United Nations Commission on The Status of Women Session 63 Explores Violent Extremism & Women

Violent extremism can have a devastating impact on women’s social protection and services. Media coverage of violent extremism often focuses on terrorists, military, law enforcement, political issues. But, the realities for women in areas of violent extremism, often conflict as well, are the decline and reduction of basic social protection and services. On March 12, 2019, in a unique panel held … [Read more...]

The Number One Book We All Need To Read And Here’s Why

In the New Year, the number one book that I suggest we all read is The Rabbit Listened, and here's why. The best-selling children's story teaches the very simple principle of empathy. In today's climate of rising conflict and ugly wars, it's important to listen to understand the root of violence and then offer sound solutions. To be honest, I don't read many children's books. I prefer the hard, … [Read more...]

Meaningful Discussions on Terrorism Will Continue To Matter in 2019

We live in an age of terrorism, which is why meaningful discussions on Islam will continue to matter in 2019. Violence from religious groups as well as violence perpetrated by far-right extremist groups will continue in the New Year. For decades, I've been teaching and lecturing on violent behavior, focusing primarily on women in conflict as well as searching for answers on the key question: Why … [Read more...]

Revealing Facts About America’s Gun Control Problem

America's gun control problem is spiraling out of control as more weapons fall into the wrong hands and innocent civilians are dying. A Time magazine article on guns in America illuminates the violent trend and examines both sides of this messy debate. According to the writers, "the gun debate stands frozen in the stalemate, advocates unable to agree even on the meaning of words."  For example, … [Read more...]

Battling the Bad Guys To Find the Truth Is Possible With Faith, Fortitude and Forbearance

Battling the bad guys to find the truth is possible with faith, fortitude and forbearance, even in a world where conflicts continue to rage. In this book review, award-winning author and scholar, Dr. Akbar Ahmed shares his insight on my new book Invisible Martyrs.  Read the review below:  Farhana Qazi, an American Pakistani, a senior counter-terrorism professional is the nearest equivalent to a … [Read more...]

The Rise of Far-Right Extremism In America Is A Worrisome Trend

The rise of far-right extremism in America is a worrisome trend and some experts blame divisive politics. These days, domestic terrorism consists of a kaleidoscope of groups with varying agendas and ambitions.  The data proves this.   In an informative news hour program by PBS, the United States will experience violent attacks by far right extremists every year. Why is this happening? Click … [Read more...]

The BBC Television Drama Sensationalizes the Muslim Female Terrorist

The new BBC television drama called "The Bodyguard" sensationalizes the Muslim female terrorist. The hit-drama that drew in millions of viewers opens with a nervous, scared and seemingly innocent female bomber--yes, she wears a suicide belt with a trigger in her hand--on a busy train. Anjli Mohindra played Nadai in the drama--the finale which was watched by 11 million people. (Image below) You … [Read more...]

Perspectives on Terrorism Book Review of Invisible Martyrs

Book reviews matter and I've been honored to receive the following reviews of my new book, Invisible Martyrs, from other scholars and kind-hearted readers. I'm honored to have this review from Joshua Sinai published in the "Counterterrorism Bookshelf" section of the Perspectives on Terrorism journal, Volume 12, Issue 5.  Farhana Qazi, Invisible Martyrs: Inside the Secret World of Female … [Read more...]

Today Islam Is Still Misunderstood, Misappropriated and Misinterpreted. Why Is This True?

Today, Islam is still misunderstood, misappropriated and misinterpreted. Why is this true? Recently, I was asked to give a talk to US government officials and someone commented on a question I presented in my talk: Is Islam a violent religion? (Obviously, the answer is no.). The official in the audience stated that there is a sizable group of Americans who do believe that Islam is violent, … [Read more...]

A Must Read Book By A Young Girl From Pakistan Who Gives Voice To Honor Killings

I Should Have Honor is a must read book by a young girl, Khalida Brohi, from rural Pakistan who gives voice to honor killings. So often, honor killings in Pakistan and in other Islamic countries take place in the name of male pride and/or religious fervor. It's wrong. It's wicked. And it's still widely practiced.  See her short video clip for a powerful message - We should all have honor, says … [Read more...]

So Much To Be Thankful For As An American Muslim Woman: 5 Observations from Women in Conflict

There's so much to be thankful for as an American Muslim woman. Over the past few days, I spent some time thinking about the hundreds of women who have shaped me, especially women in conflict and war.  In earlier posts, I have written about women in protracted war; women in violent extremism featured in my new book; and the strong women in my life. When I look back at my research for the past 15 … [Read more...]

A New Film on Rape in Burma Highlights Crimes Committed Against Women

A new film on rape and sexual violence in Burma highlights crimes committed against women. The film, "Mother, Daugher, Sister" is a gripping and hauntingly real documentary of stories of women who have witnessed rape or have been raped by the Burmese military and authorities. Director Jeanne Hallacy, who is a compassionate and strong-willed woman, presents the film to audiences around the country, … [Read more...]

Why Women Choose Violent Action

Women choose violent action for a plethora of reasons, including religion, respect from their community or peers, revenge, retribution from past or current sins, and the right to change prolonged (armed) conflict. This not only applies to radical / violent Muslim women and girls, but to women everywhere.  In numerous studies and books, including the release of my latest book Invisible Martyrs: … [Read more...]

The Meaning of War Narratives and The Roles Men and Women Play in War

Every week, in my Gender Conflict & Security class at The George Washington University, I introduce new concepts and themes on war narratives and the different roles men and women play in war. It's a seemingly complex subject because war--and prolonged conflict--is always changing, which means that the women inside them are forced to adapt to new realities.  The reality of losing a missing … [Read more...]

Stories With Heroic Imagination and The Meaning of Memoir

I spent an entire afternoon at the library and discovered the humanity and warmth of stories written as a memoir with heroic imagination. This kind of narrative--the use of a hero or heroine--is one of the oldest and most compelling methods of holding someone's attention: everyone wants to be told a story in narrative form.  For years, I focused on the stories of people living in conflict and … [Read more...]

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