Journal

  • Fitting the Narrative: The Perils of Jumping to Conclusions - In the aftermath of an attack, I have argued, there is often a virtue in saying nothing until the facts emerge. Within the hours, days, and sometimes weeks following a killing, what we know about the case is often uncertain, and may well change radically. That will not always be the case. We knew a
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  • The Virtue of Saying Nothing - What are we to say about the murder of three friends, having a drink on a pleasant afternoon, in Reading, by a Libyan called Khairi Saadallah? It is a feature of 24 hour news culture, and the punditry that sustains it, that following any terrorist attack there is a rush to offer a “hot take”. There
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  • The Prospects for Political Reconciliation in Somalia - Somali politics represent the main threat to the security and stability of the nation. The political disputes between the Federal Government of Somalia (FGS), and the Federal Member States (FMSs) over the provisional constitution, federalism, election laws, democracy, security, rule of law and resource sharing has continued well into 2020 and many issues are not
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  • Why is the Public Interest News Foundation Funding the Conspiracy Theorists of 5 Pillars? - The Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) is a body which was launched by the Independent Publishers Task Force in 2019, which in turn was set up by IMPRESS: the independent monitor for the press. The PINF has been funded by the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust to provide grants to independent news providers. Successful applicants will
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  • We Need a New Center — Now More Than Ever - The last several weeks have brought to the fore multiple serious issues with our society at present. The horrifying murder of George Floyd underscored the need for a long-overdue reformation of America’s police system; the President’s authoritarian rhetoric and tactics in response to the largely peaceful protests nationwide served as further proof of his unfitness
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  • Statues Must Fall But Life Must Be Preserved - With the Name of God, All-Merciful, Most Merciful 1. I, along with some or many Muslims, am uncomfortable with *all* statues of people or animals because of the Islamic tradition against images that echoes the basic Torah commandment against “graven images” since these can lead to idolatry. (More on the Christian tradition of images/statues from
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  • Foreign adversaries, homegrown terrorist recruitment and black pain - This is a cross post of an article which originally appeared in The Post and Courier Walter Scott (2015), George Floyd (2020) and Sean Bell (2006). These are just a few of the names of African Americans who have died as a result of a long-standing and complicated history between police and the African American
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  • Satmar Ideology and Lifestyle (part 2): The Charedi Worldview - This is a cross post by Izzy Posen In my last post in the series I used various illustrations in order to make sense of the interconnectivity of charedi communities. One of them was the imagery of nested circles. But truth be told, that was just an approximation. To more fully represent the way in which
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  • Satmar Ideology and Lifestyle (part 1): Introduction to Ultra-Orthodox Sectarianism - This is a cross post by Izzy Posen In the last couple of posts I explored Satmar’s history. In the next couple of posts I will be exploring aspects of Satmar’s ideology and way of life: How does Satmar view the world? What does it expect of its members? How do Satmar individuals live? How do
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  • Covid 19 and British Exceptionalism - When we talk about British exceptionalism, we usually mean the chauvinistic, jingoistic sense of British specialness that says because we are so brave, and clever, and jolly decent, destiny will always be kind to us, and to hell with facts, logic, evidence and all such stuff and nonsense – we shall prevail because we’re British.
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  • Comedians, sceptics and dissenters will be targeted by Scotland’s proposed “stirring up hatred” offence - You might have missed it in all the recent excitement, but last month, Scotland introduced legislation to abolish its antiquated and rarely used blasphemy law. That’s good news. Blasphemy laws are incompatible with freedom of belief and expression. We might describe blasphemy – politely – as “robust doctrinal disagreement”: and it is the reason that
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  • Satmar History (part 3): The Narcissism of Minor Differences - This is a cross post by Izzy Posen (Pictured: Ahron to the left of the image and Zalman Leib to the right) By the late 90s Satmar was flourishing in all chassidic centres around the world. Wherever chassidim lived Satmar had a strong influence. Institutions were being built at unprecedented rates and enough babies were being
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  • The Islamist Associations of Trevor Phillips’ Accusers - At the end of April, Trevor Phillips was the subject of a letter calling for him to be removed from an inquiry by Public Health England into the apparently disproportionate mortality rates suffered by members of minority groups from infection by the COVID 19 virus. A number of these groups whose names appear on this
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  • How did the Coronavirus Pandemic Begin? Conspiracy Theories and Alternative Explanations - The global devastation caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has prompted a deluge of questions about how exactly we got here. People have criticized lethargic governmental responses, the WHO’s malpractice, the utility of globalized supply chains, among many other things. But perhaps the most pertinent of these questions is the following: How did COVID19 first make
