Shadi Hamid, senior fellow in the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World in the Center for Middle East Policy and author of the new book Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World, discusses his own personal experience as an American Muslim, and talks about Islam in the context of modern America and the world.
“One thing I have come to appreciate more is that Islam is a very complicated religion,” Hamid says. “When you dive into the theology, history and culture it’s not the easiest religion to understand. I do not think it is conducive to sound bites, and I think that is what most sides of the debate want.”
Download and listen to the previous Cafeteria podcast episodes with Shadi Hamid on Islamists, Democracy, and the Roots of Middle East Violence
Thanks to audio engineer and producer Zack Kulzer, with editing help from Mark Hoelscher, plus thanks to Carisa Nietsche, Bill Finan, Jessica Pavone, Eric Abalahin, Rebecca Viser, and our intern Sara Abdel-Rahim.
For the past year, you've seen that perhaps no leverage that the US and the West thought it had — aid, sanctions, the freezing of Afghanistan's reserves — has really had an effect on Taliban behavior. The Taliban has essentially done what they had always done. The Afghan people have been in a humanitarian crisis because the Taliban hasn't budged.