Closing the week 28


Most popular this week:

  1. The tragic death of Marwa El Sherbini
  2. Islamizing Europe – Muslim Demographics
  3. Sheikh Google, Sharia & Arbitrage / Stierf Michael Jackson als moslim?

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Uighur Muslims Crushed in East Turkistan – – Politics in Depth

The harsh, brutal, and bloody crackdown by the Chinese authorities on the Uighur Muslim people in East Turkistan, also known as Xinjiang, cannot be tolerated any longer.

Internet, Blogs Solace Oppressed Uighurs – – News

With a dawn-to-dusk curfew, internet blackout, blocking graphic images of beaten and bloody bodies, bloggers and social-networking websites are giving voice to China’s several-million Muslim Uighurs in the face of a massive crackdown.

Foreign Policy: Why Twitter Failed The Uighurs : NPR

Given the current oversupply of Twitter experts, it’s strange that nobody told the Uighurs that staging a protest in the week of Michael Jackson’s funeral is not going to propel them into the top charts of Twitter’s most discussed items. What a bummer – Michael Jackson is still topic number one on Twitter, the Uighurs are not even in top 10, and the Internet-savvy whizzes of the State Department are nowhere to be seen.

Managing Dissent in China and Iran – The Lede Blog –

Just weeks after the disputed presidential election in Iran, outside observers find themselves in a somewhat familiar situation: trying to piece together a sense of what is happening in China’s Xinjiang Province in the aftermath of anti-government protests that turned violent. In China, as in Iran, state-controlled media has called the protesters “rioters” and the violence on the streets “terrorism” rather than characterizing it as a spontaneous reaction by demonstrators confronted by security forces.

As my colleague Michael Wines reported on Monday, getting a clear sense of what is happening on the streets of Urumqi is not made easier by the fact that China’s government, like Iran’s, has made a concerted effort to control information about the unrest by placing restrictions on the foreign press and limiting access to the Internet for government opponents. So once again we find ourselves reading reports from news outlets controlled by or sympathetic to the state, relying on what foreign reporters who have been given strictly limited access to the area can learn and following the Twitter feeds of bloggers who reflect on and translate some of what is being said inside the country.

Unrest in Urumqi, China | World news |

Unrest in Urumqi, China (44 pictures)

Uighurs News – The New York Times

Uighurs (Chinese Ethnic Group)

Global Guerrillas: JOURNAL: Leveraging Information Terrain

The Uighur protest/riot/crackdown in China provides some interesting data points on the uses of information terrain to disrupt social networks. Note the amplification.

Marwa El-Sherbini
Is Europe really Islamophobic? | Nesrine Malik | Comment is free |

Bloggers and commentators have played the “what if” game, reversing the race and nationality of the victim and attacker in order to highlight the muted response from Germans (and Europeans more generally). The murder of Theo van Gogh has also been invoked as an example of the unequal value attached to the lives of Muslims and non-Muslims. The outcry has sparked calls for severing links with Germany and even declaring a “world hijab day” to honour Marwa’s memory. The fact that the murder was committed by a reported neo-Nazi in Germany does little to temper a perception that Muslims are the targets of racial hatred.

[…]However, it’s a big step from that to the image of comprehensive, conspiratorial, institutional discrimination against Muslims in Europe that is gaining ground in Arab countries and spurring calls for the severance of diplomatic relations and boycotting of products. Muslims (me included) constantly protest that the actions of a few extremists should not be allowed to denigrate Islam and its adherents as a whole – but this is exactly what they are doing themselves in connection with Europeans and the actions of Axel W.

“Gaining Knowledge”: Salafi Activism in German and Dutch Online Forums | Digital Islam

Carmen Becker
Recent years have witnessed an expansion of Salafi activism into computer-mediated environments like online discussion forums. Forum activities are part of the activists’ endeavor to access the religious sources (Quran and Sunnah) and, through these sources, the lives of the prophet Muhammad and the first generations of Muslims. The prophet and the first generations embody the perfect model of a (Muslim) life which Salafi activists strive to emulate. This article analyses the knowledge practices of Salafi activists in Dutch and German discussion forums revolving around the religious sources. Knowledge practices are understood as meaning-making activities that tell people how to behave and how to “be in the world”. Four aspects are central to Salafi knowledge practices in Dutch and German forums: (1) Fragmentation and re-alignment form the basic ways of dealing with digitized corpus of Islamic knowledge and (2) open the way for Salafi activists to engage in “Islamic argumentation” in the course of which they “excavate” behavioral rules in form of a “script” from Quran and Sunnah. (3) These practices are set within the cognitive collaboration of forum members and part of a broader decentralizing tendency within Islam. (4) And finally, narratives and sensual environments circulating in forums help activists to overcome contradictions and ambiguities while trying to put the script, which tells them what to do in which situation, into practice.

