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Ali A. Rizvi
Ali A. Rizvi is a Pakistani-Canadian writer, physician, and musician who resides in Toronto. He is currently writing his first book, The Atheist Muslim.

Entries by Ali A. Rizvi

7 Things to Consider Before Choosing Sides in the Middle East Conflict

(2) Comments | Posted July 23, 2014 | 11:01 PM

Are you "pro-Israel" or "pro-Palestine"? It isn't even noon yet as I write this, and I've already been accused of being both.

These terms intrigue me because they directly speak to the doggedly tribal nature of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. You don't hear of too many other countries being universally...

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The Phobia of Being Called Islamophobic

(61) Comments | Posted April 28, 2014 | 3:19 PM

As of this writing, the National September 11 Memorial Museum still hasn't caved in. But the pressure is building, and it feels very familiar.

The problem is a seven-minute film being shown at the soon-to-open museum called The Rise of Al Qaeda. Narrated by NBC's Brian Williams, it...

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A Conversation Between Two Atheists From Muslim Backgrounds (Part 2)

(20) Comments | Posted March 10, 2014 | 9:01 PM

This is a continuation of my conversation with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, who I met just months after he arrived in the United States for the first time from Iraq. Both of us grew up in Middle Eastern countries where non-belief can often carry grievous penalties, and eventually migrated to...

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A Conversation Between Two Atheists From Muslim Backgrounds (Part 1)

(3) Comments | Posted January 24, 2014 | 2:05 PM

I met Faisal Saeed Al Mutar recently, just months after he arrived in the United States for the first time from Iraq. Both of us grew up in Middle Eastern countries where non-belief can often carry grievous penalties, and eventually migrated to North America.

Both of us have encountered...

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Grief Without Belief: How Do Atheists Deal With Death?

(221) Comments | Posted October 22, 2013 | 4:08 PM

A religious friend once wrote to me, asking how I coped with death as an atheist. Her father had just died a week or two earlier, as mine had years ago. She wrote:

He's dead and in the ground. I take great comfort in thinking that he's in a good...
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Why I Call Myself an 'Atheist Muslim'

(165) Comments | Posted May 13, 2013 | 12:38 PM

Last week, I had an essay up on HuffPost entitled "An Atheist Muslim's Perspective on the 'Root Causes' of Islamist Jihadism and the Politics of Islamophobia."

One of the goals of the piece was to emphasize the difference between the criticism of Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry: the first...

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An Atheist Muslim's Perspective on the 'Root Causes' of Islamist Jihadism and the Politics of Islamophobia

(1017) Comments | Posted May 3, 2013 | 10:09 PM

The ambassador answered us that [their right] was founded on the Laws of the Prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have answered their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be...
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Eight Insights from the 2012 U.S. Election, So Far

(8) Comments | Posted November 5, 2012 | 4:10 PM

There are very few things in life that simultaneously fill you with both cynicism and exhilaration like the American presidential election. And 2012 is certainly no exception. As the election cycle draws to a close, here's a look back at some of the most valuable insights from the year.


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My Dad Never Told Me He Loved Me -- and That's Perfectly Fine

(1) Comments | Posted June 17, 2012 | 3:49 PM

I'm not really superstitious, but Friday the 13th hit a little harder this year than usual. My dad died April 13th in 2001, a Friday. This year, April 13 fell on a Friday again, the first time in 11 years. I know that doesn't really mean anything, but it somehow...

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Misogyny in the Middle East: The Real Elephant in the Room

(103) Comments | Posted May 1, 2012 | 4:37 PM

A swarm of criticism has been leveled against Mona Eltahawy's recent Foreign Policy cover story on the state of women in the Arab world.

Some of it has been ridiculous, like Samia Errazzouki's allegation that the cover photo and story was "degrading" to women who wear the...

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From Twilight to Chris Brown: The (Almost) Final Word on the Allure of the Bad Boy

(114) Comments | Posted March 6, 2012 | 5:28 PM

Before watching Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, I thought I'd relate to it mostly because it is set in my city of Toronto. (Many movies are shot here, but this is one of the few that doesn't pretend it's not.) Afterwards, however, I was a little more impressed than I'd...

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A Message to My Fellow Pakistanis in the Post-Osama World

(8) Comments | Posted May 19, 2011 | 11:43 AM

"Only 3000 Americans died in that 9/11 drama. But they have killed many more in response."

Fair enough. The young, educated English-speaking Pakistani man who sent me these words may have thought 9/11 was a "drama," but at least he got his numbers right -- even if he missed the...

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A Nobel Nomination for WikiLeaks? What About Bradley Manning, America's Liu Xiaobo?

(19) Comments | Posted February 8, 2011 | 12:33 PM

Even though WikiLeaks has now been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize, Suzanne Merkelson at Foreign Policy doesn't think it's likely to win -- and she's probably right: the biggest human rights stories this year have, so far, come out of Tunisia and Egypt.

But Snorre Valen, the...

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Barack Obama: Closeted Non-Believer?

(119) Comments | Posted August 27, 2010 | 4:47 PM

"Before we get carried away, let's read our Bibles now," said the young first-term Senator from Illinois in his speech to Call for Renewal, a liberal Christian group. "Folks haven't been reading their Bibles!"

It was June 2006, and it wasn't long before Barack Obama started to

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Ground Zero Mosque Protesters Borrow a Page From the Muslim Playbook

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2010 | 1:28 AM

"Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts," tweeted Sarah Palin last month, summing up the position that most Americans currently hold: that the Park51 Islamic Community Center, originally named the Cordoba House, should not be built two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks.


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Take the Government Out of Marriage: Do It for the Children

(62) Comments | Posted August 13, 2010 | 11:55 AM

Martin Gill is fighting to adopt the kids he has cared for for six years as a foster parent in Florida, a state that allows gays and lesbians to be foster parents, but stops short of allowing them to adopt.

But if Bill McCollum -- Florida's Jeb Bush-backed gubernatorial...

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Vancouver 2010: It's Not Over Yet!

(1) Comments | Posted March 10, 2010 | 11:14 AM

Brian McKeever isn't done yet.

This year, when the talented Canadian skier qualified to compete in the men's 50-kilometer cross-country race at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, he made headlines. However, there were only four spots available for five Canadian competitors, so coach Inge Braten had to...

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The New Republicans and The Intellectual Divide

(147) Comments | Posted February 19, 2010 | 3:33 PM

Imagine a man born in Boston, Massachusetts, who after beginning his career as a writer in a local paper at age fifteen, develops into a legendary intellectual, author, and satirist, as well as a prominent scientist and politician. Being a competent violinist and harp player, he composes several original pieces...

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Re-Creating Creation, Take 2: The Large Hadron Collider Fires Up Again

(4) Comments | Posted November 24, 2009 | 2:37 PM

On Friday, thousands of scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) -- where Tim Berners-Lee and a group of his students invented the World Wide Web -- embarked on their second attempt in 14 months to invent, or re-invent, something almost as significant: the universe.

Yes, at...

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Is the United States Gearing Up to Go Into Pakistan?

(8) Comments | Posted November 7, 2009 | 10:22 AM

In 2007, Barack Obama attracted controversy during his campaign by declaring that if elected, he would be willing to go into Pakistan if there is "actionable intelligence about high-value targets" in the country, and if the Pakistani government "won't act" against them.

During her three-day visit to Pakistan this...

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