the party, was convicted in 2017 for incitement to hatred due to his facebook-posts that stated “Get Muslims out of this country! Not all Muslims are terrorists but all terrorists are Muslims.” Moreover, Jussi Halla-aho’s profile as a politician is also very much marked by his aggressive anti-immigration policies. For instance, in 2016, Halla-aho submitted a written question at the European Parliament proposing application of ethnic profiling “to prevent Islamic terrorism” by police officers in the member states, explicitly overthrowing Human Rights which are tightly connected to such questionable measures.

Politics and Prejudice: Countering Islamophobia in the 2016 Presidential Race

If the last two elections are any indication, candidates in the 2016 presidential race may be tempted to engage in Muslim-bashing – playing off national security anxieties and fostering racial and religious animus – to win the vote. But anti-Muslim bigotry comes at a high cost to American Muslims, to America’s international stature, and increasingly, to the political careers of those who fuel it.
It was not long ago that American Muslim children watched leaders “accuse” President Obama of being a Muslim, as if there is something inherently wrong with the world’s second largest religion or its 1.5 billion adherents.
Since then, a number of U.S. elected officials continue to contribute to the prevailing climate of intolerance and discrimination confronting American Muslims.

Mosques release own cartoons in reaction to Muhammad-cartoons

The Organization of Moroccan mosques in the Netherlands is planning to release a Wilders-cartoon. This in a reaction to the leader of political party PVV, who is known for his harsh anti-Islam standpoints and who himself is planning to show the controversial Muhammad cartoons on television. Spokesperson Aissa Zanzen says that a normal dialogue with Wilders is impossible and the best way to react to his action is with some humour.

Foto: ANP
Foto: ANP

‘Face of Moderate Islam’ quits job

Yasin Elforkani, spokesperson for Contactbody Muslims and Government ( and known as the ‘face of moderate Islam in the Netherlands’ is quitting his job as a spokesperson. Elforkani, who is also imam, tried (and tries) to start a debate on extremist Islam and youth leaving to fight the jihad in Syria and Iraq, received several threats in the past which made him to decide to stop preaching temporarily. He is now working again as imam, but has quit his job as spokesperson for above mentioned organization.

© anp. Yassin Elforkani.
© anp. Yassin Elforkani.

ISNA President’s Letter to the American Muslim Community

August 12, 2014

Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem

“O you who believe! Fear Allah, and say a word directed to the Right: That He many make your conduct whole and sound and forgive you your sins: He that obeys Allah and His Messenger, has already attained the highest Achievement.” 33:70-71

Brothers and Sister of the American Muslim community,

I have become aware of the dialogue taking place in social media about the American Muslim community, and specifically about the Islamic Society of North America and its role in the United States. This includes ISNA’s philosophy and strategy of engagement with the government and public officials. I welcome this dialogue, as do all the leaders of ISNA. This may be a good beginning for a larger discourse among the American Muslim community and its leadership as the American Muslim knows best what is in the best interest of its communities. Imam Malik exemplified for us the importance of understanding the context before issuing the ruling or critique when he told a man from another land who came to see him that he could not give an answer to the man on the situation of his people. “You know better than I do about your situation,” he said.

No Muslim leader in America, particularly those who volunteer in their positions wish to find themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place. However, reality is that many of us are between two attacks, those that come from Islamaphobes from whom we must defend our faith, our rights, and our communities, and those that are coming from our fellow Muslims, from whom we must defend the integrity and intentions of our leadership. It is appropriate and encouraged for members of the Muslim community to hold leadership accountable and to ask tough questions and it is the responsibility of the leadership to respond. This is why I will try to participate in this dialogue, to answer some of the issues and concerns what were raised.

However, before I go further in addressing the current issues, I would like to establish general guidelines for constructive dialogue.

