Shamila Chaudhary

Shamila Chaudhary is senior adviser to the dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University and is a senior South Asia fellow at New America.

Recent Articles

How to Fight ISIS in Sri Lanka

After the Easter attacks in Colombo, the U.S. must address the growing terrorism threat in South Asia.

Arab traders in the seventh century A.D. traveled by sea to present-day Sri Lanka seeking spices and goods to sell along the oceanic Silk Road. Like other South Asian countries engaged in commerce with the Arab world, Sri Lanka over time became home to a small Muslim community tracing its ethnic and religious roots back to the Middle East. Throughout the country’s history, this community, though religiously distinct, kept cordial relations with other faith groups and avoided the sectarianism plaguing South Asia’s other Muslim communities—until now. Today, ISIS stands ready to take advantage of growing fissures in Sri Lankan Muslim identity—and as the aftermath of the Easter attacks in Sri Lanka shows, neither the country’s leaders nor the international community is prepared to do something about it. Meanwhile, communal backlash against the Muslim community grows amid worsening political tensions. This week , all nine of the country’s Muslim...