Biography: Arsalan Iftikhar

Arsalan Iftikhar is an international human rights lawyer and Contributing Editor for Islamica magazine. He also is the founder of and a regular weekly contributor on the Barbershop segment for the National Public Radio (NPR) show “Tell Me More” with Michel Martin. His interviews, commentaries and analyses have regularly appeared in virtually every major media outlet in the world. He also is a regular contributor to CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 blog at, and his opinion columns have appeared in major publications such as: USA TODAY, Houston Chronicle, Detroit Free Press, The Providence Journal, San Diego Union-Tribune and many more.

In March 2008, Arsalan was one of four international debaters selected to participate in The Doha Debates on BBC World Television.The Doha Debates are broadcast to more than 300 million people worldwide on BBC World Service Television, and its stage has been shared with the likes of Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu and former US President Bill Clinton. In addition to The Doha Debates, some of Arsalan’s other international speaking venues have included: Harvard University, Stanford University, Georgetown University, Johns Hopkins University, University of Pennsylvania, The George Washington University Elliott School of International Affairs, University of Michigan School of Law, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and The British Museum in London.

He also was a contributing author to Keeping Out the Other (Columbia University Press) and Taking Back Islam (Rodale Press) — winner of the 2003 Wilbur Communications Award for Religion Book of the Year. In 2006, the French Ambassador to the United States personally named him to the Personnalités d’Avenir (Personalities of the Future) World Leader Program in Paris, sponsored by the French Foreign Ministry.

Additionally, Arsalan was cast as a Hollywood movie “featured extra” in the Warner Brothers spy movie thriller Body of Lies (October 2008) starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.

Arsalan graduated from Washington University in St. Louis (1999) and received his law doctorate from Washington University School of Law (2003). A native of Chicago, he specializes in international human rights law and is licensed to practice law in Washington DC.

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