Islam's Origin Story


"Islam's Origin Story" triggers a bold new dialogue - one that uses extremism against itself.

The Plan: 

(1) Identifying pathway to radical and political Islam during Islam's early years.

(2) Undermining the Islamist argument that Islam can't be reformed, by using Islamic history and theology in support of moderate Islam.

(3) Recalibrating tangible solutions to extremism within Islam, using the origin story against itself. 

(4) Looking at the situation today and offering real-time creative and policy driven solutions to counter extremism. 


Phase 1: Preliminary Outline (Winter 2015)
Phase 2: Research (2016-2017)
Phase 3: Writing (2018-2019)


Shireen Qudosi serves as Clarion Project’s National Correspondent covering American Islam and preventing violent extremism, with an emphasis on youth radicalization. Her work has been published in The Federalist, On Being, Women in the World, The Middle East Forum, and more, often exploring themes of faith, identity, and belonging. 

Her keynote writings also include an in-depth assessment on the War on Terror through the lens of WWII and a two-hour exclusive interview with radical Imam Abu Taubah, who was linked to Orlando Shooter Omar Mateen. In 2016, Shireen testified before the House Homeland Security Committee Hearing on radical Islam, offering a powerful testimony that tied the current crisis to Islam’s origin story. “Original Islam” is a theme that runs through the veins of her work, and is central to the book project she is pursuing. In 2017, Shireen launched a petition against Davis hate imam Ammar Shahin, which broadened into a small movement in 2018 on hate and alienation in theological spaces . She carried her message on hate imams in Never Again is Now, a documentary by filmmaker Evelyn Markus, on the rise of anti-Semitism in Europe and the United States. In 2018, she partnered with Elliot Friedland to launch Toke for Tolerance, an interfaith festival. 

Shireen’s experience has given her insight in forecasting where the conversation among the world’s leading secular and religious Islamic leaders is heading. She is also deeply interested in personal narratives as instruments for change. As a former refugee raised across three continents, she has a unique perspective of the issues facing the U.S. and global Muslim community. In 2011, Shireen was named one of the top ten North American Muslim Reformers  by journalist Christine Williams.

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Shireen Qudosi
Arlington, VA

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