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We are all danes now

We Are All Danes Now is a great editorial run today in the Boston Globe. Why does radical Islam suffer such a fundamental disconnect with the rest of the world?
posted by Brockstar on Feb 5, 2006 - 201 comments

They have no idea what an Arab is. . .

Seeing Only Evil: An Interview with Retired CIA Agent Robert Baer, Author of See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War Against Terrorism.
posted by exlotuseater on Feb 5, 2006 - 21 comments

Allah Bless Texas

Redneck Muslims? Apparently. Strange BBC piece on Christian Texans converting to Islam. I have a hard time believing these people don't eat pork.
posted by mosessmith on Feb 2, 2006 - 51 comments

The New Face of World War

World War IV As Fourth-Generation Warfare
posted by Gyan on Feb 1, 2006 - 49 comments

Landscapes Of The Jihad

...With the end of the cold war and the emergence of global networks in which goods, ideas and people circulate outside the language of citizenship, the fundamentalist fight for ideological states has lost influence... Muslim radicalism, by contrast, has moved beyond the language of citizenship to assume a global countenance, joining movements as different as environmentalism and pacifism in its pursuit of justice on a worldwide scale. Such movements are ethical rather than political in nature: they can neither predict nor control the global consequences of their actions...
Spectral brothers: al-Qaida’s world wide web  
Snapshots of Faisal Devji's Landscapes of the Jihad are to be seen within
posted by y2karl on Dec 8, 2005 - 17 comments

Understanding Islam.

The USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts is a very useful compilation of essays on various topics, searchable versions of the Qur'an (uses three different translations) and hadith (the sayings and traditions of the Prophet), and a glossary (which is how I discovered the site, while trying to find a good reference for a comment on Falconetti's excellent Maniac Muslim post). The first of the Ten Misconceptions About Islam: "Islam is 'the religion of peace' because the Arabic word Islam is derived from the Arabic word Al-Salaam which means peace." Their response:
It might seem strange to think of this as a misconception, but in fact it is. The root word of Islam is al-silm which means "submission" or "surrender." It is understood to mean "submission to Allah." In spite of whatever noble intention has caused many a Muslim to claim that Islam is derived primarily from peace, this is not true.
As you can see, they care about accuracy, not just propaganda.
posted by languagehat on Dec 6, 2005 - 24 comments

Maniac Muslim

Maniac Muslim: Making Muslims look cool since 1984. A humorous look at all things Muslims, by Muslims, and for Muslims (and you), such as Annoying Quirks Of Masjid Uncles, Your Guide to Islamic Conferences, and Muslim Chat Lingo. The impetus for the sight can be found here.
posted by Falconetti on Dec 5, 2005 - 25 comments

Tolerating Intolerance

On the night of Feb. 7, 2005, Hatun Surucu, 23, was killed on her way to a bus stop in Berlin-Tempelhof by several shots to the head and upper body, fired at point-blank range. The investigation revealed that months before, she reported one of her brothers to the police for threatening her. Now three of her five brothers are on trial for murder. According to the prosecutor, the oldest of them (25) acquired the weapon, the middle brother (24) lured his sister to the scene of the crime and the youngest (18) shot her.

Evidently, in the eyes of her brothers, Hatun Surucu's capital crime was that, living in Germany, she had begun living like a German. In a statement to the Turkish newspaper Zaman, one brother noted that she had stopped wearing her head scarf, that she refused to go back to her family and that she had declared her intent to "seek out her own circle of friends."
posted by The Jesse Helms on Dec 4, 2005 - 35 comments

Quitting Drinking Dogmatically

Vandals in suits and bow-ties burned down an Oakland liquor store last night, apparently the same vandals who smashed cases and displays last Wednesday. The police and store owners have suggested they have ties to a local community of Black Muslims. Both stores attacked belonged to the Yemini American Grocery Association and were targeted because they were selling alcohol. Said one store owner: "They asked us if we were Muslim. When we said 'yes,' one of them said that good Muslims shouldn't be poisoning the community with alcohol, or something like that."
posted by ScottMorris on Nov 28, 2005 - 54 comments

"In the span of history, this is a not an altogether unfamiliar situation for us."

