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.

In Game Changer, Int’l Criminal Court will take up Israeli War Crimes and Apartheid in Palestine

On Friday, the International Criminal Court found that it had jurisdiction to consider war crimes and crimes against humanity and the crime of Apartheid in the Palestinian territories. Israeli politician Abba Eban once quipped that Palestinians never lost the opportunity to lose an opportunity. But Palestinians have carefully, methodically created this opportunity to be heard in an international tribunal. It is the ruling Israeli right wing Continue Reading...

Peril in the Middle East, Peril at Home: Our Top 10 Stories of 2020

2020 was a monster of a year, leaving three million Americans dead (a record), probably nearly half a million of them of Covid-19 once everyone is counted. The fecklessness of the outgoing Trump administration was responsible for a good deal of this national catastrophe, one that did not strike our allies South Korea or Germany to nearly the same extent (what with their having competent, rational leaders and a funded health care system, and all). Continue Reading...

In Bid to Kill a Biden Return to Iran Nuclear Deal, Israel Assassinates Leading Nuclear Scientist

The Iranian newspaper Ettela’at reports that on Friday, what it called “armed terrorist elements” mounted an assault on the automobile carrying Dr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was badly wounded in the midst of the clash between his security team and the assailants and was transported to hospital, where he died of his injuries. Fakhrizadeh, an eminent nuclear scientist, was the head of the Research and Innovation Organization within the Iranian Continue Reading...

Sudan’s Revolutionaries insist Israel Deal must be ratified by Future Parliament, as Trump’s Strong-Arm Tactics threaten its Democracy

Donald Trump held a press conference in the Oval Office with Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu on speaker phone in which he breathlessly announced that Sudan had agreed to normalize relations with Israel, following on Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates earlier this year. Egypt and Jordan had signed peace treaties with Israel decades ago. Except that as usual, Trump got over his skis. Here’s the wrinkle. The whole Sudanese government Continue Reading...

On Labor Day, Trump’s Mismanagement of Pandemic has left 27 Million Unemployed and Turning to Food Banks

It is a sad Labor Day, in the shadow of the Trump Pandemic. Over a fourth of workers are afraid of losing their jobs because of the pandemic, up from 15% last year this time, according to Gallup. That is, the anxiety over joblessness as almost doubled. Many are much more worried, as well, about having their wages cut. Workers are more anxious than at any time since the Great Recession began to taper off nine years ago. Some 27 million US workers Continue Reading...

Will Trump’s Maximum Pressure on UNSC against Lifting Iran Arms Embargo Backfire Big Time?

Peter Hutchison at AFP reports that the Trump administration may be set to shoot itself in the foot at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) next week by pressing for an over-ambitious resolution against lifting the arms embargo on Iran. The 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed by the US and the other permanent members of the UNSC plus Germany involved a set of bargains. Iran had to give up 80 percent of its civilian nuclear Continue Reading...

All the Lies Trump told the West Point Graduates about American Militarism

It was bad enough that Trump endangered the health of the graduating class at West Point for the purposes of a photo op for his reelection campaign by insisting on bringing them back to campus. It was bad enough that he gave an alarming performance in which some observers saw an advancing dementia and during which he had difficulty lifting a glass of water. What was worse was all the lies and half-truths Trump told the West Point Continue Reading...

I guess “Islam” doesn’t Hate us After All: Trump pins hopes for Vaccine on Muslim-American Slaoui

Trump became president in part by playing on fears, resentments and outright hatred among some segments of the American public, especially of a racial and religious sort. He bashed Mexican-Americans as drug dealers and rapists, and recently blamed Chinese-Americans for the coronavirus. But no group came in for so fierce a lashing at his hands as the 3.5 million Muslim-Americans. “I think,” he said, “Islam hates us.” He called for a moratorium on Continue Reading...