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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Apocalypse, Arab-Israeli conflict, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Europe, Islam, Israel, Israel/Palestine, jihad, Middle East, Muslims, Politics, sociology, Terrorism, War on Terror

Gaza and the ethos of death

Israel’s military has bombed whatever stands, lives and moves in Gaza, including the UN facilities and aid. No other state in the world has behaved, without facing dire diplomatic consequences, in such a way. The Israeli state which, although located in the Middle East, claims a ‘western’ civilizational link and heritage has surely fallen short of it. The Israeli government has failed totally in its actions: Hamas is still able to rocket blast South (and possibly North) Israel, the Israeli military actions have killed 130 ‘militants’ sacrificing about 630 civilians, it has prevented the rescue of the injured, causing the Red Cross to condemn the actions, and has attacked UN convoys (a “deja vu” since the Israeli army has a certain preference for “mistakenly” bombing the UN). Among the disturbing facts of the Israeli Kadima government  is  that  257 children have been killed and 1,080 wounded. Continue reading

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Apocalypse, Arab-Israeli conflict, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Genocide, Islam, Israel, Israel/Palestine, jihad, Journalism, Middle East, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Refugees, sociology, Terrorism, War, War on Terror

Gaza: bad politics needs blood

 

Just a child

Palestinians in Gaza are again living another nightmare. The world, however, appears less interested than usual.  Dead Palestinians are common products on the international political markets at least last since 1967. As many may have observed, I have rarely commented or written about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. I am not a political scientist and I think that too much has been said and too little done. This post is intended to be just a reflection provoked by the sight of innocent people suffering and trapped in an endless conflict. Continue reading

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Academia, anthropology, Arab-Israeli conflict, India, Islam, Israel/Palestine, jihad, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Research, sociology, Terrorism

Down to the bones: have we really changed?

Recently we have witnessed another carnage, this time in Mumbai, perpetrated by people who are ready to kill for their ideological, political and religious beliefs. Among those murdered, coming from all walks of life and are of different ethnic, national and religious origin, there are also two Jewish parents who leave 2-year-old Moshe orphaned. He was lucky enough to remain alive. This absurd gratuitous violence against unarmed and defenseless people is not the first occurrence and will not be the last. Continue reading

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America, anthropology, Anti-Semitism, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Islam, Islamophobia, Israel, Israel/Palestine, Journalism, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Religion, Satire, Terrorism

And if Hitler were born in America?

Few people, both in the US and in the rest of the world, may know that the US has had its own Nazi Party, which under other different names (such as the Social Revolutionary Party) is still very active. I do not have statistics about how many Americans read or have read Mein Kampf, and even less knowledge about how many may have been influenced directly or indirectly by its ideas. Often I have heard the argument that Hitler, despite his charisma, would have never succeed in reproducing in the US what he created in Germany. This argument, in other words, suggests that something exquisitely German existed in the formation and ascension of the Nazi delirium. As an anthropologist, I have my strong reservations about this suggestion. Continue reading

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Arab-Israeli conflict, Bush, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Europe, Iraq, Israel, Israel/Palestine, Terrorism, War on Terror

Hamas or Hamas not? The Prodi dilemma

After many years, I came back to Italy during the summer. As many of you may have noticed, I have been on holiday even from my blog. Yet today I have decided to make an exception and comment on a debate that for three days (from 13th of August to the 15th) has made the headlines. The Italian Prime Minister, Romano Prodi, has unceremoniously broken one of the main rules which have governed the last six years of the ‘War on Terror’: never speak to the bad guys, just isolate and, if you can, bomb them. My fellow citizen Machiavelli used to say that the end justifies the means.

Continue reading

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Arab-Israeli conflict, Cartoons, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Humor, Israel, Israel/Palestine, Journalism, Middle East, Misteries, Muslims, Terrorism, The UK

Twenty years since the fatal shooting of cartoonist Naji al-Ali

To be a cartoonist has never been easy. Fewer and fewer people in the world have a real sense of humor or understand satire and sarcasm. Naji al-Ali has been a cartoonist who expressed his criticism about Palestine, the oppression of Palestinians and Palestinian political life, in a powerful way.

His pen was sharp and his cartoons powerful, so powerful that somebody, if not a real consortium, decided to kill him in London twenty years ago. Indeed, on July 22, 1987, he was shot in the face, at point blank range, as he left the London offices of the Al Qabbas newspaper. He died after laying in a coma for 5 weeks. Continue reading

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