Harris Zafar

AuthorHarris Zafar

Harris Zafar serves as National Spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and is author of the book “Demystifying Islam: Tackling the Tough Questions.” Harris addresses issues facing Islam and the Muslim world in various media and also elucidates the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s nationwide efforts towards pluralism and understanding. As National Director of Faith Outreach for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, he encourages Muslim youth, in particular, to speak out about the true, peaceful and tolerant teachings of Islam. Harris is a frequent speaker and lecturer about Islam at conferences, universities, schools, churches and other public events. He has spoken in cities such as London, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Seattle and Portland. Harris is also an Adjunct Professor at two colleges, teaching classes about Islam. He has appeared on several national and local news programs to provide commentary on current issues from an Islamic perspective and to explain what Muslim Americans are doing to combat intolerance. His approach to religion is based on rational discourse and justice.

As a Muslim, father and Oregonian, I thank Friday’s heroes

Guest Opinion Published on Oregonlive website on May 27th, 2017 On Friday, Portland was shaken by an attack on a train that targeted two teenage girls and led to the deaths of two bystanders. As the details emerge, we discover that the suspect, 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, allegedly set his sights on the teenagers — one of whom was wearing the Muslim hijab — and began shouting...

A Message For Muslims About Donald Trump’s Election

Originally published in The Huffington Post The long, taxing, and often uncomfortable 2016 Presidential race has finally concluded. And although the majority of voters (52.5%) did not get the result they wanted, we now have a President-elect in Donald J. Trump who will be sworn into the office of the Presidency in just two months. The aggressive and divisive nature of this election cycle...

The Dangerous Side of the Free Speech Debate

Originally published in the Huffington Post With last week’s release of Charlie Hebdo’s newest edition, marking the one-year anniversary of the infamous terrorist attack on its offices that killed 12 people, once again the debate about free speech has been ignited. In its recent publication, the editors at the magazine decided to take aim at all religion and blame God for terrorism...

Three Steps Toward Defeating ISIS That Are Better Than Those Heard At Last Night’s Debate

Originally published in The Daily Caller Last night, those vying for the Republican nomination spent two hours arguing why they would make this nation more safe and secure than anyone else on the stage. Aside from the false or gray statements that are already being debunked by fact checkers, I was amazed by the general solution being proposed to stop the growth and terror of Daesh (otherwise...

A real leader wouldn’t stigmatize Muslims

Originally published in CNN Sunday morning, my hope for the next presidency changed to disbelief after Dr. Ben Carson’s interview on “Meet the Press” when he boldly stated his belief that Islam is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and a Muslim should never be elected as president of the United States. I sat in disbelief because this is the season when candidates for office...

How the Prophet Muhammad Dealt with Insults

Originally published in Onfaith   Wednesday’s brazen attack in the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo has left many people the world over shocked, saddened, and even infuriated. As the smoke cleared and we learned that 12 people were killed at the hands of three individuals wearing commando uniforms who brandished automatic weapons that were fired indiscriminately at the office, we...

Did Islamic Beliefs Provoke Alton Nolen to Murder?

Originally published in OnFaith A horrifying tragedy in Oklahoma has been hijacked to become a tool of partisan politics, and lost is the practice of an intelligent discourse. Last Thursday, 30-year-old Alton Nolen brutally attacked co-workers at a food processing plant, killing and decapitating 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and attempting to kill 43-year-old Traci Johnson. Let’s get some facts...

ISIS threat calls for Muslim leadership: Guest opinion

Originally published in The Oregonian President Obama has presented his strategy for dealing with the menace known as ISIS, which has continued to perpetrate some of the most heinous acts imaginable – disregarding all international laws and even the dictates of human decency.  As much as I commend the United States for stepping up to confront ISIS, I am befuddled at the Muslim world’s...

5 questions for Harris Zafar, Washington County author, speaker on Islam

Originally published in The Oregonian Q. Let’s start with the book title itself: “Demystifying Islam: Tackling the Tough Questions.” What do you think are the two or three most common misunderstandings among Americans about Islamic faith and culture?  Zafar: First, there seems to be a major misconception that Islam is a monolithic entity, bereft of true diversity (of both...

Understanding Peaceful Islam: A Muslim Response to Herb Silverman

Originally published in OnFaith Last week, I read with great interest Herb Silverman’s column describing six events that led him to believe that “Islam is the worst and most dangerous religion by all human rights standards.” Although I believe Islamophobia to be a real phenomenon, I do not consider Mr. Silverman to be an Islamophobe.Rather, he brings up legitimate concerns with the actions...