Qanta A. Ahmed

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Qanta Ahmed
NationalityBritish and American[1]
OccupationPhysician, author and women's rights activist
Medical career
FieldSleep disorders
InstitutionsState University of New York

Qanta A. Ahmed is a British physician specialising in sleep disorders. She is also an author and commentator, and has contributed articles to The Spectator, Huffington Post and The Jerusalem Post.

Early life and education[edit]

Ahmed is the daughter of Sunni Muslim Pakistani immigrants to Britain.[2] She graduated from the University of Nottingham. She went to New York City for medical training. Without a US visa to extend her stay, she left to practise in Saudi Arabia for a year. She wrote down her daily experiences as a woman practising medicine and published them in a book. In June 2013, Ahmed visited Israel, speaking at universities and research institutes around the country.[3]

Medical career[edit]

Ahmed practised medicine in the National Guard Health Affairs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. She returned to the U.S. in 1996 and practised at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina and sleep disorders medicine in Garden City at the Winthrop University Sleep Disorders Center.[4]

As of 2011, Ahmed was associate professor of medicine at the State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook.[5][6]

Literary and journalism career[edit]

Ahmed is the author of In the Land of Invisible Women, an account of her experiences as a physician in Saudi Arabia.[7][8][9]

Views on Islam and Islamism[edit]

Ahmend is a practising Muslim but is a critic of the ideology Islamism and has been described by the media as a Muslim reformist.[10]

She has argued "Islamists exploit democratic institutions to further their sectarian aims" and that "Exposing Islamists as dangerous totalitarians is not an act of anti-Muslim bigotry but an essential defense of both liberal democracy and Islam." Ahmed has cited the regime of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt as an example of the consequence of Islamists rising to power.[11]

Ahmed has called on the US State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a Foreign Terrorist Organization. She stated "By encouraging separatism and indoctrinating its members with the totalitarian tenets of 20th-century Islamism, the Muslim Brotherhood seeks to disrupt the fabric of democracy."[11]

In 2018, she defended Boris Johnson over his comments regarding the burqa and niqāb. She stated "I am fully supportive of Boris Johnson’s rejection of the niqab. And I wonder how many of the former Foreign Secretary’s critics understand my religion, what this form of dress represents and the subjugation it implies."[12]

Views on Israel[edit]

Ahmed is opposed to boycotts against Israel and has described the boycott movement as an attempt to vilify Israel.[3] Although Ahmed has expressed opposition to the occupation of the Palestinian Territories, she has also stated that handing them over would mean ceding the territories to "a virulent Jihadist ideology" and leaders calling for Israel's destruction.[3] In 2010, Qanta described herself as an "Accidental Zionist" and that "Eretz Yisrael is a vital shelter, an only shelter, from lethal, genocidal anti-Semitism... If we care for wider humanity at all, we must all be 'accidental' Zionists and want for the Jews, for the Israelis, what each Muslim already has for themselves: a future, a nation and a faith, secured."[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ according to her
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 10 August 2017. Retrieved 18 July 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ a b c Maltz, Judy (31 May 2013). "The many faces of Dr. Qanta Ahmed". Haaretz. Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  4. ^ Sleep Medicine Specialist, NYU Winthrop Hospital, archived from the original on 11 September 2011.
  5. ^ Ahmed, Qanta A. (7 January 2011). "Fulfilling Our Duty as Muslim-Americans". Wall Street Journal. Archived from the original on 2 June 2016. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  6. ^ Ahmed, Qanta. "Qanta Ahmed, MD". Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 23 April 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Books: 'In the Land of Invisible Women'". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 4 September 2008. Archived from the original on 21 February 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  8. ^ Schwartz, Stephen (8 September 2008). "Pierce the Veil". The Weekly Standard. Archived from the original on 19 September 2015. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  9. ^ Harris, Nancy (17 September 2010). "Historical fiction helps Hingham woman appreciate her own era". Boston Globe. Archived from the original on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 4 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Muslim reformists sound off on attacks against Christians". Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  11. ^ a b Ahmed, Qanta A. (10 March 2017). "Designate the Muslim Brotherhood a Foreign Terrorist Organization". National Review. Archived from the original on 31 January 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2019.
  12. ^ Ahmed, Qanta (23 December 2018). "As a Muslim woman I'd like to thank Boris Johnson for calling out the burka". The Spectator. Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  13. ^ Ahmed, Qanta A (25 May 2011). "Adventures of an Accidental Zionist: Encounters with the Anxiety of Jewish Extinction". The Huffington Post. Archived from the original on 18 July 2017. Retrieved 24 November 2018..