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This weblog commences the public side of an impromptu commentary that started immediately after 11 September, 2001, when colleagues were asking “What is Islam?” What followed was a brief history of Islam, the schism between Sunni and Shia, moderates and conservatives, and their respective views and responses towards the West.
It has morphed into a discussion of:
Doubtless new topics will migrate on and off as we move forward.
While the “information hole” on interpreting current events is much broader now, I have continued to comment on events that attract my attention.
I subscribe to Sir Harold Nicholson’s description of diplomacy as “the understanding that for intractable problems there are only adjustments and not solutions.”
Americans are resistant to that idea and too often paint a scenario into black and white, seeking a single, lasting, and implicitly moral solution. Other than by force-of-arms, it’s difficult to find such a solution that works for diverse stakeholders, overcomes a history of accumulated slights and resentments, and engenders a negotiation process that’s not resented by one or more stakeholders.
I trust that this commentary will make you think, question an assumption, consider the secondary effects of any action, and gain a wider window to global issues.- Gordon Housworth
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