It’s not all about Islam: misreading secular politics in the Middle East

Western policymakers once understood the dynamics of secular politics in the Middle East, but this knowledge has been subsumed under a fixation on Islam’s supposed threat to western security interests, writes today´s guest contributor Dr Stacey Gutkowski. Much western, particularly French, media coverage of the January attacks on the Charlie Hebdo offices and the kosher …

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ISIS’ Caliphate and Intra-jihadist Struggles for Authority

On Sunday 29 June, the first day of Ramadan 2014, ISIS announced the restoration of the caliphate. From now on, its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, is “the caliph for Muslims everywhere”, the message states, adding that the name of the organisation, The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, becomes simply The Islamic State. In today’s …

Turkey and Religion; included or excluded in the EU?

Today's post shows Ella Sebamalai's reflection on Turkey's accession to the EU. On the one hand she reflects on religion and  secularism as part of the public debate, on the other hand she also illustrates the consequences of specific perceptions. In a crisis custody case between the Dutch government and a Turkish migrant family in the …

Antisemitisme Nederlandse Moslimjongeren; Sociaal Probleem

In de post van vandaag bespreekt dr. Marjo Buitelaar het sociale probleem van antisemitisime onder Nederlandse Moslimjongeren. Daarin bespreekt zij zogenaamde oorzaken en de misperceptie daarvan door, onder andere, de media. In een NRC- artikel over antisemitisme van moslimjongeren in de krant van 15 maart 2013 worden verschillende verklaringen hiervoor genoemd, waaronder het antisemitistische klimaat …

Polarization of the anti-Islam film debate: undoing the Arab Spring? Part Two

Alongside the ideologically-driven agenda of the anti-Islam films that we explored in Part One, we should also not underestimate the political nature of the production and release of this film just before the 11th anniversary of 9/11 as well as before the American elections – in which Barack Obama is standing for a second term. …

Polarization of the anti-Islam film debate: Undoing the Arab Spring? Part One

Over the last few days, international news coverage has been largely dominated by reports on protests across the world against a film that protestors claim is a direct insult to the prophet Muhammed.  The protests started with the storming of the American embassy in Cairo as well as a violent attack on the American consulate …