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  • Author: Joseph Kellard
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Objective Standard
  • Institution: The Objective Standard
  • Abstract: Ayaan Hirsi Ali gained international recognition in 2004 after she and Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh made Submission, a documentary about the brutal oppression of women under Islamic law. In response to the film, a radical Muslim savagely murdered van Gogh on the streets of Holland and posted a note on the filmmaker's body in which he threatened Hirsi Ali's life as well. Nevertheless, in 2007 Hirsi Ali wrote Infidel, in which she recounts the horrors of growing up female under the rights-violating Islamic cultures in Somalia and Saudi Arabia; how she fled to and settled in Holland, worked menial jobs, attended university, and collaborated on Submission; and how, in 2003, she ran for and was elected to the Dutch parliament as a candidate with a single issue: to stop the oppression of and violence against Muslim women in Holland. In Infidel, Hirsi Ali championed the Western secularist ideals that she came to adopt as true and right—free inquiry, the equal rights of the sexes, individualism, and personal liberty. Since then, she has moved to the land that she declares in her follow-up book, Nomad, to be her final home: the United States. In this latest book, Hirsi Ali shares the observations and emotional journey she has made since leaving Europe and arriving in America, even as radical Muslims continue to threaten her life for her uncompromising condemnation of Islam. In some respects Nomad demonstrates that Hirsi Ali has not only retained the intellectual independence and moral courage at the heart of her prior book, but that she has also strengthened and developed her thinking on the secular values she came to embrace. For example, in Nomad she elaborates on Enlightenment principles, including free inquiry, individual freedom, and property rights, exercising a thought process that grasps fundamentals: Every important freedom that Western individuals possess rests on free expression. We observe what is wrong, and we say what is wrong, in order that it may be corrected. This is the message of the Enlightenment, the rational process that developed today's Western values: Go. Inquire. Ask. Find out. Dare to know. Don't be afraid of what you'll find. Knowledge is better than superstition, blind faith, and dogma. (p. 214) Hirsi Ali proceeds to correctly identify Enlightenment principles as this-worldly and thus incongruent with Islam: The Enlightenment honors life. It is not about honor after death or honor in the hereafter, as Islam is, but honor in individual life, now. It is about development of the individual will, not the submission of the will. Islam, by contrast, is incompatible with the principles of liberty that are at the heart of the Enlightenment's legacy. (p. 214) She powerfully illustrates her development in the contrasts she draws between herself on the one hand, and, on the other, her relatives and other devout Muslims, both of whom cling unquestioningly to their religion and clannish traditions such as “family honor.” . . .
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, America
  • Author: William McCants
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: On 9/11, the global jihadist movement burst into the world's consciousness, but a decade later, thanks in part to the Arab Spring and the killing of Osama bin Laden, it is in crisis. With Western-backed dictators falling, al Qaeda might seem closer than ever to its goal of building Islamic states. But the revolutions have empowered the group's chief rivals instead: Islamist parliamentarians, who are willing to use ballots, not bombs.