Quitting France: French Jews are leaving the country in ever-growing numbers, fleeing a wave of anti-Semitism. They are moving to Israel, the United States, and increasingly, Montreal -- where the mostly English-speaking Jewish community is preparing for its greatest demographic change in decades. An interesting if slightly anecdotal look at the situation for Jewish people in France from Canada's National Post.

Part 1 - Barricaded in Paris, Part 2 - Taking leave of 'the fear', Part 3 tomorrow deals with the impact of the influx of French Jews in Montreal.
posted by loquax on Nov 21, 2005 - 67 comments

Five questions non-Muslims would like answered

Five questions non-Muslims would like answered.
posted by lupus_yonderboy on Nov 13, 2005 - 138 comments

Hi kids! Do you like violence?

Animated video broadcast on Iran's IRIB state television, apparently aimed at children, seemingly promotes the virtues of becoming a suicide bomber. Coralized wmv link, transcript.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 6, 2005 - 57 comments

Nasruddin

Albert Brooks is set to release a movie called Looking for Comedy in the Muslim World . No doubt we'll be hearing more on that, but let us reserve judgement. Meanwhile, for those who need persuading, here are some links concerning 13th century sufi and funny man Nasruddin . His people are understandably proud and you can find a lot more of his stuff, probably better than what I've put up. (This post prompted in part by Rumi post earlier today- for those who might be put off by the current trendiness of that most excellent poet.) Enjoy.
posted by IndigoJones on Nov 5, 2005 - 26 comments

The free spirit of Islam

The free spirit of Islam : The popularity in the US of Rumi, a 13th-century Turkish poet, is a tragic irony, as the order of Sufi dervishes he founded is banned at home, via The Guardian. Rumi's brand of Sufism represents "the free spirit of Islam ... the liberal spirit that I think needs to be recognised at a time when Islam has come to be considered almost synonymous with terrorism" Here are some additional links.
posted by adamvasco on Nov 5, 2005 - 18 comments

Edoardo Agnelli was a moslem

Iranian students demonstrate outside Italian embassy in Iran.Chanting anti-Zionism slogans, the ralliers called for the withdrawal of the Zionists from the occupied Palestine.
They also called for the Italian government's explanation on the Nov 15, 2000 assassination of the Eduardo Agnelli suspiciously at the hand of the zionists. Edoardo Agnelli, born in June 9, 1954 in New York of a Christian father and a Jewish mother, had converted to Islam four years before the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. He was the only son of the Italian tycoon Gianni Agnelli -director and the main shareholder of Fiat and Ferrari automaking factories - who died of prostate cancer in January 24, 2003.
Some pictures which prove he was a Moslem.
posted by persia on Nov 3, 2005 - 103 comments

Parsing Terror

Osama bin Laden, littérateur and new-media star. A thought-provoking analysis of bin Laden's adept use of Koranic language and the Internet by Bruce B. Lawrence, an Islamic scholar at Duke who edited a new anthology of bin Laden's public statements called Messages to the World. The Western media -- says the millionaire mass-murderer formerly trained as a useful ally by the CIA via Pakistan's ISI -- "implants fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media are doing!" Know thy enemy. [via Arts and Letters Daily.]
posted by digaman on Nov 3, 2005 - 57 comments

Toward a Virtual Caliphate

Since 9/11, the United States has appeared to want to do business only with hand picked and officially approved "good Muslims" – that is, to work with Muslims who fit US requirements as to what Islam should be. The problem, of course, is that the figures and groups who carry Washington's seal of approval often have little to no legitimacy among the constituencies the US wants to influence. Viewed in the big picture and over the longer term, one has to wonder whether US goals and those of the emergent "virtual caliphate" might not overlap more than they diverge.   Toward a Virtual Caliphate    Via Abu Aardwark
posted by y2karl on Nov 2, 2005 - 5 comments

I miss you, you magnificent bastard.

