Covering Islam and politics

Muslims’ engagement with government and politics is becoming more prominent in the United States and abroad on issues ranging from immigration and terrorism to charities and civil rights. This guide lists research centers, organizations and scholars with expertise on the growing role of Muslims’ interactions with government and politics.

Background

Research centers

Academic

  • Carolina-Duke-Emory Institute for the Study of Islam

    The Carolina-Duke-Emory Institute for the Study of Islam is a joint project of three southeastern universities. Its principal focus is on Islam overseas.

  • Center for Contemporary Arab Studies

    The Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University In Washington, D.C., describes itself as the only academic center in the U.S. that focuses only on the Arab world, from Morocco to the Persian Gulf. Osama Abi-Mershed is its director.

  • Center for Afghanistan Studies

    The Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska in Omaha is a center of research on the Afghan region, peoples and cultures, including the country’s politics. Charley Reed is the center’s media contact.

  • Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies

    The Hagop Kevorkian Center for Near Eastern Studies at New York University in New York City focuses on the study of the Middle East, especially on its economies, cultures and politics. Helga Tawil Souri is executive director.

  • Islam in the West Program

    Harvard University’s Islam in the West Program is a project of the university’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. It focuses on the relationship between Islam and democracy in North America. Among the goals is to compare the attitudes of Muslims in Europe and Muslims in America. It conducts seminars, student workshops and surveys of Muslims and produces publications.

  • Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

    The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is an organization that provides a meeting point between the Islamic and Western worlds of learning. Through good scholarship, it promotes a more informed understanding of Islam, its culture and civilization.

  • King Fahd Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies

    The center is an interdisciplinary program in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, dedicated to the study of the modern Middle East and the geo-cultural area in which Islamic civilization prospered, and continues to shape world history.  The center at the University of Arkansas includes professors in a variety of disciplines.

  • The Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations

    The Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations, part of Hartford Seminary in Connecticut, is the country’s oldest center for such study. With a history that traces back to 1893, the center focuses on research, teaching, publication and public discourse. Its faculty includes Mahmoud Ayoub, the Rev. Steven Blackburn and Yahya Michot.

Think tanks

  • Carnegie Middle East Center

    The Carnegie Middle East Center, which is in Beirut, is part of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Meshal DeSantis is the media director in Washington.

  • Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World

    The Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World is a program of the Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. It hosts seminars and lectures and conducts research on the role of Islam in the politics and government of the Islamic world. Carolyn Stewart is the press secretary.

  • Center for Strategic and International Studies

    The Center for Strategic and International Studies seeks to influence and develop international policy. It has a Middle East Program which focuses on U.S. foreign policy in the region. Its Turkey Project focuses on U.S. policy and Turkish politics. The South Asia Program focuses on the politics and strategic developments in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Afghanistan. H. Andrew Schwartz is the chief communications officer.

  • Council on Foreign Relations

    The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to helping their members better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries.

  • Institute for Social Policy and Understanding

    The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding is an independent nonprofit think tank committed to research and analysis of U.S. domestic and foreign policies, with an emphasis on issues related to the Muslim community in the United States. Media contact is Farhan Latif.

  • Minaret of Freedom Institute

    The Minaret of Freedom Institute, based in Bethesda, Md., conducts independent scholarly research into issues involving Islam in the U.S. and policy issues affecting Muslim countries. The institute’s emphasis is on Islam, freedom and free markets, and the political and economic implications of Islamic law.

  • National Democracy Institute for International Affairs

    The National Democracy Institute for International Affairs is a nonprofit organization that seeks to support democracies throughout the world. Its website is searchable by some countries. Kenneth Wollack is president.

    Contact: 202-728-5500.
  • Saban Center for Middle East Policy

    The Saban Center for Middle East Policy is based at the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit organization that focuses on U.S. foreign policy through funding independent research, publishing and events. It is based in Washington, D.C.

  • Islamic Supreme Council of America

    The Islamic Supreme Council of America is a nonprofit, nongovernmental religious organization dedicated to working for the cause of Islam. Contact Chairman Shaykh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani.