  • Topic: Cold War, Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Soviet Union, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: John L. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Political Science Quarterly
  • Institution: Academy of Political Science
  • Abstract: JOHN L. ESPOSITO analyzes the future of Islam and Muslim–West relations. He argues that the mindset among policymakers and the narrative in U.S.–Muslim world relations is shifting away from a policy of “democratic exceptionalism” and support for authoritarian regimes. Now the United States is committed to democratic institution-building and civil society and is responsive to the aspirations and expectations of their peoples, political parties (Islamist and secular), and civil society organizations.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Flagg Miller
  • Publication Date: 10-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: As the world waits for the declassification of documents from Usama bin Ladin's Abbottabad residence in Pakistan, an earlier archive shedding valuable light on al-Qa`ida's formation under Bin Ladin is slowly being released. Acquired by the Cable News Network in early 2002 from Bin Ladin's Kandahar compound, more than 1,500 audiocassettes are being made available to public researchers by Yale University.Dating from the late 1960s through 2000, the vast majority of tapes in this collection are in Arabic and feature lectures, sermons and conversations among more than 200 speakers from across the Islamic world. At least 22 recordings feature Bin Ladin himself, only one of which has been published to date.After the tapes were reviewed by U.S. intelligence agencies shortly after their acquisition, the collection was sold to the Williams College Afghan Media Project run by American anthropologist David Edwards. This author began cataloguing and archiving the collection in 2003, as soon as the tapes arrived at the college, and is currently writing a book about the figuration of Bin Ladin's leadership and al-Qa`ida through the archive. The initial results of the findings are presented in this article.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, United States, Arabia
  • Author: Valerie M. Hudson, Bradley Thayer
  • Publication Date: 04-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: International Security
  • Institution: Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University
  • Abstract: Theoretical insights from evolutionary psychology and biology can help academics and policymakers better understand both deep and proximate causes of Islamic suicide terrorism. The life sciences can contribute explanations that probe the influence of the following forces on the phenomenon of Islamic suicide terrorism: high levels of gender differentiation, the prevalence of polygyny, and the obstruction of marriage markets delaying marriage for young adult men in the modern Middle East. The influence of these forces has been left virtually unexplored in the social sciences, despite their presumptive application in this case. Life science explanations should be integrated with more conventional social science explanations, which include international anarchy, U.S. hegemony and presence in the Middle East, and culturally molded discourse sanctioning suicide terrorism in the Islamic context. Such a consilient approach, melding the explanatory power of the social and life sciences, offers greater insight into the causal context of Islamic fundamentalist suicide terrorism, the motivation of suicide terrorists, and effective approaches to subvert this form of terrorism.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Jessica Stern, Marisa L. Porges
  • Publication Date: 05-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Reform
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Jeffrey Herf, Marc Lynch, Paul Berman
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: No abstract is available.
  • Topic: Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Nelly Lahoud
  • Publication Date: 10-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: CTC Sentinel
  • Institution: The Combating Terrorism Center at West Point
  • Abstract: The central argument espoused by jihadist ideologues and leaders is that the Muslim world is plagued by grievances and injustices, many of which are caused by the West. According to their logic, the United States and corrupt, oppressive Muslim regimes are two sides of the same coin. Jihadist leaders warn Muslims not to fall for Western “deceptive” ideas such as democracy and human rights because they are designed to divert the umma (Islamic community) from jihad and ultimately paralyze it. Ayman al- Zawahiri, for example, asserts that the United States has only achieved its interests “by spreading oppression and terrorism at the hands of its [Islamic] allies.” According to al-Zawahiri, Western civilization sings the praises of human rights and liberties as long as such singing serves and benefits its interests. Jihadists have thus determined that jihad is the only path toward genuine change in this world and divine reward in the hereafter. Their jihad, they claim, is to fight to make God's Law supreme on earth. Only then can all Muslims, rulers and citizenry, be equally accountable to God's Law.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States
  • Author: Scott M. Thomas
  • Publication Date: 11-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Foreign Affairs
  • Institution: Council on Foreign Relations
  • Abstract: Religion is on the rise around the world. If the United States fails to confront the implications of this growth properly the potential for religiously motivated violence across the globe may increase dramatically over the next century.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East
  • Author: Abbas Milani
  • Publication Date: 04-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: The Washington Quarterly
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Two countries, ''both alike in dignity,'' have for too long been the Capulets and Montagues of our days. Grudges like the 1979 hostage crisis and the U.S. role in the overthrow of the popular Mossadeq government in 1953, ill feelings stemming from the clerical regime's nuclear program and help for organizations like Hezbollah, and the Bush administration's ham-fisted policy of ''regime change'' have combined to make the Islamic Republic of Iran one of the most intractable challenges facing the United States.
  • Topic: Government, Islam, Regime Change
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran