Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Great Muslims - Part Two
The second person in my "great Muslims" series is Fareed Zakaria. Fareed Zakaria was born in India in 1964 and is a writer and journalist specializing in international relations. Zakaria is a regular roundtable member of This Week with George Stephanapoulos, an analyst for ABC News, and hosts his own show on PBS, Foreign Exchange. Born and raised in Mumbai, India, he received his B.A. from Yale, where he was president of the Yale Student Union, and his PhD from Harvard. Zakaria regularly interviews world leaders, and has written three books, most recently one titled The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad. A great interview with Zakaria can be found in the Village Voice, right here. Dubbed "an intellectual heartthrob" by Jon Stewart, his opinion is widely sought after as one of the few public intellectuals who can make sense of the rise of Islamofascism. Fluent in many languages and a man of many interests, Zakaria was even Slate Magazine's wine columnist at one point. The Future of Freedom was published in the spring of 2003 and became a New York Times bestseller as well as a bestseller in several other countries. It has been translated into over eighteen languages. In it, he argues that democracy works best in societies when it is preceded by "constitutional liberalism," which he defines as the rule of law, rights of property, contract, and individual freedoms. He has written that historically liberty has preceded democracy, not the other way around. This is something I tend to agree with, and it is why I am cynical about the chance of democracy succeeding anytime SOON in Iraq. (but believe there is a chance for its long term survival) Zakaria is my second "Great Muslim." Third on my list will be a noted Muslim feminist.