WORDE Founder and President
DR. HEDIEH MIRAHMADI, JD serves as a consultant to a wide range of clients for whom she travels extensively to develop programs that promote social cohesion, interfaith social action and resilience against the recruitment tactics of extremist movements. She earned her JD from the University of Southern California, her B.A. in History from UCLA, and a degree in Islamic doctrine from the As-Sunnah Foundation.
DR. HEDIEH MIRAHMADI, JD serves as a consultant to a wide range of clients for whom she travels extensively to develop programs that promote social cohesion, interfaith social action and resilience against the recruitment tactics of extremist movements.
In her capacity as the President of the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE), Dr. Mirahmadi developed “A Community-Based Approach to Countering Radicalization: A Partnership for America,” one of the first Muslim-led reports to address the evolving threat of homegrown radicalization. Her innovative research explores ways Muslim communities can create bottom-up strategies to tackle the dangerous ideology underlying violent extremism and forge greater cooperation with the government and law enforcement.
Under her leadership, and based on recommendations from the Muslim community, Dr. Mirahmadi established the International Cultural Center (ICC) to engage families in interfaith social action and community building initiatives where people from all traditions can converge to promote principles of peace, social harmony and pluralism.
Dr. Mirahmadi has also led several innovative programs to explore counter-extremism initiatives in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In 2010, she hosted a high level delegation, including a Federal Minister of Pakistan, to inform US policymakers about the potential role of traditional-cultural Muslim networks in countering radicalism. From 2011-12 she co-sponsored “The Project for Islamic Cooperation for a Peaceful Future in Afghanistan,” an initiative that has networked over 200 Afghan community leaders, social activists, and former Taliban commanders with internationally renowned moderate religious scholars. Dr. Mirahmadi is also the co-author of a ground-breaking study based on field interviews in over 35 cities and villages across Pakistan to examine initiatives led by traditional Muslim networks to decrease sectarian and communal violence and promote peace-building. The WORDE Report, “Pakistan’s Civil Society: Alternative Channels to Countering Extremism” and its supplementary 275 page directory of civil society organizations was the first study of this magnitude. This project was replicated across 15 provinces in Afghanistan and her latest report, “Afghanistan 2014 and Beyond: the Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding and Countering Violent Extremism,” was published in February 2014.
An authority in the field for over two decades, Dr. Mirahmadi has briefed numerous policymakers both in the US and abroad, and has presented at conferences organized by the US Department of Defense, US Congressional Anti-Terrorism Caucus, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the National Fusion Center, the National Counter-Terrorism Center, and the Director of National Intelligence. She has served on the LAPD’s Community Police Advisory Board, and the Director of National Intelligence’s Heritage Council. Given her expertise, she received a political appointment in 2004 to the US Embassy of Afghanistan as Senior Advisor for Civil Society Infrastructure.
Establishing relationships with other Muslim organizations and communities has always been important to Dr. Mirahmadi’s work. In the UK, her consultations with British Muslim NGOs culminated in a gala event, “Spirituality in Action,” with HRH Prince of Wales. In addition, as the Co-Chair of the first-ever all-female Islamic Law Council, she worked with other influential Muslim women to re-examine the current standing of Islamic jurisprudence on a wide variety of issues.
Dr Mirahmadi is the author of the monographs “Afghanistan 2014 and Beyond: The Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding and Countering Violent” (2014), “From Community Building to Countering Extremism: A Guide to Afghanistan’s Civil Society” (2014), “Pakistan’s Civil Society: Alternative Channels to Countering Violent Extremism” (2012), “From Community Building to Countering Extremism: An A-to-Z Guide to Pakistan’s Civil Society” (2012), “A Community-Based Approach to Countering Radicalization: A Partnership for America” (2011) and “Traditional Muslim Networks: Pakistan’s Untapped Resource in the Fight against Terrorism” (2010).
Her articles include “After Osama bin Laden’s Death, Time for a New Poster Child for Islam” and “How to Fight Jihad in America” in the Christian Science Monitor; “Our Nation’s Religious Quandary,” “The Global Village of Terrorism,” “How Obama Can Split the Taliban,” and “Picking and Choosing Enemies in Afghanistan” in the Huffington Post; “A Lebanon Freedom Foundation” in the NY Sun; and “The Sunni Disposition” and “Jihadi Tomb Raiders” in the National Review Online.
She is also a contributor to the books Children of Abraham, (Yale University Press), Islam and Civil Society, (Ingram Publications); and The Other Muslims: Moderate and Secular, (Palgrave Publications).
