Juan Cole

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Juan Cole is a Professor of History at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He runs an important weblog, Informed Comment, pertaining to all matters dealing with the Middle East, specifically Iraq. In 2002 the organization Campus Watch listed Prof. Cole as one of the academics it chose to target.

Bombing Libya

In March 2011 Juan Cole was firmly in favor of the imposition of the no-fly zone in Libya; Vijay Prashad took the opposite position and they debated this issue on Democracy Now! [1] Also read Prashad's "America's Libyans: Neo-Liberal Interventionism." For further criticims. [2]


Further Information from his website

Juan R. I. Cole is Professor of Modern Middle East and South Asian History at the History Department of the University of Michigan. A bibliography of his writings may be found here. He has written extensively about modern Islamic movements in Egypt, the Persian Gulf, and South Asia. He has given numerous media and press interviews on the War on Terrorism since September 11, 2001, as well as concerning the Iraq War in 2003. His current research focuses on two contemporary phenomena: 1) Shiite Islam in Iraq and Iran and 2) the "jihadi" or "sacred-war" strain of Muslim radicalism, including al-Qaeda and the Taliban among other groups. Cole commands Arabic, Persian and Urdu and reads some Turkish, knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam, and lived in a number of places in the Muslim world for extended periods of time. His most recent book is Sacred Space and Holy War (IB Tauris 2002). This volume collects some of his work on the history of the Shiite branch of Islam in modern Iraq, Iran and the Gulf. He treated Shi`ism in his co-edited book, Shi`ism and Social Protest (Yale, 1986), of his first monograph, Roots of North Indian Shi`ism in Iran and Iraq (California, 1989). His interest in Iranian religion is further evident in his work on Baha'i studies, which eventuated in his 1998 book, Modernity and the Millennium: The Genesis of the Baha'i Faith in the Nineteenth Century Middle East (Columbia University Press). He has also written a good deal about modern Egypt, including a book, Colonialism and Revolution in the Middle East: Social and Cultural Origins of Egypt's `Urabi Movement (Princeton, 1993). His concern with comparative history and Islamics is evident in his edited Comparing Muslim Societies (Michigan, 1992). Source

Professional History

1975 B.A. History and Literature of Religions, Northwestern University
1978 M.A. Arabic Studies/History, American University in Cairo
1984 Ph.D. Islamic Studies, University of California Los Angeles
1984-1990 Assistant Professor of History, University of Michigan
1990-1995 Associate Professor of History, University of Michigan
1992-1995 Director, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, University of Michigan
1995- Professor of History, University of Michigan


In addition to his other duties and endeavors, Dr. Cole is currently working on a project translating American literary works into Arabic.

Quotes from Informed Comment

On media Spin in Iraq

The fog of information war thrown up by the Allawi government, the US military, and the guerrilla sympathizers, however, does make the episode difficult to judge morally and ethically. In a democracy, such judgments are necessary, so that there is something radically wrong with the system, when we ordinary Americans don't have a realistic idea of how many US troops have been harmed in the prosecution of this war, and likewise have no clear idea of the human cost of an operation like Fallujah II.
The irony of the twenty-first century Information Age is that the American public is uninformed as never before about the most crucial information in our lives. The new Age of Ignorance amidst information riches is made possible precisely because modern means of communication lend themselves to manipulation by wealthy, powerful forces that understand how to make an emotional impact that will obscure the real issues. This observation is as true of the Baath Party as it is of the Republican Party, as true of al-Jazeerah as it is of Fox Cable News.quote, Nov. 26, 2004.


Publication List, University of Michigan.

External links

Resources and articles

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