'Homeland,' Obama’s Show.
The award winning TV show does little to alleviate the myths and misconceptions about Arabs and Muslims, writes Joseph Massad
, a scholar
at Columbia University. "The racist representation of Arabs is so exponential, even for American television [..] that one does not know where to begin." [more inside]
"Muslim-American Terrorism in the Decade Since 9/11" (PDF)
is a report by Professor Charles Kurzman of the University of North Carolina, published by the Triangle Center for Terrorism and Homeland Security
. The TCFTHS is a collection of experts in the "Research Triangle" of North Carolina, associated with Duke, UNC and NC State and RTI, the independent research institute dedicated to aggregating and marketing the research resources of these three institutions. [more inside]
Makoto Hirata, a senior member of doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo and one of three remaining fugitives from the group, has turned himself in
to police after more than sixteen years on the run, leading to questions about the timing
of his surrender now, after all these years.
While Aum is best known as the group responsible for the deadly sarin-gas attack
on Tokyo's subway system that killed 13 people and injured more than 6000, Hirata is wanted on suspicion of taking part in a different crime, the kidnapping and murder of Kiyoshi Kariya
, the brother of an ex-Aum member who had left the group.
Despite the fact that police stations and koban (police boxes) throughout Japan have prominently displayed wanted posters
of the three Aum Shinrikyo fugitives for the past 16 years, Hirata had remained at large and hadn't had plastic surgery, leading to police speculation that he must have been helped
by others while on the run.
The FBI is teaching its counterterrorism agents that “main stream” [sic] American Muslims are likely to be terrorist sympathizers; that the Prophet Mohammed was a “cult leader”; and that the Islamic practice of giving charity is no more than a “funding mechanism for combat.”
While the FBI's monitoring of Muslims
and infiltration of mosques
in the United States
is nothing new
, this is the first time I've seen any of documents they use to train some of their agents. [more inside]
The Rebellion Within:
An Al Qaeda mastermind questions terrorism.
Religious extremism: the good, the bad, and the deadly
(pdf) is an academic paper offering an alternative analysis of economic self-interest as a motivation for terrorism.
A University of California San Diego economics professor
is among the world's leaders in a small but growing field of study that uses economic principles to gain a deeper understanding of radical religious groups
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!
Politics, Terror and Religion -
‘Twas the year of our lord 1605, the King - James the 1st (God save the King!
) will be opening parliament tomorrow. But lo! What is this? Conspiracy?
Grab that fellow!
Following on from last year’s post
about Guy Fawkes
here is some more edutainment
and Weapons of Mass Destruction
from nearly 400 years ago. Things just never change do they?
(More BritFilter for your delectation – and before you ask "Why not November the 5th?" Fawkes was arrested on the night of the 4th and with recent global events I thought some might be interested in the parallels).
What's up with Christopher Hitchens nowadays? Here is an interview
with him by Johann Hari
The mind of the fundamentalist
(streaming RealAudio) is an hour-long radio show featuring excerpts from talks given at a psychoanalytic psychotherapy conference in Sydney. Three speakers discuss experiences with fundamentalists, and driving factors behind their beliefs. It includes an amazing first-hand account of fundamentalist terrorism by a journalist whos plane was hijacked, and who later tracked down the hijacker and attempted to understand what drove him. The RealAudio-squeamish can find a transcript here
After all the hoopla about increasing security, it seems that the requirement for biometric data to be included in passports of those entering the US from visa waiver countries will need to be extended for two years
to allow other countries to catch up
with the technology, as it seems most countries are unable to meet the deadline
. Some countries have put on hold
the new technology, while others seem committed to going ahead
with it, despite doubts
about the readiness of the technology. Of course, if civil liberties groups get their way
, the biometric passports may never see the light
of day. Specific religious issues complicate
the matter to some extent, also.
Given that, if the technology to produce biometric passports is available, will it really be that hard for forged passports to be created? Unless a massive world-wide database containing the biometric details of every person was used for data-matching, it is hard to see how these new measures will really make much difference to anyone apart from the companies selling the technology.
Falwell calls THE Mohammed a terrorist.
But it's not the first time he's offered this sick, and truly twisted opinion. On his site we find this gem
. How long will it take for his people to give up, and step back to let the snipers have a better shot?
The good news is that there is no religious war, the bad news is that a time bomb
blast killed 7 in a Russian market; 14 Christians were killed
a 5 year old killed
and three other under 15 injured in Israel. All in one day.
Did you criticize Jerry Falwell for his remarks partially blaming the terrorist attacks
on gay people, civil libertarians, people who believe in separation of church and state, and other people who aren't Christian fundamentalists? Then you are Satan
, according to a new fund-raising letter from Falwell's ministry caught by Americans United. People have shrugged off fanatacism like this from Falwell and his ilk for decades -- should we still?