The Islamic Enlightenment: Struggle Between Faith and Reason

Some analysts have explained the Islamic world's "intolerance" as resulting from historical forces: unlike Europe, the Middle East did not experience the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, the Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason. Christopher de Bellaigue, a journalist and long-time student of Islam, turned these ideas on their head with his 2017 book, The Islamic … Continue reading The Islamic Enlightenment: Struggle Between Faith and Reason

French Revolution Was So Much More Brutal Than American Revolution. Why?

The French Revolution of 1789 still raises questions -- it is most remembered for a notorious reign of terror, chopping off the heads of at least 17,000, and possibly as many as 35,000 people without giving them a fair trial. So much blood flowing that the streets around the guillotine turned red. One of the … Continue reading French Revolution Was So Much More Brutal Than American Revolution. Why?

What if Middle East and US Traded Places?

What if the Middle East developed the way the United States did and the U.S. developed the way the Middle East did? Living in the Middle East, I began to ponder this possibility when camping in Oman and noting the similarities between Middle Eastern tribes and Native American tribes. But of course Native American tribes … Continue reading What if Middle East and US Traded Places?

2000s: President Gore, No 9/11, No Iraq War, No Obama

Context of the 2000s: Terrorism, War and Bush 43. John Green or Crash Course US History "teaches you about the tumultuous 2000's in the United States of America, mainly the 2000's that coincide with the presidency of George W Bush. From the controversial election in 2000, to the events of 9/11 and Bush's prosecution of … Continue reading 2000s: President Gore, No 9/11, No Iraq War, No Obama

If Western Perceptions of Islam and Christianity Reversed…

Can you think of historical points of departure that would make the dominant form of Islam "liberal, tolerant, secular, and scientific" today, and Christianity "fundamentalist and extremist," asks a member of Facebook's Alternate History group. "No political war of words, thanks," he adds. The question presumes that "Islam is one united religion," one participant observed. … Continue reading If Western Perceptions of Islam and Christianity Reversed…

Was 9/11 Avoidable, Preventable?

Al Qaeda's attacks on the US on September 11, 2001, seemed like a black swan or a bolt out of the blue at the time, an unprovoked, sudden and shocking event that dramatically changed Americans' perceptions of the contemporary world. Osama Bin Laden and 19 hijackers, 15 of them from Saudi Arabia, changed the world … Continue reading Was 9/11 Avoidable, Preventable?

What If Islam Never Existed?

"Imagine, if you will, a world without Islam — admittedly an almost inconceivable state of affairs," wrote Graham Fuller in Foreign Policy in 2009. "What if there were no such thing as Islam? What if there had never been a Prophet Mohammed, no saga of the spread of Islam across vast parts of the Middle … Continue reading What If Islam Never Existed?