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.

Top 3 Things Biden could Do instead of intensively Bombing Iraq and Syria

The Biden administration launched 85 air strikes on Friday against small bases of the Party of God Brigades (Kata’ib Hizbullah), an Iraqi Shiite militia active in Iraq and Syria. The organization is likely the culprit in Sunday’s drone strike against the Tower 22 US base in the far north of Jordan on the border with Syria. The communique issued by something calling itself “the Islamic Resistance in Iraq” said that the strike had been in Continue Reading...

Russian Roulette: Doctors w/out Borders Demand Immediate Ceasefire as Hospitals turned into “Morgues”

Doctors without Borders (the French volunteer organization Médecins Sans Frontières [MSF]) has written a poignant letter to the United Nations Security Council imploring for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza. They took this step after Israeli troops deliberately attacked MSF rescue vehicles and destroyed them with tank fire. Making the shotMaking the shot: MSF Convoy Vehicles Destroyed in Gaza: Doctors Without Borders / Continue Reading...

Can Hamas Survive the Stupidity of its ISIL-Style Tactics in its Drive against the Grey Zone?

Hamas leaders have said they were driven to their attack on Israel this weekend by two major considerations, the danger posed by right wing religious Zionism to the al-Aqsa mosque complex, the third holiest shrine for 1.8 billion Muslims, and a wave of Israeli squatter attacks on Palestinian hamlets in the Palestinian West Bank. Ibrahim Ibrash, writing for the London-based pan-Arab daily, al-Arab is puzzled by these announced goals Continue Reading...

Dear Ron DeSantis: Consider all the Valuable Skills the Enslaved Taught Cracker Slave-Holders (For Which they were never Paid)

The new Florida history curriculum on slavery says that some enslaved persons learned skills while enslaved that later benefited them, provoking shock and outrage across the nation. One of the things that is wrong with this way of looking at the issue is the white nationalist assumption that white slavers were repositories of useful knowledge that they sometimes deigned to pass on to the poor benighted enslaved from the backward Dark Continue Reading...

Netherlands becomes European Leader in Solar Power Per Capita, with 500K Panels on Lakes, Reservoirs and Seas

Solar panels are like magic, turning sunshine into electricity. They are, however, relatively bulky. We own our own home and have 16 of them on our roof, but renters have often complained to me that it isn’t so easy in an apartment building. There is also a danger that they will compete for land with agriculture. So the turn of the Netherlands to solar power in a big way is instructive, since it is a small country a little larger than Continue Reading...

As Death Toll Soars, can President Erdogan Survive Turkey’s Earthquake Politically?

Monday’s massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake in south-central Turkey, in which at least 20,000 have died — and probably tens of thousands more — has shocked that country and the world. It inescapably has political implications, with Turkish parliamentary and presidential elections scheduled for mid-May. President Tayyip Recep Erdogan is facing widespread criticism for the slowness and inadequacy of the government response. Stung by the criticism, Continue Reading...

Rabbi Close to Religious Extremists in Israeli Gov’t says Gay Speaker “Diseased,” attracting “Evil” on People

Al-Hadath reports that 300 former Israeli soldiers have written a letter to their new government pleading with it not to inflict harm on the LGBTQ community. At the same time, two prominent rabbis close to the new government launched an attack on the Knesset members who voted in Amir Ohana, who is gay, as the speaker of parliament. Sama al-Akhbariyya says that the Jerusalem chief rabbi, Schlomo Amar, formerly the chief rabbi for all Continue Reading...

As Biden Touts Progress at COP27, National Assessment warns that the Things Americans Love are Endangered by Climate Emergency

President Joe Biden addressed the COP27 Climate in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt on Friday. He noted the ravages of the human-caused climate emergency on the African continent, including deadly drought in the Horn of Africa, floods that displaced over a million people in Nigeria, and the increasing potential for conflict between herders and farmers as herding routes are forced to change. Biden also touted his own administration’s Continue Reading...