Dan Jones's new history of the Knights Templar - a review
the guardian, October 7, 2017
The Knights Templar and their blood-spattered piebald flag
The Nice bombings have titled France towards fascism
the new york review blog, july 21, 2016
From the Socialist president to the centre-right, all are hewing to Marine Le Pen
The Eton effect - inside the world's poshest school
1843, august/september 2016
Eton says it wants to be an agent of social change. Hmm
the new york review blog, june 15, 2016
Who chooses asylum and deception? The acclaimed French director tells us in this riveting film, which won the Palme D'or in 2015
France's security measures may be storing up trouble for the future
prospect, april, 2016
A new book by one of France's top sociologists shows that existential problems of integration and perception are troubling the French state.
Are French prisons 'finishing schools' for terrorism?
the guardian, march 17, 2015
A winter spent researching France's new measures to deal with extremism in jails reveals that they are a stab in the dark - but better than the alternatives
All the people, so many people - Blur and me
the guardian, september 4, 2015
Attending Blur's Hyde Park concert this summer was an occasion to recall the circumstances under which I fell in love with them - 21 years ago, homesick in New Delhi
Stop calling for a Muslim Enlightenment
the guardian, february 19, 2015
In this essay for the Guardian's Long Reads I argue that, contra the current received wisdom, Muslims have been adapting and modernising since the beginning of the nineteenth century.
'Europe's premier misanthrope' - Michel Houellebecq's Soumission - review
the guardian, february 7, 2015
Michel Houellebecq's latest novel describing France under Islamic rule is a preposterous fantasy with a kernel of truth
Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent - review
the guardian, july 23, 2014
Innes Bowen has written an invaluable book about British Islam
No One Is Blameless
The New York Review Blog, February 17, 2014
Q: Why would anyone want to go to the cinema to watch the frail outgrowth of the future suffocated under the weight of the past, and finally to be reminded, because the characters cannot be dismissed as bad or even unsympathetic, that there is something in them of ourselves?
A: Because the film in question is another masterpiece by Asghar Farhadi.
Francis Bacon in the Islamic Republic
The Guardian, October 7, 2005
The finest collection of 20th-century western art outside Europe and America had been gathering dust in storage. Why? Because its owner, the Islamic Republic of Iran, wanted things that way. Until 2005, that is, when for a few weeks Tehran became MOMA.