Juan Cole: Engaging the Muslim World
NEW YORK, March 17, 2009 – Prominent American scholar, blogger, and historian of modern Middle Eastern and South Asian history Juan Cole appeared at the Asia Society in conjunction with the launch of his latest book, Engaging The Muslim World,
an examination of the complexities of the modern Islamic world and the
ways in which successive US governments have failed to understand these
Beginning with a detailed
slide presentation, Cole argued that the Muslim world, far from being a
single monolithic entity, is actually far more heterogeneous than most
people in the West (particularly Americans) commonly suppose. Cole went
on to explain how changing demographics and patterns of energy
consumption mean that America's relationship with the countries in
question will only become more important further into the 21st century.
In the end, he concluded, "dialogue, compromise, and engagement" will
be crucial for the US to maintain (and in some cases establish) better
relations with the Islamic world.
In a follow-up discussion with Asia Society Director of Cultural Programs Rachel Cooper, Cole went on to cite various nuances both within and between Muslim societies that Western media commonly fail to appreciate.
part of Asia Society's Creative Voices of Islam in Asia project,
generously funded, in part, by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic
Art and Lisina Hoch.