Imam Shaafi’ said, “My opinion is correct with the possibility of being wrong and the opinion of those that disagree with me is wrong with the possibility of being correct.” He also stated, “There is no time that I engage in debate with others without praying that Allah will show me the truth that comes from the person in order that I may increase in knowledge and benefit from him.” Secondly a person must learn from his or her own mistakes, from his friends, brothers, sisters, and even those who have animosity toward him. All of us must believe in these principles of engaging in dialogue, that dialogue and debate are for seeking truth, not proving oneself to be right. It is also very important that if we see something we think is wrong in one of our brothers or sisters that we know, then we should try our best, by whatever means we have, to talk to them privately before we critique them publicly. Otherwise, the well intended advice might be interpreted as creating friction and disunity among the Muslims. We must deal with people for what they do and what they say and try to understand their context. Their intentions are for Allah alone to judge.

Living in the American context it is also essential for us to understand how to address the diversity of opinions and approaches of individuals and communities. I would like to stress there is a distinction between unity and uniformity. We can and should work towards unity without requiring uniformity. Unity that is established on respecting the general principles and values that come from our faith, and in those tenets of the United States law and Constitution that compliment the principles and values of our faith. This can make us stronger in our iman and more effective in our civic responsibilities. Ensuring that we do not force uniformity allows us to combine the two in ways most feasible for each individual. Those that choose to exercise their religious and civic responsibilities may do so through public peaceful protests and even civil disobedience, while others use means of constructive and sincere engagement to dialogue with elected officials, holding those whose salaries come from our tax dollars accountable for how they serve our country. These two approaches should be respected and equally embraced in the Muslim American community. In my early years in the United States, I studied the history of the Civil Rights Movement and the various approaches people used to move the cause forward. All of these efforts became a part of American history. To understand the fruits of engaging our government, and to understand the interfaith effort of ISNA, please refer to the links included at the end of the article. They will help clarify how ISNA explains the concerns of the Muslim American community to elected officials. There are some Americans that have Islamaphobic mentalities – including some members of Congress and other powerful public figures; through them millions of dollars are spent isolating Muslims from the public discourse, painting them as disloyal citizens of the land that is their home.

The absence of American Muslims from the table of dialogue only creates a vacuum that would be filled by others, possibly by these very individuals. Its not only about whom you dialogue with but what you say when you are with them. An individual who understands the Seerah of Prophet (peace be upon him) will see that he (peace be upon him) dialogued with many people including those like Walid ibn Mughira, who attacked him personally and showed tremendous disrespect to him (peace be upon him). The Prophet (peace be upon him) let him finish his speech, despite the offensive content of it, and then responded to him with calmness and kindness. Dialogue does not mean that you compromise your principles in promoting justice and fairness, it does means that you try to understand where the other side is coming from and try to reach a common understanding based on shared values. Our example in dealing with others, as in all things, is the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). You will find more about this in a book written by Professor Tariq Ramadan, Footsteps of the Prophet.

In regards to ISNA’s position, ISNA is one of the founders of the organization of National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT), an organization that calls for ending torture by law enforcement. Dr. Ingrid Mattson, former President of ISNA, was among the first Muslim leaders to bring this issue to the forefront of the minds of Muslim communities in the US. Raising this issue in the interfaith platform led to President Obama issuing an executive order to end torture by the government. NRCAT is one of the largest interfaith organizations in America dealing with ending torture. It is an alliance of good, fighting for justice similar to the alliance that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was a part of even prior to his prophethood. ISNA is a member of National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East (NILI), an interfaith organization that deals with the Israel-Palestine conflict. Their objective is to convey to the United States leadership the strong concern of the faith communities regarding the ongoing conflict, to push for a more active role on the national level, and to establish a just and lasting peace arrangement. Leaders of NILI, have met many times with secretaries of state and other high officials to further this cause. ISNA is also a founding member of one of the largest interfaith civil rights organizations created to defend Muslim rights, Shoulder to Shoulder, created to protect rights of Muslim in America and standing firmly with partners of other faiths to speak against bigotry in all of its forms. In addition to these partnerships, ISNA has issued many press releases regarding the loss of civilian lives in various parts of the world. In recent months, much emphasis has been put on addressing the loss of life in Gaza, Syria, and Iraq. ISNA leaders have also taken many opportunities in recent months to speak directly with high level officials on behalf of the American Muslim community. Each time, whether at the White House iftar or at any other gathering, leaders take great care to consider the interest of the American Muslim community and the context in which they live. I participate in many dialogues with the President of the United States and many other officials regarding healthcare, combating gun violence and domestic violence in America, as well as bringing the perspective and concerns of Muslims regarding the many issues in the Middle East and around the globe.

