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Feisal G. Mohamed
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Feisal G. Mohamed holds degrees in biology, English, and law. He is a Professor in the Department of English of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he also holds appointments in the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Theory and the Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. His latest book is Milton and the Post-Secular Present: Ethics, Politics, Terrorism (Stanford University Press, 2011).

Entries by Feisal G. Mohamed

Egypt on the Anniversary of the Revolution: Law and Order, Military Style (PHOTOS)

(0) Comments | Posted January 25, 2014 | 3:57 PM

There's something of a pattern in Jehane Noujaim's excellent documentary on the Egyptian Revolution, The Square: the young revolutionaries who are the heroes of the film have all of the energy driving the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, but an older generation of activists is deeply suspicious of an alliance of...

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The ASA Boycott of Israeli Universities: Defenses and Doubts

(27) Comments | Posted December 20, 2013 | 5:20 PM

Much of the commentary on the decision of the American Studies Association (ASA) to boycott Israeli universities has been incendiary. This is evident in the response of Larry Summers, who styled the boycott "anti-Semitic in effect if not in intent," and of Leon Wieseltier, who called...

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Does Hobby Lobby Have a First Amendment Case? Yes and No

(283) Comments | Posted December 2, 2013 | 4:50 PM

At first glance, the Hobby Lobby case seems slightly ludicrous: on grounds of tender conscience, the crafting retailer refuses to include certain contraceptive methods on employee health insurance plans mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Most of us would not intuitively feel that a for-profit corporation has a right...

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Egypt in Crisis: 10 Observations

(53) Comments | Posted August 17, 2013 | 7:07 PM

The violence following the removal of Mohammed Morsi continues to spiral out of control, and is in many respects too senseless to be analyzed. Clearly leaders in both the military and the Muslium Brotherhood must make every effort to end the bloodshed immediately, and justice will require that criminal charges...

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The Targeted Killing Memo: What the U.S. Could Learn From Israel

(49) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 6:16 PM

The leaked White Paper on the targeted killing of American citizens tells us many things we already knew about the Obama Justice Department. Though some headlines have referred to this as a brief, it is nothing of the sort: it is a talking points memo assuring that the...

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Newtown, Gun Control and Democratic Virtue

(26) Comments | Posted January 24, 2013 | 3:06 PM

We have now passed the period of mourning prescribed by all of the world's faith traditions and can start to ask ourselves hard questions about the massacre in Newtown.

And we should be clear that frenzied advocacy of gun control does not ask any hard questions at all. If we...

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The Reason for Morsi's Power-Grab (and Retreat)

(1) Comments | Posted November 27, 2012 | 2:29 PM

Of course, any reasonable person should object to Mohamed Morsi's constitutional declaration of November 22: it neuters the judiciary at a time when the president holds exclusive legislative and executive authority, and, in an article that recalls constitutions written in the finest Soviet style, declares that the president...

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The Muhammad "Film" Protests and the Crimes of Fundamentalism

(39) Comments | Posted September 14, 2012 | 1:19 PM

Here we go again. Another supposed affront to the Prophet, and another wave of barbarous mobs clamoring at the walls of American embassies. This time there is something of a twist: Unlike the Danish cartoon controversy or the desecration of a Koran by American military personnel, the offensive act in...

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The Romney Campaign's Strategic Race-Baiting

(55) Comments | Posted August 20, 2012 | 3:45 PM

So we have an acrimonious presidential campaign on our hands. Big deal. Wringing our hands about the decline of civility in public life will not reveal how the particular mud being slung by the candidates tells us a thing or two about our political culture. We should all have grown...

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The Military, the Courts, and the Struggle for Control in Egypt: A Conversation With Khaled Abou El Fadl

(0) Comments | Posted July 5, 2012 | 11:23 AM

Khaled Abou El Fadl is Omar and Azmeralda Alfi Professor of Law at UCLA, and an internationally recognized expert in Islamic law and human rights. Since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak, he has consulted regularly with leading members of Egypt's judiciary on constitutional issues. He is the author of numerous...

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The Individual Mandate Decision and the 'Forbidden Land of the Sophists'

(0) Comments | Posted June 29, 2012 | 4:15 PM

What follows is an initial reaction to the Supreme Court's decision on the individual mandate portion of the Affordable Care Act. The Medicaid portion of the decision is somewhat more difficult to parse, and will have to wait for a later date.

For the Court...

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The Cynicism of Obama's Endorsement of Marriage Rights

(21) Comments | Posted May 13, 2012 | 2:42 PM

Barack Obama has chosen quite a moment to realize that marriage is a basic civil right. Just as a kangaroo court is in session in the dungeon he promised to close, just as young voters are feeling less than enthused about his re-election, just as less than stellar job numbers...

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Yet Another Republican Provides Exactly the Wrong View of Politics and Faith

(145) Comments | Posted April 8, 2012 | 9:45 PM

In the Easter forum on politics and faith held by NBC's Meet the Press, Representative Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) articulated, though that is using the term loosely, exactly the wrong view of the relationship between politics and faith:

But going back to your question about Mormonism th-- everyone...

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Rick Santorum's Fuzzy First Amendment

(345) Comments | Posted February 26, 2012 | 7:35 PM

Appearing on ABC's This Week, Rick Santorum elaborated on his statement that watching John F. Kennedy's 1960 speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association made him want to "throw up." Especially purgative, apparently, is the idea that a president should openly declare his reluctance to take advice from...

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Can There Be a Digital Humanism?

(7) Comments | Posted December 28, 2011 | 3:40 PM

Stanley Fish addresses in his blog this week the rising currency of "digital humanities" and its strong presence at the convention of the Modern Language Association -- an academic conference, he rightly implies, to which one goes expecting more faddism than scholarship. I have previously voiced...

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Inside The U Of I Law School's Book-Cooking Scandal

(10) Comments | Posted November 11, 2011 | 11:54 AM

The University of Illinois issued its final report this week on the goosing of class profile data posted by the College of Law publicly and reported to the American Bar Association. This really does look like déjà vu all over again. The university's last admissions debacle...

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A Farewell to Due Process: The Assassination of Anwar Al-Awlaki

(3) Comments | Posted October 3, 2011 | 6:00 PM

The habeas right to demand cause for being detained is the only right explicitly named in the original Constitution. And though the meaning of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment is often debated, it is seldom denied that citizens should have knowledge of the charges for which they...

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The Revolution in Context: Alaa Al Aswany's On the State of Egypt

(1) Comments | Posted August 23, 2011 | 5:40 PM

After almost six months of uncertainty, Hosni Mubarak has found as of August 3 a residence befitting his dignity: the dock of an Egyptian criminal court, where he faces charges of killing demonstrators during the revolution leading to his ouster, using his power for personal profit during his reign, and...

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Evaluating the Post-Secular Return to Belief

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2011 | 10:08 AM

"Prometheus: I stopped mortals from foreseeing doom.
Chorus: What cure did you discover for that sickness?
Prometheus: I sowed in them blind hopes.
Chorus: That was a great help that you gave to men.
Prometheus: Besides, I myself gave them fire.
Chorus: Do now creatures...

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The Assassination President?

(30) Comments | Posted July 19, 2011 | 5:31 PM

If George W. Bush was the torture president, Barack Obama's pet human rights violation is extrajudicial killing. As early as May 2009, the UN's Special Rapporteur on unlawful execution chided the Obama administration. And Human Rights Watch worried in an important letter to Obama last December that the...

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