Tag Archives: Islam

Islamic fundamentalism in the information age

In the second volume of his monumental three-volume study on the information age titled The Power of Identity (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), Manuel Castells addresses (as the book’s title indicates) the different ways in which a sense of collective identity is configured at a time when the so-called “network society” has emerged, concomitantly with the global communication-technological…

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How should one understand the rise of ‘fundamentalism’?

With the current wave of “terrorist” attacks, not only in France, but in other parts of the world such as Nigeria and Mali, too, “fundamentalist” organisations have become the focus of many questions, including the one concerning the reason why (particularly young) people join these despite risking their lives in the course of performing their…

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Paris again: Has Huntington’s thesis been vindicated?

The recent events in Paris (not long after the Charlie Hebdo attacks), which have understandably shocked everyone who values peaceful interaction between people of different cultural orientations, will no doubt fuel renewed intercultural distrust instead. This is to be expected, particularly after reports that one of the attackers might have entered France a few weeks…

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Terrorism or mental illness? Why race matters

When co-pilot Andreas Lubitz crashed the Germanwings plane, killing 149 people, “mental illness” was deployed as an explanation. If he wore a turban and had a beard, and if I were a betting man, I would put my money on the media labelling him a terrorist. Where would you put your money? Be honest. Have…

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#ChapelHillShooting: Lives lost, senselessly

By Shireen Mukadam Ever heard of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha? Probably not. Two days ago, they were killed, execution style, in their apartment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, on the east coast of the US. Deah (23) was a second-year dentistry student at the University of North Carolina. He was married to…

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The Arab first lady’s burden

The woman, yet again, has become a political football in Middle-Eastern politics. One wishes the area experts would make up their minds: just yesterday we were being told the Muslim wife was a voiceless, pitiable creature walking five steps behind her husband … Now she’s an assistant secretary of state — directing and manipulating her…

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Muslims no longer ‘own’ their Islam

*Name withheld It’s 10am on a Tuesday morning, and routinely, I browse through the web for the morning news. I know that I will come across the article soon, because my partner texted me late the night before saying: “Have you heard about Mars1? They’re making a reality show … and after eight years, whoever…

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Fellow Muslims, don’t be silenced by the extremists

By Sumaya Hendricks The pursuit of being a devout Muslim who strives to embody the values, personality and mission of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is inextricably interconnected with practising fairness, justice, kindness, peace and other moral superlatives. As Muslims in the 21st century, who are blessed with enormous potential and opportunity, it…

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Please, no God: not in our courts, not in Parliament, not in government

One of the great ironies of organised religions is that their adherents can only live in peace within a secular state. Those states that embrace a faith are usually at war with themselves or at war with others. Where governments adopt religion, they tend to corrupt and pervert that religion until it becomes something almost…

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Road to Purdah-tion

A news dramatisation by Alex Searle Although you are a fully qualified doctor, sharia law dictates that a woman’s place is at home. Your children are waiting to be picked up from school but you are not allowed to drive. The rancid sweat beneath your abaya (women’s covering) offends your husband’s friends. They don’t care…

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