Friday, October 10, 2014

A new perspective on the Middle East

When we think and talk about the Middle East today, we look at it terms of the religious and ethnic strife and extremism that define today's conflicts. We also assume that these conflicts has been going on for centuries. That the holy wars and clash of civilizations of today have been the basis for the whole history of the region

Middle East historian Brian Catlos has a different view. One that puts those conflicts in a more political and economic perspective. In fact, it was really a world of conflict about money and land and power, and where interfaith cooperation was possible and where globalization may have gotten its real start.

Can understanding this helps us face today's challenges? I don’t know; but we do know that perhaps it’s the beginning of wisdom. Catlos explains it in Infidel Kings and Unholy Warriors: Faith, Power, and Violence in the Age of Crusade and Jihad.

My conversation with Brian Catlos:

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