Religion and the American Constitutional Settlement

It is human nature for individuals to reach different conclusions about what is true, and to be convinced that one’s beliefs, being true, deserve to prevail over false beliefs. The diversity of our opinions and our zeal in advancing them, wrote James Madison, has “divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to cooperate for their common good.” This dilemma is thus “sown in the nature of man,” and the resolution to it of late-18th century Americans was the disestablishment of religion: first, through the No Religious Test Clause of Article VI of the Constitution, and later, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment...

The Common Ground Between Evangelicals and Muslims

Last month, my wife and I joined a small group of Muslims and thousands of Christians at the annual March for Life in Washington to call for an end to what we believe is the unjust murder of unborn children in America. My wife’s hijab attracted interest, but we didn’t feel out of place among marchers, many of whom were white evangelicals. Despite our deep theological differences on other issues, we were at home in the company of fellow believers. Yet, the Muslim presence at the March is perennially small, even insignificant. In fact, Muslims also decline to join forces with conservative Christians on other traditional social causes such as opposing same-sex marriage...

American Public Opinion About Islam and Muslims in the Months After the 9/11 Attacks

I was commissioned to write this report in March 2002 by a Saudi Arabian think tank. It was originally published on a Saudi website in English and in Arabic, and I was told at the time the Arabic translation had been given to members of the Saudi royal family. The report, which I wrote using online news databases while living in Bosnia, is basically a snapshot of American public opinion about Islam and Muslims in the 6 months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  It was cited in a couple books but has been offline for at least a decade and I recently discovered it after a lot of digging. I'm posting it for the historical value. 

Thoughts on Religious Freedom

In this response to brother Daniel Haqiqatjou, I argue that religious freedom in America came primarily from the efforts of devout believers; and though skeptics like Jefferson found common cause with those believers, religious freedom is not an inherently anti-religious concept. Hence, Muslims in American can firmly and authentically support it.

Confessions of a Traitor

When I was young my mother had a close friend from Cyprus. I grew up hearing her tell horrifying stories of the Turks' invasion of her home. This woman was very beloved to me. When told her in 1992 I had become a Muslim, the look of shock and anger on her face was hard to bear. "No, Randy, no!" she wailed. She had known me since I was in my mother's womb. I knew I had let her down, sold her out, betrayed her.