Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The controversial Dr. Akiner

Shirin Akiner was my supervisor for my MA at SOAS. I took her class on Central Asia in 2001-2002. Although I do not agree with her on everything I do think she is a first class scholar and honest person. I am a historian and I think it takes about fifty years to get enough perspective to truly try and understand events. So I am not going to comment on either her 13 May 2005 report on the massacre in Andijan or the coverage of her 14 September 2005 talk in DC. I will just note that I think speculation regarding her integrity is beyond the pale. Nathan Hamm's Registan website has a pretty detailed discussion on both Dr. Akiner's report and recent talk.


Nathan said...

For what it's worth, I just want to be clear that I don't think she's being dishonest. But I do think there are problems with the way she went about doing her report, and that some of her biases (which aren't necessarily bad ones, as far as I'm concerned) may have pushed her a little too far out in defense of the Uzbek government.

Now Starr, I don't much like his tone at all in the report's introduction.

Nathan @ Registan.net

J. Otto Pohl said...

Nathan, I certainly was not referring to you regarding aspersions on Shirin Akiner's honesty. But, some of the commentors have come close to attacking her character. I think that is going beyond legitimate criticism. At anyrate it is a good debate and made me think again about her report.

Nathan said...

I always just try to make myself triply clear on the internet :)