Life without Theo - one year on. It's not that Holland's cherished troublemaker wasn't aware of the possibility - he had been threatened more than once. He just sincerely believed that no-one would harm the "village idiot", as he liked to call himself (salon link). Today, the skilled polemicist who regarded it his constitutional right to insult anyone but would at the same time engage anyone in reasonable, friendly debate is remembered in various ways. [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Nov 2, 2005 - 33 comments

What the hell is going on in France?

Newsfilter: Rioting continues in the suburbs of Paris. In Clichy-Sous-Bois, a predominantly (80%) North African muslim banlieu of about 28,000 people, night battles have been raging (video) between youths and the police after two muslim youths died by electrocution while they thought the police were chasing them, a charge the police denies. That was 5 nights ago. Since then, 27 people have been arrested, 3 convicted, numerous cars destroyed and property damaged, and 23 police officers wounded in street battles involving "up to several hundred" participants. The muslim community now accuses the police of firing tear gas into a mosque, and things look far from calming down. These tensions are hardly confined to Paris, however - In Lyon, 800 cars have been burned in "low level" violence this year; Across France, 9,000 police cars have been "stoned" this year, and 20-40 cars are destroyed a night (!!!), according to Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. I knew that relations between "the French" and the "Beurs" were somewhat less than pleasant, but am I the only one that was unaware that France has been in a state of low-level but direct civil and religious war for the last few years?
posted by loquax on Nov 1, 2005 - 80 comments

Test Your Knowledge of Islam.

Test Your Knowledge of Islam. Also: Understanding Islam, Ramadan 101, Mrs Muhammad, Healthy Fasting. Other useful links here.
posted by matteo on Oct 25, 2005 - 30 comments

No, you're wrong! No, YOU'RE wrong!!

If You're a Christian, Muslim or Jew - You are Wrong - A rant over at the Huffington Post.
And let's be clear about this, it IS a rant, and a beaut at that. But it's a sentiment that's run through the head of everyone who isn't a member of the three mentioned groups. No one in the mainstream media says things like this, I wonder why?
The post is made. Let the emphatic agreements, and the vicious denials... begin!
posted by JHarris on Oct 23, 2005 - 259 comments

Yeah, right Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

The Simpsons are going to... the Middle East! As a treat for viewers during Ramadan, Dubai-based network MBC has dubbed 30 episodes of the Simpsons into Arabic. But in order not to offend their audience, this version of Our Favorite Family is, well, a bit different; for instance, Homer (rechristened Omar) doesn't eat bacon or drink beer. Speculation about the fate of other characters abounds, One Angry Arab is not impressed.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Oct 21, 2005 - 28 comments

Soldiers of the Hidden Imam

What of Iran's nuclear program? That was not a pressing concern for the young people I met. None of them raised the issue in conversation with me. When I asked them about it, they fell into two groups... Yet both insisted with equal vehemence that an American or Israeli bombing of nuclear installations, let alone an Iraq-style invasion, would be a wholly unacceptable response to Iran's nuclear ambitions... A perceptive local analyst reinforced the point. Who or what, he asked, could give this regime renewed popular support, especially among the young? "Only the United States!" If... whatever we do to slow down the nuclearization of Iran does not end up merely slowing down the democratization of Iran; and if, at the same time, we can find policies that help the gradual social emancipation and eventual self-liberation of Young Persia, then the long-term prospects are good. The Islamic revolution, like the French and Russian revolutions before it, has been busy devouring its own children. One day, its grandchildren will devour the revolution

Soldiers of the Hidden Imam
posted by y2karl on Oct 14, 2005 - 32 comments

James Yee - An American In Chains

My cell was 8 ft by 6 ft, the same size as the detainees’ cages at Guantanamo. It was my turn to be humiliated every time I was taken to have a shower. Naked, I had to run my hands through my hair to show that I was not concealing a weapon in it. Then mouth open, tongue up, down, nothing inside. Right arm up, nothing in my armpit. Left arm up. Lift the right testicle, nothing hidden. Lift the left. Turn around, bend over, spread your buttocks, knowing a camera was displaying my naked image as male and female guards watched. It didn’t matter that I was an army captain, a graduate of West Point, the elite US military academy. It didn’t matter that my religious beliefs prohibited me from being fully naked in front of strangers. It didn’t matter that I hadn’t been charged with a crime. It didn’t matter that my wife and daughter had no idea where I was. And it certainly didn’t matter that I was a loyal American citizen and, above all, innocent... I knew why I had been arrested: it was because I am a Muslim.

