Middle East studies in the News
I've been away for far too long ... [on Juan Cole]
by Dan Darling
Judging from Juan's posts today, it seems to me that the good professor has once again chosen to refrain from using his medication.
First, his lamenting the fact that Iraq isn't an "Arab" state would be worthy as a parody of Arabist academics were it not so absurd (it also looks a little bit altered from what I saw late last night). As one who is so fond of comparing Iraq to the US, how does anybody think Juan would react if we wrote into the Constitution that the US is a Caucasian state, as noted by a reader on the Corner.
A lot of people in the Arab world believe that the erasure of an Arab identity for the Iraqi state is part of an American (and Israeli) plot to detach Iraq from the Arab world, thereby much weakening the latter.
And should I take it by the above remark that we should make Iraq an "Arab state" so as to reassure conpiracy theorists of the Arab world? I would also note that Juan, judging from his more conspiratorially-minded writings, seems to more less agree with the line of thought that we went into Iraq at the behest of Israel and the Learned Elders of the Likud ...
Then we have this bit of snark in which Juan notes that Bourbon Street is still standing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, which he uses to castigate Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell for their post-9/11 remarks. Now like most Americans, I didn't agree with those remarks, but am I the only one who thinks its quite telling that Juan refers to these two as "notorious Christian terrorists" but will never use the same terms in reference to say, Sheikh Qaradawi, whom he describes as having "some virtues" even though he doesn't personally care for the man. Cole has also described Qaradawi as:
... It quoted Shaikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi at length on how here suggestion is contrary to Islamic law (though al-Qaradawi did not actually demonstrate this allegation, and most of his points were just the ramblings of a male chauvinist. Al-Qaradawi is an elderly, old-time Muslim Brotherhood activist now settled in Qatar. He can sometimes be unconventional, but not on issues like this.
Now I'm not saying that Juan is an unqualified fan of Sheikh Qaradawi, but the fact that his denunciations of him are considerably lighter than the amount scorn he hurls at American fundamentalists like Falwell or Robertson is rather telling. Like I said, I don't care much for either man, but if Juan is willing to call them "notorious Christian terrorists" he might think about extending that term to Qaradawi or, dare I say it, his "young Shi'ite nationalist" Muqtada al-Sadr. Far more people have suffered or died as a result of Qaradawi or al-Sadr than have because of Falwell or Robertson.
Then again, this coming from a man who apparently blames Ronald Reagan and the GOP for the rise of al-Qaeda and, as a matter of causality, the 9/11 attacks. So I guess I shouldn't be all that surprised.Note: Articles listed under "Middle East studies in the News" provide information on current developments concerning Middle East studies on North American campuses. These reports do not necessarily reflect the views of Campus Watch and do not necessarily correspond to Campus Watch's critique.
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