It became necessary to finish this thing. A U.S.-funded 'ally' has carried out one of the largest massacres of protesters since the 1989 assault on Tiananmen Square. At least 525 people (and counting and counting) have been killed since Egypt's police and army attacked two sit-ins in support of ousted president Muhammad Morsi on August 14th. Armored cars, police officers, and soldiers marched on the protests in Nasr City and Giza, opening fire with birdshot, tear gas, and live ammunition. It only gets worse from here. [more inside]
This week's riots (WaPo) in Tunisia started last Saturday, when a mob of hardline Salafists, after trying to disrupt an art exhibition deemed offensive to Islam, were booed off ("dégage!") by the crowd. They came back a few hours later to destroy the works: here are the artworks, before and after the attack at the Abdellia Palace in La Marsa, Tunis.
For 100 years, Buddhists and Muslims lived side by side in southern Thailand. In 2004, a small fraction of the Muslims started killing the Buddhists indiscriminately. This conflict is now the most violent in Asia, with murders of Thai civilians, including children, monks, and Muslims who refuse to cooperate, occurring on a daily basis. [more inside]
Foucault in Iran: Revolution, Entropy and Equality By way of introduction to the Wu Ming Foundation's (previously) re-vamped blog, one of their more substantive essays re-assessing Foucault's notorious enthusiasm for the Iranian revolution.
Renouncing Islamism: To the brink and back again — A generation of British Islamists have been trained in Afghanistan to fight a global jihad. But now some of those would-be extremists have had a change of heart. Johann Hari finds out what made them give up the fight.
The International Crisis Group is a private agency which attempts to improve the response to international disasters by working out a strategy and providing detailed recommendations to policymakers. Their website is full of reports on crises around the world; here's what they have to say about Darfur, Afghanistan, Iraq, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, Islamism. For the rationale behind the ICG, see William Shawcross's tribute to humanitarian aid worker Fred Cuny, who disappeared in Chechnya.
"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]
The "merger" of the Egyptian Zawahiri's Islamic Jihad and the Saudi Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda in 2001, based on the foundation of Qutb's book "Milestones", provide outlet for those who have no other way of expressing their objections to the authoritarian regimes of the countries they live in, and the reach of American power in the Middle East.