Islam · Sociology

Breaking the Monolith of Muslim Identity: Experiences of Muslim Women

The “monolith” of Muslim identity is a dangerous misconception when applied to Muslim women. By suggesting that all Muslims experience their identity in similar ways, the unique experiences of Muslim women are erased from the conversations regarding identity. Instead, their experiences and identity formation should be appreciated through the “double disadvantage” they hold as their…… Continue reading Breaking the Monolith of Muslim Identity: Experiences of Muslim Women


Radio Interview: Islamophobia and Radicalization With Middle East in Focus (Los Angeles)

Here’s a radio interview with Middle East in Focus (Los Angeles). The program has been airing regularly on KPFK since 1980. MIF’s mission is to fill the many gaps left by the mainstream media in their coverage of the M.E. and to correct many of the distorted images presented by the mass media – both news…… Continue reading Radio Interview: Islamophobia and Radicalization With Middle East in Focus (Los Angeles)


Ethnic Vs. Civic Nations: A Comparison Between England, Ireland, and the United States

Jonathan Freedland’s article in the Guardian on English identity discusses the differences between the “ethno-nation” which is defined by “blood and soil” and the “civic nation” which is defined by egalitarian values and democratic institutions. These two types of competing national identities are also discussed in my PhD dissertation which focuses on the experiences of young first- and second-generation Pakistani…… Continue reading Ethnic Vs. Civic Nations: A Comparison Between England, Ireland, and the United States

Sociology · Work

Family, Religion and Identity Experiences in the Pakistani Diaspora: A Case Study of Young Pakistani Men in Dublin & Boston

This presentation provided an overview of data collected during an exploratory case study based in qualitative research regarding the lived experiences of Pakistani men between the ages of 18 and 35 living in Dublin and Boston. I offered a theoretical backdrop on diaspora theory and its related concepts, a general introduction to Pakistanis, the origins…… Continue reading Family, Religion and Identity Experiences in the Pakistani Diaspora: A Case Study of Young Pakistani Men in Dublin & Boston


Inspiring poem: “The Man in the Glass”

The Man in the Glass When you get what you want in your struggle for self, And the world makes you king for a day, Then go to the mirror and look at yourself, And see what that man has to say. * For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife, Who judgement upon…… Continue reading Inspiring poem: “The Man in the Glass”



2014 The Problem With Banning the Burqa. Huffington Post Religion, March 12th. Revisiting the Connection Between Prophet Muhammad and George Washington. Huffington Post Religion, February 16th. Interview on Scholar’s Spiritual Journey Into Islam and the Life of Prophet Muhammad. Huffington Post Religion, February 11th. What Studying Muhammad Taught Me About Islam. Huffington Post Religion, January…… Continue reading Articles


Poem: A racing country

I hear you say, with a cancerous rage, ‘LET’S TAKE OUR COUNTRY BACK!’ But where are you taking it back to, who are you taking it back with, and who are you taking it back from? Why are some people joining you, while others are not? Why do some people yearn for the past, while…… Continue reading Poem: A racing country

Sociology · Uncategorized

Video: Marry Me

The following 6 minute short film is about a girl who loves a boy and a boy who loves his bike. The film took first place in Tropfest Australia 2008, “the world’s largest short film festival.” It has me thinking about how we raise our children, from toddlerhood. Consider: a girl ensconced in pink is obsessed…… Continue reading Video: Marry Me


Sociology: The way to understand ‘race’ and ‘racism’

Stuart Hall is a theorist who has contributed a great deal to our understanding of identity and racism.  He is one of the ‘founding fathers’ of cultural studies and here discusses race as a floating signifier.  I was not able to find all the videos but you should be able to search for them on…… Continue reading Sociology: The way to understand ‘race’ and ‘racism’


James Baldwin at the Crossroads of his Identity Crisis

One can only face in others what one can face in oneself.  On this confrontation depends the measure of our wisdom and compassion.  This energy is all that one finds in the rubble of vanished civilizations, and the only hope for ours. – James Baldwin, ‘NOBODY KNOWS MY NAME’

Creative writing

Quoted: Whitman, Tagore, and Rumi

I just picked up Eboo Patel’s Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation at New England Mobile Book Fair in Newton, Massachusetts.  To be honest, I wasn’t searching for it; I pretty much stumbled across it randomly in the extremely small ‘Islam’ section (it’s small…… Continue reading Quoted: Whitman, Tagore, and Rumi


Religion: Atheistic humanism in The Cube and the Cathedral

Have you heard about the ‘European problem’?  To your likely surprise, the problem has nothing to do with debt, sovereignty, Brussels, or the devaluing euro. As George Weigel posits in The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America and Politics Without God, the ‘European problem’ is atheistic humanism or, as he often calls it in more academic…… Continue reading Religion: Atheistic humanism in The Cube and the Cathedral

Fieldwork · Religion

Religification of Pakistani-American youth

Note: Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher’s research here is quite similar to my own.  I want to share with you her important findings. One of Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher’s explications examines a cultural production process called religification, in which religious affiliation, rather than race or ethnicity, has become the core category of identity for working class Pakistani-American youth in the United…… Continue reading Religification of Pakistani-American youth

Fieldwork · Religion

Thick and thin religion

Kavirah (2010) argues that the growing religiosity in many parts of the world is quite different from our traditional understanding of religion (in his writing, he refers to rising Hindu identity and nationalism).  He argues that we need to distinguish between ‘thick and thin religion’.  Thick religion encompasses traditional rituals, practices, and beliefs, whereas thin…… Continue reading Thick and thin religion

Film-work · Politics

Noam Chomsky Defines American Identity as Myth and Fear

Location: Noam Chomsky’s office, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Date: October 2008 Topic: American identity (with some focus on Muslims in the USA) Project: Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam Principal investigator: Akbar Ahmed Filmed by: Craig Considine © Akbar Ahmed


Nafs and the stages of ‘self’

The Arabic word nafs is variously translated as ‘soul’, ‘self’, or ‘ego’.  The nafs has seven levels or stages of development that correspond more or less to the seven stages of the Sufi Path.  The Path, which leads to a transformation of consciousness, can therefore be described as the refinement and purification of the soul.  The seven…… Continue reading Nafs and the stages of ‘self’


A clever little video to answer ‘what is social science?’

Source: You Tube Soomo Publishing’s ‘Animated Introduction to Social Science’ defines the broad-spectrum discipline of social science. You can see more of Soomo Publishing’s educational videos by visiting