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Winter 2001
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right to worry about hate crimes and stereotypical projections of Muslims and the Islamic religion. The problem, however, is that Muslims themselves responded to the challenge of modernity by stereotyping and then completely ignoring their own rich moral tradition. It is not surprising that some extremists have taken this tendency to its logical and heinous extreme.

Nonetheless, there are several ways in which the United States contributed to the emergence of these same extreme trends. We ourselves have tended to throw around the rhetoric of moral imperatives and commitments, but our foreign policy fell far short of our rhetoric. Our foreign policy toward Muslim nations remained guided by considerations of realpolitik and pure self-interest. In this vein, we supported, and continue to support, very repressive and corrupt governments with abysmal human-rights records. While touting the cause of freedom and democracy, we consistently referred to these repressive governments as our friends and allies. Even more, we arrogantly claimed to be the leader of the free world — whatever that means — but did not prove to be a very benevolent or principled leader.

In pursuit of her scholarship, Nikki Keddie has traveled extensively throughout the Muslim world, treks that she never failed to document in pictures. Her images capture slices of everyday life in an expanse that ranges from the archipelago of Indonesia in the Indian and Pacific oceans to the hot sands of Yemen at the tip of the Saudi Arabian peninsula.

Previous pages: Main Friday prayer, Tehran, Iran; girl with hennaed hands, San'a, Yemen; harvesting, northern Pakistan; dress-shop mannequins on display, Jakarta, Indonesia; solitary prayer, Lahore, Pakistan; oil workers, Abadan, Iran; stone houses, Yemen countryside; school for girls, Sumatra, Indonesia; shrine, Tehran, Iran; Qashqa'i weavers, southern Iran; Dress market, southern Yemen; Jewish boy with flatbread, Damascus, Syria; shrine, northern Pakistan; girl on the Mawlay-Indriss road, Fez, Morocco.


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