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Ali A. Rizvi
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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

How Donald Trump May Just Rescue the Republican Party

(142) 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

(9) 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

(82) 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

(560) 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

(634) 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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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.

1....

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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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