About the Author

I am employed as a researcher dealing with social and psychological subject matter, based in Toronto, Canada. I have various interests in the sciences, especially in the human sciences, with a Master of Science degree in psychology (research). One of my interests is in the study of religion, particularly Islamic fundamentalism, which I've studied autodidactically since 2005. This blog deals primarily with the latter interest and associated issues, though I expect to diverge occasionally into other subjects.

Responses to some likely questions:

Q: Why are you writing and publishing these articles?

A: In producing these articles I am motivated primarily by a concern about the threat that the revival and spread of Islamic fundamentalism and extremism poses to human rights and freedoms. I am also concerned about accuracy and honesty in the presentation of information on this subject.

Q: What about other kinds of fundamentalism/extremism?

A: I'm also concerned about other religiously- and politically-based fundamentalism/extremism, and will sometimes touch on those topics. However, my main interest in this area, and the focus of this blog, will be on the Islamic forms.

Q: Why do you write anonymously here, and why is your above self-description so limited?

A: Those who publish their research or opinions on Islam nowadays, even in some non-Muslim majority countries, face a considerable risk of being violently assaulted or killed by Islamic extremists, if the findings or the views expressed do not present Islam in a positive light. There are also social and professional risks for those who publish views critical of Islam, including ostracism, character assassination, job termination, and loss of employment prospects. My self-description, above, is limited to help keep my identity private. That said, I respect greatly those who express publicly, without the protection of anonymity (but in some cases with the protection of bodyguards), criticisms of Islam that are reasonable and warranted based on empirical study and sound ethical assessment. I may provide some identity information privately to trusted correspondents when it is appropriate and safe to do so. However, for now, in relation to my published material on this subject, I will remain anonymous.

Q: Are you connected to any religious or political organizations, businesses, institutions, etc., that might have an interest consistent with your findings and views published on your blog?

A: No. I am not involved with any such parties that might have interests consistent with my views and findings. I do not get paid, do not collect ad revenue, and do not gain favors, by writing here. This blog is one of several personal projects.

Q: You do not have a degree in Islamic studies or related religious or political subject matter. Why should I believe, take as credible, or take seriously what you write here?

A: The credibility of claims ought to depend on the quality of evidence and soundness of argumentation used to support them. Empirical claims in the articles are supported with references to other empirical research and publicly verifiable evidence. Many of the articles posted here present analyses from datasets that are publicly available, so that readers with adequate education can check the analyses for themselves. My training in statistics and research methods in the human sciences is applicable to the empirical study of religion, which, after all, involves beliefs and behaviour.

Q: Are you religious? Are you a Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, etc.? How might you be influenced socially?

A: No. I don't hold any religious (i.e., supernatural) beliefs. I was raised in a family that included Christians of various degrees of piety and non-believers. Among my friends and coworkers are people of various religions and of no religion.

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