Dr. Mirahmadi earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Southern California [USC], her B.A. in History from UCLA, and her degree in Islamic doctrine from the As-Sunnah Foundation.
Lyons-Padilla, S., Gelfand, M. J., Mirahmadi, H., Farooq, M., & van Egmond, M. (2015). “Belonging Nowhere: Marginalization & Radicalization Risk among Muslim Immigrants,” Behavioral Science & Policy, Volume 1 (2).
“Boston Suspects Demonstrate the Thin Line Between Amateurism and Terrorism,” The National Journal, April 19, 2013
“The Boston Bombs Remind Us That We’re Not Safe,” The National Journal, April 18, 2013
“Salafist Movements Threaten World Cultural Heritage,” Al-Monitor, November 15, 2012
“Our Nation’s Religious Quandary,” The Huffington Post, February 2012
“After Osama bin Laden’s Death, Time for a New Poster Child for Islam,” Christian Science Monitor, May 3, 2011
“Five Myths about Islam and Muslims,” Perspectives, April 2011
“Rep. Peter King’s Muslim Hearings: A Key Moment in an Angry Conversation,” Hedieh Mirahmadi Featured in Washington Post, March 10, 2011
By Washington Post Staff Writers David A. Fahrenthold and Michelle Boorstein
“How to Fight Jihad in America,” Christian Science Monitor, December 16, 2010
“Preventing Radicalism,” Azizah Magazine , June 2010
“Picking and Choosing Enemies in Afghanistan,” The Huffington Post, April 22, 20009
“How Obama Can Split the Taliban: Ideology Matters in Building a Sustainable Afghanistan,” The Huffington Post, March 26, 2009
“The Cedar Revolution in Ferment,” American Enterprise Institute, March 25, 2005
“A Lebanon Freedom Foundation,” The New York Sun, March 18, 2005
“Sunni Disposition: These Moderates Should Be Our Friends,” National Review, May 7, 2004
“Jihadi Tomb Raiders: They’re not Islam,” National Review, December 13, 2002
“Empowering Pakistan’s Civil Society to Counter Global Violent Extremism,” Brookings, January 2015
“A Strategic Plan for Empowering Pakistan’s Civil Society to Counter Violent Extremism,” WORDE Report, January 2015
“Afghanistan 2014 and Beyond: The Role of Civil Society in Peacebuilding and Countering Violent Extremism,” WORDE Report, February 2014
“Pakistan’s Civil Society: Alternative Channels to Countering Violent Extremism,” WORDE Report, October 2012
“A Community Based Approach to Countering Radicalization,” WORDE Report, December 2010
“Traditional Muslim Networks: Pakistan’s Untapped Resource in the Fight Against Terrorism,” WORDE Report, May 2010
Abraham’s Children: Liberty and Tolerance in an Age of Religious Conflict, contributing author, Yale University Press (forthcoming). Read Dr. Mirahmadi’s chapter entitled “Religious Liberty in Islam.”
The Other Muslims: Moderate and Secular, co-author Hedieh Mirahmadi, MacMillan, March 2010. Read Dr. Mirahmadi’s chapter entitled “Navigating Islam in America.”
Islam and Civil Society, edited by Hedieh Mirahmadi, WORDE, 2005. Download the ebook version.
Classical Islam and the Naqshbandi Sufi Tradition, edited by Hedieh Mirahmadi, ISCA, 2004.
“Prosecuting the Boston Bombing Suspect”
April 22, 2013, To the Point
October 18, 2011, Dennis Prager Radio Show
How Should the U.S. Respond to the Prospect of Islamist Governments?
March 25, 2011, Hudson Institute, Washington, DC
Home-based Terrorism:’ Politics and Reality
December 15, 2009, To the Point, KCRW, Public Radio International
Obama Administration Looks To Community-Led Program To Stop Homegrown Radicals
October 23, 2014, CBS
Partnership-Building with American Muslims to Counter Domestic Radicalization
December 16, 2010, The Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC
Launching of new book The Other Muslims: Moderate and Secular
March 3, 2010, Hudson Institute, Washington, DC
Conversation with America
WORDE President Hedieh Mirahmadi and Specialist Zeyno Baran talk with Congresswoman Sue Myrick about curbing Islamist extremism in the US.
January 12, 2010, Washington, DC
United Colors of Sufis: “Shaping the Future of What it Means to be a Muslim in a non-Muslim Majority Country”
January 2009, London, England