James Yee: An American in chains It's OK to demonize the 'Other' if the Other is a Muslim.
posted by y2karl on Oct 9, 2005 - 163 comments

Bruce Sterling's "We See Things Differently

We See Things Differently - a 1989 story from the perspective of an Arab visitor to a future, run-down America. By Bruce Sterling, science fiction writer and one of the founders of cyberpunk. Besides his science fiction, Sterling is also known for his 1992 book The Hacker Crackdown, available free on-line, and the Viridian Design Project. He's also an entertaining science writer; here's a column he wrote on bacterial resistance.
posted by russilwvong on Oct 6, 2005 - 28 comments

Boeing ad shows soldiers storming a mosque

Did anyone at Boeing really think this ad through? Boeing/Bell Helicopters recently put out a print advert showing US soldiers rappelling from an Osprey helicopter onto the roof of a mosque.

Predictably, Muslim groups are not too happy with the ad. It ran twice in the National Journal and Armed Forces Journal. coincidentally, the United States is also trying to repair its image in the Muslim world... with a campaign led by Karen Hughes.
posted by huskerdont on Oct 1, 2005 - 80 comments

Saudi Swimwear

The Mutaween - Saudi Arabia's Authority for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, is rigid in it's enforcement of Wahabist Shari`a. It's website offers a list of banned consumer goods, along with a form for turning in one's neighbor [English translation here]. The kingdom uses internet filtering technology to stop residents from even viewing provocative clothing. Non-compliance means death.
So what's the style-conscious Saudi woman to do? Hasima Islamic Swimwear was the answer.
posted by kanewai on Aug 22, 2005 - 38 comments

Will it be this easy?

What al-Qaida Really Wants: An Islamic Caliphate in Seven Easy Steps. German newspaper Der Spiegel offers a look at an Islamist plan for success by 2020, courtesy of journalist Fouad Hussein, who claims close connection with al-Qaida's inner circle. But does that inner circle really call the shots anymore? And how reliable are long-term global plans, anyway? [first link via The Agonist]
posted by mediareport on Aug 15, 2005 - 29 comments

The Rift

The Rift: The state of Islamic Alienation in Europe and for that matter any Western nation. Do Muslims get to retain their complete identity, values, and customs unfettered by their residency in the West? I think not. Inversely, if 1-5% of the population in Saudi Arabia was western what could they expect of their adopted (i.e. a choice) Wahhabi nation... Where does this end?
posted by philmas on Aug 14, 2005 - 34 comments

dangerous radicals

A Brief History of Slime, or How The Current Wave Of Global Islamic Terrorism Was Precipitated By A B-Movie Actor.
posted by 31d1 on Aug 3, 2005 - 56 comments

Did we jump to conclusions?

It turns out that those boys who were hanged in Iran may not have been quite so innocent after all. [original post]
posted by dirtynumbangelboy on Aug 3, 2005 - 44 comments

Dick Cheney's Pre-Emptive Nuclear War on Terror

In case of emergency, nuke Iran. From the folks who brought you Operation Iraqi Freedom and the "last throes" of the insurgency, the latest strategy for enhancing homeland security and US global standing is to launch a nuclear first-strike against Iran in the event of another 9/11-style attack -- whether Iran has ties to the attackers or not. As Juan Cole points out, turning a Shiite Muslim nation into the next Hiroshima could have disagreeable consequences. (First reported by the American Conservative, not your typical liberal rag, and via DailyKos.)
posted by digaman on Jul 29, 2005 - 78 comments

Interview with a British Jihadist

An interview with a British Jihadist. What he believes, how he came to his beliefs. An extended version of the interview from the latest issue of Prospect.
posted by biffa on Jul 29, 2005 - 93 comments

Gay Teens Executed in Iran

Iran executes two teenagers. Their crime? Making love. Homosexuality is a crime under Sharia law. Meanwhile, newly "liberated" Iraq moves closer to embedding traditional Islamic laws in its new constitution, reducing rights for women. Will Iraqi gays be the next to suffer the wrath of "Allah's law" after years of secular oppression under Saddam Hussein?
posted by digaman on Jul 21, 2005 - 109 comments

Do you swear to tell the truth?

