Stephen Suleyman Schwartz

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Stephen Suleyman Schwartz
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, San Francisco, 2013.jpg
Stephen Suleyman Schwartz in 2013.
Born (1948-09-09) September 9, 1948 (age 66)
Columbus, Ohio, U.S.
Occupation Journalist, writer
Religion Sufi Islam[1]

Stephen Suleyman Schwartz (born September 9, 1948) is an American Sufi[1] journalist, columnist, and author. He has been published in a variety of media, including The Wall Street Journal.[2] He is the founder and executive director of the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Islamic Pluralism. In August 2011 he was elected as member of Folks Magazine's Editorial Board.[3]

He has been an adherent of the Hanafi school of Islam since 1997.[1] He is a critic of Islamic Fundamentalism, especially the Wahhabi sect of Sunni Islam.

Early life[edit]

Schwartz was born in Columbus, Ohio to Horace Schwartz, a Jewish independent bookseller. His mother was the daughter of a Protestant preacher, was a career social services employee. Schwartz later described both of his parents as "radical leftists and quite antireligious",[4] his father a "fellow traveler", his mother a member of the Communist Party. He was baptized in the Presbyterian church as an infant.[4]

The family moved to San Francisco when he was young, where his father Horace became a literary agent.[5] At Lowell High School[5] Schwartz made his first serious writing attempts, focusing initially on poetry.[6] He became affiliated with Leninist communism until 1984.[4]

Labor activism and literary career[edit]

After college, Schwartz became a member and officer in the Sailors' Union of the Pacific, as well as an employee of locals affiliated with the AFL-CIO. Among others, he founded a small semi-Trotskyist group FOCUS.[7] In 1985, the S.U.P. commissioned Schwartz to write Brotherhood of the Sea: A History of the Sailors' Union of the Pacific as part of its of 100th anniversary commemoration.

In the 1990s, Schwartz spent a decade as a staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. He was a member of the local union at the Chronicle, a branch of the Newspaper Guild.

At the end of 1997, he converted to Sufi Islam. In 1999, Schwartz left the Chronicle, and moved to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he lived for the next 18 months.[4][8]

Schwartz supported the Iraq War.

Schwartz has written essays about Philip Lamantia, Roberto Bolaño, J.M.G. Le Clézio, Jean-François Revel, Guillermo Cabrera Infante, and Saul Bellow, among others.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15]

On March 25, 2005, Schwartz launched the Center for Islamic Pluralism. The Center is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C., with Schwartz as executive director.

Published works[edit]

Books[edit]

  • A Sleepwalker’s Guide to San Francisco: Poems from Three Lustra, 1966–1981. San Francisco: La Santa Espina, 1983.
  • Brotherhood of the Sea: A History of the Sailors’ Union of the Pacific. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1986. ISBN 0-88738-121-9.
  • Spanish Marxism vs. Soviet Communism: A History of the P.O.U.M (with Victor Alba). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Books, 1988. ISBN 0-88738-198-7.
  • A Strange Silence: The Emergence of Democracy in Nicaragua. San Francisco: ICS Press, 1992. ISBN 1-55815-071-4.
  • From West to East: California and the Making of the American Mind. New York: The Free Press, 1998. ISBN 0-684-83134-1.
  • Kosovo: Background to a War. London: Anthem Press, 2000. ISBN 1-898855-56-0
  • Intellectuals and Assassins: Writings at the End of Soviet Communism. New York: Anthem Press, 2001. ISBN 1-898855-55-2.
  • The Two Faces of Islam: The House of Sa'ud from Tradition to Terror. New York: Doubleday, 2002. ISBN 0-385-50692-9. (Note: The subtitle on the paperback version was changed to Saudi Fundamentalism and Its Role in Terrorism.)
  • Sarajevo Rose: A Balkan Jewish Notebook. London: Saqi Books, 2005. ISBN 0-86356-592-1.
  • Is It Good for the Jews?: The Crisis of America's Israel Lobby. New York: Doubleday, 2006. ISBN 0-385-51025-X.
  • The Other Islam: Sufism and the Road to Global Harmony. New York: Doubleday, 2008. ISBN 0-385-51819-6.

Articles[edit]

  • Schwartz, Stephen. An Activist's Guide to Arab and Muslim Campus and Community Organizations in North America.
  • Schwartz, Stephen. "Defeating Wahhabism". FrontPage Magazine, October 25, 2002.
  • Schwartz, Stephen. "A Different Kind of Filial Piety". Wall Street Journal, February 10, 1999.
  • Schwartz, Stephen. "Ground Zero and the Saudi Connection". The Spectator, September 22, 2001.
  • Schwartz, Stephen. "Spanish Revision". The Weekly Standard, June 1, 2009.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "About Us". Center for Islamic Pluralism. 
  2. ^ E.g., see Schwartz's Intellectuals and Assassins (2001).
  3. ^ Magazine, Folks. "Folks Magazine". Retrieved 28 August 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d Schwartz, Stephen (2007-02-19). "Why I Chose Islam Instead of Judaism". Jewcy. Retrieved 2014-12-27. 
  5. ^ a b Reidel, James (2002). "Ex-Libris Weldon Kees". The Cortland Review (Fall 2002). 
  6. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (2003-02-20). "Remembering an SLA Terrorist". FrontPage Magazine. Retrieved 2014-12-27. 
  7. ^ Alexander, Robert International Trotskyism: a documented analysis of the world movement Durham, Duke University Press 1991 p.943
  8. ^ Schwartz, Stephen. "Behind the Balkan Curtain". San Francisco Faith, May 2000.
  9. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (July 21, 2010) "In Memoriam: Philip Lamantia (1927-2005)." Contemporary Poetry Review. (Retrieved 3-18-2013.)
  10. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (October 7, 2010) "Roberto Bolaño, Missed by the Nobel Committee." The Weekly Standard. (Retrieved 9-3-12.)
  11. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (October 16, 2008) "Ignoble Prizes." The Weekly Standard. (Retrieved 9-3-12.)
  12. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (May 15, 2006) "Jean-François Revel, 1924-2006." The Weekly Standard. (Retrieved 9-3-12.)
  13. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (March 25, 2005) "The Voice of Cuba." The Weekly Standard. (Retrieved 9-3-12.)
  14. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (May 30, 2005) "A Mystic and Tormented Believer." FrontPage Magazine. (Retrieved 9-3-12.)
  15. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (April 19, 2005) "Saul Bellow, Trotsky, and Mexico." FrontPage Magazine. (Retrieved 9-3-12.)

External links[edit]

Interviews