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.

What Martin Luther King Jr. Would have thought of Israeli anti-Palestinian Apartheid

The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose activism we honor today, took stands far beyond Selma and Montgomery, and called on other capitals than Washington, D.C., to ensure a dignified life for human beings. Dr. King was an early and vigorous opponent of the white South African Apartheid (segregationist) government. He wrote former ambassador Chester Bowles in 1957 on behalf of a rally in New York on Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, organized by the Continue Reading...

Israel’s Netanyahu a War Criminal?

A prosecutor on the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, has opened an investigation into Israeli and Hamas war crimes, drawing a furious response from caretaker Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Palestine filed the case in some large part because of the Trump administration’s brutal policies against the Palestinians, in which US AID and UNRWA funding was slashed, all of Jerusalem was given away to Israel, Netanyahu was Continue Reading...

What does Fraud and Bribery trial of Israeli PM Netanyahu tell us about Trump Impeachment?

Israel’s attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit on advice from the police, indicted caretaker Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu on fraud and bribery charges Thursday. On Friday, he refused to step down. Netanyahu is charged in three cases. In Case 4000, Netanyahu is accused of giving the owner of the Walla! News website $280 million worth of regulatory benefits, in return for which Netanyahu received positive media coverage. In Case Continue Reading...

Trump, head of GOP, demands Chinese Communist Party Prosecute Businessman for Crime of Making Money

A particularly unperceptive and unfeeling wag came up with the bon mot defining a “socialist” as someone kept up at night by the fear that somewhere someone was making money. (Socialists are actually haunted by people working but not making money because the capitalist class is stiffing them). But by that definition, Trump is our planet’s premier socialist, with the proviso that the particular person he is afraid is making money is Hunter Continue Reading...

Trump Gives away US Intel Sources, Methods with Photo of Iran Launch Failure

Trump couldn’t contain his inner five-year-old when an Iranian satellite launch at the Imam Khomeini Spaceport went bad last Thursday. He had to taunt Tehran on twitter, as Passant Rabie at Space.com reports. (Iranians don’t have twitter, although some high officials use it for public diplomacy overseas.) He appears to have taken, or had an aide take a smartphone picture of a classified briefing slide. The slide shows a US spy satellite photo of Continue Reading...

Trump Cites “Proportionality” in Iran Pullback, Though he has often Violated It

Trump in an interview Friday with Meet the Press attributed his decision not to go ahead with a strike on Iran to concerns about proportionality. He said he asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff just before the strike was to have been set in motion about the likely Iranian casualties. They estimated 150. He said that since the Iranian had shot down an unmanned drone, that death toll seemed to him not Continue Reading...

Mission Accomplished? Could US-Iran Conflict Tear Iraq Apart Again?

The rising tensions between the Trump administration and Iran have the potential to roil the entire Middle East, and no country feels the heat more than Iraq, which has warm relations both with the US and Iran, as Egyptian journalist Islam Muhammad argues in a wideranging report. Iraqi nationalist and Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr made headlines earlier this week when he tweeted out that a US-Iran War would “finish off Iraq.” Al-Sadr, who Continue Reading...

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...