  • Middle East Policy Council

    The Middle East Policy Council is a nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C. It works to educate Americans on the political, economic, and cultural issues in the Middle East relevant to the United States.

International sources

  • Yesim Arat

    Yesim Arat is a professor of political science and international relations at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is the author of Rethinking Islam and Liberal Democracy: Islamist Women in Turkish Politics.

  • Azyumardi Azra

    Azyumardi Azra is a history professor and rector of Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University in Jakarta, Indonesia. He is the author of numerous books, including Indonesia, Islam and Democracy: Dynamics in a Global Context.

  • Gary R. Bunt

    Gary R. Bunt is a scholar that specializes in topics relating to Islam, Muslims and the media; Islamic philosophy of law; Muslims in the U.K.; ritual and performance; religious and political authority. He is the author of Islam in the Digital Age. He writes a blog and maintains a website at Virtually Islamic.

  • Fawaz A. Gerges

    Fawaz A. Gerges is professor of international affairs at the London School of Economics. Gerges is a senior analyst and regular commentator for ABC Television News and a commentator for NPR’s Morning Edition. He has appeared on television and radio networks throughout the world, including American networks and Al-Jazeera. Areas of expertise include Islam and the political process, Islamist and jihadist movements, Arab politics, American foreign policy in the Middle East, the modern history of the Middle East, history of conflict, diplomacy and foreign policy, historical sociology and international relations.

  • H.A. Hellyer

    H.A. Hellyer is an associate fellow at the University of Warwick in Warwick, England, and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He is an expert on Islam in Europe and has written several books on the subject, including Islam in Europe: Multiculturalism and the European “Other.”  He can discuss Islam and politics in Great Britain.

  • James Piscatori

    James Piscatori is a professor and deputy director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia. He is formerly a senior scholar at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies in Oxford, England. He is a leading scholar in Islamic communities in the West.

    Contact: 02 6125 5001 / 0416 249 231.
  • Naomi Sakr

    Naomi Sakr is a reader in communication at the University of Westminster in London, England. She is the author of Arab Media and Political Renewal: Community, Legitimacy and Public Life, which looks at the impact of Arab media on politics.

  • Bassam Tibi

    Bassam Tibi is a professor of international relations at the University of Göttingen in Göttingen, Germany, and an expert on radical fundamentalism in political Islam throughout Europe and the Middle East.

  • Carnegie Middle East Center

    The Carnegie Middle East Center, which is in Beirut, is part of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Meshal DeSantis is the media director in Washington.

  • Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

    The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is an organization that provides a meeting point between the Islamic and Western worlds of learning. Through good scholarship, it promotes a more informed understanding of Islam, its culture and civilization.

National sources

General

  • Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im

    Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. He is an expert on Islamic law, and his interests also include human rights, reproductive rights and women’s rights in Islam. He is a participating scholar with the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics.

  • Mohammed Ayoob

    Mohammed Ayoob is University Distinguished Professor of International Relations at James Madison College at Michigan State University in East Lansing. He researches the intersection of religion and politics in the Muslim world. He is the author of The Many Faces of Political Islam: Religion and Politics in the Muslim World (2007).

  • Juan E. Campo

    Juan E. Campo is associate professor of religious studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He specializes in the comparative study of Islam, particularly in the Middle East and South Asia, and teaches courses on Islamic tradition; religion, politics and society in the Persian Gulf region; Islamic mysticism; and modern Islamic movements.

  • Mona Eltahawy

    Mona Eltahawy is a speaker, writer and commentator who focuses on issues concerning Islam. She is based in New York City.

  • John Esposito

    John Esposito is founding director of Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and professor of religion and international affairs and of Islamic studies at Georgetown. He is an expert on global terrorism, Islam and democracy, and international interfaith relations. His publications include Islamaphobia: The Challenges of Pluralism in the 21st Century and Islam: The Straight Path; The Oxford Dictionary of Islam; Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam; What Everyone Needs to Know About IslamWho Speaks for Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think; and Women in Muslim Family Law.

