The Silver Lining of Donald Trump’s Refugee Ban


Originally Published in Time I’m an immigrant, an American Muslim and I have family overseas. A Muslim ban would materially impact me — but I can’t help but thank President Trump. I thank him, but not because I think the ban is a necessary — it’s not. Our immigration and refugee process is already one of the most thorough on Earth. Since 9/11, refugees have committed a statistically insignificant...

Teaching tolerance through Islam


Originally published in The Tulsa World   Each time I see a news headline with a link between Islam and terrorism my heart sinks. These past few hours as I watch and read about the hostage situation in Sydney I have had the same sinking feeling as I see yet another shocking story of possible terrorism. These acts of terrorism are becoming more and more prevalent with many of the perpetrators...

Don’t let violence deter tolerance


Originally published in the Tulsa World My Sept. 19 morning started off most joyfully as my wife was granted citizenship in a beautiful ceremony at the U.S. District Court in Muskogee. I hardly had a chance to appreciate this great privilege, when I saw the disturbing headline about a man in Moore, said to have been a Muslim convert, committing a most horrific act.  My heart aches on hearing the...

Mandela’s legacy is freedom and tolerance


Originally published in the Northwestern What do Ted Cruz, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Oprah Winfrey, Chris Rock, and Bono all have in common? They all supported the late Mr. Nelson Mandela in one way or another sometime during their life. It’s strange to know that such a motley crew would appreciate Mandela but to me his biggest ideals were equal rights irrespective of race, sex, religious...

Muslims: Don’t Confront Violence With Silence


Originally Published in The Express Tribune and The Huffington Post Sir, it was 1995, North Medical Ward of Pakistan’s Mayo Hospital, where you famously said in your English-Punjabi accent, “Putter ji, batti uthay balo, jithay hanaira howay” (Son, light a candle where it’s dark). You didn’t want your students to go abroad after completing medical school. You wondered...

Fighting intolerance benefits both sides


Originally Published in The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel I have a favorite line from a poem, Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken”: “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.” Our nation needs to work together to fight intolerance regardless of how difficult it is because it will make the difference to...

Pakistan’s Black September


Originally Posted on PakTeaHouse   More than 40,000 civilians and 5,000 soldiers dead at the hands of 
religious fanatics leaves every Pakistani guessing – where did we go
wrong? Can we point out any single day in our 65 year history which
 symbolizes our collective decision to surrender to the Mullah?  Thirty 
eight years ago, on 7th of September 1974, the Parliament of Pakistan