Friday, December 19, 2014

Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014

Theology and Religious Studies - University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Some of the research associated with this blog contributed to the School of Theology, Religious Studies and Islamic Studies' REF result.

Why do internet companies have one rule for paedophilia and another for terrorism?

Why do internet companies have one rule for paedophilia and another for terrorism? - Spectator Blogs

Islamic State could be behind botched cyberattack on Syrian dissidents

Mashable, Islamic State could be behind botched cyberattack on Syrian dissidents "nternet watchdog Citizen Lab says an attempt to hack into systems operated by dissidents within the self-styled caliphate could be the work of hackers affiliated with the Islamic State group."

US backed talks between jihadi clerics and Isis in effort to save hostage’s life

Guardian, US backed talks between jihadi clerics and Isis in effort to save hostage’s life

Pakistani school attackers ‘were told to kill soldiers’ after massacre of pupils

Guardian, Pakistani school attackers ‘were told to kill soldiers’ after massacre of pupils

‘Mullah Radio’

Independent, Peshawar attack: ‘Mullah Radio’ grew to be a cult figure and was also behind Malala Yousafzai assassination attempt

One of the teens who ran away to join ISIS has been killed, UN says 

Daily Mail, One of the teens who ran away to join ISIS has been killed, UN says 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Nowhere to hide?: "The FBI Used the Web's Favorite Hacking Tool to Unmask Tor Users"

The FBI Used the Web's Favorite Hacking Tool to Unmask Tor Users | WIRED "Since Operation Torpedo, though, there’s evidence the FBI’s anti-Tor capabilities have been rapidly advancing. Torpedo was in November 2012. In late July 2013, computer security experts detected a similar attack through Dark Net websites hosted by a shady ISP called Freedom Hosting—court records have since confirmed it was another FBI operation. For this one, the bureau used custom attack code that exploited a relatively fresh Firefox vulnerability—the hacking equivalent of moving from a bow-and-arrow to a 9-mm pistol. In addition to the IP address, which identifies a household, this code collected the MAC address of the particular computer that infected by the malware."

7 held in Spain, Morocco over female Islamic State recruits

middleeasteye.net, 7 held in Spain, Morocco over female Islamic State recruits "Spain's interior ministry said four women, one of them a minor, and three men were arrested in Barcelona, Spain's North African enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla, and in the nearby Moroccan town of Castillejos."

More than 120 people killed in Pakistan Taliban school siege, says official - live updates

Guardian, More than 120 people killed in Pakistan Taliban school siege, says official - live updates more social media reaction here

Taliban Gunmen Kill More Than 100 At Pakistani Military School

Huffington Post, Taliban Gunmen Kill More Than 100 At Pakistani Military School "Taliban militants have stormed a military-run school in Pakistan, killing 126 people, including 84 children."



article contains social media reaction

Monday, December 15, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Second Wives Club

NewYorkObserver, The Second Wives Club: New Matchmaking Site for Muslim Polygamists "Yusuf Khan, a web developer and entrepreneur, launched the UK-based polygamy site three months ago. The site already has over 3,000 users, he said.



“SecondWife.com wasn’t planned,” Mr. Khan said by email. Originally, he had hoped to create a more traditional matchmaking site, but found that the market was already saturated. “There [were] plenty of fish (excuse the pun) to compete with,” he said.



Screenshot here:



Net radicalisation issues

Muslims in Britain against extremists | All media content | DW.DE | 10.12.2014 "Young British Muslims are appearing in videos to show their solidarity against IS, and to send the message that IS does not represent them or their values. The videos enjoy tens of thousands of supporters, while President Barack Obama has praised the campaign for its courage. But other Muslim groups have criticized the campaign. They say Muslims aren't responsible for the actions of extremists and shouldn't have to publicly distance themselves from extremists."

Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State: Gaging Failure and Success in Online Jihad

Rita Katz, Site Intelligence, Al-Qaeda and the Islamic State: Gaging Failure and Success in Online Jihad
"We always hear about the overwhelming social media campaigns by the Islamic State (IS), and how they flood the internet with gruesome images of beheadings, threats, military achievements, and victories. But what about al-Qaeda (AQ) fighters and supporters? After all, geographically speaking, they include a much larger array of areas and groups, from AQ in Afghanistan, Shabaab al-Mujahideen in Somalia, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Algeria, and al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS).

"With these questions in mind, a comparison of a recent social media campaign by AQ/AQAP supporters following the failed U.S. rescue mission (and consequential execution) of Luke Somers, to those more successful ones launched by IS supporters, provides a better scope of success (or lack thereof) in today’s jihadist social media campaigns."

Opinion/analysis

Inside the battle for Ask.fm

washingtonpost.com, Inside the battle for Ask.fm, the site where Islamic State recruited three American teens "When three teenage girls from Denver left their homes for an Islamic State camp in Syria two months ago, their parents — and the FBI — were quick to search social media for clues to their escape. And in the weeks since the girls were intercepted in Frankfurt and returned home, it’s become pretty clear that they were indeed radicalized and recruited online.



"But while accounts of similar Western recruits have fingered major social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr, or popular messaging platforms like Kik, a report out from NPR claims another social network, Ask.fm, was actually the major force at play."

Afghan students find inspiration in Islamic State's success

Afghan students find inspiration in Islamic State's success - World | The Star Online

Converting the preachers

The Economist, Converting the preachers "Now Saudi preachers face a new constraint: starting next year authorities will install centrally monitored cameras in every mosque to record what goes on inside. The move is ostensibly meant to prevent theft and regulate energy use, but few doubt the real intention is to tighten the state’s grip on Islam, part of a trend across the Middle East."

Islamic State orders wifi cut during prayers

Reuters, Yahoo, Islamic State orders wifi cut during prayers: Syria monitor, 11 Dec 2014 " Islamic State militants have ordered shopkeepers to shut down their wireless Internet during prayer times in the eastern Syrian city of Deir al-Zor, a group monitoring the Syrian conflict said on Thursday."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

'Mum jailed for Facebook terror post'

BBC News, Mum jailed for Facebook terror posts "A mother-of-six has been jailed for five years and three months for promoting terrorism on Facebook."

Zaid to launch online space for ‘progressive’ Malays to air views

Zaid to launch online space for ‘progressive’ Malays to air views - The Malaysian Insider

ISIS sex slaves guide mars international Human Rights Day

ara.tv, ISIS sex slaves guide mars international Human Rights Day "The pamphlet is titled Su'al wa-Jawab fi al-Sabi wa-Riqab - “Questions and Answers on Taking Captives and Slaves” and in it ISIS justifies capturing the women due to their status as non-Muslims."

Matchmaking online

Lydia Green, BBC News, Why millions of Muslims are signing up for online dating, 10 Dec 2014 "Arranged marriages are standard practice in many societies, but the introductions and screening process can be an ordeal for the young people involved - even if they are pleased with the eventual outcome. Some Western Muslims have concluded that online matchmaking can help reduce embarrassment."

Also see: 

alarabiya.net, Online dating gains traction among Muslims in West "Adeem Younis, founder of matchmaking site Single Muslim, which boasts of having over one million members, told the BBC that he set up the service after to avoid the pain of family-orchestrated matchmaking – and as an alternative to the more casual hook-up culture prevalent with many secular dating sites."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

iReligion: Religious Elements of the Apple Phenomenon

iReligion: Religious Elements of the Apple Phenomenon - Journal of Religion and Popular Culture - Volume 26, Number 3 /2014 - University of Toronto Press I haven't read the entire article, due to the pay wall, but it looks interesting. Not sure if the tribulations some experienced with Yosemite and Mavericks form part of the 'religious experience'.

Defusing Taliban publicity

Massoumeh Torfeh, aljazeera.com, Defusing Taliban publicity "Journalists in Afghanistan have decided for the second time this year to curtail their reporting on Taliban attacks as a means of reducing the impact of their message. The first such collective action was taken during the presidential elections when the Taliban were completely boycotted. This is a strategic decision according to Fahim Dashty, the chief executive of Afghanistan's National Journalists Union (ANJU). The decision follows the recent heavy escalation of attacks in Kabul."