  • Yvonne Y. Haddad

    Yvonne Y. Haddad is professor of the history of Islam and Muslim-Christian relations at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. She co-authored Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today and Educating the Muslims of America. Her scholarly interests include Muslims in the West, Islamic revolutionary movements, 20th-century Islam and the intellectual, social and political history of the Arab world.

  • Sohail Hashmi

    Sohail Hashmi is an associate professor of international relations at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass. He is an expert on Islam, pluralism, Islamic political thought and jihad. He posits that Islam lacks a tradition of political thought.

  • Robert W. Hefner

    Robert W. Hefner is an anthropology professor and director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University. Since 1991 he has also directed the institute’s program on Islam and society. His many books include (as editor) Shari’a Politics: Islamic Law and Society in the Modern World and (as co-editor) Schooling Islam: The Culture and Politics of Modern Muslim Education.

  • Muqtedar Khan

    Muqtedar Khan is an associate professor of political science and international relations at the University of Delaware. He has written about Islamic political thought and about the rise of political Christianity, through the Republican Party, in the United States. His books include American Muslims: Bridging Faith and Freedom and Debating Moderate Islam: The Geopolitics of Islam and the West. Khan has said that Shariah is based on the same principles that shape Judeo-Christian values.

  • Peter P. Mandaville

    Peter P. Mandaville is an associate professor of government and politics and directs the Center for Global Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. His expertise is in international politics and Islam. His research is on the role of Muslim organizations and leadership in Europe and North America; madrassas and education in the Muslim world; and social/political development in the Muslim world.

    Contact: 202-797-6105.
  • Andrew March

    Andrew March is an assistant professor of political science at Yale University in New Haven, Conn. He is at work on a book about Islam and citizenship in liberal democracies and is an expert on Islam and democracy.

  • Council on American-Islamic Relations

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations says it is the largest advocacy group for Muslims in the U.S. It advocates for Muslims on issues related to civil liberties and justice. Contact communications director Ibrahim Hooper in Washington, D.C.

Extremism/ terrorism

  • Khaled Abou El Fadl

    Khaled Abou El Fadl is an internationally recognized law professor and the Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Distinguished Fellow in Islamic Law at the University of California, Los Angeles. He teaches a course on Islamic law and has also taught about Middle Eastern investment law, immigration law and human rights and terrorism. His books include Speaking in God’s Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women, and he wrote the entry on Shariah for The Oxford University Handbook of Islam and Politics.

  • Tawfik Hamid

    Tawfik Hamid describes himself as a former member of an Islamic extremist movement Jamma’a Islameia who now speaks out for political and religious reform in the Muslim world.

  • Bruce Hoffman

    Bruce Hoffman is a professor in the security studies program at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He teaches graduate courses in terrorism and counterterrorism and insurgency and counterinsurgency, as well as other international security subjects.

  • Sandra Mackey

    Sandra Mackey is a freelance journalist who has written widely on Islamic extremism, especially in Iraq and Lebanon. She is the author several books on Islam and politics in the Middle East including Mirror of the Arab World: Lebanon in Conflict (2008). She lives in Atlanta, Ga.

  • Michael Radu

    Michael Radu is co-chairman of the Center on Terrorism, Counter-Terrorism and Homeland Security at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia. He has studied terrorist groups around the world and is an expert on terrorism and extremism in Turkey.

    Contact: 215-732-3774.
  • Gideon Rose

    Gideon Rose is managing editor of Foreign Affairs magazine and an expert on terrorism, among other issues, in the Middle East and South Asia. He is based in New York City.

U.S. foreign policy

  • As’ad AbuKhalil

    As’ad AbuKhalil is a professor of political science at California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock, Calif. He is a frequent critic of U.S. foreign policy, especially in the Middle East. He writes the blog Angry Arab.

  • Samer Shehata

    Samer Shehata is an assistant professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He teaches courses on comparative and Middle East politics, U.S. policy toward the Middle East, Islamist politics, Egyptian politics and society, culture and politics in the Arab world. He is currently writing a book about the rise and fall of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood that is under contract with Stanford University Press.

