- Project Director for the Islamic Circle of North America
Zahid H. Bukhari is the Project Director for the Islamic Circle of North America, which has been under FBI investigation for links to terrorist activity. He also serves as Director of the American Muslim Studies Program at Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and as Executive Director of the Center for Islam and Public Policy.
Dr. Bukhari holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Karachi and a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Connecticut. His research interests include religion and politics in the United States and South Asia.
From 1978 to 1983, Bukhari was the Executive Director of the Pakistan Institute of Public Opinion, an Islamabad-based member of Gallup International.
From 1993 to 1995 he participated in a national study of North American Islamic centers and mosques, conducted by the Los Angeles-based Islamic Resource Institute.
Bukhari co-founded the National Islamic Shura Council, a representative body consisting of the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, and the Muslim Organization of Warith-ud-Deen Muhammad.
Since 1996, Bukhari has been a member of the Mid-Atlantic Catholic-Muslim Interfaith Dialogue sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America and the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
From 1999-2004, he worked as Director of Muslims in American Public Square, two of whose publications he edited. These are titled Muslim in America: Engaging Polity and Society in Post 9/11 Era, and Muslims’ Place in the American Public Square: Fears, Hopes and Aspirations (co-edited with Sulayman S. Nyang of Howard University, Mumtaz Ahmad of Hampton University, and John Esposito of Georgetown University).
In an October 2001 Washington Post discussion forum, Bukhari stated that “Muslims may have difficulties with … Jews because of founding of the state of Israel.”
On May 4, 2005, Bukhari testified before a Joint Hearing of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and the House International Relations Subcommittee on International Terrorism and Nonproliferation. His testimony included the following statements: “I would like to take strong exception with the premise that the Muslim community charitable donations have any connection with terrorist groups. American Muslim charities have performed commendable services … To the dismay of the Muslim community, several Muslim charities have been shut down by the government after 9/11. Several million dollars of their assets and bank accounts have also been frozen. … The whole episode has a very negative impact on the Muslim community. There is a general sense of fear and intimidation in the community.”
In mid-February 2007 Bukhari visited Latvia, where he presented several lectures on the topic “Muslim Roots in America.”
Bukhari was an Advisory Board member for a 2006-2007 Pew Research Center public opinion survey on the demographics, attitudes and experiences of Muslim Americans. His fellow Board members included Ihsan Bagby (who is affiliated with the Muslim Alliance of North America, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and the Islamic Society of North America); Louis Cristillo (principal investigator for the Muslim Youth in NYC Public School Project at Columbia University's Teachers College); Sally Howell (a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Program in American Culture); Peter Mandaville (professor at George Mason University’s Center for Global Studies); Ingrid Mattson (President of the Islamic Society of North America's U.S. office); and Farid Senzai (Director of Research at Michigan’s Institute for Social Policy and Understanding).