What might help defeat Muslim extremists in Pakistan for good? Bollywood!
"Latino converts to radical Islam have been connected to terrorism cases in this country with increasing frequency — and officials are trying to understand why."
A disturbing chess set uses the US war in the Middle East as inspiration for its pieces. This is only one modern take of many variations of sets which play off of religious/cultural conflict. to The game itself generally has had a turbulent relationship with religion. In the 13th Century, Pope Innocent III excused post-chess homicide as an involuntary act. Some modern Muslims don't approve of chess, despite Islam having probably introduced it to Europe. Judaism also has a long, if disputed engagement with the game, including enduring anti-semitic attacks about "Jewish" gameplay. The Taliban banned chess in Afghanistan, and the game has returned after their fall (though it now sounds like the Afghan women's team has been withdrawn).
John Walker Lindh, Hip Hop MC? Before John Walker Lindh became the American Taliban, he hid his whiteness, excoriating wack MCs on Usenet hip-hop bulletin boards. Attracted to Islam after listening to hip hop influenced by the Five Percenter movement, he later abandoned rap to denounce Nas as a fake Muslim. An interesting, but previously unexamined side to the American jihadist.
Kinder, gentler minders in Kabul? President Hamid Karzai has re-opened the Department of the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice. Department head Mohammad Wazir Razi Kabuli promises no beatings or jailings for violating Islamic tenets, as was common under the Taliban Ministry of Virtue and Vice. Instead, "propaganda" will be used influence the people of Afghanistan. However, when asked what would happen if, for example, a woman was caught wearing makeup in public, Kabuli said "It's too early to talk about that."
Here's what American Muslims think. What do you think? They come off modestly better than they did in a poll conducted in England a month back. But then, no embarrassing questions were asked this time.
The Burka and the Bikini "Our war against the Taliban, a regime that does not allow a woman to go to school, walk alone on a city street, or show her face in public, highlights the need to more fully understand the ways in which our own cultural ''uncovering'' of the female body impacts the lives of girls and women everywhere. ... Whether it's the dark, sad eyes of a woman in purdah or the anxious darkly circled eyes of a girl with anorexia nervosa, the woman trapped inside needs to be liberated from cultural confines in whatever form they take. The burka and the bikini represent opposite ends of the political spectrum but each can exert a noose-like grip on the psyche and physical health of girls and women."
"Unholy War" from director Saira Shah of Beneath the Veil fame is appearing several times this weekend. I am very much looking forward to this as I found the first film insightful, thought-provoking and observant. It all leads me to wonder how does one help dimilitarize and rebuild a country where an entire generation knows nothing but war, insecurity and guile?
Revisionism the Taliban Way Talibans rub off giant Buddhist statues with mortars. The Mullah says it's all written in the Coran, but the Holy book says to respect other religions and the Afghanistan has been at the crossroads of different cultures for centuries, always juxtaposing Islam with Buddhism.
The Taliban want to remove any reminders of the centuries before Islam when Afghanistan was a center of Buddhist learning and pilgrimage.More coverage and pictures.