Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror / Jason Burke (2003). A short review

When this is required reading for all “coalition of the willing” political leaders and no-one in power can make a public statement or foreign policy decision without having passed a test on their comprehension of it we will at last begin to see the beginnings of rationality and humanity in our dealings with the Middle … Continue reading “Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror / Jason Burke (2003). A short review”

Understanding White Nationalism and Its Terrorism

Arie Perliger, Director of Security Studies and Professor, University of Massachusetts Lowell, had the article From across the globe to El Paso, changes in the language of the far-right explain its current violence published in The Conversation a couple of days ago. In case you missed it, he writes . . . . What’s New … Continue reading “Understanding White Nationalism and Its Terrorism”

The Quiet Before the Next Storm?

Jason Burke discusses the most recent UN report on the ISIS threat in The Guardian, New wave of terrorist attacks possible before end of year, UN says — UN report warns threat from Islamist extremist groups remains high The UN report’s summary: With the fall of Baghuz, Syrian Arab Republic, in March 2019, the geographical … Continue reading “The Quiet Before the Next Storm?”

Tiananmen Square — Khartoum

4th June 1989, the images are still fresh (link is to Four Corners program). Time will tell if the State can erase memory of 4th June 1989 from future Chinese generations. I learned last night watching the Four Corners program that soldiers came to the homes of students in the middle of the night to … Continue reading “Tiananmen Square — Khartoum”

Rightwing Terrorism in Context

We have posted on Jason Burke’s books on Islamist terrorism (The New Threat: The Past, Present and Future of Islamic Militancy and Al-Qaeda: Casting a Shadow of Terror) so I was interested in read what Jason had to say about the recent terrorist attack in The Guardian, “What does Christchurch attack tell us about rightwing … Continue reading “Rightwing Terrorism in Context”

Why Blaming Islam for Terrorism is Misguided

Yes, we know that suicide terrorists regularly announce that they are killing in the name of Allah and they quote the Koran to justify what they are doing. And, of course we should, must, listen to what they say and take it seriously. Far from denying any of that, I think it is all necessary … Continue reading “Why Blaming Islam for Terrorism is Misguided”

Another Muslim Voice to Listen To

I concluded a recent post with an acknowledgement of Maryam Namazie as a voice worth listening to in any discussion relating to Islamic and Islamist controversies today. Having just listened to an ABC’s Religion and Ethics Report interview, Muslim scholar says the burka isn’t Islamic, I have to add Elham Manea‘s name alongside Maryam’s. The interview … Continue reading “Another Muslim Voice to Listen To”

Proven Wrong in 5 Hours; A More Expert Response

Well it was a mere five hours from the time of my previous post before I was proven wrong. The name of the attacker was released shortly after I went to bed. If I had my wits about me I would have added a question mark at the end of the title and been more … Continue reading “Proven Wrong in 5 Hours; A More Expert Response”

Radicalisation — whether extreme sports, cults or terrorism

Yes, time for me to finish blogging on what the research has shown about how radicalisation works, how people are recruited into terrorist organisations, religious cults, . . . even extreme sports . . .  As Jason Burke (whose works I have blogged about here, most recently on “the new threat“) points out: it’s all the … Continue reading “Radicalisation — whether extreme sports, cults or terrorism”

Muslim Nations and the Rise of Modern Barbarism

This post is the third in my notes from Inside Muslim Minds by Riaz Hassan. The second response among Muslims to their experience of colonialism and its aftermath is salafism. Response 2: Salafism Whereas apologetics was a direct response to colonial rule, salafism emerged out of apologetics but in the post-colonial era. When independent nations … Continue reading “Muslim Nations and the Rise of Modern Barbarism”

Islam and the Rise of Barbarism

Such violent, repulsive and publicly visible acts could be interpreted as  the by-product of social malignancies that have festered for a long time. Dr Khaled Abou El Fadl—an eminent Islamic jurist . . . . —provides a succinct description of how historical and social conditions interact to form a particular mentality . . . . … Continue reading “Islam and the Rise of Barbarism”

Tom Holland: Still Wrong About Christianity

Historian Tom Holland has made a public confession that when it comes to his morals and ethics he is “thoroughly and proudly Christian”. (Tom Holland is a very talented writer and historian whose study of the rise of the Arab empire and birth of Islam I have discussed here. I was also fascinated by another … Continue reading “Tom Holland: Still Wrong About Christianity”

Jesus in the Muslim Apocalypse

Recently I was curious enough to learn what today’s Muslim teachings about the “end times” were to pick up and read two books: Apocalypse in Islam (2011) by Jean-Pierre Filiu (translated by M. B. DeBevoise) Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden (2005) by Timothy R. Furnish. Filiu’s work is by far to be … Continue reading “Jesus in the Muslim Apocalypse”

On the horrors of apocalyptic warfare

By the roots of my hair some god got hold of me. I sizzled in his blue volts like a desert prophet. — Sylvia Plath, quoted by Charles Camerson in So: How Does It Feel at World’s End?, an exploration into the eschatological lure of ISIS. Charles Cameron is blogging about a book of his … Continue reading “On the horrors of apocalyptic warfare”