I am reading Johan Franzen's Red Star Over Iraq: Iraqi Communism before Saddam. I will write about it again and the author is a meticulous researcher but I want to quibble with his reference to Zaki Al-Arsuzi (p. 26) and his views on religion. Franzen got it wrong: Al-Arsuzi was in fact the most anti-religious of the early founders of modern Arab nationalism, certainly among the Ba`thist founders. Al-Arsuzi influenced the refreshingly rigid secularism that Syria experienced in the regime of Salah Al-Jadid (Al-Asad was far less principled and was willing to make ideological compromises to stay in power). Al-Arsuzi considered Jahiliyyah the best period in Arab history, and reflective of Arab greatness.