Category Archives: Peacebuilding

Crisis and Opportunity in the Muslim World

I am currently in Morocco for the Marrakesh Declaration and Call to Action, a three-day gathering of prominent Sunni and Shia scholars (though primarily Sunni) from around the world who have come together to affirm the rights of minorities within … Continue reading

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Fruit of Labor

At long last, our book was released officially on September 15th! Can’t tell you what a relief this is, after such a long incubation period. The  project that led to this book was launched in 2010, a joint effort by … Continue reading

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“I no longer love blue skies”

This is adapted from a talk I gave on January 24th at an interfaith conference on drone warfare held at Princeton Theological Seminary. I was invited to speak from a faith perspective about the use of weaponized drones as a tactic of modern … Continue reading

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The Fundies and the Faithful     

The conference at USD was a test in patience and understanding, and I’m not sure I passed. The theme was “gendered responses to religious violence,” or perhaps more accurately: women’s rights and religious extremism. Throughout three days, scholars and practitioners … Continue reading

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Will Extremist Buddhism Undermine Myanmar’s Path to Democracy?

At a monastery in Mandalay, Myanmar, my path into the receiving room of Buddhist monk Ashin U Wirathu led me past a series of grotesque photographs of monks killed in violence between Buddhist and Muslims in southern Thailand, images illustrating … Continue reading

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USIP’s Religion and Peacebuilding Program

Several weeks back my boss David Smock, my colleague Palwasha Kakar, and I participated in an event at the Rumi Forum here in Washington, DC at which we discussed the work of the Religion and Peacebuilding Program at the U.S. … Continue reading

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“Isn’t Buddhism Supposed to be Zen?”

This is how the British-accented news anchor on France24 framed her question to me, late into the interview. After a slew of images of monks in Myanmar expressing anti-Muslim attitudes and slanderous misinformation, and Buddhist mobs attacking Muslim communities… after … Continue reading

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Countering

It has been a long time since I’ve written a new post. This is due to a number of factors. First, not long after I wrote the last post, in December 2013, I experienced a crisis in my personal life … Continue reading

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Madiba

                         When I was in Sri Lanka several years ago, not long after the end of its civil war, I had a long discussion over curry lunch with a man with whom I work, Nimal, about Nelson Mandela.  If only … Continue reading

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Boys, Boys, Boys

This week I was in Vienna, Austria for two large interfaith gatherings. The first was the inaugural Global Assembly of the King Abdulaziz International Center for Inter-religious and Inter-cultural Dialogue (KAICIID), a two-day event that brought together nearly five hundred … Continue reading

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