Tag Archives: Islam

The Muslim cleric who condemned 9/11: A recollection of Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah

Two months after 9/11, I was in a Beirut hotel when my telephone rang. It was Hezbollah calling. I had given them my room number earlier in the week, and they were finally contacting me, to arrange an interview with … Continue reading

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Islam and Simon Cowell: ‘Idol’ judge is causing a stir with his Afghan fiancée

One of the last times I give a talk for my book (“Al’ America: Travels Through America’s Arab and Islamic Roots”), a woman in hijab asked me when Americans would begin “trusting” Islam. By that, she meant, “When will Islam … Continue reading

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An American in Iran: Photos reveal a country of martyrdom and merriment

The third in a series of ‘round-the-world photo essays (the first two, on Pakistan, are here and here) that will also spotlight Iraq, Syria, North Africa, West Africa, Europe, and other destinations. In the months after 9/11, I interviewed a … Continue reading

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Honor killings in Jordan: The woman who keeps the issue alive

The case was a facsimile of countless others that Rana Husseini has investigated in the past 15 years: A woman in Jordan is brutally murdered – not by strangers but by her own brothers, who reportedly acted to restore the … Continue reading

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Who speaks for Islam? Meet an actor, L.A. writer, and other smart (and funny) Muslims

Muslim people don’t laugh – at least not on most American TV shows, movies, and news programs, which focus excessively on Muslims who plot violence, talk about violence, or are somehow touched by the threat of violence. Maz Jobrani, the … Continue reading

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The Nobel interview that never ran: A talk with novelist Naguib Mahfouz

Almost 20 years ago, during my first trip to Cairo, I managed to get an exclusive interview with Naguib Mahfouz, the only writer in the Arab world to win the Nobel Prize for Literature. Mahfouz talked about the early influences … Continue reading

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VW used ethnic slur to name its ‘Touareg’ SUV

In a hurry to get to a movie screening yesterday, I was speeding down a San Francisco street when a gas-guzzling SUV pulled in front. Already predisposed to distrust the driver (for lurching into my lane and polluting the atmosphere … Continue reading

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