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Shahnaz Taplin-Chinoy
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Shahnaz is a strategic communications consultant who focuses on public interest issues. Since 9/11, she has been immersed in the Muslim women’s space, and has published in Salon.com, Islamonline, and the San Francisco Chronicle. Shahnaz is chair of Invest in Muslim Women, which focuses on the education and empowerment of Muslim women globally. The opinions published here are her own personal perspective.

Entries by Shahnaz Taplin-Chinoy

Love Jihad, Rape and Teen Sex: A Complicated Trio

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2014 | 12:23 PM

Read a heart rending story about vicious sex trafficking by Pakistani taxi drivers in Britain and many readers blame "primitive" religion -- in this case Islam. Watching Hindu fundamentalists in India violently breaking up Hindu-Muslim marriages by claiming that they are part of a "love-jihad" and you can get to...

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Congratulations Malala: A 'Voice for the Voiceless'

(0) Comments | Posted October 10, 2014 | 8:03 PM

Malala Yousafzai, a vociferous and undaunted Pakistani activist for girls education is the 2014 Noble Prize winner, the youngest ever.

Excited, articulate and poised Malala delivered a speech from the heart touching on the invaluable importance of "girls' education which is the right of every girl and...

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Narendra Modi: From Tea Seller to Prime Minister

(0) Comments | Posted September 30, 2014 | 3:49 PM

Nineteen thousand ebullient Indians in America showed up to see, hear and be part of a joyous crowd with high expectations of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Madison Square Gardens on Sunday morning. They were met with Mr Modi's pitch perfect speech for an adoring audience.

Modi is a...

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Can We Preserve Religious Freedom and Diversity as Muslims Fight Muslims?

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 10:28 PM

President Obama steps up to the plate: He thwarts the genocide. He rescues Erbil, supplying the Kurdish capital with air dropped food and water for the Iraqis fleeing the "genocide" imposed by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The President responded to the plight of thousands of homeless...

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Demand of the Hour: Build Toilets, Not Temples or Mosques

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 4:47 PM

For the last year, since four Delhi men gang-raped and murdered a college co-ed on a bus, India has been roiled by controversies over rape.

Two weeks ago, two girls, cousins 12 and 14 years old were found hanging after being raped in Uttar Pradesh. Their assailants...

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'Afghan Men Were Cheering for a Female Candidate...'

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 3:33 AM

"Afghan Men were cheering for a female candidate.... I knew the Afghan people had won. The Taliban could force them inside no longer." -- Lynsey Addario, a photographer and contributor to Time Magazine


Forty years ago, when I drove through Afghanistan in a little white VW...

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India: The World's Largest Democracy Goes to the Polls

(0) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 10:01 PM

India, a country of contradictions, concurrently hosts both -- a third of the world's poor and also the second largest constellation of Facebook fans. The upcoming national election could possibly herald a political sea change: the dynastic rule of Pandit Nehru, our first post independence prime minister from the Congress...

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Afghanistan in Flux: Impact on Women's Rights?

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 6:32 PM

Good economics is the foundation of good politics, says Fareed Zakaria on his GPS program on CNN. He draws from Paul Brinkley's latest book on Afghanistan, War Front to Store Front in which he explains how economics shapes politics: "In 2009, Afghanistan had a nominal GDP of $10...

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Muslim Women: Movers and Shakers Fight for Women's Rights

(1) Comments | Posted January 5, 2014 | 10:00 PM

As we herald 2014 with hopes for peace, prosperity and harmony, I look into the crystal ball and identify a short list of contemporary Muslim women change makers -- locally, nationally and globally. The six Muslim women track the challenges their Islamic sisters confront and work to eradicate their disadvantages...

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Saeed Mirza: A "Leftist Sufi," Indian film maker & author of the book, "Ammi: letter to a democratic mother"

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 5:49 PM

A few of weeks ago in New York, I met Saeed Mirza the thoughtful globalist and secularist film maker at his book reading in an Indian art gallery, hosted by the *Indo-American Arts Council. Intrigued by Saeed who describes himself as a "leftist Sufi,"...

