After the election of Donald Trump, New Zealand became the go-to option for terrified Americans fantasizing about emigration. Three years later, New Zealand has burnished its reputation as a credible refuge by successfully confronting two epidemics that continue to plague the United States—one political, the other medical. New Zealand’s most recent success has been its… Continue reading New Zealand: David Confronts Two Goliaths
The United States has been in a 40-year cold war with Iran. Just like the cold war with the Soviet Union, the conflict between Washington and Tehran has been fought largely through proxies: in Yemen, in Syria, in Iraq. Iranian-aligned organizations like Hezbollah have attacked U.S. targets, such as the 1984 embassy bombing in Beirut.… Continue reading The Endless War with Iran
The Democrats are pursuing two charges in their impeachment of Donald Trump: First, that the president tried to enlist Ukraine’s help for his own political gain. And second, that he’s continued to obstruct Congress in its investigation into this abuse of power. Trump’s transformation of the Oval Office into both a branch of his business… Continue reading The Real Shadow Policy of the Trump Administration Is Racist Extremism
Even before the recent raid that resulted in the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the erstwhile head of the Islamic State, Donald Trump had spoken of how he had single-handedly defeated the caliphate. “Now, when I came, the caliphate was all over the place,” the president said apropos of nothing during a news conference with… Continue reading The Islamic State and Trump’s Delusion
The far right is on a roll. Just a few years ago, liberals and conservatives would have considered its recent political victories a nightmare scenario. Right-wing extremists have won elections in the United States, Brazil, Hungary, India, and Poland. They pushed through the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom. In the most recent European Parliament… Continue reading The Far Right’s War on Culture
The Saudi war in Yemen is really directed at…Iran. Donald Trump’s first overseas visit to Saudi Arabia and Israel was specifically targeted at…Iran. The Saudi-led isolation of Qatar is actually about…Iran. The escalation of U.S. military actions against the Syria government is… well, do I really need to spell this out any further? Donald Trump… Continue reading The Coming Conflict with Iran
Donald Trump rode to power on a wave of fear. During his presidential campaign, he portrayed terrorists, immigrants, the Chinese government and many other people and entities as threats to America. But nothing proved more powerful as a mobilizing force than his anti-Islamic pronouncements. Other presidential candidates were careful to distinguish between what they considered… Continue reading Trump v. Islam
Even his own sister was mortified. In the recent mayoral race in London, the Conservative Party’s Zac Goldsmith was in many ways the perfect candidate: a young, handsome fellow who possessed full-spectrum appeal. To win the election, Goldsmith could have focused on all the work he’d done on the environment, as a journalist and former… Continue reading The End of Islamophobia
In the 13th century, the Italian town of Lucera was a Muslim island in a sea of Christendom. Here Frederick II, the head of the Holy Roman Empire, established his own shadow cabinet of scholars and advisors from among the Arabs that he invited to live in this walled city near the eastern coast of… Continue reading Life in the Gray Zone
I was listening to a German parliamentarian the other night. She was making some anodyne comments about transatlantic friendship and the importance of culture. And then she veered off to mention the recent attacks in Paris and the threat of the Islamic State. This issue, she said, required an urgent response from the “free world.”… Continue reading Trump, the Islamic State, and the Cliche of Civilizations
The Islamic State celebrated its one-year anniversary in customary fashion. Other organizations might sponsor parades and make speeches. ISIS spilled blood. A beheading in France, the murder of 38 tourists at a resort in Tunisia, and a bomb blast at a mosque in Kuwait all reminded the world, if it had somehow forgotten, that ISIS… Continue reading The Islamic State and the Terrible Twos
In the first Crusade, on their way to fight the Muslim infidels in Jerusalem, the armed pilgrims asked themselves a provocative question: Why should we trek so far to kill people we barely know when we can just as well massacre infidels closer to home? And thus the crusaders of the 11th century embarked on some… Continue reading Europe’s Coming Battle
The recent attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which left a dozen editors, cartoonists, and policemen dead, has renewed concerns that blowback from the latest round of fighting in Syria and Iraq is finally reaching Europe. In a September 2014 video, the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) called on its militants and sympathizers around the… Continue reading Charlie Hebdo: Middle East Blowback?
The last Islamic caliphate ended in 1924. Claimed by the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century, the caliphate saw its fortunes rise and fall with those of its imperial protectors. When the Ottoman Empire expired at the end of World War I, the caliphate’s days were numbered. Never recognized in far-flung areas like Somalia or Malaysia… Continue reading Bombing the Caliphate
I was at a wedding not long ago of two dear female friends. The ceremony mixed together various religious traditions, including a Quaker meeting where people in the audience could stand up and speak spontaneously. After a number of people had already spoken, an old man made his way to the front of the space.… Continue reading Running Off to War
It started as a peaceful revolt. It descended into a civil war that has so far claimed over 100,000 casualties and ejected nearly one-third of the population from their homes. Even worse, it has broadened into a regional conflict in which neighboring countries and their proxies try to tip the balance of power in a… Continue reading Syria: What’s Next?
Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is a convicted conman. He knows almost nothing about Islam and even less about filmmaking. And yet, thanks to the power of the Internet and the tense relationship between the West and Islam, Nakoula has generated a major international scandal with Innocence of Muslims, believed to be his lowbrow, low-budget movie. The YouTube clip,… Continue reading The Islamophobic Fringe
Those who fervently believe that Barack Obama is a Muslim generally practice their furtive religion in obscure recesses of the Internet. Once in a while, they’ll surface in public to remind the news media that no amount of evidence can undermine their convictions. In October 2008, at a town hall meeting in Minnesota for Republican… Continue reading Creating the Muslim Manchurian Candidate
The note left next to the bloodied body of Shaima Alawadi read “go back to your country, you terrorist.” Alawadi, who died on Saturday after being taken off life support, was an Iraqi-born mother of five living outside of San Diego. Someone had delivered a similar note to the family earlier in the month. It… Continue reading Three Killings
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
Every political season has its hot-button issues. There’s race, abortion, lunar colonies. But the hottest hot-button issue these days, judging from comments by Republican presidential hopefuls as well as what happened during the 2010 mid-term elections, is Islam. Islam dominated the headlines during the summer of 2010. Remember Terry Jones and his pledge to burn… Continue reading Running Against Islam
Islamophobes would like you to believe that they're not anti-Islam. They're only anti-Islamic extremism. So why is it that Islamophobes are always going after mainstream Islam? They lampoon Muhammad. They want to burn not the writings of Osama bin Laden but the Quran itself. They target an Islamic community center in downtown New York City that's the brainchild of an interfaith dialogue proponent and an overseas emissary of the George W. Bush administration.
Arthur Waskow is a rabbi who founded and directs The Shalom Center in Philadelphia, a prophetic voice in Jewish, multireligious, and American life that brings Jewish and other spiritual thought and practice to bear on seeking peace, pursuing justice, healing the earth, and celebrating community.
ynthia P. Schneider teaches, publishes, and organizes initiatives in the field of cultural diplomacy, with a focus on relations with the Muslim world. She co-directs the Muslims on Screen and Television (MOST) initiative, leads the Arts and Culture Initiative within the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, and teaches courses in diplomacy and culture in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University.
Farid Panjwani is an assistant professor at the Institute for the Study of Muslim Civilizations in London. He has a background in Islamic Studies, philosophy of education, and international development and has published widely on these topics.
Wajahat Ali is a playwright, lawyer, and political commentator. His play, The Domestic Crusaders, made its Off Broadway premiere at the Nuyorican Poets Café in 2009 and was published by McSweeney'slast year.
Raed Jarrar is an Iraqi-American blogger and political analyst based in Washington, DC. Niki Akhavan is an Iranian-American professor of media studies at Catholic University. They talked with FPIF about the roots of Islamophobia, how anti-Islamic sentiment has shaped U.S. foreign policy, and the relationship between faith and violence.
Arun Kundnani is a British writer and human rights activist. He is the former editor of Race and Class, published by the Institute of Race Relations in London, and is currently an Open Society Institute fellow. In 2009, he wrote Spooked: How Not to Prevent Violent Extremism, which explored the effects of the Prevent program, the British counter-radicalism… Continue reading Interview with Arun Kundnani
In our special focus on Islamophobia, FPIF talks with Phyllis Bennis: activist, analyst, and writer on Middle East and UN issues for many years. Here she discusses how anti-Muslim sentiment has shaped U.S. perceptions of the democratic uprisings taking place in the Middle East today.
Massoud Shadjareh is the chair and Arzu Merali the director of research of theIslamic Human Rights Commission in London, which was established in 1997. They talked with FPIF in December about Islamophobia in the United Kingdom, the rise of the far right, and the Prevent Terrorism initiative of the British government.
- What’s Up with the Herd? FPIF
- Death and the Economy: A Dialogue, FPIF
- COVID-19 and the Global Economy, Inference
- Revisiting the Goldilocks Apocalypse, TomDispatch
- A Global Green New Deal Could Defeat the Far Right—And Save the Planet, Newsweek
- The Widening Rift Between the US and China, The Nation
- Between Rocks and a Hard Place, Foreign Policy
- Deserts vs. Development in China, Global Post
- Infantilizing North Korea, Hankyoreh
- Jeju Island: Paradise with a Dark Side, Washington Post
- Waiting for the Curtain, Washingtonian
- My Backlogged Pages, New York Times
- Starting Where North Korea Is, 38North
- Will Facebook Remake the World? Harvard International Review
- Are We All North Koreans Now? TomDispatch
- Bringing a Living Wage to the Farm, Alternet
- Writers from the Other Asia, The Nation
- The Forgotten Lessons of Helsinki, World Policy Journal
- The Politics of Dog, American Prospect
- Containment Lite: U.S. Policy toward Russia and Its Neighbors, FPIF
- The Costs and Dangers of NATO Expansion, FPIF
- The Selling of the Russian President, 1993, Z Magazine
- The Age of Diminished Expectations (Review), Commonweal
- Poland’s Solidarity: Who Is in Charge? Z Magazine
- Corruptions of Empire (Review), Philadelphia City Paper