My Brothers and Sisters, let me be open with you, I often find many Muslim communities are more concerned about international issues than American domestic issues. We have to connect the international issues of concern to the country in which we live so that our fellow Americans can see the impact of these international issues on America itself. If we desire for our point of view to truly be heard, nationally and internationally, we have to engage our fellow American citizens in general dialogue, and we have to engage elected officials from local representatives to the President of the United States. I have visited communities in Europe and was shocked to see that in some areas the Muslim community has isolated themselves from the larger community and disconnected themselves from the country which they are citizens of. We cannot choose to isolate ourselves; we cannot choose to be silent. Wherever we live in the world, those are the places we call home, the places where our children are raised and the places where they will raise their own families. Yet I have met many people, even in the US, who follow the political situations of their countries of origin, but are oblivious to the politics of the country in which they live and work. Individuals have great concerns for the situations “back home” but are not investing themselves in the greater community here at home where they are physically present and where their children are educated.

Similarly, I see many masajid that are deeply engaged with our public officials and work with partners in the interfaith community. However, there is still a gap between what the community feels and what the community does. Many Muslims will pick up the phone to call a friend and express their displeasure with policies they see, be that domestic or foreign, but they do not pick up the phone to call their local representatives to express that concern. They may email their imams and Masajid Board members preaching endlessly about the importance of speaking up against the injustices, but they do not email the officials who made the decisions. They may read articles that upset them about issues concerning the community but they will not write a letter to the editor. They may listen to a talk radio show that disgraces Muslims but they will not call in. My Brothers and Sisters, we should be grateful that we live in a world where we are able to engage in dialogue, vote, and lobby our government. To be silent, to disengage, would be to discard one of the most powerful tools God has given us with which we can do good. I would like to say that ISNA would like to be that platform where we can agree to disagree and to represent different points of view, unity but not uniformity. Many times I had heard speakers at ISNA conventions and conferences whose opinions I disagreed with but who I had encouraged to be invited back to address the community because we had to understand each others’ different points of view. At the same time, we must be wise in how we address these and how we prioritize the issues being addressed. We need to think about what will impact our children and the generations that follow.

Finally I would like to say, ISNA is your organization. ISNA’s doors are wide open. You can become a member today and earn the right to vote people in or out of the leadership. We hope that you will join us to hear various speakers, with a tremendous wealth of knowledge and experience, who have agreed to honor us with their presence this year and share with us the diversity of opinion and practice in so many aspects of our lives. I started this article with a verse of the Qur’an and I would like to end it with this one,

“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah, as witness to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well acquainted with all that ye do.” 5:8

Book review: Youth Tsunami in Arab World: ‘The New Arabs,’ by Juan Cole

July 8, 2014

These days, alarming news continues to spill out of the Middle East. Syria’s continuing civil war has claimed tens of thousands of civilian lives. Iraq — where the prime minister, Nuri Kamal al-Maliki, a Shiite, has stoked sectarian conflict by refusing to form an inclusive government — is hurtling toward civil war, as Sunni militants, led by the Qaeda splinter group ISIS, have moved close to Baghdad. Farther east, the Taliban are resurgent in Afghanistan.

In his book “The New Arabs,” however, the Middle East scholar Juan Cole provides an optimistic assessment of a new generation coming of age in the region. Mr. Cole, a history professor at the University of Michigan, gained recognition in the prelude to the 2003 American invasion of Iraq and in its wake, with his “Informed Comment” blog, which was not only highly critical of Bush administration policies but also provided illuminating historical and social context for the war and its devastating aftermath.

