Juan Cole

Juan Cole is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. For three decades, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His most recent book is, "Engaging the Muslim World," (Palgrave Macmillan, March, 2009) and he also recently authored, "Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007). He has been a regular guest on PBS’s Lehrer News Hour, and has also appeared on ABC Nightly News, Nightline, the Today Show, Charlie Rose, Anderson Cooper 360, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, the Colbert Report, Democracy Now! and many others. He has given many radio and press interviews. He has written widely about Egypt, Iran, Iraq, and South Asia. He has commented extensively on al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Iraq War, the politics of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and Iranian domestic struggles and foreign affairs. He has a regular column at Truthdig. He continues to study and write about contemporary Islamic movements, whether mainstream or radical, whether Sunni and Salafi or Shi`ite. Cole commands Arabic, Persian and Urdu and reads some Turkish, knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years, and continues to travel widely there.

How Classic Anti-Semitic Tropes are being Marshaled against Ilhan Omar and Muslim-Americans

The attacks on Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim-American women to serve in Congress and the first of Black African heritage who veils, by the Rupert Murdoch press (Fox, New York Post, etc.) and the US Republican Party are frightening for many reasons, but most of all because they repeat classic anti-Semitic charges made by the Nazis in Germany against Jews. Racism is not that complicated, and is always simple-minded and stupid, and so it Continue Reading...

Israeli PM Netanyahu partners with Kahanist Terrorist Elements, Seeking another Term

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Wednesday formed an electoral coalition with the extremist Otzma Yehudit(Jewish Power) Party, thus giving followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane a bigger role in Israel politics. Kahane, a major violent hate group leader, founded the Jewish Defense League, seen by the FBI as the most active and dangerous terrorist group in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s. He also founded the party Kach, Continue Reading...

GOP Representative Seeks to Block Tlaib Palestine Congressional Delegation

The newly elected Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, who represents Michigan’s 13th District, is seeking to take a delegation of congressional representatives to the Palestinian West Bank, which is militarily occupied by Israel and where some 600,000 Israeli squatters have usurped Palestinian land belonging to the nearly 3 million Palestinians living there (another nearly 2 million live in the Gaza Strip). Tlaib represents not only part of Detroit Continue Reading...

Despite US, Russian & Saudi Opposition, Climate Summit Reaffirms Paris Goals

The Climate Summit at Kotwice, Poland, ended on a positive note, with the 195 countries present committing themselves to financing instruments in a quest to cut carbon dioxide emissions and keep global heating to 1.5 degrees C. (2.7 degrees F.). Given that so many countries are producing so much CO2, that goal may not be practical. The next best thing would be to stop heating at 2 degrees C. (3.6 degrees F.) Apparently one of the positive Continue Reading...

Trump Paradox: He Promotes CO2 even as Climate Emergency Impels Emigration from Guatemala

Trump’s fear-mongering about Central American asylum-seekers (they aren’t intending to become undocumented immigrants) is unethical on many levels. But perhaps worst of all, Trump is promoting burning of coal and other fossil fuels that cause global heating and climate change, but can’t connect that dirty energy policy to the crises in central America. The weather in Guatemala has become, residents say, unpredictable. In some years and in some Continue Reading...

How Rosenstein’s Firing Could lead to Trumpian Martial Law and Blood in the Streets

The New York Times reports that deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein talked about wearing a wire to record Trump’s insane prattering, and spoke ofinvoking the 25th amendment, which allows the cabinet to remove the president if he is incapacitated. Rosenstein’s office says that the remarks were facetious. They were recorded in memos by former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, that somehow came into the possession of NYT reporters. Trump has Continue Reading...

Crazytown Abroad: Trump’s Dreams of Preemptive War, Assassination and Withdrawal

The Washington Post yesterday carried excerpts from Bob Woodward’s forthcoming book, “Fear,” which profiles the Trump White House from hundreds of hours of interviews with staffers. Trump declined to be interviewed. Here are some of the main points regarding foreign policy (though the word ‘policy’ has to be taken with a grain of salt). 1. When Syrian strongman Bashar al-Assad was accused of using chemicals in an attack that killed Continue Reading...

With new pro-Iran Iraq Coalition, Tehran Outmaneuvers Trump-Saudi-Israeli Axis

Trump allegedly complained to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that after the 2015 nuclear deal, the Iranians “think they can do anything they want.” Presumably Trump was referring to Iran’s geopolitical reach in the Middle East, where it had gathered up allies in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. It is likely that Trump’s violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the deal signed between Iran and the five permanent Continue Reading...