CIA torture program

Guardian, CIA torture program: Senate report details abuse of detainees – as it happened



Mother Jones, The Senate Just Released the CIA Torture Report. Read the Full Document

Aussie Imam Claims Islam 'Allows Wine'

OnIslam, Aussie Imam Claims Islam 'Allows Wine' "Muslim scholars have criticized claims by a Sydney mosque imam that Islam does not ban wine, seeing his comments as contradicting with the consensus of Muslim scholars."

ISIS's brutal beheading video: Search for clues

CNN, ISIS's brutal beheading video: Search for clues "The US-based terrorism research organization TRAC (Terrorism Research & Analysis Consortium) and UK-based counter-extremism think tank Quilliam have analyzed the footage frame-by-frame to understand the video's production techniques, the identity of the hostages and their killers, and the visual significance of such calculated brutality."

Monday, December 08, 2014

Heavy Censorship in Pakistan

Heavy Censorship in Pakistan Shows Why the Next Arab Spring Won't Be on Facebook | Motherboard " During the second half of 2013, Facebook censored or removed 162 posts from Pakistan, according to Facebook’s official transpa​rency report, which outlines government requests for censorship and user data around the world.



"What’s even more interesting is that, in the first six ​months of this year, Facebook removed 1,773 posts—roughly a 1,000 percent increase.

The Criminalisation of Islam in The British Media

huffingtonpost.co.uk, The Criminalisation of Islam in The British Media "Professor Paul Baker of Lancaster University carried out a unique research entitled, 'The Representation of Islam and Muslims in the UK Press 1998-2009'. Along with three other academics, Professor Baker embarked on a rigorous study that involved the analysis of more than 200,000 articles, equating to over 147million words of journalism. The use of "corpus linguistic methods" in creating an "acceptable bias" was amongst other objectives of their endeavour."

Serial

Guardian, Serial: The Syed family on their pain and the ‘five million detectives trying to work out if Adnan is a psychopath’

It's complicated: Iran's 'sinful' relationship with the internet

albawaba.com, It's complicated: Iran's 'sinful' relationship with the internet

Iran: Telecommunications minister says every Internet user will be 'identified'

ibtimes, Iran: Telecommunications minister says every Internet user will be 'identified' "Vaezi announced last month that the country would have "smart filtering" within six months that would enable the authorities to filter out offensive and criminal content from being accessed online in the Islamic Republic." Also see AFP/Gulf News, Iran minister says all web surfers to be ‘identified’

Islamic State group support grows in Jordan town

AP/Daily Mail, Islamic State group support grows in Jordan town

Woman who stabbed U.S. teacher in UAE was lone terrorist - agency

Reuters, Woman who stabbed U.S. teacher in UAE was lone terrorist - agency "A United Arab Emirates woman who killed an American teacher last week has been inspired by "terrorist ideology" acquired through the Internet but investigators have found no links to militant groups, the state news agency WAM reported on Sunday."

Ottawa man threatens Canada in purported Islamic State video

theglobeandmail.com, Ottawa man threatens Canada in purported Islamic State video

Qaradawi 'wanted'

INTERPOL, Qaradawi Notice 

How To Stop Being a Celebrity Shaykh Fanboy or Fangirl and Build Real Relationships With Them Instead

Omar Usman, muslimmatters.org, How To Stop Being a Celebrity Shaykh Fanboy or Fangirl and Build Real Relationships With Them Instead "Random Muslim Person sees inspirational Islamic video on YouTube. Random brother or sister now feels speaker in said YouTube video is the solution to all of their life problems."

Wireless in Gaza

Guardian, Wireless in Gaza: the young entrepreneurs beating the blockades "With few goods, or people, allowed to cross the border, the pool of customers and employees in Gaza is small. Web-based startups are giving those with bright ideas a chance to expand their horizons and their businesses."