“The New Arabs” focuses not on Iraq, but on the Arab Spring, and in particular on the role that youth movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya played in bringing down the authoritarian regimes in those countries. “Young people are the key to the rapid political and social change in the Arab countries that have been in turmoil since 2011,” Mr. Cole writes, arguing that members of this “Arab Generation Y” are more literate than their elders, more urban and cosmopolitan, more technologically savvy and less religiously observant than those over 35. Echoing what the veteran Middle East reporter Robin Wright wrote in her 2011 book, “Rock the Casbah,” Mr. Cole contends that “a new generation has been awakened” and that a positive new historical dynamic is taking hold.

Mr. Cole’s book is at its most illuminating when it takes the reader inside the youth movements in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, showing us how activists used technology and social media to amplify their message and connect with like-minded citizens across the region. Although this phenomenon has already been widely covered by Western media, Mr. Cole chronicles it in fascinating detail here, recounting the stories of prominent dissidents and their often pioneering use of Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and cellphone technology to network and organize.

The creation of YouTube in 2005 and the growing reach of satellite television (most notably Al Jazeera) also gave dissidents important tools. In 2006, the blogger Wael Abbas began posting graphic videos, taken secretly, of Egyptian police brutalizing their prisoners, which provoked public outrage. And in Tunisia, videos of the police opening fire on young protesters — who had turned out in the streets after a fruit vendor burned himself to death (in December 2010) in response to being humiliated by government officials — received thousands of views and fueled the spread of demonstrations across the country.

In Egypt (where, according to The C.I.A. World Factbook, 49.9 percent of the population is 24 or younger), disgust with the Mubarak government had been building for years. Among the events that created “links and networks among a diverse group of leftist and Muslim fundamentalist organizations” opposed to Mr. Mubarak as an agent of the West, Mr. Cole says, were demonstrations in early 2003 against the coming United States invasion of Iraq and the Gaza war of late 2008 and early 2009.

Mr. Cole’s conclusion to this book is a hopeful one. He writes: “The youth revolutionaries of the Middle East inspired their peers throughout the globe by their ideals of liberty and social justice and their collective action techniques. Fundamentalist movements seeking to take advantage of the political opening to impose new forms of theocratic authoritarianism suffered severe setbacks at the hands of the same youth activists.”

An Interfaith Trojan Horse: Faithwashing Apartheid and Occupation

By Sana Saeed

July 1, 2014

 

Interfaith work has the potential to create and sustain profound relationships across religions. 

But what happens when interfaith work becomes a trojan horse?

In this piece I explore the Muslim Leadership Initiative, a program which sends American Muslims leaders to Israel to study Judaism and Zionism and is funded by the Shalom Hartman Institute, a Zionist and anti-BDS organization.  I’ve broken down the narrative into five parts – the actual critique and deconstruction of the institute and program are towards the later part of the article.

 

The TIME article reduces the occupation to the displacement of “dialogue” and “both sides” (unsure if Chaudry means Palestinians and Israelis or Muslims and Jews) being unwilling to speak outside ”their own bubbles”. Muslims, it essentially argues, misunderstand Zionism and thus misunderstand Jews and Israel. Therefore, to have healthy and holistic interfaith dialogue back in the United States, American Muslims must understand what Zionism means to Jews and what Israel means to Jews. At the  midway point of her piece, Chaudry even explains how  it was only after she finally met Palestinians, during her trip, that she understood that the “fear many Israeli Jews have [of ending the occupation] is not a figment of [their] imagination” as “the pressure cooker cannot hold indefinitely.”

Faithwashing Apartheid and Occupation

It is hard to ignore the obvious; it is hard to ignore that despite whatever good intentions and explanations there were and will be, a group of Muslim American leaders – many in the very public eye and with a great deal of social authority – went to Jerusalem through a program, albeit organized by an Imam, funded and supported by an institution that is unabashedly Zionist. That a group of Muslim American leaders traveled to Israel to learn about what ‘Zionism means to Jews’ to better understand Jewish connection to Israel and thus bridges, interfaith, dialogue and other such nouns.

And yet nothing about this is, unfortunately, surprising.

