Charlie Hebdo: A conversation about Islam and politics

In this Charlie Brown episode you will see religious studies scholar Reza Aslan, Will McCants (fellow in the Center for Middle East Policy and director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World and co-founder of Jihadica), Michael Hanna (senior fellow at The Century Foundation) and Shadi Hamid (fellow with the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World in the Center for Middle Continue Reading →

New Book: Whatever Happened to the Islamists?

The utopian beliefs of Islamism have been irrevocably changed by the processes of modernization—especially globalization—which have taken the philosophy into unmistakable new directions. A new book: Whatever Happened to the Islamists?: Salafis, Heavy Metal Muslims, and the Lure of Consumerist Islam, edited by Amel Boubekeur and Olivier Roy. Also includes a chapter of mine on modern Dutch Salaf Continue Reading →

'Laughing Killer': Bouyeri and the Murder of Theo van Gogh

On 2 November 2004 Mohammed Bouyeri killed Dutch writer and film director Theo van Gogh. He shot him, slit his throat and planted a knife in his chest with a letter to Ayaan Hirsi Ali attached to it. One of the most remarkable references in his letter (and again strongly contested by other Muslims) was to the Prophet as the ‘laughing killer’. Where does it come from and what does it mean? Continue Reading →

Fear and Loathing in Europe

The following text was used for a spoken column at the ICCT's expert meeting on Freedom from Fear: Answering Terrorism with Public Resilience on 3 October 2011. Fear is a drug, and policies and management tactics combined with politicians who use feelings of insecurity and plead loudly for ever harder measures to resolve fear, are nothing less than socially accepted models to achieve ritualistic Continue Reading →