Suhail Khan


Suhail Khan, Senior Fellow for Christian-Muslim Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement, discusses the letter he co-signed with five other Muslim Republicans that takes his party to task for bashing the “Ground Zero Mosque,” the popular anti-Muslim sentiment that turns traditional Conservatism on its head, why the terrorists win if we abandon the Bill of Rights, how religious bigotry adds credence to al Qaeda’s assertion that the U.S. is at war with Islam, the remarkably-ordinary majority of American Muslims and how activism within the Republican party can effect change.

MP3 here. (29:04)

Suhail A. Khan is the Senior Fellow for Christian-Muslim Understanding at the Institute for Global Engagement. He is a Washington, DC based attorney and has previously held many government positions. Khan served as Policy Director and Press Secretary for U.S. Congressman Tom Campbell (R-CA) where he worked closely on a variety of legislative initiatives, including religious freedom. More recently, Khan served as a senior political appointee with the Bush administration. He served in the White House Office of Public Liaison assisting in the President’s outreach to various faith communities. Khan also served as Assistant to the Secretary for Policy under U.S. Secretary Mary Peters at the U.S. Department of Transportation. While at the Department of Transportation, Khan was awarded the Secretary’s Team Award in 2005 and the Gold Medal for Outstanding Achievement in 2007.

Khan serves on the boards of the American Conservative Union, the Islamic Free Market Institute, the Muslim Public Service Network, the Indian American Republican Council, and on the Buxton Initiative Advisory Council. He has spoken venues such as the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the Council for National Policy (CNP), the Harbour League, and the National Press Club. He has written opinion pieces for various publications including the Washington Post/Newsweek Forum On Faith.

He was born in Boulder, Colorado to parents who emigrated to the United States from southern India. Khan is the oldest of five children, grew up in California, earned his high school diploma from St. Lawrence Academy, a private Catholic college preparatory school in Santa Clara, in 1987. He earned a B.A. in political science from University of California at Berkeley in 1991 and a J.D. from University of Iowa in 1995.

10 thoughts on “Suhail Khan”

  1. Before the Muslims 'take back' their religion from the 'radical fringe,' who have legitimate grievances, the U.S. protestants should take back their religion from the radical fringe, who have no legitimate grievances.

  2. It's interesting that his law degree is from Iowa. Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has the oldest Muslim community in America, dating to the 1840s.

    In recent times, we have seen a souring of relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in America. The anxieties created by the war and the misinformation spread by vested interests have created an environment of mistrust and islamophobia.
    Often these anxieties and mistrust have taken the form of 'not in my backyard' phenomenon when Muslims have sought to build or expand their mosque facilities. Here in Atlanta, two of our local mosques have faced opposition to their expansion plans.
    The proposed mosque close to Ground Zero has resulted in more misinformation spread about the Muslims in America.,8599,20
    Also, this year September 11 falls on or close to Eid. Given the environment of mistrust and breakdown of community relations, it is up to us as Muslims to take a stand and make sure that this Eid turns our country away from mistrust and sensationalist political punditry. Its time for us to make a concerted effort to let our country know that we are a important and loyal part of the social fabric that makes up America.
    We are urging Muslims nationwide to hold a candlelight vigil for 9/11 victims on Saturday, September 11 between 7 and 7.30pm (before Maghrib prayers) outside of their local area mosques. This is not the time to be complacent. This is a time for action and for letting our neighbors and our country know that we are with our fellow Americans in their observance of the 9/11 tragedy.
    Seek permission from your local mosque to hold a candlelight vigil outside of it from 7pm to 7.30pm on Saturday, September 11, 2010. Join us in sending a strong message of peace and harmony.

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