  • Frederick Streets

    Frederick Streets is the Senior Pastor of the Dixwell Avenue Congregational United Church of Christ in New Haven, Conn.  He contributed an article to the Feb. 22, 2008, issue of the journal Faith and International Affairs on the special role African-Americans can have in the building of bridges with Muslims overseas.

Internet

  • Gary R. Bunt

    Gary R. Bunt is a scholar that specializes in topics relating to Islam, Muslims and the media; Islamic philosophy of law; Muslims in the U.K.; ritual and performance; religious and political authority. He is the author of Islam in the Digital Age. He writes a blog and maintains a website at Virtually Islamic.

  • Dale Eickelman

    Dale Eickelman is a professor of anthropology and human relations at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. He and Jon Anderson are the editors of New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere, which, in part, looks at how new media such as the internet influence politics in Muslim countries.

  • Orayb Najjar

    Orayb Najjar is a professor of journalism at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill. She argues that the three Middle East news stations – Al Jazeera, Al Arabiyya, Al Manar – organize coverage around the question, “How should the Middle East be organized?” and that, as a result, they disseminate political news differently than other news stations.

  • Naomi Sakr

    Naomi Sakr is a reader in communication at the University of Westminster in London, England. She is the author of Arab Media and Political Renewal: Community, Legitimacy and Public Life, which looks at the impact of Arab media on politics.

  • IslamiCity

    IslamiCity bills itself as “a global Muslim eCommunity” and offers everything from news and opinion to ecards and matrimonial services on its site. It is based in Los Angeles and owned by Human Assistance and Development International, a nonprofit organization. Mohammed Aleem is its CEO.

Islam in Africa

  • Princeton Lyman

    Princeton Lyman is an adjunct professor of foreign service and an adjunct senior fellow in Africa policy studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C. He is a former ambassador to South Africa and Nigeria and is an expert on democratization in sub-Sahara Africa.

  • Haim Malka

    Haim Malka is a fellow and deputy director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is an expert in Islam and politics, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Contact: 202-775-3133.

Islam in the Middle East

  • Jon B. Alterman

    Jon B. Alterman is director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is an expert on Middle East politics and was an adviser to the Iraq Study Group.

    Contact: 202-775-3295.
  • Mohamad Bazzi

    Mohamad Bazzi is a fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, where he is working on a project about Hezbollah and the Shiite community in Lebanon. He is the former Middle East bureau head for (New York) Newsday and is based in New York City.

  • Nathan Brown

    Nathan Brown is a professor of political science and international affairs and director of the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He is an expert on government and politics of the Middle East, democratization and constitutionalism, and the rule of law in the Arab world.

  • Steven Cook

    Steven Cook is a fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations who is knowledgeable about politics in the Arab world, U.S.-Middle East policy, civil-military relations in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli conflict.

  • Noah Feldman

    Noah Feldman is a professor at Harvard Law School whose specialties include the relationship between law and religion. He gave the keynote address, “Persecution and the Art of Secrecy: An Interpretation of the Mormon Encounter with American Politics,” at a 2007 conference on Mormonism and American politics. He also wrote a July 22, 2007, essay in The New York Times Magazine (subscription required) titled “Orthodox Paradox,” about his drift away from the Orthodox Judaism of his youth. He has a doctorate in Islamic thought and is an expert on Middle East politics and Islamic constitutional law.

  • Haim Malka

    Haim Malka is a fellow and deputy director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is an expert in Islam and politics, especially in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Contact: 202-775-3133.
  • Suzanne Maloney

    Suzanne Maloney is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She is an expert on Iran and the Gulf States and has written about religion and human rights in the region.

    Contact: 202-797-6103.
  • Vali R. Nasr

    Vali R. Nasr is director of the Roundtable Series on Global Islamic Politics at the Council on Foreign Relations, where he is also an adjunct senior fellow for Middle Eastern studies. He is dean of the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Relations at Johns Hopkins University and is an expert on Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, political Islam and democratization in the Muslim world. He is also the author of three books on Islam in the Middle East, including Islamic Leviathan: Islam and the Making of State Power. He is a professor of Middle East and South Asia politics at Tufts University in Boston. Read an October 2004 interview with Nasr conducted by Bill Moyers for the PBS television series Now.

