The Myth of Confrontation

To use Samuel Huntington’s phrase, one is inclined to see a “clash of civilizations” in these and other recent events. That is, a conflict along the fault line between Western and Islamic civilizations. And this may indeed be the reality. I do not wish to make a definitive argument here in favor of or against Huntington’s thesis, but rather present, by way of a book review, a counter argument that puts it into question.

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Klinghoffer

John Adams’ 1991 opera is based on the 1985 hijacking of the cruise ship Achille Lauro by four Palestinian terrorists. During the course of the three-day standoff, the hijackers shot Leon Klinghoffer, an elderly, disabled, Jewish-American passenger, and then threw his body overboard. The story of the hijacking is told in oblique monologues that are made more explicit in the Met production with the projection of words and images on the set.

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Centenary of the Armenian Genocide

Today is the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the massacre of approximately 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman government. On this date in 1915, the Ottoman authorities rounded up and arrested some 250 Armenian intellectuals and leaders in Constantinople (now Istanbul). A short time later, groups of Armenians were led on death marches into the Syrian desert.

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From The Holy Mountain

In recent years, considerable attention has been paid to the many, multidimensional conflicts in the Middle East, with a particular focus on the influence of radical Islam. Many are inclined to see a conflict along the fault line between Western and Islamic civilizations, a “clash” that divides East from West. Perhaps this is why some do not know and others have forgotten that Christianity is an eastern religion, firmly rooted in the intellectual ferment of the Middle East.

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Let the People Come

On April 23rd Governor Brewer of Arizona signed the most stringent anti-immigration bill to date, aimed to identify, prosecute, and deport illegal immigrants. President Obama has voiced strong criticisms and called it misguided, and protests have sprung up across the country representing the faction of Americans who consider it to be racist and bigoted policy.

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Truth & Reconciliation in Lower Manhattan

By now you’ve all heard of Park 51 and the Cordoba House, but probably by another name. Today the Landmarks Preservation Commission of New York City voted 9 to 0 against granting historic protection to the building in lower Manhattan, thereby allowing the start of construction on the $100 million center dubbed by right wing opponents as the “Ground Zero Mosque.”

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I Disapprove Of Your Dress

Banning the burqa is a bad idea. It took me awhile to come to that conclusion for a number of reasons, one of the most important being that the burqa is perceived to be, and in some cases is, a tool of oppression directed at women. The burqa also serves as a visual representation of gender inequality in the Muslim world. Countries like Belgium moved to enforce a ban on burqa-wearing, and more recently, the French Parliament approved a resolution against full-face cover"

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Big Tents

In a previous essay, I argued for liberaltarianism, that is, some kind of alliance between libertarians and American liberals, the Democrats.  Yesterday I read an article by a colleague, which explains in detail why he believes a third party will never capture the presidency in the American political system.

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