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Harris Zafar
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Harris Zafar serves as National Spokesperson for Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA - among the oldest and largest American-Muslim organizations - and author of book “Demystifying Islam: Tackling the Tough Questions.” Harris addresses issues facing Islam and the Muslim world in various media and also elucidates the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s nationwide efforts towards pluralism and understanding. As National Director of Faith Outreach for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, he encourages Muslim youth, in particular, to speak out about the true, peaceful and tolerant teachings of Islam.

Harris is a frequent speaker and lecturer about Islam at conferences, universities, schools, churches and other public events. He has spoken in cities such as London, New York, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Berkeley, Seattle and Portland. Harris is also an Adjunct Professor at two colleges, teaching classes about Islam. He has appeared on several national and local news programs to provide commentary on current issues from an Islamic perspective and to explain what Muslim Americans are doing to combat intolerance.

As a writer, he is also an award-winning member of the Muslim Writers Guild of America. An American-born Muslim, Harris frequently writes about Islamic issues in various publications.

His approach to religion is based on rational discourse and justice.

Reach him at harris.zafar@ahmadiyya.us or follow him at @Harris_Zafar.

Entries by Harris Zafar

The Dangerous Side of the Free Speech Debate

(6) Comments | Posted January 13, 2016 | 5:55 PM

With last week's release of Charlie Hebdo's newest edition, marking the one-year anniversary of the infamous terrorist attack on its offices that killed 12 people, once again the debate about free speech has been ignited. In its recent publication, the editors at the magazine decided to take aim at all...

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Three Steps to Defeating ISIS That Are Better Than Those Heard At Presidential Debates

(0) Comments | Posted December 22, 2015 | 11:31 AM

Photo by Justin Sullivan / Getty Images


Over the past week, those vying for their party's nomination debated on why they would make this nation more secure and safe than anyone else on the stage. Aside from the gray statements that are already...

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Heeding the Call to Join the Caliphate

(18) Comments | Posted May 22, 2015 | 10:42 AM

Last week, a new audio message emerged from ISIS of its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, calling on all Muslims to travel and join the caliphate. The voice in the message states "There is no might nor honor nor safety nor rights for you except in the shade of...

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Charlie Hebdo and the Islamic Debate About Free Speech

(1) Comments | Posted January 8, 2015 | 2:40 PM

Wednesday's brazen attack in the offices of French magazine, Charlie Hebdo, has left many people the world over shocked, saddened and even infuriated. As the smoke cleared and we learned about the 12 people killed at the hands of three individuals wearing commando uniforms, brandishing automatic weapons that were fired...

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Response to Oklahoma Beheading Case

(1) Comments | Posted October 14, 2014 | 1:49 PM

2014-10-14-megynkelly2e1400869881525.jpg
This piece was originally published in The Daily Caller on October 6th, but the Editors decided to remove it from their website four days later...

This past week has been abuzz about the case of Alton Nolen - the 30-year-old man in...

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Using Oklahoma Tragedy for Political Gain

(2) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 7:15 PM

A horrifying tragedy in Oklahoma has been hijacked to become a tool of partisan politics, and lost is the practice of an intelligent discourse. Last Thursday, 30-year-old Alton Nolen brutally attacked co-workers at a food processing plant - killing and decapitating 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and attempting to kill 43-year-old Traci...

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What's Happening in Pakistan?

(19) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 12:34 PM

For years, Pakistan has consistently renewed its international image as a country of grave concern, with not only its inability to halt the progress of terrorist and militant groups within the country but also its inability to provide basic needs of its own population. Far from offering any assurance that...

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How to Combat Nigeria's Boko Haram

(1) Comments | Posted June 9, 2014 | 10:58 PM

The world has been gripped by the deplorable story evolving in Nigeria about the mass abduction of more than 200 schoolgirls between the ages of 16 and 18. Their "crime" was simply that they were girls and had the audacity to seek an education.

Meet Boko Haram, the name most...