  • Itamar Rabinovich

    Itamar Rabinovich is a visiting fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. He is a former president of Tel Aviv University and an expert on politics in the Arab world.

    Contact: 202-797-4396, 202-797-6103.
  • Jean-Francois Seznec

    Jean-Francois Seznec is a visiting associate professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is an expert on democratization in the Persian Gulf region..

  • Samer Shehata

    Samer Shehata is an assistant professor at the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He teaches courses on comparative and Middle East politics, U.S. policy toward the Middle East, Islamist politics, Egyptian politics and society, culture and politics in the Arab world. He is currently writing a book about the rise and fall of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood that is under contract with Stanford University Press.

  • Shibley Telhami

    Shibley Telhami is a senior fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution and an expert on politics in the Persian Gulf and in the Israeli-Palestinian arena. He is also the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland in College Park.

    Contact: 202-797-6103.
  • Bassam Tibi

    Bassam Tibi is a professor of international relations at the University of Göttingen in Göttingen, Germany, and an expert on radical fundamentalism in political Islam throughout Europe and the Middle East.

  • Tamara Cofman Wittes

    Tamara Cofman Wittes is a senior foreign policy fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. She is director of the institution’s Middle East Democracy and Development Project.

    Contact: 202-797-4396, 202-797-6103.

Islam in Asia

  • Hassan Abbas

    Hassan Abbas is a research fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs in Cambridge, Mass. He is an expert on religious extremism in South and Central Asia and is the author of a book on extremism in Pakistan.

  • Husain Haqqani

    Husain Haqqani is a senior fellow at the Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of the Muslim World and director for the Center for International Relations at Boston University. He is the author of Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military.

  • Robert W. Hefner

    Robert W. Hefner is an anthropology professor and director of the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University. Since 1991 he has also directed the institute’s program on Islam and society. His many books include (as editor) Shari’a Politics: Islamic Law and Society in the Modern World and (as co-editor) Schooling Islam: The Culture and Politics of Modern Muslim Education.

Islam in Europe

  • Bulent Aliriza

    Bulent Aliriza is director and senior associate of the Turkey Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. He is an expert in Turkish politics and foreign relations.

    Contact: 202-457-8724.
  • Yesim Arat

    Yesim Arat is a professor of political science and international relations at Bogazici University in Istanbul, Turkey. She is the author of Rethinking Islam and Liberal Democracy: Islamist Women in Turkish Politics.

  • Zeyno Baran

    Zeyno Baran is an associate scholar at the Center on Islam, Democracy and the Future of Muslim World and a senior fellow and director of the Hudson’s Center for Eurasian Policy. She is an expert on Islam and politics in Europe.

    Contact: 202-974-2400.
  • Gary R. Bunt

    Gary R. Bunt is a scholar that specializes in topics relating to Islam, Muslims and the media; Islamic philosophy of law; Muslims in the U.K.; ritual and performance; religious and political authority. He is the author of Islam in the Digital Age. He writes a blog and maintains a website at Virtually Islamic.

  • Jocelyne Cesari

    Jocelyne Cesari is a visiting associate professor of Islamic studies at Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Mass. She is the author of When Islam and Democracy Meet: Muslims in Europe and in the United States (2004) and director of Harvard’s Islam in the West Program.

  • H.A. Hellyer

    H.A. Hellyer is an associate fellow at the University of Warwick in Warwick, England, and a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy. He is an expert on Islam in Europe and has written several books on the subject, including Islam in Europe: Multiculturalism and the European “Other.”  He can discuss Islam and politics in Great Britain.

  • Alexander Knysh

    Alexander Knysh is a professor of Islamic studies at the University of Michigan. He is a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where he is writing about Islam and empire in the Northern Caucasus.

