Kanan Makiya is a professor of Middle East studies at Brandeis
University in Massachusetts. A native of Iraq, he has written several
books, including Republic of Fear: The Politics of Modern Iraq. An
atheist, Makiya here discusses how Sept. 11 affected his beliefs. He says
that the Arab world has allowed the "dark corners" of religion
to flourish, and that the Sept. 11 hijackers represent a new and
particularly dangerous form of religious extremism. This interview was
conducted by FRONTLINE producer Helen Whitney in the winter of 2002.
Interview of Professor Kanan Makiya, a
scholar of Middle East affairs.
What is your own image of
evil? Have you ever had an intimate personal encounter with it? Does it
have its own taste and smell and configuration? ...
Evil is something that, when you see it, when you
know it, itís intimate. Itís almost sensual. That is why people who
have been tortured know it by instinct. They donít need to be told what
it is, and they may have a very hard time putting it into words. ...
Thatís the nature of the phenomenon. Itís hard to put into words. But
you have to have that intimacy with it, that kind of shoulder-to-shoulder
In order for me to understand evil, to see
something as evil, I have to be able to see myself in it somehow, and yet
not be there. If Iím not able to do that, then itís just a phenomenon.
Itís just a thingóterrible, bad, whatever -- [but] itís not got that
intimacy. You have to be able to see yourself there. Otherwise, it runs
this terrible danger of becoming something someone else is, and not you.
When that happens, of course, awful consequences can unfold. ...
Evil, while it is very definitely different from
something thatís ďvery badĒ ... is a human thing. Itís humanly
explicable. But it is only so when we can touch it and see ourselves in
its place. Thatís why one of the most brilliant observations about evil
ever made, I think, came from Hannah Arendt in her book on the Eichmann
trial, the phrase, ďbanality of evil.Ē
Thereís a deep truth to that. When I handled the
paperwork of the Iraqi bureaucracy, as it has killed tens of thousands of
its own citizens, I see evil. I look at the paperwork. I look at the
squiggles of the line and I wonder about the person who wrote in his
handwriting style. ...
I have a register which lists 397 eliminated
villages, Kurdish villages in northern Iraq. ... The work is called ďThe
Register of Eliminated Villages.Ē You flip the pages, beautifully
scripted and done with a pencil. Then the writer of this book has covered
it, folded it very neatly with a nice, great big book cover made of paper,
with great big white flowers against a red background. Itís a very
decorative, pretty thing. ... You look at this person who has taken such
immaculate care of this book, which records the destruction of 397 Kurdish
villages. ... You look at the book and you know youíre touching evil
So the important point for
you is to always see it on the human continuum?
Yes. ... Suggesting evil is human doesnít mean we
can always understand it, or doesnít mean thereís only one way of
understanding it. Itís sort of like a great work of art. You can never
fully absorb it. Itís got many dimensions. It lives on through time, in
I think the same is true of evil. We go around it.
We try to look at it from different prisms and angles. We try to
appropriate it to ourselves, via readings or interpretations or
observations or drawings or films. But itís evil, in the sense that it
is never fully explicable in some easy, pat way. ...
Connect it to the hijackers.
What, if anything, have they brought to the discussion of evil? Do you see
them as part of the banality of evil? Or something different?
No. The hijackers bring in a different element of
evil. ... They have invented a form of it. ... Not fully invented it, but
theyíll say theyíve carried it to an extreme. ... I would say itís
this sort of perfection of the death instinct. It is the infatuation,
rapture, in the event of killing oneís self and others, of death, as
many people as possible. Thatís what they bring thatís so newóthis
ability to be at one with the desire to die and to inflict death on as
many people as possibleónot as an instrument, not as a means. ... In
order to get into this state of mind, all sorts of bizarre changes take
place in the personís mind. But death is absolutely essentialóan
enormous act of destruction, apocalyptic in nature.
This is what Sept. 11 is about, in that this was
done in a new way. We donít know anything quite like it on this scale
and with that kind of dedication of purpose, and with that kind of,
letís say, greatness of execution. A planning of a spectacle that
combines all these various qualities: numbers, death, greatness of
spectacle, and absolute commitment to desire to kill oneself. ...
I donít think politics, economics, sociology, and
certainly not pathology are what is truly the essence of this human
phenomenon, evil. Itís somewhere else. ...
