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John L. Esposito
University Professor as well as Professor of Religion and International Affairs and of Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, John L. Esposito is Founding Director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding in the Walsh School of Foreign Service.

Esposito has served as consultant to the U.S. Department of State and other agencies, European and Asian governments and corporations, universities, and the media worldwide. A former President of the Middle East Studies Association of North America and of the American Council for the Study of Islamic Societies, Vice Chair of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy, and member of the World Economic Forum’s Council of 100 Leaders, he is currently Vice President (2012) and President Elect (2013) of the American Academy of Religion and a member of the E. C. European Network of Experts on De-Radicalisation and the board of C-1 World Dialogue and an ambassador for the UN Alliance of Civilizations.

Esposito is recipient of the American Academy of Religion’s Martin E. Marty Award for the Public Understanding of Religion and of Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azzam Award for Outstanding Contributions in Islamic Studies and the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University Award for Outstanding Teaching.

Esposito is Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Islamic Studies Online and Series Editor of The Oxford Library of Islamic Studies, Editor-in-Chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World (6 vols.); The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Modern Islamic World (4 vols.), The Oxford History of Islam, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam, and The Islamic World: Past and Present (3 vols.). His more than 45 books and monographs include: Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, The Future of Islam, Who Speaks for Islam? What a Billion Muslims Really Think (with Dalia Mogahed), Unholy War: Terror in the Name of Islam, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?, Islam and Politics; What Everyone Needs to Know About Islam, World Religions Today and Religion and Globalization (with D. Fasching & T. Lewis), Asian Islam in the 21st Century, Geography of Religion: Where God Lives, Where Pilgrims Walk (with S. Hitchcock); Islam: The Straight Path; Islam and Democracy and Makers of Contemporary Islam (with J. Voll); Modernizing Islam (with F. Burgat) Political Islam: Revolution, Radicalism or Reform?, Religion and Global Order (with M. Watson), Islam and Secularism in the Middle East (with A. Tamimi); Iran at the Crossroads (with R.K. Ramazani); Islam, Gender, and Social Change and Muslims on the Americanization Path and Daughters of Abraham (with Y. Haddad); and Women in Muslim Family Law. Esposito’s books and articles have been translated into more than 35 languages.

Esposito’s interviews and articles with newspapers, magazines, and the media in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East: The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, The Guardian, The Times of London, CNN, ABC Nightline, CBS, NBC, and the BBC. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Dr. Jeanette P. Esposito.

With John O. Voll and Tamara Sonn, he is the coauthor of the forthcoming Islam and Democracy after the Arab Spring

Entries by John L. Esposito

The Muslim Brotherhood, Terrorism and U.S. Policy

(2) Comments | Posted February 26, 2016 | 11:48 AM

On Wednesday, February 24, the Republican dominated House Judiciary Committee voted 17-10 along party lines to require the State Department to take action to designate the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) a foreign terrorist organization. The move would be welcomed by Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and the United Arab Emirates (UAE)....

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In the Middle East, Islamists Are Not the Enemies of Democracy

(33) Comments | Posted June 22, 2015 | 2:14 PM

The death of former Turkish President Süleyman Demirel in the same month as Turkish parliamentary elections emphasizes the fact that there have been significant changes in Turkish politics in recent years. Demirel's political career followed a military coup that deposed the Turkish government in...

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Egypt: Terror in the Name of State Security

(0) Comments | Posted May 21, 2015 | 5:42 PM

As stunning and outrageous as the recent mass trial and death sentences handed down for Muhammad Morsi -- Egypt's first democratically elected president -- and dozens of leading members of his outlawed Freedom and Justice Party are, they come as no surprise. In a relatively short time since ousting the...

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Freedom of Speech or a Social Cancer that Must Be Eradicated?

(132) Comments | Posted May 6, 2015 | 5:02 PM

An innocent security guard was injured and the lives of attendees endangered by two rogue terrorists killed at a so-called ''Muhammad Art Exhibit" of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in Garland, Texas.

But was Pamela Geller's American Freedom Defense Initiative really an art exhibit defending freedom of...

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Let's Not Fall for the Terrorists' Trap (Again)

(0) Comments | Posted January 13, 2015 | 3:01 PM

The slaughter of French journalists as well as French Jews and Muslims by terrorists is unconscionable and has rightly provoked outrage. All life is sacred and the loss of any life at the hands of killers like those who carried out the shootings in Paris should provoke moral outrage.

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The Challenges in Defeating ISIS

(5) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 2:11 PM

Containing and ultimately defeating ISIS will require both short and long-term response. ISIS expansion has been made possible by political conditions in Syria and Iraq, ethnic-religious/sectarian divisions and violence and terror in the region, and the failures of the US and international community.

Bashar al-Assad's unprincipled and disproportionate military...

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Egyptian Reform: A Coup and Presidential Election to Restore Authoritarianism?

(1) Comments | Posted June 21, 2014 | 4:51 PM

Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt's former military chief, who led the coup that toppled Egypt's first democratically elected civilian president Mohamed Morsi, was sworn in as president on June 8, 2014. Amidst a continued climate of fear and intimidation, the new "alleged democratic elected" government continued to arrest and imprison critics...

