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.

How to combat Nigeria’s Boko Haram

Originally published in USA Today The world has been gripped by the deplorable story evolving in Nigeria about the mass abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls between the ages of 16 and 18. Their “crime” was simply that they were girls and had the audacity to seek an education. Meet Boko Haram, the name most commonly used to refer to a sadistic terrorist organization in Nigeria who...

How to fight Boko Haram’s savage ideology

Originally published in USA Today and Indianapolis Star The world has been gripped by the deplorable story evolving in Nigeria about the mass abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls between the ages of 16 and 18. Their “crime” was simply that they were girls and had the audacity to seek an education. Meet Boko Haram, the name most commonly used to refer to a sadistic terrorist...

9/11 museum’s Al Qaeda documentary does not tell the truth

Originally published in Fox News I was invited to appear alongside Dinesh D’Souza as a guest on Fox News’ “The Kelly File” on Tuesday night, May 13, to answer the question of why many Muslims and non-Muslims have taken issue with the film “Rise of Al Qaeda,” which is set to air within the new National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City. Museum officials screened the...

Sudan Government Tells Young Christian Woman to Recant or Die

Originally published in On Faith Mariam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag is a 27-year-old woman in Sudan who has been sentenced to the death penalty for the charge of apostasy based on the allegation that she was born a Muslim but has embraced Christianity and then married a Christian man. The Sudanese Alhag Yousif Criminal Court had given her until Thursday to not only recant her belief in Christianity but...

Dear Boko Haram: You’re Spitting in the Face of Muhammad

Originally published in On Faith To  Abubakar Shekau and all members of Jama’at Ahl-e-Sunnah Lidda’awa wal-Jihad: I begin with the Islamic greeting of peace – Asalaamo Alaikum (may peace be on you). I have watched for nearly a month as your group (most commonly known as Boko Haram) has been gaining more international attention. Of course, this is not the first I have heard about you — while...

Muslim Leader Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Originally published in The Huffington Post Last week, the Grand Mufti of Kyrgyzstan was forced to resign amidst allegations of adultery with a woman he says is his second wife. He claimed he had the proper Islamic marriage ceremony with her, but since Article 153 of Kyrgyzstan’s criminal code forbids polygamy, this woman could not have legally been a second wife. Thus came allegations of...

Making Islamic sense of free speech

Originally Published in The Washington Post While many celebrated the winter holidays, news broke of the arrest in Saudi Arabia of liberal writer Turki Al Hamad for allegedly insulting Islam on Twitter.  We also heard of another Saudi activist, Raif Badawi, who was arrested in June and will now continue with his trial, accused of apostasy for ridiculing Saudi Arabia’s religious police and making...

Violence Violates Free Speech and Islam

Originally Published in The Huffington Post “Over the past three weeks, violence and protests have spread from Libya and Egypt to more than two dozen countries, leaving dozens dead, including a U.S. Ambassador and other U.S. diplomats. The film that allegedly spurred these events has been the centerpiece of a raging debate about the use of free speech and the response from people targeted...

Confronting Pamela Geller

Originally Published in The Huffington Post “As a Jew, I am offended to my core. Muslims have no right to invoke Moses and Abraham. This is a delegitimization of Judaism. It is offensive and vile. And while Jesus is not my guy, the same thing goes for him. It is a delegitimization of Christianity. These are not Muslim prophets.”   This typical quote from Pamela Geller perfectly...

For Ahmadi Muslims, another memorial day

On May 28th this year, we observed Memorial Day, a day to remember and honor those who have died in service to our nation. But on this year’s Memorial Day, I also reflected on other brave souls who died in another service: to their faith. May 28th has a special significance not just for me and the tens of millions of members of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community worldwide. It is also a day of...