Team

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John L. Esposito

Director

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. He is a former President of the American Academy of Religion, 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, and member of the E. C. European Network of Experts on De-Radicalisation and Board of Directors of the C-1 World Dialogue.

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. Editor-in-Chief of Oxford Islamic Studies Online and Series Editor of The Oxford Library of Islamic Studies, Esposito has served as 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.). Esposito’s books and articles have been translated into 35 languages.

His more than 45 books and monographs include: The Future of Islam, Islamophobia and the Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century, What Everyone Needs to Know About 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, 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 interviews and articles have appeared in newspapers, magazines, and the media in the US, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., he currently resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Dr. Jeanette P. Esposito.

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Tamara Sonn

Associate Director
Tamara Sonn is the Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani Professor in the History of Islam at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University. With a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago, she has published numerous books, including Interpreting Islam: Bandali Jawzi’s Islamic Intellectual History (Oxford, 1996; winner of Choice Book of the Year award); Comparing Religions through Law: Judaism and Islam (with J. Neusner; Routledge 1999; named “One of the Best Books of the 1990s” by the Journal of Law and Religion), Islam: A Brief History (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010; 3rd edition forthcoming 2014), and The Sage Handbook of Islamic Studies (with Akbar Ahmad, 2010). Her most recent books are The Religion Toolkit: A Complete Guide to Religious Studies and 50 Myths about Religions (with J. Morreall; Wiley-Blackwell, 2011 and 2014).
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Arsalan Iftikhar

Senior Research Fellow
Arsalan Iftikhar is a faculty member at Georgetown University where he writes about Islamophobia as a Senior Research Fellow for The Bridge Initiative. He is a prominent human rights lawyer, global media commentator and author of the book SCAPEGOATS which President Jimmy Carter called “an important book that shows Islamophobia must be addressed urgently”. Throughout his career, Arsalan has been a regular on-air commentator for National Public Radio (NPR) and his interviews have appeared on prominent global media outlets like CNN, Al-Jazeera English, BBC World News, The Economist, New York Times, Rolling Stone, NBC News “Meet The Press” & many more. A native of Chicago, Arsalan was awarded the 2013 Distinguished Young Alumni Award from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis; where he received both his undergraduate and law degrees.
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Nazir Harb Michel, Ph.D.

Center Associate

Nazir Harb Michel holds a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University and a Master’s in Arab Studies from Georgetown University. He completed a Ph.D. in Georgetown University’s Department of Arabic & Islamic Studies. Nazir initiated, organized and led the ‘Islamic Literacy at the Woodrow Wilson School Lecture Series’, which trained future policy makers and analysts to detect and counteract Islamophobia in legislation. Since beginning at Georgetown, Nazir has published several articles and book chapters on Muslims in the West and international Islamophobia.

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Mobashra Tazamal

Senior Research Fellow
Mobashra Tazamal is a Senior Research Fellow at The Bridge Initiative. She received her Masters in Islamic Societies and Cultures from SOAS, University of London where her dissertation centered on Shari’a in Saudi Arabia. Mobashra’s current research focuses on Islamophobia, the military-industrial complex, post-colonial theory, and empire building. Her work and commentary on U.S. politics and anti-Muslim sentiment has been published in Middle East Eye, al-Araby al-Jadeed, The Tempest, and The Muslim Internationalist.
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Jordan Denari Duffner

Center Associate

Previously a Research Fellow at the Bridge Initiative, Jordan Denari Duffner is now pursuing a PhD in Theological and Religious Studies at Georgetown University. She is the author of Finding Jesus among Muslims: How Loving Islam Makes Me a Better Catholic, a forthcoming book from Liturgical Press. A former Fulbright researcher in Amman, Jordan, she has written for numerous publications, including the Washington Post, TIME, Sojourners, and America, about Muslim-Christian dialogue and Islamophobia.

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Kristin Garrity Şekerci

Research Fellow

Kristin Garrity Şekerci received her Master’s degree from American University in Ethics, Peace and Global Affairs. Her research and commentary on Islamophobia has been published in London School of Economics Blog, Feminist Studies in Religion Blog and Huffington Post, and has been featured in Reuters, AJ+ and Baltimore’s WYPR, among other outlets. Garrity Şekerci’s research interests includes questions of identity and racialization of and within U.S. Muslim communities.

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Hannah Sullivan

Senior Research Fellow
Hannah received her Master’s in Linguistics from Georgetown University where her research centered on online discourse surrounding Muslims in the US and Western Europe. She has three years of study and work experience in the Middle East, including as a David L. Boren Fellow and as a project manager on Women, Peace and Security at the Jordanian National Commission for Women in Amman. Her research interests include new media discourse, strategic communications and social media analytics.

Board of Advisors

Steering Committee