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Mubarak Redux: Egypt's Military Coup Unmasked

(3) Comments | Posted July 25, 2013 | 3:55 PM

The Arab Spring with uprisings that signaled a desire for a new way forward, an overthrow of the established order in many Arab countries of authoritarian governments, and a struggle to establish a new kind of democracy, has now officially become an Arab winter in Egypt.

The Tamarod movement, the...

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Law & Order Under Egypt's 'Democratic Coup'?

(1) Comments | Posted July 10, 2013 | 5:47 PM

Co-written by John O. Voll, Georgetown University

The killing of 51 unarmed supporters of the MB at prayer by the military on July 7 raises serious questions about the future of Egypt's "coup for democracy." The rising number of casualties in fighting in Cairo reveals the dangerous contradictions of the...

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Egypt's Coup: Is it Déjà vu All Over Again?

(10) Comments | Posted July 4, 2013 | 10:40 AM

Will the scenes of tens of thousands celebrating in Tahrir Square today prove a pyrrhic victory for Egypt's experiment with democracy? What are the lessons that must be learned in moving forward?

More than two years after the toppling of Hosni Mubarak, many Egyptians are celebrating a military coup to...

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New Threat to Egyptian Democracy

(34) Comments | Posted June 20, 2013 | 4:10 PM

Hidden by headlines from the Middle East on the Syrian crisis and Obama's announcement of greater U.S. involvement, the uprising in Taksim Square and major cities in Turkey, and the surprise election of Rouhani as president in Iran, is the call for nationwide anti-Morsi and anti-Brotherhood protests June 30, around...

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'Francis, Rebuild My Church': Will Pope Francis Heed the Call?

(19) Comments | Posted April 4, 2013 | 6:06 PM

While no one knows what the future will bring, Pope Francis has hit the ground running in projecting the spirit, image and personality that may well make him a much-needed, though at times controversial, bridge within Catholicism between a conservative or traditionalists Catholics and those that embrace a more reformist...

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Romney's Approach to Foreign Policy: 'Deja Vu All Over Again?'

(2) Comments | Posted October 8, 2012 | 5:01 PM

Mitt Romney, like GWB before he was elected and some might add after he was elected, knows little about foreign policy. Therefore, he has to rely on others for his foreign policy. But this, as we saw with Bush when he was faced with contending advice from Secretary of Defense...

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Domestic and Foreign Extremists Behind the Cairo and Libya Attacks

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2012 | 3:36 PM

Once again extremists -- both the U.S.-based creators of the video, "Innocence of Muslims" and extremists in Cairo and Benghazi, and subsequently from the Arab world to Southeast Asia -- are the agents behind the latest flash point in a tragic death and destruction.

The constructive role that social media...

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Egyptian Military Seizes Power: Is This Democracy?

(1) Comments | Posted June 19, 2012 | 12:09 PM

This post was co-authored by Shamil Idriss.

The constitution presented June 17 by Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) -- the military junta that took power, purportedly on an interim basis, after the fall of Hosni Mubarak -- represents the final stage in its campaign to complete a...

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Racing Backwards Into the Future: Saudi Arabia and Kuwait

(155) Comments | Posted May 14, 2012 | 2:44 PM

Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have made significant headway in the rapid development of their countries in many areas. In recent years, the Saudis have launched a series of reforms including some religious reforms to reining in religious militants and preachers And King Abdullah has joined other government leaders like those...

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Getting It Right: "Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians"

(7) Comments | Posted March 15, 2012 | 12:06 PM

While it is accepted that ambassadors speak for and defend their country's policies, Michael Oren's March 12 Wall Street Journal article, "Israel and the Plight of Mideast Christians" exploits a real issue, the fears and plight of Christians in some Muslim countries, to engage in a cynical and...

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A Global War on Christians in the Muslim World?

(164) Comments | Posted February 23, 2012 | 12:42 PM

Religious minorities in the Muslim world today, constitutionally entitled in many countries to equality of citizenship and religious freedom, increasingly fear the erosion of those rights -- and with good reason. Inter-religious and inter-communal tensions and conflicts from Nigeria and Egypt and Sudan, to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Malaysia and...

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Tunisia's Revolution, an Example for the Region?

(1) Comments | Posted January 30, 2012 | 6:05 PM

"People thought: you get democracy, you get jobs," Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki explained to us, as he described the fragility and urgency of the situation facing the government and the dependency of achieving political reform on securing economic growth. If job creation is not forthcoming, the public could lose their...

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Is Egypt's Arab Spring in Danger of Being Hijacked?

(10) Comments | Posted November 7, 2011 | 3:57 PM

Initial optimism and euphoria post the toppling of Egypt's Mubarak regime in the Arab Spring have eroded faith in the military and threaten a timely transition to civilian rule have been tempered by sobering challenges and threats. In contrast to Tunisia's successful elections, more than eight months after Tahrir Square,...

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