Showing posts from September, 2002


"[A]ll who benefit from the structural violence of the state are implicated in its cruelty." — Karen Armstrong, Fields of Blood – Religion and the History of Violence "Conventional Western literature on Arab and other Middle Eastern societies has persistently avoided any serious discussion of social class structure. Instead, it has conceived of Arab societies simply as a mosaic. At the margin of this mainstream discourse, however, there has been some occasional speculation on problems of social stratification. Whenever a discussion of this nature has taken place, it has evolved into a heated exchange. One point of view reaffirms the conclusions of the mosaic model and questions the relevance of class analysis. For instance, C. A. O. van Niewenhuijze and James Bill, in separate works, dismiss class analysis in economic terms and instead use Weberian concepts of status and power. Similarly, Iliya Harik has more recently dismissed the thesis put forward by some writers