Academia, anthropology, Arab-Israeli conflict, bin-Laden, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Gender, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Islam in Europe, Islamo Fascism, Islamophobia, Israel/Palestine, jihad, marranci, Middle East, Muslims, Prison, Religion, Research, Research Metodology, Robert Spencer, sociology, South Asia, Sunni, Terrorism, The UK, University, War on Terror

Understanding Muslim Identity, Rethinking Fundamentalism

I am pleased to inform my friends and readers that my latest book Understanding Muslim Identity Rethinking Fundamentalism, is finally on the bookshelf of (more or less virtual) book shops.

Another book on Islamic fundamentalism?’ I can hear the question echoing among friends, colleagues and readers. Since 2001, more than 100 books and 5,600 articles have been published on Islamic fundamentalism. Broadening the research to agnate labels – such as Islamism (about 200 books and 243 articles), political Islam (345 books and 4,670 articles) and Islamic extremism (only 16 books and 1610 articles) – we can appreciate the amount of scholarly publication pressed into the past seven years.

So, why write another book? I have tried to explain the reasons in the Introduction, which you can read for free. The book provides a very different analysis of what has been labeled ‘Islamic fundamentalism’, and what I prefer to call ’emotional Islam’. Continue reading

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anthropology, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Ethnic Minorities, Freedom, Humor, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Journalism, Politics, Religion, Research, Singapore, South Asia

Malaysian Muslim? Sorry, no yoga for you!

Yesterday the Malaysian National Fatwa Council has issued another of its many fatwas, which have seen an increase in numbers during this time of political turmoil. “Yoga is forbidden for Muslims. The practice will erode their faith in the religion,” said Abdul Shukor Husin, the council’s chairman.This time the target was one of the most (also among Muslims) anti-stress activities: Yoga. As mental and physical discipline, Yoga has been appreciated by many Muslim scholars, who have even suggested that the practice could be ‘Islamicized’. Continue reading

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anthropology, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Immigration, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Italy, Refugees, Religion, Singapore, sociology

The three new ‘I’s of Italy: Ignorance, Intolerance and Injustice

As many of you know, I am in Singapore enjoying the multi-ethnic and religious diversity of this city-state. I have also enjoyed different styles of communities’ hospitality. All marked by respect for the guest (in my case an evident foreigner) and friendly smiles. Many people here dress in their traditional clothes, their religious symbols, and speak their ethnic languages. Nobody fears the other as everybody is the ‘other’ to somebody else. Singapore can only survive if this delicately balanced harmony is maintained and preserved. To do so, one word is essential: respect.We should be honest, Singapore has its issues and problems. Racism exists, stereotypes are strong, foreigners are not always loved. Yet I live in an ordinary HDB (Public housing), stay with ordinary people and eat at ordinary food stalls, and the degree of ‘respect’ and ‘tolerance’ for the ‘other’ surely is at the highest level I have encountered in a modern society. Continue reading

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anthropology, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Islam in Europe, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslims, Politics, Research, Robert Spencer, Scotland, Terrorism, The UK, Uk government, War on Terror

The dog, the hat, the police and Muslims in Dundee

Have you read about the puppy dog, the police in Dundee and the Muslims? Do you want to know what actually happened and what is going on? If so, you can continue to read my post. As an anthropologist working and living in this region of Scotland, I may clarify some points. However, before explaining what actually is going on, let me highlight some important aspects.  In a previous post I complained how the mass media paid attention to the most slight, trivial and ridiculous event involving Islam and Muslims in this country and in the world, but become shy and extremely politically correct (together with their readers) when reporting racial, nazi-inspired crimes, such as the case of the Nazi pedophile Mr Gilleard, a white, Christian, uber-British nationalist.

Continue reading

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Academia, anthropology, BBC, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Islam in Europe, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Research, Terrorism, The UK

Reporting terrorism: a reflection

It has been reported that a thirty-one-year old British Muslim stashed four home-made explosive devices, as well as bullets, swords, axes and knives in his flat. The police had found potentially lethal bladed weapons, 34 bullets for a .22 calibre firearm, and printouts from the internet about committing acts of terrorism. He had planned to bomb churches and plotted killing Christians in the name of jihad. Of course, national and international newspapers, Internet news, and TV have reported and spent litres of ink to provide details about the successful operations to arrest the terrorist; the Prime Minister has thanked our police forces for their work, reminded us of the terrorist threat, the need for forty-two days of detention, and how the terrorists are trying to subvert our British values. A script that we have seen acted out many times. Continue reading

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anthropology, Gender, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Islam in Europe, jihad, marranci, Middle East, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Research, Research Metodology, sociology, South Asia, Sunni, Uncategorized, University, War on Terror

The Anthropology of Islam

Finally my second book, The Anthropology of Islam, will be available at the end of this month. I wish to share with you a short excerpt from the beginning of the Introduction. This is an Elenchos (from the ancient Greek ’έλεγχος) which refers to question–answer dialogue that aims to clarify a topic through deconstructing other arguments; in this case, how‘Islam’ may be understood within the field of anthropology: Continue reading

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David Horowitz, Democracy and Justice, Freedom, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Islam in Europe, Islamo Fascism, Islamophobia, jihad, Journalism, marranci, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Robert Spencer, University, War on Terror

When Mr Spencer is too busy

As you may remember, I wrote, during the ‘Islamo-Fascism’ week campaign, to the organisers and supporters of this event questioning their a-historical use of Fascism (something that they never experienced neither directly nor indirectly) but of which they seem to be great experts in every sense.

Today, I found, by chance, that the lack of an answer to my rather old post, was not, as I assumed, a clear evidence of ‘menefreghismo’ of fascist memory, or a clear dismissal of an academic discussion on the issue, but actually a matter of time. Indeed, today we can read Spencer replying to one of his worshipers,

Sheik:

Thanks. I hadn’t seen that first one before. It is patronizing, but I may answer his questions if time permits at some point. One glaring problem is that he ignores my many statements about how many, if not most, Muslims have no interest in waging jihad, and pretends that I think most or all do. […]’

Of course, I hope that Mr Spencer can find the time to debate, correctly and academically, the topic with me and also clarify why I am ‘patronizing’ only for, as I have done with Dr MacEoin, daring to ask questions. Continue reading

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