Blasphemy and Empire

Americans are baffled: why oh why are Muslims up in arms over a YouTube video, one which no one in America even knew about prior to the attack on our Libyan consulate and the murder of Ambassador Chris Stevens? Having abandoned their own religion sometime in the last century or so, they just don’t understand … Continue reading “Blasphemy and Empire”

Report on Iran’s Nuclear Fatwa Distorts Its History

The Barack Obama administration’s new interest in the 2004 religious verdict, or “fatwa,” by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banning the possession of nuclear weapons, long dismissed by national security officials, has prompted The New York Times to review the significance of the fatwa for the first time in several years. Senior Obama administration … Continue reading “Report on Iran’s Nuclear Fatwa Distorts Its History”

America’s Image Problem

The United States definitely sends mixed messages to the Muslim world. Early in his presidency, Barack Obama went to Cairo to “seek a new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world, one based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and one based upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive … Continue reading “America’s Image Problem”

Shukran, Israel

If Islamist movements come to power all over the region, they should express their debt of gratitude to their bête noire, Israel. Without the active or passive help of successive Israeli governments, they may not have been able to realize their dreams. That is true in Gaza, in Beirut, in Cairo, and even in Tehran. … Continue readingShukran, Israel”

Neocons Preoccupied With Islamic Conspiracy Theories

The Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, for all its flaws, is a genuine expression of the growing recognition in the United States that the government no longer serves the interests of the people. It has been described as an American version of the “Arab Spring,” driven by a sense of popular alienation from the elites … Continue reading “Neocons Preoccupied With Islamic Conspiracy Theories”

Islam-Baiting Doesn’t Work

During the 2010 midterm election campaign, virtually every hard-charging candidate on the far right took a moment to trash a Muslim, a mosque, or Islamic pieties. In the wake of those elections, with 85 new Republican House members and a surging Tea Party movement, the political virtues of anti-Muslim rhetoric as a means of rousing … Continue reading “Islam-Baiting Doesn’t Work”

A Surge of People Power in the Middle East

From his weekly perch at CNN, Fareed Zakaria speculated recently whether George Bush could take credit for the events that were unfolding in Tunisia, whether this was the late fruit of the neoconservative project to bring “democracy” to the Middle East. It is quite extraordinary watching Zakaria – a Muslim born and raised in India, … Continue reading “A Surge of People Power in the Middle East”