Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fred Halliday on al Jazeera

Fred Halliday appeared on al Jazeera speaking Arabic and discussing the various issues on the region. He is an undisputed authority on the subject and he raised an interesting point about how the West does not seem to distinguish between religious movements in Islam or various countries within the Arab or Islamic worlds. I've come to respect his insight into the region and though I haven't been able to read much of his work, the little I have read has been most enlightening. He does go back to his core belief that the rise of religious fundamentalism in the region is due to the failure of secular projects, true to a certain extent, but I do disagree with that viewpoint. Still, I've yet to see the BBC or CNN bring "experts" anywhere near his calibre and knowledge. At least he's made the effort to learn Arabic and our culture.

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