Review: It’s Not About Religion
It’s Not About Religion
Perceval Press, pp. 106
As an American, It’s Not About Religion can seem offensive at times. The author is not coming from the popular Western point of view. In the book, Harms considers Robert Fisk, a Middle East news reporter, who described fellow reporters as having “deep insight many of them, into what’s happening in the region, but when I read their reports it’s not there. Everything they have to tell me of interest has been erased.” Gregory Harms argues that this is proof of a biased media. He states, “State power pursues its foreign agenda, which is often carried out with the private sector’s well-being in mind. The private sector owns the media and is not going to imperil its interests.” For a reader who may have been raised with the idea of a free and unbiased press, this feels like an assault against everything he or she believes, but the point Harms raises is an interesting one. It plays into the overall theme of the American government’s manipulation of both foreign and domestic entities. It’s Not About Religion offers an informative look at this underlying problem of the Middle East, taking the discourse away from the tired excuse of religion. It is an enlightening read, well-written, concise and clear. Perhaps a book such as this helps more of us challenge what we think we know about a multifaceted problem.
Kinzer, S. (2003). All the Shah’s Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror. Hoboken, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
His first book, The Palestine-Israel Conflict: A Basic Introduction, 3rd ed. (Pluto Press, 2012), as the title suggests, is a brief and general summary of the conflict, written for students and the general reader. The first edition (2005) was selected as a ChoiceOustanding Academic Title.
Harms's second book, Straight Power Concepts in the Middle East (Pluto Press, 2010), is an examination of US regional policy in the context of US-Israeli relations. And his third title, It's Not about Religion (Perceval Press, 2012), addresses the common question of religion concerning Middle Eastern instability.
Harms can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Antonia DiBona received her B.S. in Biology from Ursinus College in 2005 and worked as a middle school science teacher in a charter school for underprivileged youth for three years after college. Although teaching was a challenge and very rewarding Antonia has decided to pursue a second passion, writing. She is a first year graduate student at Rowan University pursuing her M.A. in Writing Arts. Her focus is nonfiction and she recently published an article about women in the sciences for the journal HBAdvantage.