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Denis M. MacEoin (born 1949, Belfast, Northern Ireland) has been editor of Middle East Quarterly since June 2009. A former lecturer in Islamic studies, his academic specialisations are Shi‘ism, Shaykhism, Bábism, and the Bahá'í Faith, on all of which he has written extensively. MacEoin is also a novelist, writing under the pen names Daniel Easterman and Jonathan Aycliffe. He and his wife live in Newcastle upon Tyne in northern England.
Background and education 
MacEoin studied English Language and Literature at the University of Dublin (Trinity College) and Persian, Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Edinburgh. He carried out research for his PhD degree at King's College, Cambridge. His PhD dissertation dealt with two heterodox movements in 19th-century Iranian Shi‘ism: Shaykhism and Bábism. From 1979-80, he taught English, Islamic Civilization, and Arabic-English translation at Mohammed V University in Fez, Morocco. According to Royal Literary Fund, from 1981, he taught Arabic and Islamic Studies at Newcastle University, "until his Saudi sponsors removed him for teaching heretical subjects. " In 1986, he was made Honorary Fellow in the Centre for Islamic and Middle East Studies at Durham University. He was the Royal Literary Fund Fellow at Newcastle University from 2005-2008.
He has been married to homoeopath and health writer Beth MacEoin since 1975. She is the author of around 20 books on natural health, including the Natural Medicines Society book, Natural Medicine: A practical guide to family Health, which was published by Bloomsbury at the end of 1999, and Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century (Kyle Cathie, 2006).
An advocate of alternative medicine since the 1960s (he was chairman of the UK Natural Medicines Society during the 1980s and 1990s), he has in more recent years taken a serious interest in the sociology and politics of medicine, and in the relations between CAM and conventional therapy. He has lectured to medical students on these topics. For many years, until its demise in 2003, he was chairman, then president of the Natural Medicines Society, a UK charity for the general public.
A longstanding supporter of Israel (he first visited the country in 1968), since the 2000s he has been seriously involved in writing and speaking in defence of Israel and of the Jewish community. He writes a blog entitled 'A Liberal Defence of Israel' and in March 2013 published his first book on the subject, a long letter in response to an open letter written written by an anti-Israel activist. The book is entitled 'Gary, Why You're Wrong about Israel'. It was launched in the House of Lords on 20 March 2013. A longer book on a similar theme is currently under way.
Controversy over The Hijacking of British Islam 
In October 2007, The Hijacking of British Islam: How extremist literature is subverting Britain's mosques, was published. The report—written by Denis MacEoin and drawn up by the Policy Exchange thinktank—stated that "extremist literature calling for the execution of gays and the oppression of women" was found at 25 of the 100 Islamic religious institutions that Policy Exchange's Muslim research teams visited in 2006 and 2007.
Dr MacEoin stated: "What is more worrying is that these are among the best-funded and most dynamic institutions in Muslim Britain – some of which are held up as mainstream bodies. Many of the institutions have been endowed with official recognition."
On 12 December 2007, BBC's Newsnight disputed the veracity of some material purporting to prove the sale of extremist material from bookshops connected to specific mosques. Similar allegations were made by The Guardian's Seumas Milne.
Policy Exchange argued there was still evidence to link each of the institutions to extremist literature and that 'The receipts are not ... mentioned in the report and the report’s findings do not rely upon their existence'. As a result of the BBC Newsnight investigation, both Policy Exchange and MacEoin were sued for defamation by the Board of Trustees of the North London Central Mosque Trust (NLCM) concerning the allegations made in MacEoin's report against the Finsbury Park Mosque. The case was dismissed, dismissed on appeal, and in October 2010 the North London Central Mosque discontinued its appeal and paid a substantial contribution to Policy Exchange’s legal costs. However, NLCM reports that the following was published on the Policy Exchange website: "Policy Exchange has never sought to suggest that the literature cited in the Report was sold or distributed at the Mosque with the knowledge or consent of the Mosque’s trustees or staff."
