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Juan Cole
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Juan R. I. Cole is Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the History Department of the University of Michigan. A bibliography of his writings may be found here. He has written extensively about modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. He has given numerous media and press interviews on the War on Terrorism since September 11, 2001, as well as concerning the Iraq War in 2003. His current research focuses on two contemporary phenomena: 1) Shiite Islam in Iraq and Iran and 2) the "jihadi" or "sacred-war" strain of Muslim radicalism, including al-Qaeda and the Taliban among other groups. Cole commands Arabic, Persian and Urdu and reads some Turkish, knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam, and lived in a number of places in the Muslim world for extended periods of time. His most recent book is Sacred Space and Holy War (IB Tauris 2002). This volume collects some of his work on the history of the Shiite branch of Islam in modern Iraq, Iran and the Gulf. He treated Shi`ism in his co-edited book, Shi`ism and Social Protest (Yale, 1986), of his first monograph, Roots of North Indian Shi`ism in Iran and Iraq (California, 1989). His interest in Iranian religion is further evident in his work on Baha'i studies, which eventuated in his 1998 book, Modernity and the Millennium: The Genesis of the Baha'i Faith in the Nineteenth Century Middle East (Columbia University Press). He has also written a good deal about modern Egypt, including a book, Colonialism and Revolution in the Middle East: Social and Cultural Origins of Egypt's `Urabi Movement (Princeton, 1993). His concern with comparative history and Islamics is evident in his edited Comparing Muslim Societies (Michigan, 1992). His most recent book is title The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation is Changing the Middle East

Entries by Juan Cole

7 Surprising Reasons Turkey Is Entering the War on ISIL

(31) Comments | Posted October 3, 2014 | 4:06 PM

The Turkish parliament voted by a large margin Thursday to allow Turkish troops to make incursions into neighboring countries, if necessary, to defeat the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This authorization is necessary according to the Turkish constitution. Likewise, parliament voted to allow foreign troops involved...

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The Arab Millennials Will Be Back

(6) Comments | Posted June 30, 2014 | 12:04 AM

Three Ways the Youth Rebellions Are Still Shaping the Middle East

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

Three and a half years ago, the world was riveted by the massive crowds of youths mobilizing in Cairo’s Tahrir Square to demand an end to Egypt’s dreary police state.  We stared...

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The Fall of Mosul and the False Promises of Modern History

(3) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 3:18 PM

This also appears on Juan Cole's "Informed Comment" website www.juancole.com.

The fall of Mosul to the radical, extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is a set of historical indictments. Mosul is Iraq's second largest city, population roughly 2 million (think Houston) until today, when much of...

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Why Washington's Iran Policy Could Lead to Global Disaster

(259) Comments | Posted April 12, 2012 | 10:57 AM

What History Should Teach Us About Blockading Iran

Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

It’s a policy fierce enough to cause great suffering among Iranians -- and possibly in the long run among Americans, too.  It might, in the end, even deeply harm the global economy and...

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Protest Planet

(34) Comments | Posted November 10, 2011 | 12:23 PM

How a Neoliberal Shell Game Created an Age of Activism


Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com

From Tunis to Tel Aviv, Madrid to Oakland, a new generation of youth activists is challenging the neoliberal state that has dominated the world ever since...

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An Arab Spring for Women: The Missing Story From the Middle East

(66) Comments | Posted April 26, 2011 | 3:26 PM

Crossposted with TomDispatch.com

Coauthored by Shahin Cole

The “Arab Spring” has received copious attention in the American media, but one of its crucial elements has been largely overlooked: the striking role of women in the protests sweeping the Arab world. Despite inadequate media coverage of their role, women...

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The Corruption Game: What the Tunisian Revolution and WikiLeaks Tell Us about American Support for Corrupt Dictatorships in the Muslim World

(11) Comments | Posted January 25, 2011 | 3:13 PM

Crossposted with TomDispatch.com.

Here’s one obvious lesson of the Tunisian Revolution of 2011: paranoia about Muslim fundamentalist movements and terrorism is causing Washington to make bad choices that will ultimately harm American interests and standing abroad.  State Department cable traffic from capitals throughout the Greater Middle East, made...

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Obama in Asia: Meeting American Decline Face to Face

(279) Comments | Posted November 11, 2010 | 2:31 PM

Blocked from major new domestic initiatives by a Republican victory in the midterm elections, President Barack Obama promptly lit out for Asia, a far more promising arena.  That continent, after all, is rising, and Obama is eager to grasp the golden ring of Asian success. 

Beyond being a goodwill ambassador...

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The Great Pakistani Deluge Never Happened

(49) Comments | Posted September 9, 2010 | 11:44 AM

Crossposted with TomDispatch.com.

The Great Deluge in Pakistan passed almost unnoticed in the United States despite President Obama’s repeated assertions that the country is central to American security.  Now, with new evacuations and flooding afflicting Sindh Province and the long-term crisis only beginning in Pakistan, it has washed...

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Armageddon at the Top of the World: Not!

(8) Comments | Posted July 28, 2009 | 11:17 AM

Cross posted with TomDispatch.com.

WHAT, what, what,
What's the news from Swat?
Sad news,
Bad news,
Comes by the cable led
Through the Indian Ocean's bed,
Through the Persian Gulf, the Red
Sea and the...

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Fishing for a Pretext in Iran

(39) Comments | Posted March 14, 2006 | 12:48 AM

Juan Cole is a regular contributor to Truthdig.com, where this article was originally published.

Fishing for a Pretext in Iran

Iran threatened last week to use the oil weapon if the United Nations Security Council imposes sanctions on the country because of its nuclear research program, promising "harm...

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