One of the most common tactics of Zionist lobby groups and organizations has been sanitizing the occupation and apartheid and displacing the actual cause and reason for the conflict. Zionist groups have courted Black college students and Latino leaders (with pushback), for instance, in an attempt to, as independent journalist Rania Khalek describes it, “neutralize the brown electorate.” She explains how in an attempt to thwart identification or solidarity Latino, Asian and Black Americans may have with the Palestinian struggle there is a necessity to, quoting former US Ambassador to the European Union Stuart Eizenstat, show how the conflict ”..“is not a civil rights issue. It’s rather a very different conflict in which violence is being used and Israel’s right to be a state is questioned.”

The Need to Reject The Zionist Narrative

There are more questions than answers.

One of the first things that struck me about the program, after I learned that it was associated and funded by the Shalom Hartman Institute, was that there actually isn’t any reason for Muslim American leaders to travel to Israel to study Judaism for the sake of interfaith. Was there really a dearth of resources in the United States? Or are Rabbinical studies only possible in Israel? Just as Qur’anic studies would only be possible in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, India, Jordan? Morocco has one of the most vibrant Jewish communities in the world; why not go there, where interfaith between Muslims and Jews isn’t obstructed by apartheid walls and laws? Not only would it not cross the BDS line but it would also shift the focus from Ashkenazi-centric Jewish narratives to Sephardic.

Palestine is central to the hearts of Muslims all around the world, but that does not mean we try to re-write the narrative of the occupation on our own terms. There is a real need for interfaith understanding and work between Jews and Muslims and if Israel is a part of that work, then so be it. But we must not, in the process, allow ourselves, our communities and our leaders to be on the wrong sides of history and justice by normalizing and accepting what was and remains unjust.

Right now is a critical moment for our communities to have an actual conversation – not a shouting match. There are concerted efforts to drive wedges between members of communities that may and do stand up against Zionism and the oppression of Palestinians. I earnestly hope we do not allow those efforts to succeed and I encourage others to write responses and engage on this topic. Let’s keep the conversation going.

[CLICK TO READ MORE]

The FN vote is “no longer one of protest but of adhesion”

May 26, 2014

Marine Cécile Naves, political scientist and director of Think Tank Different, discussed the Front national’s recent victories and how the media’s fascination with Islam may have bolstered the FN’s credibility. While the percentage of voter abstention was relatively consistent with that of the previous European Parliament elections in 2009, the FN’s success rose from 6% to 25%. Naves argues that it is therefore incorrect to argue that voter abstention is the reason for the FN’s victory. She believes that a vote for the FN “is no longer one of protest but of adhesion to values. More and more voters want the FN to be in power, which was not the case in the 1980s and 90s.”

The FN’s strategies were implemented by Marine Le Pen, whose goal is to continue to gain political power in France. This approach was seen in the 2014 municipal elections, where her goal was to gain power town by town. Such a strategy is in direct contrast to that of her father, Jean Marie Le Pen, who did not seek overwhelming political victories.

Naves explains that one reason for the FN’s appeal may be that the party represents a rejection of political elites who are disconnected from the public. She contends that “an identity crisis is apparent in all of Western Europe, but also in the United States and elsewhere, concerning the opening of borders, cultural exchanges with other religions such as Islam, and the manner in which the media presents Islam…There is a fear of modernity, of a society that is more and more open. There is an idea of reversed colonization.”

Islam certainly played a part in Le Pen’s discourse. She has openly voiced discontent with France’s current immigration policies and Muslims’ presence in France. Many Muslims are worried about what the FN’s victory might mean for them. However, before the victory’s implications become apparent, Naves discusses how the French media’s fascination with Islam may have contributed to the FN’s success.

When asked if the mediatization of Islam in France favors FN ideology, Naves replied, “The manner in which Islam is treated by most media is Manichean. There is a lot of attention given to those who are openly anti-Islam and who have a harsh discourse concerning Islam.” Naves argues that in France it is difficult to speak calmly of Islam. Those who do are often confined to spheres that the media ignores, such as the research world. She contends that there is a “dramatization of Islam in France so that the problems related to Islam, such as the veil or halal meat in cafeterias, are relatively minor. Yet they are exaggerated because it attracts an audience.”