Weíve had a number of
people respond to the videotape of bin Laden laughing, feeling that they
had moved into a different zone of trying to understand evilóthe
disregard and the humor and the playfulness and the giggling. Did you have
a response to looking at that bin Laden tape? If so, what was it?
... The tape that depicts bin Laden joking around
and sitting in a social situation with a sheik from Saudi Arabia and other
visitors and talking about what happened at the World Trade Center towers
building is, I think, a good illustration of the phrase that Hannah Arendt
uses, ďbanality of evil,Ē because the social setting was utterly
banal. This was a typical Gulf Arab congregation in the evening. ... What
was evil was not the laughter and the various gestures and mannerisms that
are part and parcel of that particular setting if you are a Gulf Arab.
What was so jarring was what the conversation was
about, which was this act of apocalyptic destruction. So here are these
men having a totally ordinary social conversation, perhaps around cups of
coffee and teas and pastry. ... But what theyíre talking about is the
death and destruction of 3,500 people, and theyíre praising it and so
on. That is the jarring element.
Itís exactly like Eichmann sitting behind his
desk, turning out his paperwork, which results in hundreds of thousands of
people being shipped off to the concentration camps. Itís the coming
together, the confluence of these two things that is, I think, so evil.
The fact that these people have so internalized the act, so accepted it;
not a single qualm is there. Nothing. Theyíre very happy with it.
Theyíre talking about how many people are going to be converted to Islam
because of it. ... The kind of demented quality of this speech and the
expectations that was present in that tape, that is frightening.
Frightening, and truly exceptional. ...
In the wake of Sept. 11
... I think all of us ... have had the most searing conversations about
the role of religion, and not even one particular religion, which weíll
get to, but just religion generally, and the darkness at the heart of
religion. ... One rabbi said to me off-camera and on-camera, ďReligion
drove those planes in to the building,Ē and developed his thinking about
why that was the case. ... What is your response to that very provocative
phrase, ďReligion drove those planes into the buildingĒ?
At this point in time, in this place, at this
conjuncture in our history, religion did drive those planes into those
towers. In that sense, in some deep sense, some deep way, religion is
responsible. ... Not any religion, but Islam in particular. But you just
have to change the time and the circumstance, the moment. Move back 50
years, a hundred years, whatever, and you can have an entirely different
I have always thought there were dark ... corners
in religion. I took that for granted. Thatís not the surprising thing
for me. ... The frightening thing is rather that, in the Arab world, we
have let the darkness of religion flourish. The forces that are dampening
it at this moment in our history are weak, and that is frightening. ...
It was born out of conditions which I can follow
and track and see. I think thatís very important to understanding it,
because there are all sorts of elements in Islamic tradition. For
instance, you can take a word like ďjihad.Ē These young men saw
themselves as committing an act of jihadómartyrdom for their faith.
But there is an entirely different notion of jihad,
which is a self-questioning of the soul. They chose not to see jihad in
that sense. ... They chose to pick a martial tradition. They chose to
reference themselves to 10 years of Muslim history. Thereís 1,400 years
of Muslim history to pick and choose from. But these young men chose the
years 622 to 632 exactly, because that is the period when the prophet was
essentially forced by Meccan society, which considered him a dangerous
threat to them, to leave Mecca. After he left Mecca, he set up a
So [in] the first 10 years of the Muslim city-state
experiment, based in the city of Medina, the prophet waged war against his
enemiesódefensive war at times, and offensive war at othersóand
unified the peninsula. This, for these young men, is chosen and singled
out to be the paradigmatically perfect model society. They disregard what
the prophet said previously to that in Mecca, which are some of the most
generous and sort of compassionate verses of the Quran. They choose a
particular interpretation, and they argue that that interpretation
excludes and supercedes all the others. ...
I say this to highlight what you can do with
religion. You could have chosen those 10 years, or you could choose
another 10 years. Whatís frightening is that so few people are
repudiating their choice. ... The frightening thing about that choice is
that it has touched a chord in large numbers of people. ... Obviously,
[the chord] was there already. But they picked it ... and they have
enormously strengthened it by what theyíve done. Thatís frightening.
Thatís truly frightening. But itís not inevitable. ...
The rejection and repudiation of that, in the name
of Islam, is still inadequate, too weak, to counter that. It doesnít yet
have the force that is requiredóthe moral force.
