UR professor Shahan Mufti wins prestigious journalism award for his book in progress

April 7, 2020

Spider Pride

A journalism professor at the University of Richmond received the 2020 J. Anthony Lukas Work-In-Progress Award for his book about the Hanafi Siege, the first attack by Muslim militants on American soil. 

Associate Professor Shahan Mufti is one of two authors to be presented with the $25,000  award, given annually to support the completion of what are considered to be significant works of nonfiction on American topics of political or social concern. 

Mufti’s book, AMERICAN CALIPH: The True Story of the Hanafi Siege, America’s First Homegrown Islamic Terror Attack (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), explores issues of race, immigration, foreign policy, Islam, and terrorism in 20th-century America. 

“I've been working on this project for five years now and there could have been no better encouragement for me at this stage,” Mufti said. “I hope that the finished work will live up to this great honor.” 

Presented by the Columbia Journalism School and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, the Lukas Prize Project Awards honor the best in American nonfiction writing. 

“In the world of journalism, this award is second only to the Pulitzer,” said Robert Hodierne, chair of the Department of Journalism at UR. “We are thrilled that Shahan’s important work is being honored.” 

Mufti has worked at the University of Richmond since 2012. His first book, The Faithful Scribe, A Story of Islam, Pakistan, Family, and War, was the first faculty publication to be chosen for UR’s One Book, One Richmond common reading program. Prior to his time at UR, Mufti worked as a freelance journalist with national publications including The Atlantic and The New York Times Magazine.