- Published on Friday, 10 May 2013 14:51
- Written by John Knefel
If media accounts are to be believed, the accused Boston marathon bombers were "radicalized" by watching American-born Yemeni cleric Anwar al-Awlaki's YouTube sermons and reading Inspire, the al Qaeda magazine. To whatever extent it is true of the Tsarnaev brothers, this narrative follows a familiar path: one in which seemingly ordinary people are exposed to radical ideas, then adopt those ideas as their own, and then become violent. That theory was set out in a 2007 NYPD report called Radicalization in the West, which focuses exclusively on Muslims, and describes a four-stage progression – a "funnel," the report says – in which each step towards violence is intrinsically linked with increased religiosity. Though the intelligence community at the federal level has distanced itself from the NYPD's theory, it continues to dominate thinking in law enforcement. There's only one problem, according to critics: It's reductive and simplistic at best, and at worst is a thin justification for racial profiling of Muslims.
- Published on Wednesday, 24 April 2013 21:04
- Written by BC & Agencies
The dominant reactions to the horrific bombings on April 15th, the day of the running of the Boston Marathon, as well as the celebration of Patriots Day, have been so far: compassion for the victims, a maximal resolve to track down the perpetrators, a pundit's notebook that generally agrees that Americans have been protected against terrorist violence since 9/11 and that the best way to prevail against such sinister adversaries is to restore normalcy as quickly as possible. In this spirit, it is best to avoid dwelling on the gory details by darkly glamorizing the scene of mayhem with flowers and homage. It is better to move forward with calm resolve and a re-commitment to the revolutionary ideals that midwifed the birth of the American nation. Such responses are generally benevolent, especially when compared to the holy war fevers espoused by national leaders, the media, and a vengeful public after the 9/11 attacks that also embraced Islamophobic falsehoods. Maybe America has become more poised in relation to such extremist incidents, but maybe not. It is soon to tell, and the somewhat hysterical Boston dragnet for the remaining at large and alive suspect does suggest that the wounds of 9/11 are far from healed
- Published on Tuesday, 23 April 2013 00:52
- Written by Muhammad Abdul Bari
On 7 February the Department for Education (DfE) launched a consultation on Reform of the National Curriculum in England. It ended on 16 April. The DfE has already published a draft curriculum specification for 12 school subjects. In History, the Islamic contribution to this country remains almost entirely absent.
- Published on Monday, 15 April 2013 03:20
- Written by Kate Blanchard
Sparked by a Richard Dawkins tweet, in which he drew a parallel between Islamists and (yawn) Nazis, Nathan Lean recently suggested on Salon.com that the most famous representatives of the new atheism "flirt with" Islamophobia [echoing Chris Stedman's prescient warning to fellow atheists on RD this past August]. As the article explains, Dawkins, Hitchens, and their ilk have had a gleeful decade of "intellectual triumphalism" directed against the religion that they see as particularly adept at producing "suicide bombers and terrorists," which "are not aberrations. They are the norm." Such Islamophobic ideas are not unique to the new atheists, of course, but after reading Lean's analysis, one is inclined to nominate "flirting" (the term chosen by Salon editorial for the headline) for Understatement of the Year.
- Published on Friday, 22 March 2013 15:20
- Written by Lyuba Lulko, Pravda.Ru
In 2014, all EU countries will hold parliamentary elections that may be won by the opponents of European integration. Recent EU measures to stabilize the situation in Cyprus showed that the foundations of the ideology of the Western world based on the Catholic and Protestant faiths have been undermined. The West is trying to explain its hurried decisions with the pressure from the Russian Federation.
- Published on Thursday, 11 April 2013 12:10
- Written by Yasmina Kishanov Blackburn
Born and raised in Chicago, I took for granted my family history. My father was a Pomak from the tiny mountain village of Arda- in the southernmost region of Bulgaria, bordering Greece. Communism oppressed my family's ability to practice Islam. They changed our family name in an attempt to wash away our identity. My grandfather was killed from stepping on a land mine leftover from war. He was just steps away from the border where he was planning an escape to freedom for the entire family. My father did escape communism eventually by running across the border. A moment he never regretted, but that stole 20 years away from seeing his family again.
- Published on Friday, 22 March 2013 15:03
- Written by Shoket Gulam
Those horrible incidents of mob rapes and molestation in various parts of India, which we hear about lately, unfortunately are not going to stop any sooner than what the Indian Government has put into place the "so called strict laws and harsh police surveillence"!