  • Jonathan Laurence

    Jonathan Laurence is an assistant professor of political science at Boston College in Boston. He specializes in Muslim identity in Europe, especially in Germany and France. He has written widely about the integration of Muslims in France, including on the controversy of Muslim girls wearing hijab to public school.

  • Peter P. Mandaville

    Peter P. Mandaville is an associate professor of government and politics and directs the Center for Global Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. His expertise is in international politics and Islam. His research is on the role of Muslim organizations and leadership in Europe and North America; madrassas and education in the Muslim world; and social/political development in the Muslim world.

    Contact: 202-797-6105.
  • Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies

    The Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies is an organization that provides a meeting point between the Islamic and Western worlds of learning. Through good scholarship, it promotes a more informed understanding of Islam, its culture and civilization.

  • Bassam Tibi

    Bassam Tibi is a professor of international relations at the University of Göttingen in Göttingen, Germany, and an expert on radical fundamentalism in political Islam throughout Europe and the Middle East.

Regional sources

In the Northeast

  • Dale Eickelman

    Dale Eickelman is a professor of anthropology and human relations at Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H. He and Jon Anderson are the editors of New Media in the Muslim World: The Emerging Public Sphere, which, in part, looks at how new media such as the internet influence politics in Muslim countries.

  • F. Gregory Gause III

    F. Gregory Gause III is a non-resident senior fellow at the Brookings Doha Center and the incoming John H. Lindsey ’44 Chair in international affairs at the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University in College Station. He is an expert in Middle East politics and participated in “Roundtable Series on Global Islamic Politics: The Implications of the Changing Balance of Power in the Middle East” at the Council on Foreign Relations in October 2007.

  • Mirjam Künkler

    Mirjam Künkler is an assistant professor in Near Eastern studies at Princeton University in Princeton, N.J. She is also the former deputy director of the Center for the Study of Democracy, Toleration and Religion at Columbia University in New York, where her dissertation was on Islam and democracy. She is an expert on Islamic politics in Indonesia and Iran.

  • Ellen Lust-Okar

    Ellen Lust-Okar is an associate professor of political science at Yale University in new Haven, Conn. She researches the formation of political institutions in the Middle East.

  • David Patel

    David Patel is an assistant professor of government at Cornell University. He applies game theory and ethnography to Islamic institutions to study their effect on national politics and once spent eight months living with an Islamic family in Basra, Iraq. He speaks frequently about the political and religious situation in Iraq.

  • Diane Singerman

    Diane Singerman is an associate professor at the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C. She is an expert on Islam and politics in Egypt.

  • John Voll

    John Voll is professor of Islamic history and associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. He is an expert in Middle Eastern, Islamic and world history, and he has written on Islam in the modern world and Islam and democracy.

  • Catherine Warrick

    Catherine Warrick is an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University in Villanova, Pa. She teaches a course in Middle East politics, and one of her areas of research and expertise is comparative politics in the region.

In the South

  • Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im

    Abdullahi Ahmed An-Na’im is Charles Howard Candler Professor of Law at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta. He is an expert on Islamic law, and his interests also include human rights, reproductive rights and women’s rights in Islam. He is a participating scholar with the Religious Consultation on Population, Reproductive Health and Ethics.

  • Michaelle L. Browers

    Michaelle L. Browers is an associate professor in the political science department of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C. Her expertise is in Arab and Islamic political thought, political ideologies, feminist theory and democratic theory.

  • Najib Ghadbian

    Najib Ghadbian is an assistant professor of political science and Middle East studies at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Ghadbian’s research interests include political currents and media in the Arab world, Islamic movements, Syrian politics, and domestic and international politics in the Arabian/Persian Gulf.

  • David Gilmartin

    David Gilmartin is a history professor at North Carolina State University and director of its Center for South Asia Studies. He can discuss the politics in Pakistan. He is in Raleigh, N.C.

  • Joel Gordon

    Joel Gordon is a history professor at the University of Arkansas. He is an expert on religion and politics in the Arab world.

  • Khaled Helmy

    Khaled Helmy is a visiting professor in the political science department at Tulane University in New Orleans, where he teaches a course in the comparative politics of the Middle East.