MacEoin has published extensively on Islamic topics, contributing to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the Oxford Encyclopaedia of Islam in the Modern World, the Encyclopædia Iranica, the Penguin Handbook of Religions, journals, festschrifts, and books, and has himself written a number of academic books. He was a member of the Bahá'í Faith from 1965–1980, but left the movement over differences with the administration, disagreements about Baha'i scholarship, and a basic loss of religious faith. For several years he published books and articles critical of Bahá'í practices, and their level of scholarship. His longest academic work is 'The Messiah of Shiraz', an 800-page compilation of his PhD thesis and numerous articles on early and Middle Babism, published by E. J. Brill, Leyden, in 2009. Other titles include 'Early Babi Doctrine and History: A Survey of Source Materials', E.J. Brill, Leiden, 1992; . 'Ritual in Babism and Baha'ism', Pembroke Papers, Pembroke College, Cambridge, published I. B. Tauris, London, 1994; Since 1986 he has pursued his principal career as a novelist, having so far written twenty-three novels, several of them best-sellers. He uses the pen-names Daniel Easterman (international thrillers) and Jonathan Aycliffe (classic ghost stories in the tradition of M.R. James).
As Daniel Easterman 
Books written as Easterman include The Seventh Sanctuary, The Ninth Buddha, The Judas Testament, Incarnation, Brotherhood of the Tomb, K, The Final Judgement, Midnight Comes at Noon, Night of the Seventh Darkness, and Maroc.
A collection of his journalism was published under the Easterman name by HarperCollins in 1992 under the title New Jerusalems: Islam, the Rushdie Affair, and Religious Fundamentalism.
As Jonathan Aycliffe 
Books written as Aycliffe include Naomi's Room, Whispers in the Dark, The Matrix, The Lost and A Garden Lost in Time. The Matrix is centred around an indestructible occult tome, known as the Matrix Aeternitatas (which, rather like the cursed talisman in M.R. James' "Casting the Runes") is unable to be given back once one has taken possession of it. The novel also features strong themes of black magic and necromancy.
Representative works 
- Denis MacEoin (1992). The Sources for Early Bābī Doctrine and History. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 90-04-09462-8.
- Denis MacEoin (1994). Rituals in Babism and Baha'ism. UK: British Academic Press and Centre of Middle Eastern Studies, University of Cambridge. ISBN 1-85043-654-1.
- Denis MacEoin (2007). The Hijacking of British Islam. London: Policy Exchange. ISBN 978-1-906097-10-3. (now discredited publication, removed from Policy Exchange website due to allegations of forgery)
- Denis MacEoin (2008). The Messiah of Shiraz: Studies in Early and Middle Babism. Leiden: Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-17035-3.
- "Biography of Denis MacEoin". Middle East Forum.
- "Denis MacEoin". Royal Literary Fund. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- The Hijacking of British Islam: How extremist literature is subverting Britain's mosques by Denis MacEoin| Policy Exchange| 2007
- "'Agenda of hate in British mosques'". Islamophobia Watch. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Newsnight - policy exchange interview". BBC News. 13 December 2007.
- Seumas Milne reportage in The Guardian
- Amol Rajan (15 August 2008). "Tories' favourite think-tank sued by Muslim group". The Independent.
- richard_watsons_comment_on_the_policy_exchange_row| bbc.co.uk| 2007/12
- http://www.policyexchange.org.uk/news/news.cgi?id=1603 dead link
- Policy Exchange admits NLCM clear of any wrong-doing
- The Writers Directory 2008, Volume 2 (ed. Michelle Kazensky). Thomson Gale: 2007 (pg. 1238).
- Biography - From Newcastle University
- Daniel Easterman - a checklist
- News and commentary from Islamophobia-watch.com
- BBC's Newsnight report on allegations of forgery against Denis MacEoin and Policy Exchange