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John L. Esposito
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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.

Entries by John L. Esposito

The Challenges in Defeating ISIS

(5) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 3:11 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 | 5:51 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 | 4:55 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 | 6:47 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 | 11:40 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 | 5:10 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 | 7:06 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 | 6:01 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 | 4:36 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 | 1:09 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 | 3:44 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 | 1:06 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 | 1:42 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 | 7:05 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 | 4:57 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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Egypt Eight Months Later: Transitioning from Dictatorship to Democracy?

(7) Comments | Posted October 22, 2011 | 6:31 PM

Eight months after the historic, totally unanticipated popular uprisings by pro-democracy movements in the Arab world, the process of democratization in Egypt faces formidable challenges. Initial optimism and euphoria are tempered by sobering challenges and threats.

If in the past, the question had been: "Is Arab culture or Islam...

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10th Anniversary of 9/11 and Muslim Americans: the Need for a New Narrative

(11) Comments | Posted August 16, 2011 | 6:58 PM

John L. Esposito and Mona Mogahed

While post-9/11 resulted in necessary Western government responses to counter international and domestic terrorism, this tragic event has been widely exploited by far-right neocons, hardline Christian Zionist Right and xenophobic forces. Islam and mainstream Muslims have been brush-stroked with "terrorism," equated with the actions...

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Rhetoric vs. Action in American Diplomacy

(4) Comments | Posted July 25, 2011 | 5:03 PM

The euphoria that accompanied Barack Obama's election brought great expectations globally. Both in the US and the wider Arab and Muslim worlds there was a hope that Obama's 'Yes We Can' campaign mantra would indeed make the promises of his vision for a New American engagement with the Muslim world,...

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The Chutzpah of Netanyahu Trumps the Audacity of Hope

(88) Comments | Posted July 19, 2011 | 1:05 PM

Netanyahu's has again trumped Obama. Chutzpah has triumphed over the "Audacity of Hope."

Life continues to be good for Bibi. Media frenzy over the Murdoch scandal, the battle over the U.S. deficit and the fallout from the Arab Spring have totally eclipsed Bibi Netanyahu's assault on Israel's democracy and...

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Combating Religious Intolerance When Freedom of Speech Enables Hate Speech

(115) Comments | Posted July 7, 2011 | 6:41 PM

Religious pluralism, versus the defamation of religion and freedom of speech have become an increasing source of conflict in international politics and interreligious relations. Preachers of hate and activists in America, Europe, and many Muslim countries are engaged in a culture war. Far right anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political leaders and...

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