In other words, these young men have captured the
moral high ground. Not the whole of Islam yet, but they are in danger of
capturing the moral high ground of a great religious tradition. The great,
great challenge that faces Muslims today is to repudiate that. Not just
the act; itís not about saying, ďWeíre against an act of terrorism
here or there.Ē Itís a much more foundational act of rejection.
... What specific parts of
tradition did they pick up and make their own? They didnít make them up
of a whole cloth. ... Who did these kids speak for? How deep is the chord
throughout the Muslim world? ...
Perhaps the most dangerous element that was picked
out of the Muslim tradition and changed and transformed in the hands of
these young men who perpetrated Sept. 11 is this idea of committing
suicide. They call it martyrdom, of course. Suicide is firmly rejected in
Islam as an act of worship. In the tradition, generally, to die in battle
for a larger purposeóthat is, for the sake of the community at
largeóis a noble thing to do. Self-sacrifice yourself as you defend the
communityóthat is a traditional thing, and that has a traditional
meaning of ďjihad.Ē But what is non-traditional, what is new is this
idea that jihad is almost like an act of private worship. You become
closer to God by blowing yourself up in such a way. You, privately,
irrespective of what effect it has on everyone else. ... For these young
men, that is the new idea of jihad.
This idea of jihad allows you to lose all the old
distinctions between combatants and non-combatants, between just and
unjust wars, between the rules of engagement of different types. All of
that is gone, because now the act of martyrdom is an act of worship ... in
and of itself. Itís like going on the pilgrimage. Itís like paying
your alms, which every Muslim has to do. Itís like praying in the
direction of Mecca, and so on and so forth. It is an individual act of
worship. Thatís terrifying, and thatís new. Thatís an entirely new
idea, which these young men have taken out, developed. ...
The battle to rid Islam of that notion of jihad ...
is a terribly, terribly important one, which it does not seem to me we are
up to yet. Moderate, that is, Muslim thinkers from within the tradition
themselves, have not yet met the challenge.
There is an intellectual failure. There is a lack
of courage at the moment in the Middle East. And I should say itís very
important to single out the Middle East here from the whole of Islam ...
because thatís where all of this comes from. Even if [Afghanistan]
hasbecome involved and Pakistan has become involved, the origin of all of
this unfortunately is in the Arab part of the Muslim world, which is less
than 20 percent of the whole.
Why are we not up to it? ... One reason is that my
generation did not appropriate its own traditions. It considered this part
of the past, and ignored it and pressed ahead with ideologies that came
from the West. It did not try to reappropriate its own tradition and take
it on board, thus leaving it to clerics and other elements. So there is a
generational break. ...
We have lost contact with our roots. That means
that those roots were appropriated by the ignoramuses and the other
clerics, so we donít even have a battle of ideas engaged. ... So there
is a battle over texts, over ideas, that needs to take place within
Muslims, among Muslims. ... So people like myself and my generation ought
now to consider it necessary to engage, however liberal, socialist,
nationalist they may be in other outlooks in their general outlook on
life. But [we] havenít.
Isnít there also a
problem, too, which is theologically based, in that [the Quran], your
bible so to speak, is not considered a human document? The scholarship
around it hasnít been approached in the same as ours has been, for good
or for ill. I mean, to raise questions about the Quran is to incur a kind
of wrath or death threats or exclusion
from academic circles. To
ask the appropriate sort of textural questions is very difficult.
The Western societies have had hundreds of years of
reformation behind them. Islam has never had its reformation, and that is
part of the problem. If you look back to the 16th and 17th
centuries when men were killing one another in the name of religion
throughout Europe, thatís where weíre at more or less, historically
speaking, in terms of the level of debate and discourse. The Quran is
considered an untouchable text, not a historical document. ... This is the
literal word of God, and it is very dangerous to play with that in the
Middle East today. ...
Modern scholarship has moved on different tracks. I
mean, you get excellent works of sociology and political science and so
on. ... But that secular intelligentsia, very interestingly, has not
touched religion, has left it to others. Thatís what I meant about this
bifurcation. So it operates on two planes. We are left with a medieval
concept of religious texts and a modern life, in many other respects, with
no lines, organic connection, between the two. That is another level of
failure in the society.
Which also helps make a
bin Laden possible?
Yes, exactly. All he has to do is return to those
texts, especially in a country like Saudi Arabia. Whatís so interesting
is that all these people, so many of them, come from Saudi Arabia. ...
