Expert on Israel, Palestinians, at HopkinsReporters and analysts covering the present situation in Iraq or the faltering peace process between Palestinian and Israeli leaders may find an interesting source in Johns Hopkins University anthropologist Talal Asad. Asad, highly regarded as one of the leading experts in Islamic movements in the Middle East and Europe, can offer a perspective on the Middle East conflict with which most Americans are probably not familiar.
Asad is highly critical of Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, saying there will never be a real peace as long as he is in power. Asad can talk about the Arab view of the peace process given the historical context of the region and how Europe's colonial past in the Middle East continues to play out in the present-day conflict between Israel and Palestine.
Asad would also be a good source to explain why many Arab states feel negatively about a possible air strike by the United States against Iraq.
Born in Saudi Arabia, Asad moved to India at age 2 and then spent most of his life in England. He is a graduate of Edinburgh University and holds graduate degrees from Oxford University. His fieldwork includes years spent in the Middle East, where he has studied the connections between religion and power, how modern religion is used in attempts at reforming Muslim societies and constructing the modern secular state in the Middle East. He is the author of several books and many articles covering a wide variety of topics about Europe and the Middle East.
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