The Best Defense

Hey Nat. Geo., will Marseilles really be W. Europe’s first majority Muslim city?

That's what National Geographic says, in the last paragraph of a new article: "It may well be the first western European city with a majority of its residents from Muslim backgrounds."

Probably better for the magazine to have said it may be the first majority Muslim city in western Europe in about 700 years. If I recall my history correctly, in the 13th century, many western European cities, such Granada and Cordoba, were majority Muslim. I remember being told that Cordoba (AKA Qurtuba) was at one point the world's largest city and had 3,000 mosques. Not long before that, the entire island of Sicily was an Arab emirate. Dunno if it ever was majority Muslim, but I'd bet Palermo was.

(HT to Al D.)

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The Best Defense

'Gendering Counterinsurgency'

That's the title of a talk being given at Oxford today by Laleh Khalili, a lecturer at the University of London's School of Oriental and African Studies.

For commendable brevity in neatly fusing two academic fads, Prof. Khalili wins the Best Defense award for best fusion cooking dish of the month.  

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