Kanan Makiya is a professor of Middle East Studies at Brandeis University. He also directs the Iraq Research and Documentation Project at Harvard University; where he is attempting to make available for scholarly research some three million pages of official Iraqi government documents captured by the Kurds following the Gulf War in 1991.
The Baghdad-born Makiya is founding director of The Iraq Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that promotes public activities concerning democracy in Iraq. In October 1992, he acted as the convener of the Human Rights Committee of the Iraqi National Congress, a transitional parliament then based in northern Iraq.
Professor Makiya has collaborated on two films for television, the most recent of which exposed for the first time the 1988 campaign of mass murder in northern Iraq known as the Anfal. The film was shown in the United States under the title SADDAM'S KILLING FIELDS and received the Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Television Documentary on Foreign Affairs in 1992.
His books, published in English, Arabic, Kurdish, and French, include REPUBLIC OF FEAR (written under the pseudonym Samir al-Khalil) and CRUELTY AND SILENCE, which was awarded The Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book on international relations published in English in 1993. THE ROCK: A SEVENTH CENTURY TALE OF JERUSALEM has just been published by Pantheon Books in New York.
Professor Makiya has written for THE INDEPENDENT, THE NEW YORK TIMES, THE NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS, THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT, and THE TIMES OF LONDON.
Kanan Makiya participated in NOW's special roundtable event at the Aspen Institute in 2002. Read the panel discussions of "Islam vs. Islam" and "Justice and Jihad."
"Fighting Islam's Ku Klux Klan"
From the GUARDIAN UNLIMITED, Iraqi dissident Kanan Makiya concedes that Muslims have legitimate grievances against the U.S., but that it has spawned into a pathological and irrational ideology that is hijacking Islamic culture. To counter this diffusion of radical Islam, he argues Muslims must cease all affiliations with Al-Queda and see their members for the what they are: terrorists. "A question of faith"
A profile of Professor Makiya by THE OBSERVERS' Nick Cohen
from May 12, 2002. Cohen likens Makiya to famed Soviet dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn, noting "by challenging religious orthodoxy, Kanan Makiya has offended Left and Right, Jew and Muslim."
Interview with Kanan Makiya, FRONTLINE
A post September 11 interview from FRONTLINE's series "Faith and Doubt at Ground Zero."
Interview with Kanan Makiya, NPR
In this interview with Robert Siegel on NPR's All Things Considered, November 19, 2002, Makiya discusses his hopes for a post-Hussein Iraqi government.