Zero Intelligence Agents » Understanding the Survival Mechanisms of Global Salafi Jihad

Understanding the Survival Mechanisms of Global Salafi Jihad
By Drew Conway, on June 3rd, 2009

Understanding the temporal dynamics of networks is what many researchers in the field consider the “holy grail” of the science. As people in national security realm began to understand the structure of terrorist organizations as networks, the ability to track and predict their growth and decay became the center piece of much their research. Unfortunately, at present we lack the requisite mathematics needed to truly understand the trajectory of these systems. At best, thorough case studies of good data can help inform our understanding of these dynamics, and this is the approach taken in a new study entitled, “The Dynamics of Terrorist Networks: Understanding the Survival Mechanisms of Global Salafi Jihad.”

Qaradawi’s Revisions | Marc Lynch

Yusuf al-Qaradawi, probably the single most influential living Sunni Islamist figure, has just written a major book entitled Fiqh al-Jihad (The Jurisprudence of Jihad) which decisively repudiates al Qaeda’s conception of jihad as a “mad declaration of war upon the world.” At the same time, he strongly rejects what he calls efforts to remove jihad completely from Islam, and strongly reaffirms the duty of jihad in resisting the occupation of Muslim lands, specifically mentioning Israel as the arena of legitimate resistance. Qaradawi’s intervention has thus far received no attention at all in the English-language media. It should, because of his vast influence and his long track record as an accurate barometer of mainstream Arab views.

Thesis: Hijab empowers women

What is it like being veiled and working in Australian companies? Anthropologist Siham Ouazzif sent me her thesis “Veiled Muslim Women in Australian Public Space: How do Veiled Women Express their Presence and Interact in the Workplace?”

Siham Ouazzif conducted 16 in-depth interviews with Australian veiled women. They were well educated and held different professions from professors, psychologists, teachers to marketing managers.

A Companion to the Muslim World –

What is the extraordinary text that is the Quran – and how does it relate to the life and times of the Prophet Muhammad? How did a legacy so richly varied in faith, law and civilization emerge from the message of the Revelation that came to be called ‘Islam’ (or submission to God’s will)? This immaculately researched yet thoroughly accessible book offers a journey into the full range of experience – past and present, secular and sacred – of the diverse peoples and cultures of the Muslim world. Threads of continuity and change are woven through each chapter to make a coherent narrative covering a broad variety of themes and topics. Poets, cities and the architecture of mosques are as much a part of the exploration as multiple aspects of scripture, the status of women in the faith, and the emergence of a ‘digital community’ of believers. In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, understanding what Islam is about and what Muslims believe is a vital concern across all frontiers. A Companion to the Muslim World is an attractive venture by distinguished scholars to contribute toward this urgent process of comprehension.

Global Jihad
Last Man Standing — jihadica

the golden age of Saudi Arabia as an exporter of pro-al-Qaida theological treatises is largely over. While I think the argument generally holds, Abd al-Aziz al-Julayyil is now forcing me to qualify this claim.

So who is this person?

?????? ?? ????? Views from the Occident: American Jihadi Abu Mansur al-Ameriki (Amriki), in Somalia, Responds to U.S. President Barack Obama’s Cairo Speech

Late yesterday evening, a new audio message was posted on the main Salafi jihadi online discussion forums from Abu Mansur al-Ameriki (also spelled, Abu Mansur Amriki and Abu Mansoor Amriki), an American member and spokesman of sorts for the Somali radical group Harakat al-Shabab al-Mujahidin [Movement of the Mujahidin-Youth] and its paramilitary wing, the Jaysh al-‘Usrah [Army of “Hardship”] which responds to U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent speech in Cairo that was aimed, supposedly, at the “Muslim world.” I posted segments from a panel discussion about the speech HERE. Very little is known about Abu Mansur, other than he speaks fluent English with some type of “American” accent. He also speaks, it seems, fluent Arabic. His response to Obama has been teased for the past week on the forums.

Islamic arbitration in the Netherlands

Would it be such a terrible thing if sharia courts existed in the Netherlands? Yes, says Nahed Selim, we have to stop giving in to the Islamic fundamentalists. No, says Maurits Berger, we already have Jewish and Catholic ‘courts’. – International – Help Muslims escape the tyranny of sharia law

Sharia law in the Netherlands may not be practised in an actual ‘sharia court’, but that makes little difference. The point is that Islamic rules about marriage, divorce, custody, parental authority, alimony and inheritance are being implemented according to the sharia, and that these contradict Dutch law.
Nahed Selim is an interpreter and a writer. She is Dutch-Egyptian. – International – Opinion – Let Muslims have their sharia courts

We will then be put before a choice: either the Muslims are allowed to do what other religions have been doing for centuries, or the entire system of parallel religious law must be dismantled.
Maurits Berger is a professor of Islam in the West at Leiden university.

Human Rights
Saudi Arabia: Shura Council Passes Domestic Worker Protections | Human Rights Watch

Saudi Arabia’s Shura Council passed a bill on July 8, 2009, to improve legal protections for the estimated 1.5 million domestic workers in the country, but the measure still falls short of international standards, Human Rights Watch said today. The bill goes from the Shura Council, an appointed consultative body, to the cabinet, which can make further changes before it is enacted into law.

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