The Islamic State and Trump’s Delusion

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 the Australian prime minister on September 20. “I defeated the...
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The Far Right’s War on Culture

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 elections, far-right parties captured the...
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The Coming Conflict with Iran

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 has identified several number-one enemies...
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Trump v. Islam

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 to be radical...
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The End of Islamophobia

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 editor of the magazine The Ecologist. To further woo...
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Life in the Gray Zone

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 Italy. It was a bold, unconventional move during a precarious time in Christian-Muslim relations. The...
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