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21 June 2010



Very good criticisms HAroon. I read his first letter from Istanbul as well, and he was calling AKP ISlamist in that one, which is obviously not true. Basically he is clueless and he is trying to mislead other people. Why is he even writing in NYT, I don't understand. I agree that his tone is patronizing and Orientalist. I would like to see the list of people he talked to in Istanbul.

Jillian C. York

I have never read such a beautiful tearing up of Thomas Friedman's ____hole. Thank you.

Abu Eesa Niamatullah

Salams Haroon. Long time, and it was well worth coming back to read this cracker of a piece that I had to put my diet Pepsi down for a number of times in order not to splurt (if that's not a real word then just pretend it is) all over my laptop. No really.

But anyway, so umm what are you trying to say?



Tarik Trad

Well done. I'm going to save the following paragraph for the rest of my life:

"Millions of pious Muslims have fought for democracy. They marched in favor of Mousavi, and were beaten and even killed. They were arrested and detained. They didn't call it the Green Movement for nothing. They are suffering now in Egypt, in Tunisia, in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. They are harassed in China, show-trialed and railroaded in Malaysia and demonized in Algeria. They were slaughtered for their right to independence, by the tens of thousands, in Bosnia, and disappeared over decades in the Soviet Union. Muslims bleed, and have bled, for noble ideals and great causes. There is no monopoly on democracy, not for atheists, secularists, Muslims, Jews, Christians, Hindus, etc."


You have convinced me. Really, Turkey is a victim of the EU, Israel is the true rogue state in the region, Hamas a poor, innocent victim of the Jewish siege, and Iran a moderate democracy (if not 'popularly' run - hmm). Friedman's simplistic rhetoric is infinitely preferable to the idiocy of clever experts like you, because his judgements are overall still correct. You still have a lot to learn from the Western tradition, not despite, but because of your unfounded arrogance.

Deaf Indian Muslim Anarchist

great smackdown. i cannot stand Thomas Friedman's patronizing attitude toward the Islamic/Muslim world.


You really ripped Friedman to shreds, bravo. I agree wholeheartedly with your comments about Friedman's poor attempt at humility with that whole airport schtick. I don't know about you, but I want my experts to be, oh I don't know, intelligent.

Abu-Maishah Shair

Since Thomas L. Friedman has an 11,000 square foot home, a act which would bolster his credibility as a "political pundit", would be to give life-time, rent-free rooms to Chavez, Ahmadinijam, Putin, Edrogen,..and that 6ft,4inch saudi guy who STILL "hiding out in a cave somewhere in Afghanistan". Then he could get his "facts" straight!

signing off from a Turkish cafe, in Greenwich Village,
Abu-Maishah Shair

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What a glorious takedown. Edward Said would definitely approve.

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If you know what I, then you will forgive my now!

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Poor edward has to do his work after dinner and he couldn’t go with us to play football. Because he dare not go against his mother’s orders. What a pity!

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Letter from Istanbul, Part 2: Thomas Friedman is Either an Idiot Or He Is

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