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Look at the Mountains these young Pakistanis Climb

(0) Comments | Posted November 12, 2013 | 5:26 PM

Pakistan recently made history in its first smooth transition from one democratically elected leader - Asif Zardari of the Pakistan People's Party to another, Nawaz Sharif from the Pakistan Muslim League. Pakistan frequently dominates headline news with horrific stories on drone attacks, jihadi perpetrated violence, and intra-faith Sunni-Shia killings among...

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The Ismaili Community Upholds Values, Supporting Education, Health and Development

(1) Comments | Posted October 27, 2013 | 5:23 PM

On a spirited and sunny Sunday morning on October 13, 2013 in Fremont, California, 650 men, women and children enthusiastically participated in The PartnershipsInAction Walk focused on Ending Global Poverty - raising $ 275,000. This is an initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation U.S.A. and its...

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Mubarak "Congratulations" Malala

(2) Comments | Posted October 12, 2013 | 5:18 PM

Malala Yousafzai, 16 years old, is the proud recipient of the Sakharov Prize< for Freedom of Thought which was awarded to her for her stellar championship of girls' education in the tough territory of Mingora, in the Swat Valley of Pakistan. Malala is in good company with other...

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"Wadjda," first film by Saudi female director

(0) Comments | Posted September 16, 2013 | 5:54 PM

"Wadjda," first film by Saudi female director with French sensitivities, selected to open the Ayam Beirut Al Cinema'iya film festival this year


With compassion, insight and humor, Haifaa Al-Mansour, the director shines the spotlight on Wadjda, a 10 year old girl - cut from a different...

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This Man Needs Two Good Women

(1) Comments | Posted August 9, 2013 | 5:13 PM

Hope Tempered by Caution

Nawaz Sharif has served twice as Prime Minister of Pakistan. His previous record on corruption was - well, Pakistani, which is not too strong a recommendation.

And diminishing the role of the military and the super powerful Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) agency, similar to our CIA,...

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Istanbul's Tahrir Square: Sycamore Trees vs. Shopping Malls

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2013 | 2:36 PM

The arc of the Arab spring was supposed to be different in Turkey based on Prime Minister Erdogan's economic accomplishments, Turkey's new found respect as a regional power and its success in demonstrating that Islam and democracy were compatible.

But now, as in so many countries -...

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Inclusion, Inclusion, Inclusion Is the Way to Go in Egypt!

(8) Comments | Posted July 9, 2013 | 2:18 PM

As Egypt seethes, the experiment with including the Muslim Brotherhood in elections and governance for 14 months in office grinds to a halt with the arrest of former President Morsi and his comrades. It is a sad ending to an upbeat beginning which started with the youth revolution in Cairo's...

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Brave Afghan Women on the Front Lines of Change

(1) Comments | Posted June 4, 2013 | 6:28 PM

Brave Afghan Women on the Front Lines of Change:

"We try to save the law, if we lose, we've lost 11 years of hard work."


Last week the Afghan parliament -- with the support of 60 votes from women members-- voted down President Hamid Karzai's 2009 presidential decree...

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Pakistan Goes to the Polls: The Promise and Potential

(1) Comments | Posted May 8, 2013 | 7:23 PM

Pakistan goes to the polls on May 11, 2013. The promise and the potential of a fresh beginning -- for the moment -- feels heady. The Afghan war has taken its toll on Pakistan. Can the country reinvent itself with a clear eye on the challenges and opportunities it faces...

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The Boston Tragedy: American Muslims Could Play a Positive Role

(11) Comments | Posted April 29, 2013 | 2:28 PM

As high-spirited Americans and the Boston Marathon crowds were blindsided by surreal pressure cooker bombs, and even as we reel from the senseless deaths and the plight of heroic runners-turned-victims, the key questions are: Why do these tragedies keep recurring and what, if anything, can we -- the people and...

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