Posts Tagged ‘Middle East’
A Mosque Too Far: Rusafa On The Barbarian Plain
A Mosque Too Far: Rusafa On The Barbarian Plain

The first time I saw the image I did not realize that it would significantly change the way I looked at the world around me. It was a drawing of an 8th century shrine to a Christian saint somewhere deep in the Syrian steppe, then known by the Greek speaking world as ‘The Barbarian Plain’. […]

On Samuel Huntington & The Use of History
On Samuel Huntington & The Use of History

Samuel Huntington, author of the book ‘The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order‘, died on December 28th 2008. In an obituary in the New York Times, in a typically fawning obituary, thought it ‘uncanny’ i.e. a reflection of his brilliance, that in that book he had written (predicted?) that ‘Somewhere in the […]

Dialogue Between Bigots: Part VI of VI

This is the final installment of the interview, part VI, of ‘Dialogue Between Bigots’ EDITOR: Spanish, French Portuguese and Italian derive from Latin, yet can one argue that today these are the same language? They have diverged to the point where they are mutually unintelligible and hence different languages. All Indo-European languages derive from Sanskrit […]

Dialogue Between Bigots: Part V of VI

This is part V of the interview ‘Dialogue Between Bigots’ AR: I think you are being very liberal in your belief that European law begins with the Bible and that Islamic law begins with the Koran. To claim that Europe takes from the Bible and Morocco from the Koran is to indulge in a terrible […]

Dialogue Between Bigots; Part IV of VI

This is Part IV of the interview ‘Dialogue Between Bigots’ EDITOR: Whereas I agree with you that there is nothing inherently ‘Islamic’ about laws in many nations i.e. your statement is prima facie true. However, the question is what is the source of the common law of the land in Pakistan, in Iran, In Saudi […]

Dialogue Between Bigots: Part III of VI

This is Part III of the interview ‘Dialogue Between Bigots’ EDITOR:  By Islamic states I mean the countries that are majority Muslim and whose power structures are in the hands of Muslims. Iraq is not an Islamic theocracy, but it is surely an Islamic state. It’s history, tradition and values are shaped by Islamic religion […]

Dialogue Between Bigots: Part II of VI

This is Part II of the interview ‘Dialogue Between Bigots’ EDITOR: In your opinion, is it possible for Islamic states to adopt secular systems of government, and to allow non-Muslim minorities to integrate in Muslim dominated political structures? Put another way, given the history and tradition of these areas, Iraq in particular, did the Americans […]

Dialogue Between Bigots: Part I of VI

A few months ago I was asked by an editor in Europe to speak about my work, in particular my work in the Arab world. She had seen some of my work from Northern Iraq that focused on the struggle of Iraq’s Assyrian Christian community as it confronted a resurgent Kurdish nationalism and a raging Iraqi militant resistance. The editor wanted to discuss not just the specific issues related to the Assyrian Christian community, but broader issues related to the ‘Muslim’ world. The interview quickly fell apart.