So help me Allah The Koran is not Holy Scripture, according to a North Carolina judge, who says a Muslim can't swear to tell the truth on it, citing a 1777 law.
posted by teaperson on Jul 19, 2005 - 88 comments

A post-Iran nuclear Middle East?

Who else has Khan worked with? As far back as 2003, there have been strong indications of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia building a strategic alliance based upon an exchange of nuclear technology, funding and natural resources, after a worsening post-9/11 relationship between the United States and the Saud family. Concerns deepened after Saudi Arabia requested a change in its relationship with the IAEA in May.
posted by Rothko on Jul 19, 2005 - 12 comments

On "The Glassing of Mecca"

Answering the "Glass Mecca" Strategy. Regarding the comments by Rep. Tom Tancredo offering the nuclear terrorist attack response of "nuking Mecca.” …More inside
posted by Dunvegan on Jul 19, 2005 - 178 comments

What you won't see on Fox News

Muslims are speaking out against terrorism to anyone who will listen.
posted by leapingsheep on Jul 13, 2005 - 68 comments

Killing you for me

The Logic of Suicide Terrorism. First you feel nervous about riding the bus. Then you wonder about going to a mall. Then you think twice about sitting for long at your favorite café. Then nowhere seems safe. Terrorist groups have a strategy—to shrink to nothing the areas in which people move freely—and suicide bombers, inexpensive and reliably lethal, are their latest weapons. Israel has learned to recognize and disrupt the steps on the path to suicide attacks. We must learn too.
posted by The Jesse Helms on Jul 13, 2005 - 38 comments

"I don't feel your pain."

"I don't feel your pain." Mohammed Bouyeri, the man who confessed to killing Dutch filmmaker and writer Theo van Gogh, surprised judges and television viewers alike yesterday by breaking his silence for only the second time since the start of his trial. On monday, when asked about his hate for the same Western society that gave his parents work and asylum, he gave only this short answer in Arabic: "I pray that God protect me that I should ever think differently than I do now." (WaPo link, reg. req'd) [more inside]
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Jul 13, 2005 - 65 comments

London - Terror Crossroads?

London - Terror Crossroads? Long before bombings ripped through London on Thursday, Britain had become a breeding ground for hate, fed by a militant version of Islam.
posted by dsquid on Jul 9, 2005 - 12 comments

The next terrorist attack on America may be perpetrated by Europeans.

The next terrorist attack on America may be perpetrated by Europeans. Radical Islam is spreading across Europe among descendants of Muslim immigrants. Disenfranchised and disillusioned by the failure of integration, some European Muslims have taken up jihad against the West. They are dangerous and committed -- and can enter the United States without a visa.
posted by dsquid on Jul 8, 2005 - 33 comments

wow

Bob Parson's may have (somewhat) changed his tune when it comes to inhumane treatment of prisoners, but there are still plenty of ways to show your support for the little terrorist resort that could (toture people)
posted by delmoi on Jun 22, 2005 - 23 comments

I'm naked under this burka...

