Male. Democrat. Pluralistic Muslim. Disciple of the Indonesian Renewal. Ex-academic. Opposed to all fanaticism. A.k.a. Haytham ad-Din → The Photographic Muslim.

Containment Applied to the Problem of Islamism

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George F. Kennan (16 February 1904–17 March 2005) in 1947.

The problem of Islamism has been a concern of American foreign policy since the Iranian Revolution of 1979 and naturally has had an even greater importance following the devastation of the 9/11 attacks. There have been three presidential administrations since 9/11. Each has represented a different phase in foreign policy vis-à-vis problems emanating from the Muslim world.

The Bush administration launched a “War on Terror” that was expeditionary and rooted in unilateral, neoconservative democratic idealism, beginning with a logical intervention in Afghanistan, but ending with an ill-conceived misadventure in Iraq. The Obama administration’s approach was a rebuke to this, focusing…


An Open Letter on Obligations, Realizations, and Gratitude

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Dear Reader,

Whether you have been a follower of mine on Medium or Twitter, have found my work elsewhere on social media, or are encountering my writing for the very first time, I hope this letter finds you well and having had a reflective and meaningful beginning of 2019.

If you are unfamiliar with me and my work, I began writing on Medium in early 2016, but had the greatest output and exposure of articles over the course of 2018. My writing has focused on world affairs, conflict, and religion, especially as related to Islam, the faith that I was…


The Bipolarity of 2018 in Review

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It was only earlier this year that Reformer made Medium its new home and an eventful year it has been for this publication and for world affairs. Even and especially on this new platform, the mission of Reformer has remained the same since its inception in 2016: to provide at-length, contextual articles on complex issues that deserve nuanced analyses. This has been, and shall remain, a humbling challenge in a saturated and mostly superficial media environment, further exacerbated by a global socio-political climate permeated with fatalism and extremism.

We are proud of the diverse and thoughtful articles we have published…


Personal Laws, Indian Muslims, and the Uniform Civil Code

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Masjid-i Jahan-Numa, commonly known as Jama Masjid, in Old Delhi.

Among the plethora of discourses and debates involving Muslim and Islamic issues globally, it is unfortunate that India rarely receives regular mentions. The focus on Muslim-majority countries has allowed publics and policymakers, especially in the West, to ignore a country where, even though Islam is a minority-religion, there are 190 million Muslims. This means India has the third-largest Muslim national population in the world, behind only Indonesia, with 225 million Muslims, and Pakistan, with 207 million Muslims. Any global discussions on the issues and problems affecting and emanating from Muslim populations, therefore, must include India. The Indian Subcontinent is home…


Modernity, Identity, and Fragility in Oman

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al-’Alam Palace in Muscat, the capital city of Oman.

The bulk of public discussions on the Middle East and North Africa typically manifests among two extremes. The first is on the multitude of violent conflicts that plague the region. The second is the fossil fuel politics that constantly define diplomatic rifts and intrigues between regional powers, especially in the Gulf. Although these matters are undoubtedly important, they make it too easy to overlook other subjects unrelated to these two spectacular problems. The Sultanate of Oman is one such subject deserving of much greater attention.

Oman is the last sultanate in the Middle East, with the only other sultanates in…


Sectionalism, Migration, and the Coming Institutional Nightmare

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The 2018 midterm elections in the United States have unfolded the way most observers expected they would. On the Federal level, the Democratic Party gained control in the House of Representatives, while the Republican Party (GOP) retained control in the Senate. The gains in the House, 32 seats thus far per CNN’s count, represent the largest Democratic gain since the 1974 blowout in the midst of Watergate. These gains are also remarkable considering the level of precise, systematic gerrymandering of House districts that has occurred under GOP State Governments since 2010.


Liberal Errors, Chauvinisms, and Temptations of Apartheid

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Immigration is now a bellwether issue throughout Europe.

Over the last three years, Europe has undergone dramatic socio-political transformations within its constituent countries and on the supranational level of the European Union (EU). Whereas mainstream constituencies in post-War Europe have focused on expanding the liberal project of the EU through political and economic integration, the last three years have seen numerous challenges against it and stress tests inadvertently applied to it. At the center of these shifts is the increasingly important bellwether issue of immigration. …


Reformer Mag welcomes complexity and a long view

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LET’S TALK ABOUT THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM

Do you think the media environment is failing us?
Are you frustrated that complex issues are cheaply simplified?

Then join us at Reformer as a reader or a writer.

The “Reform” inherent in the long-form articles we publish is about raising issues long ignored or rethinking popular issues not adequately discussed.

Our articles tend to focus on current affairs, social issues, and policy. We have no geographical or topical preference. If you think a subject is important, then we welcome you to make your argument to us!

Here is more information on contributing.

Unlike many publications, which might never respond…


A Federalist Solution to National Problems

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American domestic fracture compels a rethinking of effective governance.

On 27 June 2018, Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his intention to retire from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), effective 31 July 2018. His decision to step down from the SCOTUS during the administration of President Donald Trump upends an already tense national political arena. Moreover, it exacerbates electoral polarization during a pivotal midterm election year.

The vacancy caused by Kennedy’s departure will allow Trump to have his second nomination to the SCOTUS, which will require confirmation by the United States Senate. As Senate filibusters against judicial nominees have been eliminated, even the slim Republican Senate majority…


False Equivalences, Extrapolations, and Simplifications

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Associated Press

On June 26, 2018, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) affirmed Executive Order 13780, colloquially referred to as Travel Ban 3.0, as constitutional in Hawaii v. Trump. The Order thus remains in effect, preventing the entry of, with exceptions, citizens of Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia. The current Order is a modification of earlier ones that imposed absurd restrictions that also applied to those with active visas and green cards. Opposition pressure rightly compelled the Trump administration to enact modifications.

However, continued opposition reaction to the current Order and the SCOTUS ruling is misplaced…

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