Itís so important to keep in mind that, of the 19 hijackers, 15 were
Saudis. Of all the various men that are being held in the base by the
United States, prisoners at the moment, hundreds upon hundreds apparently
Saudi Arabia is not a country that produced a
single interesting political thought or political idea in the last 30, 40
years of Arab politics. But all of a sudden, itís a moving force. Itís
shaping. Bin Laden is emerging. Young Saudis are coming up with these
ideas. Itís not coincidence, because my generation, the modern
ideasóthe Palestinian resistance movementóall of these were ideas
associated with the Fertile Crescent, with countries like Palestine,
Lebanon, Iraq, et cetera. All of a sudden, the countries that had remained
in the backwaters are now appropriating the religion to themselves.
And, by the way, they started doing that much
earlier. The Saudi government has been pumping money in a quiet kind of
revolution to shape Islam in its own images since 1973, [with] oil price
rises. It wasnít a noisy revolution like the Iranian revolution was. It
didnít have so much hubbub and noise associated with it and all. But it
was quietly done [with] Saudi influence, using money, and the building of
[madrassas] -- that is, religious schools and mosques all across the
The very particular kind of Islam associated with
Saudi Arabia ... is an upstart. It was created in the 18th
century. It was constrained and confined entirely to the Arabian Peninsula
right through to the late 1960s. All of a sudden, this [Wahhabi]
Islamówhich is espoused by these young men, which considers even a
Muslim like myself, because of my Shiite background, to be dirty or not a
real Muslim ... [is] probably the dominant form [of Islam] in the United
States. It spreads from one end of the world to the next. Itís been a
quiet, silent revolution thatís been happening, and suddenly exploded on
the scene with Sept. 11. ...
What was the great
challenge to you as an atheist? How did the events of Sept. 11 rock your
boat, so to speak? [Do you think it was] harder for an atheist than for a
... It shook my belief in the one last remaining
vestige of everything, the foundation of everythingóin the human race,
in the human species, and in everything that I had been about, namely,
trying to make some small contribution towards improving its condition ...
[and] the sense that you could, through your efforts, do that. Then that
does leave you very, very isolated.
Not knowing where to turn enormously reduces the
scale of expectations. That is, you canít hope any more the same way.
You canít build, push towards it. I mean, I found that over and over
again. ... Thatís a spiritual crisis. But itís not one involving God.
I donít begin to doubt even my own lack of faith because of it. Itís a
sense of sinking into an abyss in which you canít hold on to anything in
the world that keeps you going and keeps you producing and creating. ...
So itís with effort that you strive to do this
project, that project. Move on. But I find all the projects that I do are
all somehow Sept. 11-related. So, in a sense, Iíve been yanked out of
one modeóbefore Sept. 11, where I was writing about the pastóto a new
mode, where Iím very firmly in the present. Iím grappling somehow with
what to do about it after Sept. 11. ...
It provoked not a
scintilla or even the smallest ache in you for a belief that might order
It didnít. You know, itís like the Holocaust.
You must, no doubt, have interviewed people who cannot any longer have
faith after the Holocaust. When you see human behavior like this, for me,
it just reconfirms my atheism. It doesnít make me militant about it at
all. Iím not proud of it. Itís just a view of the world. Itís just
the way I am. I canít make meaning of the world otherwise. But I
certainly couldnít make meaning of the world through some notion of God
after a horror like that. I mean, itís almost impossible. It just
affirms that hopelessness. ...
Youíre saying, ďIf
anything, it reconfirms my lack of faith, my unbelief. ... Just look
around you. Look at the darkness of the human heart.Ē I say, again,
someone who doesnít have belief but aches for itóarenít there some
deeds that literally cry out to heaven and hell? That to our horror ... or
our awe around these occasional acts of sheer goodness and
heroismóarenít they sort of experiencing goodness and evil in
themselves, signals of transcendence? ...
Definitely. Yes. But why is transcendenceówhich
is such an important idea I valueówhy does it have to mean
other-worldliness? Why is it also not something that we have within us at
certain very exceptional moments, just like evil? ... I cherish a category
like transcendence as I value the word evil. But I donít want to make it
easy on us human beings by taking it away from what we are and who we are.
... The closer it stays, the more complicated we become, the more
interesting we become. ... So I like to keep it there, and I can
understand it when itís there.
