WTF: So What The Fatwa Is Going On?

Who has the right to issue a fatwa, an Islamic ruling, is an important question that is confused by born-again scholars and unlearned authority figures. Today, there are thousands, if not millions, of Muslim scholars issuing legal edicts on wide-ranging subjects. What’s troubling is that hardliners as well as violent extremists are rendering fatwas, many of which declare war or death on an … [Read more...]

3 Lessons Learned From Teaching The Military

Training the American armed forces was one of the most rewarding and enriching experiences. In the classroom, participants (i.e., soldiers) helped me understand war by sharing their experiences of serving in a Muslim country. Here's what they taught me: 3 things I learned again: War is not black and white. But shades of gray, and every other color in-between. Although there is a real enemy in … [Read more...]

A Special Keynote Address: The Path to Ijtihad or Critical Thinking

Last week, I was honored to present at The Homeland Security and Emergency Management Conference in New Mexico. Set in historic Albuquerque, the conference venue and the audience could not have been more perfect--hundreds of law enforcement officers, emergency managers, and government officials, all working together to keep our country safe. As a keynote speaker, I was invited to talk about … [Read more...]

What I Have Learned From Public Speaking

Most books and on-line blogs on public speaking fail to address a central selling point to be effective and successful. Personality. Knowledge is not enough. A public speaker needs to shine on stage. Call it charisma. Most speakers I admire are informative, intriguing and inspiring. They give me knowledge I didn’t have and force me to consider an alternative viewpoint. Watching pubic … [Read more...]

Human Rights Challenges for Women in Indian-Held Kashmir

Raising awareness on women in conflict is one small way to inform and invest in a community that is grappling with unspeakable and unthinkable acts of violence. For over a decade, I have interviewed Kashmiri men and women--some in the valley and others from afar--to understand their struggles and sacrifices. To the Kashmiri people, including famed writer Basharat Peer, the conflict has become … [Read more...]

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