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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

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

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2014 | 2:33 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 | 9:01 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 | 5:32 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 | 9:00 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 | 4:49 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 | 4:26 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 | 4:23 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 | 4:18 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 | 4:54 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 | 4:13 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 | 1:36 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 | 1:18 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 | 5:28 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 | 6:23 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 | 1:28 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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Which Pathway Is More Islamic -- India's or Egypt's?

(1) Comments | Posted April 1, 2013 | 2:07 PM

Egyptian Women's Rights vs. Rape and Violence Against Women

Egypt's withdrawal of police from the streets has resulted in an explosion of sexual assaults against women over the last couple of years. According to The New York Times, when "women were sexually abused and gang raped in a...

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A Chorus of Indian Muslim Girls and Women: "Learn and Earn"

(0) Comments | Posted February 14, 2013 | 12:29 PM

Visiting urbanized Shabath Muradpur, a hamlet just behind the spanking New Delhi airport and Chainsa in rural Haryana state -- three striking similarities emerged. First, both villages have long histories of Hindu-Muslim amity over 150 years: Harmonious relationships dominate these religiously mixed communities, and their Muslims did not flee to...

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Pakistan: A Tipping Point?

(0) Comments | Posted February 6, 2013 | 4:02 PM

A revolution averted: as we prepared to fly to Pakistan, we realized that the country was being held hostage by a charismatic Canada-based cleric, Dr. Tahirul Qadri, chief of Tehreek-e-Minhajul Quran. He held a march with 40-50,000 of his supporters in Islamabad with the singular objective...

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Why Women Must Be at the Heart of Phase II of the Arab Spring

(3) Comments | Posted November 30, 2012 | 4:44 PM

"There are two steps in a revolution: You break it and then you build something new. That's the hardest,"says Mabrouka M'barek, a newly elected member of the Tunisian National Constituent Assembly.

M'barek, a "founding mother" birthed in the Arab Spring, is engaged in drafting the country's new...

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Read Is the Very First Word in the Quran

(20) Comments | Posted October 19, 2012 | 12:38 PM

Let's all pay tribute to Malala Yousafzai.

Given that the Quran starts with the word "read," I am stunned to witness the Taliban in Pakistan, who consider themselves good Muslims, open fire on Malala Yousafzai, a 14-year-old girl in Mingora, Swat. As she rode her...

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