... What kind of
reflections has Sept. 11 sort of provoked in you about [Islam]? ...
The defensiveness of Islam is its crucial feature
today. Itís what, by the way, is in such contrast to the most
interesting period of Islamic history, when Islam was an open, absorbing
religion, constantly taking in outside influences, as opposed to its
current hedgehog-like posture, prickly to the outside ... always looking
backward. This is not how it was in the creative moment, in the first
four, six, eight centuries of Islam, where it was constantly seeking out
So the existential question for Muslims today is,
ďCan they construct such a dynamic sense of their own religion that is
open to the world? Accepting of it? Of Ďotherness,í of people and
religions and so on?Ē ... That takes on these guys, this alternative
ďjihadicĒ strain of Islam ... [and] defeats it intellectually, ...
pulls the rug under it, by undermining
the pillars and pointing out the inhuman and ungodly, if you like,
qualities and characters it has taken on. ...
If you could talk about
evil as we are seeingóAmericans are seeingófrom that perspective, and
how those 19 hijackers came to believe that we are the very embodiment of
I have no doubt whatsoever that bin Laden and his
cohorts, the broader trend that he represents, think of the United States
as evil. But I donít think they come there because they are defeated
internally. ... Thereís something very different going on here. For
these people, Islam is a resurgent force. That resurgence is expressed in
their actions, and I think even in their conception of the evilness of the
Now, on one level, evil for them is anyone who is
not a true Muslim. Thatís quite clear. An infidel, or a better word for
it in this particular case is an infidel, a non-believer. But theyíre
certainly not out to convert the population of the United States. ... This
is not an actóthe language, the symbols ... the martyrdom, all of
thisódesigned to address Americans or attract them to anything. So
thereís a kind of a wall here. In a way, itís addressing somebody else
Bin Ladenís real audience is the Middle East, his
other Muslims. I think he thought that, by this act, he would win large
numbers of converts to his cause ... [to] bring Arab regimes down. He
would perhaps even take power in this or that country, preferably Saudi
Arabia. That is where he is looking to; that is who is the audience. That
is who his symbols are directed towards.
So this is unlike anything else in the history of
Islam. Early Muslims, when they left the Arabian Peninsula and entered the
[Fertile Crescent], were conquerors. They converted peoples, and they gave
them time to convert. So they didnít force them sometimes, and they were
perfectly happy ruling over them. They were setting up a state, and then
people converted over time. Syria remained Christian for hundreds of years
after the Muslim conquest. So something different is going on here.
The obvious sense in which the United States is
evil is in the cultural icons that are seen everywhere. They are seemingly
trivial things, the influence of the America culture, which is everywhere:
TV, how women dress, the lack of importance of religion. So these are the
senses in which they are rejecting the United States. But youíre right;
they donít see Americans as people. ... They block that out. They only
see as people the Muslims they want to convert to their side, and thatís
But what drives [Osama bin
Laden] really is then an ancient, spiritual, religious ideaówhether you
like it or notówhich drives so many of the religions, which is the
ďpureĒ and the ďimpure.Ē
Yes. Itís that simple. That is very true. ... The
world is ... divided into these good and bad, very simple categories. He
is out to restore justice in the absolute sense, and good against evil.
As Andrew Sullivan
said, ďYes, this is a religious war.Ē
Yes. I mean, his [bin Ladenís] part of it is a
religious war, with this curious twist that he is not demented enough to
think that he can actually take on the power of the United States and
destroy it. But he is hoping to win over Muslims to him. So the battle has
a kind of a long strategy with various stages to it. The attack on the
United States was, I think, primarily intended to win over recruits to his
cause, bring about disruption in the Arab world and lead to his type of
person coming into power in the Arab world, and then sort of gradually
would expand his post.
... Earlier you were
saying to me, itís a story in the end that, when all the fancy
interpretations are over with, it puts cruelty first. How do you create a
religion out of a story that ... puts cruelty first?
... I find it very significant that no religious
traditions, Islam included, is ever in a position, I think almost by
definition, to put cruelty first in the order of its priorities of the
terrible things that human beings can do. That is perfectly illustrated in
the story of Abrahamís sacrifice with his son. Because, of course, what
the storyís all about is faith, the importance, and the primacy of
What is the essence of faith in the story is
Abrahamís willingness (a) not to question God about his command to
sacrifice his son, and (b) to proceed slowly, deliberately, over a period
of timeóthree days, I think it was -- [and] march up the mountain,
prepare the sacrifice, unquestioning, resolute. [It was] the perfect, as
Kierkegaard put it, ďnight of faithĒ model, exemplar of faith. And
[Abraham] is, in the Muslim tradition exactly thatóan exemplar of faith.
