The recent video image of Akayed Ullah, the accused New York bomber, facing federal terrorism charges from a hospital bed, is a visual metaphor on the confusion of how the U.S. addresses Islamism and Islam — at once both cautious and swift.
Looking at the bigger picture, the actions taken during the first year of this administration show a profound misunderstanding of Islamism and Islam. Seeking simple answers to complex questions, the Trump administration resolves to seal Islamism out at the border. If only it were so easy; Islamists' narratives need no passports; Islamist imaginations, no visas.
As an observing Muslim woman devoted to combating Islamism, I have spent the past decade and a half seeking to understand Islamism — a journey that has taken me from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to East London to North West Pakistan and beyond.