Muhammad Idrees Ahmad

Book review: Juan Cole's "Engaging the Muslim World"

In his timely and insightful new book, Engaging the Muslim World, University of Michigan professor Juan Cole debunks prevailing myths and presents a set of compelling policy prescriptions that aim to encourage dialogue and defuse hostilities. However, while he convincingly addresses the questions of knowledge, he leaves issues of power largely unexamined. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

The Darfur diversion: "Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics and the War on Terror"

Mass slaughter perpetrated by the big powers, from Vietnam to Iraq and Afghanistan, is normalized through labels such as “counterinsurgency,” “pacification” and “war on terror,” while similar acts carried out by states out of favor result in the severest of charges. It is this politics of naming that is the subject of Mahmood Mamdani’s explosive new book, Saviors and Survivors: Darfur, Politics and the War on Terror. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

Book review: Resurrecting "America's Defense Line"

In his new book, America’s Defense Line: the Justice Department’s Battle to Register the Israel Lobby as Agents of a Foreign Government, tenacious analyst Grant F. Smith focuses on an important aspect of the Israel lobby’s origins that has implications for how it operates today. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

Empire and agency: "A World of Trouble: America in the Middle East"

While nowhere in his invaluable diplomatic history of eight presidencies, A World of Trouble: America in the Middle East, does Patrick E. Tyler use the phrase “the Israel lobby,” it nevertheless looms largest among the reasons why all US efforts to feign balance between the competing concerns of good relations with Arab-Muslim states and unwavering allegiance to Israel have foundered. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad reviews for The Electronic Intifada. 

BBC's "impartiality" anything but

“The BBC cannot be neutral in the struggle between truth and untruth, justice and injustice, freedom and slavery, compassion and cruelty, tolerance and intolerance.” Thus read a 1972 internal document called Principles and Practice in News and Current Affairs laying out the guidelines for the BBC’s coverage of conflicts. It appears to affirm that in cases of oppression and injustice to be neutral is to be complicit, because neutrality reinforces the status quo. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad comments. 

The BBC: Eyeless in Gaza

To establish evidence of the BBC’s journalistic malpractice one often has to do no more than pick a random sample of news related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict currently on its website. In a time of conflict BBC’s coverage invariably tends to the Israeli perspective, and nowhere is this reflected more than in the semantics and framing of its reportage. Muhammad Idrees Ahmad analyzes for The Electronic Intifada. 

Glasgow University students propose Vanunu for Rector

Mordechai Vanunu may have been forgotten by the rest of the world; Israel may have used the death of Yasir Arafat as a diversion to arrest Vanunu again, but the students of the University of Glasgow are intent on bringing him back to the limelight. Mordechai Vanunu, the man who risked it all to draw the world’s attention towards the nuclear ambitions of Israel and was thrown into prison for an extended period, has been nominated to run for Rector at this institute which is one of the four oldest in Britain, and one of its most prestigious.