That is the importance of Abraham to Muslims. ...
Had he faltered, his faith would have been less, a
degree or so less. He didnít falter. God immediately stops it at the
absolute last moment and, of course, the act is ended. But what the story
is all about is how faith in God comes first, before anything else, and
then follow various virtues, of which harm to other human beings surely
has to be below faith. It seemed to me that that is something that the
hijackers certainly took to heart.
In the ... manual that they seemed to have
discussed before the event, that was setting them up psychologically to
proceed with their mission, various circumstances are laid out in this
document. One of them is, what happens if one of the [passengers] resists?
The manual very clearly tells the hijacker to stiffen his resolve and make
him able to do the deed he is about to do. Consider if one of the
[passengers] does, in fact, rise up and stop you, consider that this an
offering that God has given you. ... It is a giftónot an offering, a
giftóthat has been bestowed, which you can give as an offering to your
mother and father as you slaughter the passenger.
The language used is exactly the same as the
language in the Abraham story. The word [means] ... ďto
slaughterĒónot ďto kill.Ē It is a sense that the killing of the
passenger ... is an act of slaughter emulating the great sacrifice that
stands at the foundations of religious faith, namely that of Abraham
sacrificing his son.
Thatís probably one of the most chilling moments.
Here you see a story, a great foundational story of faith in God and a
definitional story of what is faith, turned on its head. ...
Is it fair to say that
submission to the rule of Allah is a core belief in Islam, and to a
greater degree even than in any other great monotheistic traditions? Or
has it come to be submission? Does that make it particularly vulnerable
for people like the hijackers?
Thatís a good question. Certainly submission is a
key; thatís the meaning of the word Islam, to surrender, to submit to
the will of God. The Muslim idea of God is, in many ways, more abstract,
more remote and less human, certainly, than the Christian and the God of
the Old Testament, who has passions and has angers and often behaves very
much like a human being in the various stories. The Muslim is more remote,
aloof, distant, and has to be obeyed. He has many, many different facets.
There are stories in the Old Testament, for
instance, where Abraham questions God. I mean, Abraham, in the story of
... Sodom and Gomorrah, I think, he turns around and heís not sure; he
has a discussion with God over something. That doesnít happen in the
Muslim account of things. I think that perhaps contributes to a more
apocalyptic sort of notion of identification with something thatís more
remote, therefore less human. ...
Submission has had different meanings over the
ages. Submission can mean [what] my grandmother used to mean by it, namely
fatalism. A fatality. You believed in God. ... It was a surrender to the
will of God. ... But in these menís hands, itís not submission so much
as itís acting. ... Itís acting, rather than submitting. Itís being.
Itís moving. Itís about action. So itís a different notion. ...
Itís more like the unflinching Abraham. When
youíve got it fixed in your mind, you donít flinch, you donít
question. You know what to do because that is what God wants. That is
Godís will. ...
What allows men like that
to feel so confident that they are on a 1-800 line to God? What is it
about the times they live in, their own needs, or the religion itself,
that makes that possibleóthat kind of confidence that they are on some
ecstatic connection with God and can speak for him with such fluency?
What makes people enter into cults? I think that
kind of certainty about something is not necessarily just religious. It
was seen in secular organizations, secular ideologues, ideological
organizations of one kind or another. Iíve experienced it among people I
used to know in the 1960s and 1970s. Itís a terrifying thing when you
see it at work.
And in the end of the day, it can always have these
deadly consequences: betrayal of your friends and comrades with the
greatest of ease. ... All of a sudden, you can betray left, right and
center, and people will die as a consequence. Itís been there in
communist traditions. Itís been there all the time.
The above text is taken from the transcript of PBS
Frontline documentary ďFaith and Doubt at Ground ZeroĒ. This
documentary is being broadcast on different PBS TV stations in USA on
September 3 and September 11, 2002.
Kanan Makiya is a professor of Middle East studies at
Brandeis University in Massachusetts. A native of Iraq, he has written
several books, including ďRepublic of Fear: The Politics of Modern