The management of security and religious affairs: the disappointing results of Interior Minister Manuel Valls in 2013

February 5, 2014

 

According to the recently released 2013 report by the National Observatory of Delinquency and Penal Action, France’s Interior Minister Manuel Valls has not brought down crime nor been active on the regulation of religious committees, contrary to popular perception.

Enjoying successful poll ratings, Manuel Valls has been portrayed as the ‘strong man’ of the socialist government. But according to the report on delinquency and public security, the number of burglaries and homicides has increased despite a government plan to counter crime.

In addition to calling for redefining the mission of the judiciary police and integrating new technologies into the police force, the Interior Minister called for a tighter legal measures on internet and social media networks to stop hate messages. ‘The degree of latent hate expressed on social media is of an incompatible intensity with our national ambitions’, said Valls.

Valls is also in charge of maintaining France’s religious bodies, and the 2013 assessment is particularly weak on his management of Islam in France. At the start of his position in 2012, Valls had expressed ambitious plans in this domain. But up to now, nothing new has been implemented: the ‘Islam question’ may have been deemed too risky and hazardous for an Interior Minister who came across as a hardline supporter of secularism.

Valls had initially said he planned to create another national representative body for Muslims, the CFCM (Conseil Francais du Culte Musulman) deemed too close to foreign agendas. Another project was to implement a ‘Foundation of French Islam’ intended for collecting funds transparently for the construction of places of worship. Valls let believe he wanted to reopen this project, but French Muslims have yet to see any steps forwards from the Interior Minister on this central question.

 

Source: http://www.zamanfrance.fr/article/politique-securitaire-gestion-cultes-bilan-mitige-manuel-valls-7687.html

New Book: Why the West Fears Islam – An Exploration of Muslims in Liberal Democracies

Why the West Fears Islam flyer finalWhy the West Fears Islam
An Exploration of Muslims in Liberal Democracies

Jocelyne Cesari

Paperback Aug 2013 – 9781403969538
Hardback Aug 2013 – 9781403969804

About the book
Are Muslims threatening the core values of the West?

Jocelyne Cesari responds to this question by presenting testimonies from Muslims in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. Her book is an unprecedented exploration of Muslim religious and political life based on several years of field work in Europe and in the United States. It provides original insights into the ways Muslims act as believers and citizens and into the specifics of western liberalism  and secularism, particularly after 9/11. It shows how the visibility of Islam in secular spaces triggers  western politics of fear. Its unique interdisciplinary scope allows for an in depth analysis of data polls, political discourses as well as first hand interviews, and focus groups with Muslims.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Shari’a, Burqa, and Minarets: What Is the Problem With Muslims in the West? An Exploration of Islam in Liberal

  1. Muslims As the Internal and External Enemy
  2. Islam: Between Personal and Social Identity Markers
  3. Multiple Communities of Allegiance: How Do Muslims Say ‘We’?
  4. Religiosity, Political Participation, and Civic Engagement
  5. Securitization of Islam in Europe: The Embodiment of Islam As an Exception
  6. How Islam Questions the Universalism of Western Secularism
  7. Salafization of Islamic Norms and Its Influence on the Externalization of Islam

Conclusion: Naked Public Spheres: Islam within Liberal and Secular Democracies

 

About the Author

Jocelyne Cesari, is a political scientist, specializing in contemporary Islamic societies,
globalization and democratization. She is Senior Research Fellow at the Berkley Center
for Peace, Religion and World Affairs at Georgetown University. At Harvard University,
she directs the international research program called “Islam in the West.” She has written
numerous articles and books on Islam, Globalization, Democratization and Secularism in
Western and Muslim-majority contexts.
Her most recent publications include Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States (2007),
Muslims in the West After 9/11: Religion, Politics and Law (2010), The Awakening of
Muslim Democracy: Religion, Modernity and the State (2013).

Praise for the book:

“This book is an eye-opener that denies all sides the luxury of willful ignorance or
unchallenged ideological projection. Bold, sophisticated and almost embarrassingly
informative, Jocelyne Cesari’s effort is certain to elevate the discourse around one of the
most important relationships of our time: that between Muslims and their Western
compatriots.” – Sherman A. Jackson, King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture, The
University of Southern California, and author of Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking
Towards the Third Resurrection