America, anthropology, Bush, David Horowitz, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Islamo Fascism, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Religion, Research, Research Metodology, Robert Spencer, sociology, Terrorism, War on Terror

American Muslims, Muslimphobia, and dangerous chemerias

The debate concerning Islam and Muslims in the US is a very heated one – sometimes beyond metaphors. The fear that Sharia will rule in the land of the free is a strong one, so much so that there has been more than one attempt to legally ban ‘sharia’.  Newt Gingrich, former House speaker who led the Republican takeover of Congress in 1994, exclaimed

Stealth jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools as a way to “replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of Sharia

The list of American anti-Muslim politicians, commentators and pundits is long and often all linked to the Christian Republican right. The most quoted are  Ann Coulter, whom invited a Muslim student to take a camel instead of a plane, Fox News personality Sean Hannity, whom drew a parallel between Islam and Nazism, Glenn Beck,  Daniel Pipes , as well as showbiz personalities such as the well known “Jihad watcher” and the “femme fatal” of  fear mongering, author of “Stop the Islamization of America“. Continue reading

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anthropology, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Immigration, Islam in Europe, Islamophobia, Italy, Muslims, Politics, Robert Spencer, Terrorism

Gianluca Casseri: the Dracula of Florence? Making sense of racism and Muslim-phobia that kills

On the 13th of December, in my birthplace Florence, an Italian gunman killed two street vendors from Senegal, wounded another three, and committed suicide when the police reached him. The killing was racially-motivated and Gianluca Casseri, 50, was a writer for and member of CasaPound, a neo-fascist group. The Senegalese street vendors he killed (Samb Modou, 40yrs old, and Diop Mor, 54yrs old) lived in Italy for a considerable time and leave behind their wives and children in Senegal. The life of migrants in Italy, in particular for Muslims such as the Senegalese, is known. The xenophobic Lega Nord has built its political reputation on the exploitation of Italians’ frustration with a badly managed migration policy and an increase of refugees.  Continue reading

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America, anthropology, bin-Laden, Bush, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Iraq, Islam, Islam in Europe, Islamo Fascism, Islamophobia, jihad, Middle East, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Robert Spencer

What was Osama bin-Laden for Muslims?

bin-Laden is dead. A decadent symbol has been assassinated. For some time before his demise, his influence on contemporary terrorism had been on the wane. Most likely Osama had little choice but to agree to retire to his Pakistani prison under the ‘supervision’ of the Pakistani secret services and Taliban tribes.  I did not write any blog post at the time of bin-Laden’s execution. There was nothing to say. His story has had the feel of a work of fiction from beginning to end, complete with impressive pyrotechnics, blood and splatter, where the director, producer and star of the drama was none other than bin-Laden himself. He died as he wished: one bullet in the chest, a few stumbling steps, and a final gore splattering bullet in the head. Continue reading

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Academia, America, anthropology, Anti-Semitism, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Islam, Islam in Europe, Islamophobia, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Religion, Research, Robert Spencer, sociology, Terrorism, The UK, Uk government, War on Terror

Fear, Muslims and Islam: reconsidering Islamophobia

Is it politically incorrect to say that one ‘fears’ Muslims? Does it deserve public condemnation? In other words, should have Juan Williams been sacked for his remark about fearing Muslims dressing in ‘Islamic garb’ on planes? Are these instances of Islamophobia?

Let me start with an anecdote which took place in London in the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks. I was waiting for the next tube train with my friend Hakim, a Pakistani born and raised in London who wore clothes considered to be Islamic attire and sported a very long beard. When the train arrived, we were lucky enough to find a seat. At the next stop, another young Pakistani, attired in western clothes and shaved to perfection, entered the train and after freeing himself from a bulky and heavy black backpack, which he positioned in front of him, sat a couple of seats from Hakim. We had a long way to go yet.

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Academia, anthropology, Catholic Church, David Horowitz, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Immigration, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Islam in Europe, Islamo Fascism, Islamophobia, jihad, Journalism, marranci, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Pope, Religion, Research, Robert Spencer, Terrorism, The UK, Uk government, University, War on Terror

“Islam is evil”. “No! Islam is peace”: The fallacy of the ‘scripturegnosis’ argument

The debate, despite enlightenment and modernization, remains the same as that which Dante advocated in the Divine Comedy: is Islam evil or a religion of peace? On one side of the argument, and siding with Dante, is Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician and self-declared ‘Islamophobe’ in the real meaning of the word (fearing Islam as religion). Of course, for both Dante and Wilders (who is facing trial in his own country), Islam and the Qur’an are, in the very words of Wilders, ‘bad’ and ‘evil’. Wilders also used adjectives such as ‘retarded’, ‘fascist’ and ‘anti-democratic’ – thus dangerous and worthy of being banned. Different variations on a theme of ‘Islam is evil’ can also be found in the work of several authors, for example Robert Spencer, Bat Ye’or and Magdi Allam among many others. Continue reading

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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, 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.

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