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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: Losing My Religion but Not My Identity.

Entries by Ali A. Rizvi

Iowa's Real Winners Are Sanders and Rubio -- but Don't Count Trump Out Just Yet

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2016 | 1:14 PM

Historically, the few days between the Iowa caucus and the New Hampshire primary are notoriously misleading because of what Nobel-winning economist Daniel Kahneman calls the focusing effect, defined by Wikipedia as "a cognitive bias that occurs when people place too much importance on one aspect of an event,...

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The Real Reason Donald Trump Will Win the Republican Nomination

(204) Comments | Posted December 16, 2015 | 12:46 PM

Donald Trump knows his audience. He is astoundingly talented when it comes to this one thing.

He knew his audience in the Manhattan business community when he rose to become an enormously successful real estate developer. He knew his audience when he gave NBC one of its biggest hits, The...

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The New Center: Between the Right's Bigotry and the Left's Apologism

(8) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 11:53 AM

Earlier this year, I was invited to speak at the International Criminal Justice: State of Play conference at the Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue (Simon Fraser University) in Vancouver. My talk was on dissidents in Muslim-majority countries and their often overlooked role in the mainstream narrative on Islamism and...

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Guns, Terrorism, and Honesty

(51) Comments | Posted December 3, 2015 | 7:48 AM

Which of the following statements would you say you agree with?

Pick as many as you like. My answer is at the bottom.

1. Better gun control is essential to curb gun violence.

2. Islamic jihadism is a dangerous ideology that must be fought.

3. Guns should not be banned...

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#ExMuslimBecause: Thousands of Former Muslims Are Speaking Out After Paris -- and It's Amazing

(167) Comments | Posted November 21, 2015 | 6:02 AM

Where are all the secular liberals in the Muslim world?

I've lost count of how many times I've heard this question. The answer is both unsurprising and heartbreaking. In Muslim-majority countries, they are often being lashed and imprisoned for blogging, hacked to death in open daylight,...

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Warum der Islam doch etwas mit Terrorismus zu tun hat

(21) Comments | Posted November 17, 2015 | 8:01 AM


Ein offener Brief an moderate Muslime

Lasst uns mit dem beginnen, was ich nicht tun werde. Ich werde euch nicht beschuldigen, angesichts der furchtbaren Taten, die Anhänger Eurer Religion überall auf der Welt verüben, zu schweigen.

Die meisten von Euch haben...

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Here's Why Blogger Raif Badawi Deserves the Nobel Peace Prize

(2) Comments | Posted September 9, 2015 | 12:58 PM

"If anyone hurts one's feelings, he will be punished by the law," said Inspector General of Police Shahidul Haque last month, addressing free speech advocates at a press conference in Dhaka, Bangladesh. "None should cross the limit."

Haque's colleagues came under fierce criticism from protesters for their inaction...

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How Donald Trump May Just Rescue the Republican Party

(135) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 6:00 PM

Let's get two things out of the way. First, I disagree with Donald Trump on most issues. Second, I don't think he'll be elected president, even if he does win the Republican nomination.

But I'm having trouble buying the idea that Trump is the "crazy one" in this year's...

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On Belief vs. Identity: Letter to a Young North American Muslim

(14) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 1:25 PM

Do you find yourself feeling personally insulted or targeted when someone criticizes or satirizes your religion?

If yes, it's likely that your faith isn't about the ideas in your religion as much as how you've incorporated them into your identity -- individual, family, cultural, and more. This is why it...

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Why Atheists Like Me Grieve for the Chapel Hill Shooting Victims

(27) Comments | Posted February 12, 2015 | 2:18 PM

The execution-style shooting of three Muslim college students in Chapel Hill is tragic, disgusting, and should be denounced by every human being of conscience.

The killer, who was reportedly motivated by a parking dispute, also happened to be a vocal atheist.

Being an anti-theist...

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How Terrorism Won

(81) Comments | Posted January 9, 2015 | 1:45 PM

Here's part of an internal CNN memo sent out by senior editorial director Richard Griffiths last Wednesday:

Although we are not at this time showing the Charlie Hebdo cartoons of the Prophet considered offensive by many Muslims, platforms are encouraged to verbally describe the cartoons in detail. This...
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Jailed Saudi Blogger Raif Badawi Honored by PEN Canada

(1) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 10:22 AM

"The Kingdom's political system is rooted in Islam's traditions, which call for peace, justice, equality, consultation, and respect for the rights of the individual."

So, proudly, claims the official website of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, D.C. If you were to ask imprisoned liberal Saudi...

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The Logic of the 'Moderate' Mindset

(2) Comments | Posted October 31, 2014 | 4:10 PM

Recently, I was misquoted in a HuffPost blog post by a prominent voice among moderate Muslims in the United States.

This kind of thing does tend to happen when one writes about contentious or controversial topics like Islamophobia or the problems with Islamic moderation,...

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An Open Letter to Moderate Muslims

(445) Comments | Posted October 6, 2014 | 3:17 PM

Let's start with what I'm not going to do.

I'm not going to accuse you of staying silent in the face of the horrific atrocities being committed around the world by your co-religionists. Most of you have loudly and unequivocally condemned groups like the Islamic State (ISIS), and gone out...

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A Conversation Between Two Atheists From Muslim Backgrounds (Part 3)

(4) Comments | Posted September 4, 2014 | 3:18 PM

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

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7 cose da considerare prima di schierarsi nel conflitto israelo-palestinese

(11) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 9:39 AM

Sei filo-israeliano o filo-palestinese? Sono già stato accusato di essere entrambe le cose. Questi termini mi affascinano perché si riferiscono direttamente alla natura ostinatamente tribale del conflitto israelo-palestinese. Non ci si riferisce universalmente in questa maniera a molti altri paesi. Perché questi due? Sia gli Israeliani che i Palestinesi sono...

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Sete coisas para considerar antes de escolher um lado no conflito do Oriente Médio

(0) Comments | Posted August 3, 2014 | 3:16 PM

Você é "pró-Israel" ou "pró-Palestina"? Ainda não é meio-dia quando escrevo isto e já fui acusado de ser ambos.

Esses termos me intrigam porque falam diretamente à natureza insistentemente tribal do conflito israelense-palestino. Você não ouve falar de muitos outros países que sejam tratados universalmente dessa maneira. Por que esses...

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

(633) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 1:48 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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7 Dinge, über die man nachdenken sollte, bevor man sich im Nahost-Konflikt auf eine Seite schlägt

(7) Comments | Posted July 29, 2014 | 11:39 AM

Bist du „pro-Israel" oder „pro-Palästina"? Ich habe diesen Text eben erst geschrieben, und bin schon sowohl des einen als auch des anderen beschuldigt worden.

Diese Formulierungen machen mich neugierig, weil sie direkt die tribale Natur des israelisch-palästinensischen Konflikts ansprechen. Es gibt nicht viele andere Länder, von denen...

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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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