The September 11 Bombings

A Selection of Readings: Links

Fergal Keane of the BBC defends reportage from Afghanistan

Some websites:

Brief selection of sites dealing with contemporary interpretations of the Islamic scriptures

Journalism.net:  JNet's Guide to Covering War

Arab World News:  useful compilation

Eurasianet:  a New York based news service, featuring the work of Ahmed Rashid among others.  Eurasianet offers a weekly bulletin of e-mailed news

Daniel Pipes A controversial figure who represents an influential strain in American thinking on international relations, Daniel Pipes is Director of the Middle East Forum in Philadelphia and a columnist for the New York Post.  His website provides an overview of his many articles and comments on middle Eastern politics; readers seeking balance will have no difficulty finding opposing views on the web.  For Fred Halliday's critique of Pipes' view of Islam, click here.

News Items
Dying children in Iraq:  some data from Slate.msn.com

Varieties of Islam

Washington Post on Bin Laden's "Radical Form of Islam," by Caryle Murphy, 9/18/01.
New York Times on Wahhabism, by Neil MacFarquhar, 10/7/01
Malise Ruthven in The Guardian, 10/10/01:  "This man may become our nemesis"
Washington Post (9/26) on Douglas Forte, Cleveland-Marshall law prof who influenced Bush's comments on Islam:   "We are not in a war between two civilizations. We are fighting an enemy of two civilizations":
Post article
Sample writings
Comment and Criticism:
The New Republic
David Forte replies to conservative critics in National Review Online
A 1998 interview (PBS) with Osama bin Laden

The Dispute at Yale.  The NYT carried a story (9/30) that briefly alluded to the revival of  "culture wars" at various universities including Yale.  Interested readers will find greater depth and subtlety in the coverage of the Yale Daily News:

Panel: Restraint with retaliation
Kagan: Yale profs 'blaming victim.' Former dean says colleagues too soft on terrorists; profs avoiding real debate
Range of professors on panel not diverse enough
Profs to write book on terrorist attack
Robert Fisk and others in The Independent. Fisk has long been praised for his work on the Moslem world, and The Independent has overall good coverage.  Click here to search for a selection of his articles, and here for The Independent.

Peter Ford: "Why Do They Hate Us?" (Christian Science Monitor 9/2701)

Thomas Simons on future alignments in Afghanistan (NYT 10/24/01)

How to Categorize Osama bin Laden's approach to Islam:  a selection of opinions

Retired CIA analyst Stanley Bedington:  a Kharijite with caliph-like aspirations,"divorcing [himself] from the majority of Muslims."

David Forte, a key influence on President Bush's rhetoric: a modern Kharijite at odds with most Moslems.

New York Times reporterNeil MacFarquhar: a wahhabi

Political analyst Daniel Pipes:  "The wide and deep Muslim enthusiasm for bin Laden is an extremely important development that needs to be understood, not ignored"

Articles and Books
"Coming to Grips With Jihad":  A Selection from the Atlantic Monthly, 1990-2001 (Bernard Lewis on "Moslem Rage," Mary Anne Weaver on "Blowback," Robert Kaplan and others). Understanding Afghanistan (October 26, 2001) is an update with reference to several Atlantic pieces about that country.

John K. Cooley: Unholy Wars.  Afghanistan, America and International Terrorism. How we got where we are.  The N.Y. Times  reports (9/23/01) that the CIA is "covering its tracks" from an involvement in Afghanistan that promoted the forms of "fundamentalism" that the US now deplores, armed lots of dangerous people, encouraged brutality in warfare and relied on the heroin trade for financing.   (This volume is out of print worldwide, according to the publishers, Pluto Press  [England].  It is being reprinted.  Until I can post more detail, I'm linking to the Amazon.com site, which has a number of reviews.)

Dale F. Eickelman and James Piscatori.  Muslim Politics (Princeton University Press, 1996):

"In an attempt to demystify 'Muslim politics' for a wide audience, Dale Eickelman and James Piscatori explore how the politics of Islam play out in the daily lives of Muslims throughout the world. From the role of women in public life to Islamic perspectives on modernization and free speech, the authors probe the diversity of the contemporary Islamic experience, suggesting general trends and challenging popular Western notions of Islam as a monolithic movement."  more ...
Stanley Hoffman, "On the War." In The New York Review of Books (11/1/01)

Samuel Huntington and Amartya Sen:  "East and West: The Reach of Reason."  The Nobel Prize winner in Economics argues that some values are neither "western" nor "non-western,"  with several allusions to Islamic cultures and figures.  He is responding in part to Huntington, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order.  These two essays give a sense of the way this dispute is currently being argued.

Addtional comment on "The West and the Rest":
Slate's Anne Appelbaum on "The New New World Order"
Jared Diamond on geography and culture
Thomas M. Franck, "Is Personal Freedom a Western Value?" from
American Journal of International Law, Vol. 91, No. 4. (Oct., 1997), pp. 593-627.
         Abstract:  "... personal autonomy and individual self-determination are products ... of recent developments in industrialization, urbanization, transportation, communications, information processing and         education. These have already occurred in many non-Western states, often resulting in greater emphasis on human rights.  [There is also] nothing inherently 'Western' in liberal values and personal freedoms: until recently, most of us lived under communitarian constraints that would have made the Ayatollah Khomeini feel perfectly at home."
Victor Davis Hanson on Carnage and Culture
Masoud Kazemzadeh,  "Teaching the Politics of Islamic Fundamentalism,"  a review of scholarship in  PS: Political Science and Politics, March 1998

Rashid Khalidi, "American Anointed":  some reasons for resentment of the US.

Bruce Lawrence,  Shattering the Myth: Islam beyond Violence. Princeton University Press. 1998.  See:

Dennis Overbye, How Islam Won, and Lost, the Lead in Science, New York Times, October 31, 2001.

Andrew Sullivan in  The New York Times Magazine:  "It seems almost as if there is something inherent in religious monotheism that lends itself to this kind of terrorist temptation."

Dan Tompkins:  Suicide and Martyrdom in Islam: The Case of Husayn

Robert Wright, "Muslims and Modernity," in Slate.

Islamic Studies bibliographies and websites:

Prof. Kevin Reinhart, Dartmouth College
Prof. Michael Sells, Haverford College