Founded in Washington, DC in 2004, the Center for Islamic Pluralism (CIP) is a think tank that challenges the dominance of American Muslim life by militant Islamist groups. Specifically, our mission is to:
CIP activities include:
Center for Islamic Pluralism
Contributions and Membership
The Center for Islamic Pluralism is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt public charity. Contributions are deductible under section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. It is qualified to receive tax deductible bequests, devises, transfers, and gifts under sections 2055, 2106, or 2622 of the code. For further information, please contact us.
Professor of Ottoman and Modern Turkish Culture at Indiana University (affiliation for identification only)
Professor Silay is current President of CIP. He was born in Ankara, Turkey in 1964 to a middle-class family, educated in public schools from the elementary to the university level. After completing his B.A. from the Department of Turkology at Ankara University in 1988, he was awarded a governmental scholarship to study abroad. Arriving in New York in May 1988, he completed English language training and then began his graduate education at Indiana University in Bloomington, where he received a M.A. in Turkish Studies from the Department of Central Eurasian Studies in 1990 and a Ph.D. in 1993 from the same institution.
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, DC and author of the 2008 book The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony (Doubleday). In 2002, he published the bestselling The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role In Terrorism (Doubleday). He is also author of Sarajevo Rose: A Balkan Jewish Notebook, published in the U.S. by Routledge Macmillan and in Britain by The Bosnian Institute and Saqi Books. He is an Adjunct Scholar of the Middle East Forum.
The Two Faces of Islam has been translated into Bosnian (Dva Lica Islama), Albanian (Dy Ftyrat e Islamit), Farsi (Du Chehrhe Az-Islam), and Indonesian (Dua Wajah Islam). As of 2013, Hindi and Urdu editions are forthcoming. The Other Islam has been published in Albanian (Islami Tjetër) and Bosnian (Jedan Drugačiji Islam). Sarajevo Rose has been published in Bosnian (Sarajevska Ruža).
Stephen Schwartz was born in 1948, and has pursued a long literary and journalistic career. He was a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle for 10 years and was secretary of the Northern California Newspaper Guild, AFL-CIO. In 2004-06 he was institutional historian of the National Endowment for the Arts, a U.S. federal agency.
In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, his extensive and authoritative writings on the phenomenon of Wahhabism established him as one of the leading global experts on Islam, its internal divisions, and its relations with other faiths.
Mr. Schwartz has also developed, among Westerners, a unique position as a confidante of Shia Muslims living in the U.S. His investigative reporting on Islamist extremism has led to repeat appearances on Fox News and other TV and radio networks.
His articles have been printed in the world's major newspapers, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Toronto Globe and Mail, and many more. He is a regular contributor to The Weekly Standard and The Huffington Post as well as to Reforma in Mexico City, and leading periodicals in the Balkans.
He began a serious examination of Islam in 1990, when he first visited Yugoslavia. Researching the history of Jews in the Balkans – for articles published in the Jewish Forward and other periodicals – he developed close relations with Balkan Islamic intellectual, religious and political leaders.
During the 1990s he continued his intensive study of Balkan comparative religion while working as an editor for the Albanian Catholic Institute in San Francisco (this aside from his work for the San Francisco Chronicle). He also completed short missions in Bosnia-Hercegovina for the International Federation of Journalists and the Council of Europe, as well as a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
In 1999, with the Kosova intervention, Mr. Schwartz retired from the San Francisco Chronicle. Moving to Sarajevo, he continued researching neglected Balkan Jewish synagogues and graveyards, while working for leading NGOs, including the Soros Fund for an Open Society and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, along with USAID.
He wrote a weekly foreign affairs column for the Sarajevo daily Oslobođenje, a weekly opinion column in the Kosova newspaper Dita, and reportage for a (now-defunct) Bosnian Islamic weekly, Ljiljan. In 2000, he published a book in Bosnian and English on Muslim identity and media issues in the Balkans, "A Dishonest 20th Century Comedy" (Forum of the Congress of Bosnian Muslim Intellectuals, Sarajevo).
He has returned to the Balkans at least once yearly since 2003.
He has been a student of Sufism since the late 1960s and an adherent of the Hanafi school of Islam since 1997.
Religion in Kosovo, International Crisis Group, Brussels/Washington/Kosova, 2001 (unsigned). (See www.crisisweb.org)
Kosovo: Background to a War, Anthem Press, London, 2000, introduction by Christopher Hitchens. Includes a thorough description of Islam in Kosova. Described as "an interesting book by one of the few Westerners who knew Kosovo well before the war" by Timothy Garton Ash in The New York Review of Books, September 21, 2000, and has been put at the top of its list of recommended books on Kosova by the International Rescue Committee (see www.intrescom.org.) Also published in Albanian (Kosova: Prejardhja e Nji Lufte).
El Libro de Adem Kahriman, by Nedžad Ibrišimović, translated into Spanish with Antonio Saborit, Mexico City, Breve Fondo Editorial, 2000. By a Bosnian Muslim author. Honored as Book of the Year in Translation for 2000 by the Mexican daily Reforma.
Citations from Schwartz's work on Jewish-Muslim relations in the Balkans appear in Yugoslav Jewry: Aspects of Post-World War II and Post-Yugoslav Developments, by Ari Kerkkanen, Helsinki, Finnish Oriental Society, 2001 and Turkish Jewish Encounters, edited by Mehmet Tutuncu, Haarlem (Netherlands), SOTA, 2001.
Ëndërrimi në shqip/Dreaming in Albanian, Skopje/Shkup [Macedonia], Fakti, 2003.
Intellectuals and Assassins, London, Anthem Press, 2000.
From West to East: California and the Making of the American Mind, New York, The Free Press, Inc., 1998.
A Strange Silence: The Emergence of Democracy in Nicaragua, introduction by Víctor Alba, San Francisco, ICS Press, 1992.
Spanish Marxism vs. Soviet Communism: A History of the P.O.U.M. (with Víctor Alba), New Brunswick, Transaction Books, 1988.
The Transition: From Authoritarianism to Democracy in the Hispanic World, San Francisco, ICS Press, 1987 (Ed., with essays by Octavio Paz, Heberto Padilla, and others).
Brotherhood of the Sea: A History of the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, 1885-1985, New Brunswick, Transaction Books, 1986. (See www.sailors.org/history.html)
The founders of the Center for Islamic Pluralism were (affiliations for identification only):
CIP staff now includes:
In 2013, CIP has active groups and correspondents in 30 Muslim-majority countries and Muslim-minority communities.