About Nathan

Photo Credit: NRK | © 2012 | Click for Hi-Res

Photo Credit: NRK | © 2012 | Click Image for Hi-Res


Nathan Lean is a writer, researcher, and public speaker whose work focuses on Islam, Islamophobia, the Middle East, Muslim-Christian relations, and other issues.

A native of North Carolina, Nathan holds a Masters Degree in International Studies (Middle East concentration) from East Carolina University and a Master of Arts in Arab Studies (Arab politics concentration) from Georgetown University. In 2006, he designed and implemented a cultural diplomacy initiative in Rabat, Morocco with the US State Department. In 2009, he was awarded a Critical Language Scholarship that allowed him to study Arabic in Tunisia.

He is the co-author of Iran, Israel and the United States (Palgrave 2010), and author of the award-winning The Islamophobia Industry (Pluto 2012), which has been translated into four foreign languages. Its second edition will be released next year. Additionally, Nathan is the co-editor of The Moral Psychology of Terrorism (Cambridge Scholars 2013). His upcoming books include, The Changing Middle East: Power and Politics in an Age of Revolution, and Understanding Islam and the West.

“Nathan Lean sees the values of cultural and religious pluralism as vital to the democratic life of any society.” — Middle East Policy Council

“Nathan’s writing on Islamophobia will shape our understanding of this subject for a long time to come.” — The Muscat Daily

In addition to his books, Nathan has written dozens of popular op-eds and articles which have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, the Christian Science Monitor, Salon, CNN, the San Francisco Examiner, the Napa Valley Register, Religion Dispatches, the Huffington Post, the Manchester Times, the New Republic, and TrughDig among others. Additionally, Nathan appears regularly in the media to discuss his work and has appeared in such outlets as NPR, American Public Media, CURRENT TV, Today’s Zaman (Turkey), Al-Ahram (Egypt), PENZA News (Russia), and others. He was featured in the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation’s award-winning documentary on right-wing extremism and the terrorist Anders Breivik. His writing has been translated into several languages including Arabic, Tamil, Dutch, and French.

Nathan is a member of the American Academy of Religion, the Middle East Studies Association and serves as an advisory board member of Alternative Perspectives and Global Concerns and TellMAMA UK. He lives in Washington, D.C.