Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Battle of Ideas in the Middle East

BBC World Service, The Battle of Ideas in the Middle East - Part One "Kevin Connolly travels through the Middle East to look at different ways in which the Arab states in the region are confronting the ideas of the so-called Islamic State and how well-equipped they are to fight them" Worth listening to, as it relates to several themes associated with this blog, including online issues. Also see Kevin Connolly, BBC News, Battle of ideas at heart of fight against Islamic State

Istanbul hit by suicide bomb attack

Guardian, Istanbul hit by suicide bomb attack

Prayers, Pilgrims and Power

BBC World Service, Prayers, Pilgrims and Power "The Imam Reza shrine in the Iranian city of Mashhad is a spectacular complex visited by millions of pilgrims every year. It's also spectacularly wealthy, and part of a huge business empire worth an estimated $20 billion. So the person who runs it has considerable power. Earlier this month that person changed. BBC Persian's Najieh Ghulami, who's from Mashhad, discusses the change of guard and shares memories of the shrine."

The programme also covers other issues relating to this blog, including social media and censorship in Turkey, and Saudi Arabian comedy (which has a social media element).

Syrian 3D Images

APF, 3D Images of Syria Archaeological Treasures Go Online

Surveillance society

Duncan Riley, Silicon Angle, You are being watched: The surveillance society of 2016

IS prosecution

AP, Pizzeria owner who recruited for IS group gets 22 1/2 years "Mufid Elfgeeh, 32, had pleaded guilty in December in federal court in Rochester to attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization in 2013 and 2014."

Abdeslam arrest

BBC News, Paris attacks: 'Quick' Abdeslam extradition from Belgium sought, 19 Mar 2016

John Cantlie Video

Daily Mail, British ISIS hostage John Cantlie appears in new propaganda footage from inside Mosul one year after his last video appearance, 19 Mar 2016 "Cantlie, who was kidnapped in November 2012, is shown berating the US-led coalition for bombing a media building in the ISIS-held city of Iraq."

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

'Not all marriages are equal', Not all marriages are equal: Islamic marriage, Temporary Marriage, Secret marriage and Polygamous marriage

ISIS lures with video game themes

RNS, ISIS lures with video game themes "Javier Lesaca, a scholar who has spent hundreds of hours studying ISIS videos, says the terrorist organization has masterfully mimicked not only the look and feel of popular, violent games such as “Grand Theft Auto” and “Call of Duty,” but television shows — “Homeland,” “Saw,” and “Person of Interest,” to name a few — which, like the video games, feature strapping young men in cool sunglasses who kill without mercy."

Life Inside 'Islamic State'

BBC, Life Inside 'Islamic State' "A Syrian man describes the horror of everyday life in the IS stronghold of Raqqa."

Monday, March 14, 2016

Babar Ahmad

BBC News, Babar Ahmad: My support for Taliban was 'naive', 13 Mar 2016 "A British man jailed over a website considered a key moment in the birth of online jihadist propaganda said he had been "naive" to support the Taliban." I presented some images from this website during my Leiden presentation last week (see earlier posts). Ahmad is interviewed for the Victoria Derbyshire programme.

Reading List: new ISIS book

David Kilcullen, Guardian, The deadly efficiency of Isis and how it grew on the global stage "In this exclusive extract from his hotly anticipated book Blood Year, counterinsurgency expert David Killcullen maps out the leaderless resistance, remote radicalisation, and guerrilla-style terrorism that characterise the ‘Isis Internationale’."

Jihad: Between Theory and Practice.

I gave a paper at Leiden University last Friday, as part of their conference Jihad: Between Theory and Practice.

It was an interesting event and well-organised event (convened by Dr Jelle Bruning), with other presentations by Asma Afsaruddin (Indiana University) on 'Qur'anic Jihad and Its Interpretations', and Yumna Masarwa Institute for American Universities, Aix-en-Provence) on 'Ribat, Jihad, and Archaeology'.    There's a related interview on my 'E-Jihad 2.0' paper here: Mare, Slick en schokken.

Monday, March 07, 2016

Conference: Jihad: Between Theory and Practice

Universiteit Leiden, Conference, Jihad: Between Theory and Practice, 11 Mar 2016 "This workshop brings together international scholarly expertise on both modern and classical Islam and studies the diversity of ideas and practices behind jihad. With a diachronic and interdisciplinary approach, it will address the interpretations of jihad, its organization, and ways to spread jihad-related ideology." I will be presenting a paper on aspects of e-Jihad as part of this conference.

'Defending Pakistani women against honour killings'

Aurangzeb Qureshi,, Defending Pakistani women against honour killings opinion piece "Although it may be understandable, shooting the messenger is never justifiable. Having the fortitude to look in the mirror and acknowledge societal flaws is the first step to correcting them."

'Reformed Islamic extremist' is accused of £1m iPhone fraud

Express, 'Reformed Islamic extremist' is accused of £1m iPhone fraud, 6 Mar 2016 allegations

RSA 2016 (USA), RSA 2016: Terror Groups Propagate, Recruit on Social Media Platforms with Greater Efficiency "John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security at the DOJ, said groups like the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, ISIS, IS) are using popular social media platforms to propagate and recruit with greater efficiency than ever before." Not exactly a headline

'Police close more than 1,000 terrorist websites and social media accounts every week'

Daily Star, Police close more than 1,000 terrorist websites and social media accounts every week, 6 Mar 2016 "The Counter Terrorism Internet Referral Unit – a police squad which fights online extremism – has removed 140,000 items of propaganda in the past five years."

Thursday, March 03, 2016

'Owning Qadri, disowning Sharmeen'

The Nation, Owning Qadri, disowning Sharmeen, 3 Mar 2016 "#WeDisownSharmeen was the top social media trend on February 29. On a day the most illustrious terrorist in Pakistan was executed, petrol prices were slashed by almost 12% and Pakistan won an important cricket match at the Asia Cup, the most urgent message that the nation wanted to give out on social media was its denunciation of its only Oscar winning director."