Ioannis Gatsiounis

Gatsiounis is author of Beyond the Veneer: Malaysia's Struggle for Dignity and Direction, and, most recently, Velvet and Cinder Blocks, a collection of politically-tinged short stories.He blogs at

Baseball manager flailed for cheering Castro (and a word on Gunter Grass)

APRIL 16 — A manager for a Florida baseball team has come under fire for allegedly saying he loves Fidel Castro. I empathise with the nearly one... READ MORE

Hope for Islam’s image with bin Laden’s death

MAY 3 — Your initial reaction to news of Osama bin Laden’s death is telling. If you were disappointed, you no doubt harbour terrorist... READ MORE

Setting the stage for a deadly sequel in Palestine

MARCH 31 — A bomb goes off in Jerusalem, the first fatal attack in the city in several years. Israel retaliates with airstrikes on Gaza militants.... READ MORE

Just blame the Jews

MARCH 10 — It could be when you’re pulled over for drunk driving (Mel Gibson); your economy slumps (Mahathir Mohamad); Hollywood spurns you (Marlon... READ MORE

WikiLeaks and the unintended revelation

DEC 2 — There is a disproportionate preoccupation with US foreign policy. That comes with being the world’s number one. Your policies reverberate.... READ MORE

Why do they hate us?

SEPT 24 — One day after 9/11,  American security specialist Richard Clarke asked, “Why do they hate us?” Nine years later, with global and — most... READ MORE

Opposing Quran burning for the right reasons

SEPT 10 — So it has come to this. A Florida Pentecostal church was planning to burn Qurans tomorrow to commemorate the morning nine years ago when... READ MORE

Proceed with the Ground Zero mosque

AUG 19 — A mosque and community centre planned two blocks from the 9/11 attacks in lower Manhattan is one giant step closer to becoming a reality,... READ MORE

Soccer: The (mostly) empty net

JUNE 17 — Quick. Name one memorable match from the 2006 World Cup. If you’re like most people I’ve popped this question to, you are either stumped,... READ MORE

A tale of two countries

JUNE 9 — Rwanda and Malaysia are unique in countless ways. And yet for those familiar with both countries, it’s hard not to notice — in fact it... READ MORE

Looking for the inconvenient truths

JUNE 3 — Little is known about why Israel opened fire on a putatively humanitarian flotilla headed for Gaza on Monday, yet that didn’t stop world... READ MORE

Resisting the impulse, reviving the spirit

FEB 5 — The pig heads left at two mosques last week in Petaling Jaya were a blatant and tasteless attempt to provoke the Malay community. So far... READ MORE

Making a stink over durian

NOV 20 — Khalwat and durians are a steady presence in my new short story collection, "Velvet and Cinder Blocks." In one story, a KL taxi driver... READ MORE