We look forward to having Fareed’s thoughtful and important voice back in the magazine with his next column in the issue that comes out on September 7.

#Fareed Zakaria   #CNN   #Time  
 

Orientalism-is-Alive would like to send out its sincere condolences regarding Fareed Zakaria’s TIME column

After it was revealed that he blatantly plagiarized* a paragraph from one of his recent columns, TIME has temporarily suspended his column pending further review.

We’re gonna miss Fareed Zakaria’s bullshit. To honor his legacy, here is a link to some of his bullshit we’ve tracked and archived for the laughs and the cries.

*Correction: He blatantly plagiarized multiple paragraphs LOL

 
The Weekly Bernard Lewis Award.
It takes a lot of effort to confine oneself within this mental box of imperialist constructs rooted in racism and ignorance. Here at Mainstream Media and the Orient, we like to reward and acknowledge these efforts.
In the name of the orientalist master, Bernard Lewis, this week’s award goes to Fareed Zakaria’s piece, “A Region at War with its History.” Zakaria’s efforts will never go overlooked. His most recent piece suggests that we refer to the geopolitical and socioeconomic conditions of 12th century Arabia for better understanding the current authoritarian nature of the Arabian Peninsula. That, folks, is dedication. Thank you Zakaria, for constantly providing content for this blog.
Send your submissions and recommend pieces for next week’s Bernard Lewis Award. Be sure your submission is sourced!

The Weekly Bernard Lewis Award.

It takes a lot of effort to confine oneself within this mental box of imperialist constructs rooted in racism and ignorance. Here at Mainstream Media and the Orientwe like to reward and acknowledge these efforts.

In the name of the orientalist master, Bernard Lewis, this week’s award goes to Fareed Zakaria’s piece, “A Region at War with its History.” Zakaria’s efforts will never go overlooked. His most recent piece suggests that we refer to the geopolitical and socioeconomic conditions of 12th century Arabia for better understanding the current authoritarian nature of the Arabian Peninsula. That, folks, is dedication. Thank you Zakaria, for constantly providing content for this blog.

Send your submissions and recommend pieces for next week’s Bernard Lewis Award. Be sure your submission is sourced!

 

TIME | "A Region at War with its History" by Fareed Zakara ›

You know, it’s hard choosing where to begin when it comes to breaking down a Fareed Zakaria article. His usual argument for explaining the lack of democracy in the Middle East falls along the lines of “culture” and “religion.” Sometimes a combination of the two. His arguments have become quite predictable, yet the sheer amusement I get from watching him work his way through his warrant is unmatched.

Read below as he seeks to explain the authoritarian nature of the region by referencing the geopolitics of the Middle East from the 7th century. (Ignore the fact that he unironically cites Montesquieu and Bernard Lewis):

As it happens, a Harvard economics professor, Eric Chaney, recently presented a rigorous paper that helps unravel that knot. Chaney asks why there is a “democracy deficit” in the Arab world and systematically tests various hypotheses against the data. He notes that such majority-Muslim nations as Turkey, Indonesia, Albania, Bangladesh and Malaysia have functioning democratic systems, so the mere presence of Islam or Islamic culture cannot be to blame. He looks at oil-rich states and finds that some with vast energy reserves lack democracy (Saudi Arabia), but so do some without (Syria). He asks whether Arab culture is the culprit, but this does not provide much clarity. Chaney points out that many countries in the Arab neighborhood seem to share in the democracy ­deficit—Chad, Iran, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, ­Uzbekistan—yet they are not Arab.

Then Chaney constructs a persuasive hypothesis based in ancient ­history—and modern economics. He notes that the democracy deficit today ­exists in lands that were conquered by Arab armies after the death in A.D. 632 of the Prophet Muhammad. Lands that the Arabs controlled in the 12th century remain economically stunted today. This correlation is not simply a coincidence. Scholars from Montesquieu to Bernard Lewis suggest that there was something in the political development of the Arab imperial system that seemed to poison the ground against economic pluralism. Arab imperial control tended to mean centralized political authority, weak civil society, a dependent merchant class and a large role for the state in the economy. Chaney documents the latter, showing that the government’s share of GDP is 7% higher on average in countries that were conquered by Arab armies than in those that were not. He also finds that countries in the first group have fewer trade unions and less access to credit, features of a vibrant civil society.

Fareed, really though? How do you jump from the 600s to the 12th century in one sentence without mentioning ANYTHING that happened in between!

But I like this: “Arab imperial control tended to mean centralized political authority.” How do you explain the extension of the Umayyad dynasty in the Iberian Peninsula during the dominance of the Abbasid’s in Iraq and Persia, then the later emergence of the Mamluks in Egypt and the Levant, eventually expanding into the Hijaz? And how do you plan to factor in the historical evidence that suggests many tribes, especially throughout North Africa, remained largely autonomous until European colonialism?

It’s okay, Fareed. Your commentary is cute. Enjoy applying the conditions of 12th century Arabia to the Gulf today. I’ll sit and watch. Because there was this one tiny thing that was not discovered during the 12th century and it kinda changed things: petroleum. 

 

For all his intellectual shortcomings, Bush recognized that the roots of Islamic terror lie in the dysfunctions of the Arab world. Over the last 40 years, as the rest of the globe progressed economically and politically, the Arabs moved backward. Decades of tyranny and stagnation—mostly under the auspices of secular, Westernized regimes like those in Egypt and Syria—have produced an opposition that is extreme, religiously oriented and, in some cases, violent. Its ideology is now global, and it has small bands of recruits from London to Jakarta. But at its heart it is an Arab phenomenon, born in the failures of that region. And it is likely only to be cured by a more open and liberal Arab culture that has made its peace with modernity.

Daily Beast: Losing the War, as Well as the Battle by Fareed Zakaria

Do not be fooled by the brown face and Arab-sounding name. Fareed Zakaria is likely to be a regular star of this blog. This 2006 gem demonstrates why Zakaria is hanging around his weekly CNN time slot. 

This excerpt contains some of the signature words that define mainstream media coverage on the region: stagnation, extreme, violent, liberal, Arab culture, modernity. Oh Fareed, habibi. Slow it down shway.