They hate Flickr for it's Freedom. An ISP (and government controlled monopoly) in the United Arab Emirates has decided to ban access to Flickr for it's citizens, apparently due to the complaints of a couple of UAE expats in the UK and Canada. Of course, said blockage won't apply to them. Most interestingly, they blame the rest of the world's non-flesh-fearing photographers as opposed to their ISP (and by proxy their own oppressive government.) Now Flickr joins Skype, AtomFilms, Friendster, AOL, and anything from Israels top-level domain, as outlawed content and services in the UAE (related study here). Well, if they don't care, why should we? Via linkfilter.
posted by rzklkng on Jun 22, 2005 - 28 comments

The Dutch-Muslim Culture War

The Dutch-Muslim Culture War
The backlash against Hirsi Ali has astonished and disappointed many Dutch feminists, who continue to count themselves among her biggest fans. Margreet Fogteloo, editor of the weekly De Groene Amsterdammer, said flatly that [historian Geert] Mak is crazy. "People like him feel guilty because they were closing their eyes for such a long time to what was going on," she said. In what appears to be a Europe-wide pattern, some feminists are aligning themselves with the anti-immigrant right against their former multiculturalist allies on the left. Joining them in this exodus to the right are gay activists, who blame Muslim immigrants for the rising number of attacks on gay couples. (Via PoliticalTheory.info)
posted by jenleigh on Jun 15, 2005 - 52 comments

Muslim Refusenik

Irshad Manji, self-described "Muslim Refusenik", urges moderation after the Newsweek-Quran scandal. Earlier this month, Manji launched a public campaign for Ijtihad ("independent thinking") with a claim for Islamic pluralism and "the aim of setting up a foundation for young, reform-minded Muslims to explore and challenge their faith."
posted by jenleigh on May 24, 2005 - 46 comments

Cristobal Vila's Isfahan Movie

An amazing piece of animation made all the better by its magical subject: the lovely architecture of Persia and its storybook capital for some 200 years, Isfahan. Cristobal Vila, principle of Eterea Studios, shares behind the scenes information... and you can even purchase a print from the movie, if you're so inclined. Be sure to check out his other works. Via Times & Seasons.
posted by silusGROK on May 7, 2005 - 15 comments

Salah-ad-Din, legend and modern context

Saladin (Salah-ad-Din) is perhaps the most interesting aspect of the latest less than great Hollywood historical epic. A leader who seems to have viewed war as the means to a more perfect peace, his namesake now belongs to the Iraqi provence containing Tikrit, his birthplace and a city now all too familiar to us. The modern context of his story is important and obvious.
posted by fatllama on May 7, 2005 - 27 comments

no interest, no profit?

Islamic finance --doing business according to Shari'a. ...Pious Muslims are not allowed to invest in industries that have ties to tobacco, alcohol, weapons, pornography or pork products. Since the law prohibits banks from charging or paying interest, Noriba and other Islamic Financial Institutions (ifis) instead make money by using a system based on the sharing of capital gains or losses. But even with post-Sept. 11 suspicions that Islamic banks may fund terrorist organizations, demand for the services of ifis is on the rise from the towers of Bahrain to the streets of London. Indeed, they represent one of banking's hottest sectors. ... more here
Socially-conscious investing of a different sort?
posted by amberglow on May 6, 2005 - 15 comments

This episode of Alam Simsim was brought to you by the letters U, S, and A

Muppet Diplomacy - USNews and World Reports has a new must-read article: "The White House has approved a classified new strategy, dubbed Muslim World Outreach, that for the first time states that the United States has a national security interest in influencing what happens within Islam. Because America is, as one official put it, "radioactive" in the Islamic world, the plan calls for working through third parties--moderate Muslim nations, foundations, and reform groups--to promote shared values of democracy, women's rights, and tolerance." This means surprising US-funded initiatives such as restoring historic Sufi (i.e. moderate, non-Wahhabist) mosques, saving 11th Century Uzbek Korans, and convincing Pakistani madrassah teachers to quietly add science and math to the curriculum. Oh, and it means we're funding secular and independent media, including "in what boosters are calling Muppet Diplomacy", an Arabic version of Sesame Street. Can cultural revitalization, increased educational access, nascent democratic movements, and adorable lil' Elmo--all paid for with US tax dollars--be an effective innoculant against the tentacles of Radical Islam? Daniel Pipes, The Progressive Muslims' Union, and Reason magazine weigh in. See also a related RAND Corporation report from March, 2004.
posted by Asparagirl on Apr 28, 2005 - 28 comments

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