  • Clement Moore Henry

    Clement Moore Henry is a professor at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is interested in comparative politics in the Middle East and North Africa.

  • Timur Kuran

    Timur Kuran is professor of economics and political science and Gorter Family Professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University in Durham, N.C. He has researched economic issues involving Islam, and his books include Islam and Mammon: The Economic Predicaments of Islamism (Princeton University Press, 2004).

  • Reem Meshal

    Reem Meshal is an assistant professor of Islamic studies at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. She specializes in religious fundamentalism and nationalism, including within the Muslim world.

  • Michael Peletz

    Michael Peletz is an anthropology professor at Emory University in Atlanta. He is an expert on Islam and politics in Malaysia, Indonesia and other parts of Southeast Asia.

  • Leonardo A. Villalón

    Leonardo A. Villalón is an associate professor of political science at the University of Florida in Gainesville and director of its Center for African Studies. He is at work on a project for the Carnegie Corporation of New York titled “Negotiating Democracy in Muslim Contexts: Political Liberalization and Religious Mobilization in the West African Sahel.” He is an expert in Islam and politics and on democratization in Senegal, Mali and Niger.

  • Fred von der Mehden

    Fred von der Mehden is a professor emeritus of political science at Rice University in Houston. Islam and the politics of Southeast Asia are among his fields of interest.

In the Midwest

  • Scott Atran

    Scott Atran is an adjunct professor in the psychology department at the University of Michigan and is associated with its Research Center for Group Dynamics. He can discuss jihadi movements and al-Qaeda. He is also the author of In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of American Religion (2004).

  • Orit Bashkin

    Orit Bashkin is an assistant professor of modern Middle Eastern Studies at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of Chicago. She is an expert on the political and religious history of Iraq.

  • Juan Cole

    Juan Cole is a history professor at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where he teaches a course on Islam in global politics. He is the author of a book on politics and religion in Iran and another on the politics and history of Shiite Islam. He is the author of Engaging the Muslim World.

  • Anas Malik

    Anas Malik is an assistant professor of political science at Xavier University in Cincinnati. He does research on political Islam and development and participated in a panel on why Islam becomes politicized at the 2007 Clifford Symposium “Islam and Politics in a Globalizing World” at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt.

  • Mansoor Moaddel

    Mansoor Moaddel is a research affiliate at the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan, where his focus has been on political attitudes and conflicts in the Middle East.

In the West

  • Joel S. Fetzer

    Joel S. Fetzer is a professor of political science at Seaver College at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. He co-wrote Muslims and the State in Britain, France, and Germany (Cambridge University Press, 2004).

  • Ira M. Lapidus

    Ira M. Lapidus is a professor emeritus of history at the University of California, Berkeley. He is co-editor of the book Islam, Politics and Social Movements. You can read the transcript of a 2003 interview with Lapidus on the subject of contemporary Islamic societies and politics.

  • Mark LeVine

    Mark LeVine is a professor of history at the University of California, Irvine, where he specializes in the Middle East. He has written widely about Islam and politics, including on the subjects of Islam in the public square and Islam and Middle Eastern politics.

  • Saba Mahmood

    Saba Mahmood is an associate professor of anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley. Her interests include Islam and religious reform movements and secular modernity in postcolonial societies. She is the author of Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, based on a grassroots women’s piety movement in Egypt. Her current project is a study of secularism in Egypt and Lebanon.

  • Farid Senzai

    Farid Senzai is a fellow and director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, which researches the Muslim community in the United States. He is also an assistant professor of political science at Santa Clara University. A co-editor of Educating the Muslims of America (2009), he helped organized a 2006 conference on Islamic education in the United States.

  • Mehran Tamadonfar

    Mehran Tamadonfar is an associate professor and chairman of the political science department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. One of his areas of study is Islam and politics in the Middle East and North Africa.

  • M. Hakan Yavuz

    M. Hakan Yavuz is an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. He has written about Islamic movements in Turkey and Kurdish nationalism in Turkey.

Related sources guides