Laura Dean reflects on the surprising absence of sectarianism among Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Orhan Pamuk’s 2002 novel, Snow, translated by Maureen Freely.
The literary compendium edited and translated by Ibtihal Mahmood and Alexander Haddad, Snow in Amman: An Anthology of Short Stories from Jordan. Read more »
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has a Hitler problem. When he was asked last Friday to comment on his strong desire to establish what Turks call an “executive presidency” and how that might affect the “unitary structure” of the Turkish state, Erdogan replied, “There are already examples in the world. You can see it when you look at Hitler’s Germany.” In the firestorm of criticism that followed, the Turkish presidency sought to clarify Erdogan’s remark. The Guardian quoted an anonymous official stating, “There are good and poor examples of presidential systems and the important thing is to put checks and balances in place…Nazi Germany, lacking proper institutional arrangements, was obviously one of the most disgraceful examples in history.” The same official also accused the president’s opponents of purposefully distorting his remarks. Fair enough, but one has to wonder why Nazi Germany was the first example Erdogan could think of. Read more »
Over the holidays, I am reading Gallipoli by Jenny Macleod.
On February 25, 1994, Baruch Goldstein entered the Ibrahimi Mosque, also known as the Cave of the Patriarchs, during dawn prayers and murdered twenty-nine Palestinians. He derived justification for this violence in the way he read sacred Jewish texts. Goldstein was a radical Jewish terrorist. So was Yigal Amir, the man who murdered Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in 1995 based on a particular interpretation of a concept found in the Babylonian Talmud that allows for the murder of someone who puts Jewish lives in danger. That Goldstein and Amir were violent Jewish extremists seems so obvious that it is hardly worth the eighty-something words that I have spent on it. However, when it comes to Muslims and terrorism, naming names seems enormously complicated. Why? I am not sure. It does not seem as problematic as some Muslims and analysts suggests. That said, it is also unclear what purpose stating an event or an organization as “radical Islamic terrorism” serves. Read more »
This article originally appeared here on Politico.com on Tuesday, November 24, 2015.
To Westerners, it might seem that Vladimir Putin was exaggerating in anger when, after a Turkish F-16 on Tuesday shot down a Russian fighter jet allegedly violating Turkish airspace, he referred to the government in Ankara as “terrorists’ accomplices.” Read more »
From the Potomac to the Euphrates examines how debates about Mideast policy in Washington connect to the region, with a special focus on Egypt and Turkey.