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Showing posts from August, 2019

The Renaissance Of Authoritarianism

“WARNING SIGNS ABOUND ACROSS THE GLOBE: THE DISCARDING OF MAINSTREAM POLITICIANS, THE EMERGENCE OF LEADERS WHO SEEK TO DIVIDE RATHER THAN UNITE, THE PURSUIT OF POLITICAL VICTORY AT ALL COSTS AND THE INVOCATION OF NATIONAL GREATNESS BY PEOPLE WHO IDENTIFY GREATNESS ONLY WITH THEMSELVES.. TYRANNY IS ONCE AGAIN AWAKENING FROM ITS SLUMBER.” MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, U.S SENATE HEARING 2019.

There is little doubt that liberal democracy is at least in part responsible for the tremendous advancement of humanity in the past century. The near universalization of concepts such as inherent human rights, the rule of law, and peaceful conflict resolution would not have happened if it wasn’t for the flourishing of liberal democracy in many parts of the world. Liberal democracy isn’t just inherently good, but it also offers the most promising path for security and economic development. The accumulated evidence suggests theorists such as Kant are correct; liberal democracies are less likely to engage in a…

Is American Jewish Exceptionalism Coming to an End?

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“America is Different” so proclaimed Ben Halpern in the title of the opening chapter of his book, “The American Jew.” Halpern’s proposition was simple; America is a singularly exceptional experience in Jewish history. In America, Jews became citizens at the founding of the republic without a Jewish question nor a long, excruciating emancipation process. There were no court Jews, Dreyfus trials, Nuremberg Laws, Dhimmitude, or pogroms. A country unburdened by a long legacy of monarchism, theocracy, or medieval antisemitism, America offered Jews an experience they did not have since medieval Spain or better yet, antiquity. However, with the steady rise of American antisemitism visible in the public space, American Jews are rightfully pondering, is the age of American Jewish exceptionalism coming to an end?

No one can argue there is something very distinct about the American Jewish experience compared to many other points and places in Jewish history. American Jews have had, by large, a po…

How Has Messianism Shaped Modern Antisemitism

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"ONLY WHEN THIS JEWISH BACILLUS INFECTING THE LIFE OF PEOPLES HAS BEEN REMOVED CAN ONE HOPE TO ESTABLISH A CO-OPERATION AMONGST THE NATIONS WHICH SHALL BE BUILT UPON A LASTING UNDERSTANDING." ADOLF HITLER








"When the Vermin are Dead..." Caption: "When the vermin are dead, the German oak will again flourish." Der Stürmer was published by the Nuremberg Nazi leader Julius Streicher.


Nazism is a millennial messianic movement in every regard. The German messiah made the extermination of the Jews, as a collective, the foundation for erecting the thousand-year Reich. For the Nazis, the Jews weren’t merely unwanted sub-humans but the epicenter of pathology not just for Germans but humanity in its entirety. Speaking in terms of “infestation” and “pathogens” the German antisemites made it clear that making Europe Judenrein is a benevolent and even altruistic salvific mission. Only the salvation from the Jews will bring about the kingdom of heaven. Only when humanity is…

Age of Deception

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In September 2012, US embassies around the Muslim world witnessed a wave of protests and attacks by tens of thousands of people angry at a YouTube video mocking prophet Muhammad. The US embassy in Cairo wasn’t an exception. Thousands of angry young Egyptians surrounded the walls of the embassy, threw rocks, climbed up the walls, and tore down the US flag. It was a scary time as in neighboring Libya, US diplomats were being slaughtered. At the time, the Muslim Brotherhood held both the presidency and parliament of Egypt. They were disturbed by the violence and the events, so they started the following exchange on twitter






The US embassy was, of course, referring to the earlier tweets of the same official accounts in Arabic. Tweets which called on faithful Egyptians to attack the US embassy. Tweets such as “Egyptians! Revolt for the Prophet’s victory in front of US embassy,” This duplicity is not a new occurrence nor it is an isolated phenomenon.

This form of elaborate deceit schemes is an…

Denial Is Not Just A River

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In July of 2018, an Egyptian young man noticed something somewhat awkward about a zebra in a Cairo zoo; it didn't look like a zebra. After a closer look, Sarhan discovered the zebra is just a regular donkey painted in black stripes. After the viral post, the Egyptian zoo vehemently denied the animal was a donkey and insisted on it being a 100% typical zebra. The humorous story became a source of much social media memes and jokes for days. For me, this humorous anecdote is more than just a funny story, but it is a symbol of the disease of denial in which much of the Arab and the Islamic world chose to immerse itself.


Last year, in the US Military Institute in which I taught, I passed a lesson to my students centered on the plight of Christian minorities in the Middle East and their dwindling populations. Later the same day they mentioned it to another Muslim teacher who then told them angrily "Those are all lies. Christians live in Muslim countries peacefully." My students…