About Stephen Schwartz

Stephen Schwartz is the Executive Director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington, DC and author of the bestselling The Two Faces of Islam: Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role In Terrorism (Doubleday).

He was born in 1948, and has pursued a long literary and journalistic career, having published seven books on modern political history, with special attention to extremism.   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 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.  

 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.  His writings in Balkan Jews were collected in the 2005 volume Sarajevo Rose:  A Balkan Jewish Notebook (Saqi/Palgrave Macmillan).

On ADL, Turkey and the Armenian Question

By July 15, 2007

I was interested to read Joey Kurtzman’s critique of Abraham Foxman, the Anti-Defamation League, and their position on the resolution of the Armenian question in Turkish history. Before turning to the Armenian-Turkish controversy, let me say that I agree with … Read More

Stephen Schwartz’s Jewcy Summer Book: The Zohar in Muslim and Christian Spain

By July 12, 2007

I may be caricaturing myself by recommending a summer book that is a) hard to find, and b) obscure in subject matter.  Nevertheless: I recommend a search for a book called The Zohar in Muslim and Christian Spain, by Ariel … Read More

The Walter Duranty of Saudi Arabia

By June 25, 2007

In its June 2007 issue, the monthly magazine Commentary revives the genre of gullible travels.“My Saudi Sojourn” is Joshua Muravchik’s account of his recent trip to Saudi Arabia and a servile love letter to the most benighted of all Sunni … Read More

Who’s Afraid of Paul Berman?

By June 6, 2007

Does moderate Islam exist? To many Westerners, the answer is absolutely not; they view Islam as a religion of violent jihad, amputation of limbs, compulsory veiling of women, honor killings, and similar atrocities. To Muslims, even posing the question is … Read More

The Fort Dix Plot and the Turkish Connection

By May 9, 2007

In The Weekly Standard dated May 14, I published an article titled “The Balkan Front” in which I described my recent visit to Europe and discussions with Turkish, Kurdish, Albanian, and Bosnian Muslims about the resurgence of radical Islam in … Read More

A Message in Fire

By April 12, 2007

The following is a modified excerpt from Is it Good for the Jews: The Crisis of America's Israel Lobby, published by Random House, Inc. It has been adapted for Jewcy by author Stephen Suleyman Schwartz. He was seventeen, sensitive, with … Read More

Eric Hobsbawm’s Stalinist Homage to Catalonia

By March 5, 2007

Orwell and the Spanish Civil War are all the rage again. Perhaps brought on by the fusion of fantasy and reality that was the international box office success Pan’s Labyrinth, Western intellectuals have swooped down on the warmed-over carrion of … Read More

Jews Should Turn Back to the Sephardic Legacy

By February 23, 2007

From: Stephen Schwartz To: Kerry Olitzky Subject: Muslims and Jews—a single “ummah” Kerry, We’ve discussed including non-Jews or intermarried couples in the Jewish community. But how about bringing the Sephardim into the American Jewish dialogue? American Jews hardly know that … Read More