In The Atlantic.
With a follow-up here.
I interviewed Gerard Russell, author of Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, for The Boston Globe.
In the September 10 edition of The New Republic.
In the September 1 issue of The New Republic.
Originally appeared in The New York Times.
BANGUI, Central African Republic — This nation is flirting with genocide. Two barely organized groups — one Christian, one Muslim — have been fighting for control in the last year, and in some areas have tried to hunt each other to extinction. C.A.R. is splitting in two, with Muslims in the north and Christians in the south. Much of the capital is already empty of Muslims.
And yet casting the conflict in religious terms is a poor way to understand it. The war was caused not by sectarian differences, but by political and economic grievances, the products of systematic neglect of Muslim areas by the government once run by François Bozizé, a general backed by Chad and France. Religious divisions mapped onto, and exacerbated, senses of longstanding economic and political injustice.
I debated an Egyptian cleric on Salafi TV: a report for The Atlantic.
A report for The New Republic.