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Muslim Leader Accused of Sexual Misconduct

(3) Comments | Posted January 17, 2014 | 5:31 PM

Last week, the Grand Mufti of Kyrgyzstan was forced to resign amidst allegations of adultery with a woman he says is his second wife. He claimed he had the proper Islamic marriage ceremony with her, but since Article 153 of Kyrgyzstan's criminal code forbids polygamy, this woman could...

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Islam and Free Speech: Principle vs. Privilege

(891) Comments | Posted March 8, 2013 | 2:58 PM

While many celebrated the winter holidays, news broke of the arrest in Saudi Arabia of liberal writer Turki Al Hamad for allegedly insulting Islam on Twitter. We also heard of another Saudi activist, Raif Badawi, who was arrested in June and will now continue with his trial,

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Violence Violates Free Speech and Islam

(57) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 6:08 PM

Over the past three weeks, violence and protests have spread from Libya and Egypt to more than two dozen countries, leaving dozens dead, including a U.S. Ambassador and other U.S. diplomats. The film that allegedly spurred these events has been the centerpiece of a raging debate about the use of...

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Confronting Pamela Geller (Updated With Response)

(421) Comments | Posted July 13, 2012 | 8:14 AM

"As a Jew, I am offended to my core. Muslims have no right to invoke Moses and Abraham. This is a delegitimization of Judaism. It is offensive and vile. And while Jesus is not my guy, the same thing goes for him. It is a delegitimization of Christianity. These are...

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For Ahmadi Muslims, Another Memorial Day

(15) Comments | Posted June 19, 2012 | 12:54 PM

On May 28 this year, we observed Memorial Day, a day to remember and honor those who have died in service to our nation. But on this year's Memorial Day, I also reflected on other brave souls who died in another service: to their faith. May 28 has...

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Pastor Nadarkhani, Islam and Punishment for Apostasy

(79) Comments | Posted March 12, 2012 | 1:04 PM

Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani is currently on death row in Iran for the "crime" of converting to Christianity from Islam. The charges of his initial arrest in 2009 were for protesting, which were later changed to apostasy and evangelism. In Sept. 2010, an Iranian court verbally delivered a death sentence, which...

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Dealing With Alcoholism in America

(3) Comments | Posted February 22, 2012 | 7:13 PM

Whitney Houston's death has reignited the conversation about the prevalence and dangers of substance abuse. In 2009, drugs and alcohol accounted for at least 60,684 deaths around the country -- one death every 9 minutes. Last year, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported that about 2.3 million people around the...

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Muslim Without Sharia?

(32) Comments | Posted February 7, 2012 | 2:10 PM

On Jan. 17, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said that the only way he would ever support a Muslim for the presidency of the United States is if that person would "commit in public to give up sharia," thereby continuing his trend to exhibit his ignorance...

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Backlash to Lowe's Low

(74) Comments | Posted December 15, 2011 | 2:36 PM

There's a lot of buzz around TLC's new reality show "All-American Muslim" since hardware retail giant, Lowe's, pulled all its advertising from the show on December 5th after hearing concerns through emails, phone calls and news reports. When asked by a member of USA TODAY's Board of Contributors...

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A Muslim Honors National Bible Week

(64) Comments | Posted November 26, 2011 | 9:06 AM

2011-11-25-openbible.pngFor those who may not know, we are in the midst of National Bible Week, sponsored by the National Bible Association. This is a week, especially identified to raise awareness of the Bible's importance and relevance to the nation...

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Mars Hill Church: Instead Of Harassing Worshippers, Try Civility

(51) Comments | Posted October 26, 2011 | 5:20 PM

I read with shock about the protest outside of the new Mars Hill Church in Southeast Portland this past weekend. Twenty protesters gathered in front of the church, not only carrying banners, but -- more alarmingly -- shouting obscenities as churchgoers left their service. One woman yelled, "Shame on you...

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Iran's Death Penalty for Christian Pastor Violates the Quran

(30) Comments | Posted October 4, 2011 | 5:06 PM

2011-10-02-yousef_nadarkhani.png-YousefNadarkhani.pngIn Iran, Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani faces the death penalty for the "crime" of leaving Islam as a teenager and converting to Christianity. A translated Iranian Supreme Court brief from 2010 states that 32-year-old Nadarkhani "is convicted of turning his...

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