Book Chat: Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel
The violence and chaos in the Middle East today are often attributed to “sectarianism” — a catch-all explanation for the region’s turmoil.
But in “Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East,” co-editors Nader Hashemi and Danny Postel argue that blaming conflicts in places like Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen on centuries-old sectarian differences is wrong — as is suggesting that Sunni and Shia Muslims have always been fighting.
“I think it’s a complete distortion to try to interpret the problems of the Middle East today to something that goes back to the seventh century. So our book is very much geared toward repudiating that very simplistic and intellectually lazy argument,” explains Hashemi, director of DU’s Center for Middle East Studies and an associate professor of Middle East and Islamic politics at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies.
“Sectarianization” also features leading scholars and attempts to redefine the debate on the Middle East today.