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  • Satmar’s History (part 2): Rebbes and Satellites - This is a cross post by Izzy Posen As I start the third post in this series, it is worth reminding my readers what I emphasised in the introduction to the series: I am not an academic historian. I have not extensively researched this topic from data and academic literature. Most of what I write
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  • Free Webinar – Reinterpreting the Islamic Penal Code: Abolition of Hudood and the Struggle against Islamism - Quilliam International is holding a webinar with Sheikh Dr. Usama Hasan and Maajid Nawaz on our latest report, “Reinterpreting the Islamic Penal Code“. Following the announcement of the Saudi government that it will end flogging as a form of punishment, the report is intended to explain the fit between a proper reading of contemporary Islamic
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  • Press Release: Abolishing corporal punishments will help defeat islamist extremism - PRESS RELEASE  1 May 2020  Abolishing corporal punishments will help defeat islamist extremism Saudi reforms directly challenge ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Taliban, Jamaat-e-Islami, Muslim Brotherhood & Khomeinist ideology  LONDON – Counter-extremism thinktank, Quilliam International, has published a powerful rebuttal of the argument that hudood punishments (severe corporal and capital punishment) are required by Islamic law.   In April
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  • Punishment, Penalty, and Practice: Reinterpreting the Islamic Penal Code (Hudood) - Quilliam International has today published a report that considers the theological basis of corporal and capital punishment under Islamic Law, its abolition, and the significance of the issue to Islamists from Al Qaeda to the Muslim Brotherhood. Set out below is the executive summary of the report.  You may read the report in full, here.
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  • Who are the Satmar Jews: An Introduction - Most people are aware of the existence of so-called “ultra” or “strictly” Orthodox Jews. Some may know that these communities are divided into a variety of sects of varying strength and size, and that some are part of the “chassidic” movement. But there is still little understanding of the history of these groups: who they
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  • COVID-19, Misinformation and Minority Communities - The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating consequences for the international community and its economic, social and national security consequences will take years to assess, in full. With close to a million cases worldwide, and over 22,000 deaths and counting in the US alone, how to properly evaluate its impact on communities, particularly communities of color,
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  • Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh & Britain’s Terrorist Exports - You’d be forgiven for missing it in the midst of an unprecedented global crisis, but British citizen Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who has been on death row since 2002 for the kidnapping and murder of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl, has just had his death sentence overturned by a court in Pakistan. Sheikh’s name resurfacing after
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  • Trevor Phillips and the MCB: The Case Against Governmental Re-Engagement - Trevor Phillips, the founding chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, has been suspended by the Labour party on allegations of ‘Islamophobia’. The charge sheet can be read here. It includes his mockery of a pressure group which calls itself the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) for nominating him as “Islamophobe of the Year”
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  • A Confession: The Worst of my Beliefs as an Islamist - In the midst of the debate raging regarding Islam, Islamic conservatism, and Islamic extremism in both counter-extremism and policy circles, what we lack is a dose of unbridled honesty. The discussion is dogged by accusations of ‘Islamophobia’, anti-Muslim bigotry, and xenophobia. In this context, I have decided to surmise the worst of what I believed
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  • From Hamas to Hezbollah – British Muslims Deserve Better Leadership - In March 2004, aged 32, I accompanied some of my elders to a “Condolences Gathering” (majlis al-‘aza’) at the Regent’s Park Mosque (RPM) for Sheikh Ahmed Yassin, the founder and spiritual leader of Hamas, who had just been killed by an Israeli missile strike. To give some background, RPM’s trustees include the UK embassies of
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  • Black nationalism, identity politics and homegrown extremism - On December 28th in Monsey, New York, Grafton Thomas, entered the home of a local rabbi who was celebrating Hanukkah. Armed with a large knife, he went on a stabbing spree, leaving innocent worshippers injured, including one critically. Law enforcement authorities are currently conducting their investigation and so the details we know likely will shift.
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  • Black Hebrew Israelites Turn to Antisemitic Terrorism - “Black Hebrew Israelite” is a term that is applied to a range of groups, whose origins lie in the great late 19th century flourishing of new religious movements which include the Nation of Islam. Just as the Nation of Islam is defined by its heterodox take on Islam, the Black Hebrew Israelites syncretise aspects of
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  • Bosnia, Kosovo, Syria: Western Inaction and Radicalisation - Since the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, it has been commonplace to hear it argued that the “root cause” of terrorism is Western foreign policy: and specifically, the interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq. Radicalisation is not monocausal. Ideological, personal and psychological factors all have a role to play in the process. But if we are
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  • UK Terror Attack: Rehabilitating extremists is hard, but it can be done! - This week’s terrorist attack in London by Usman Khan shows yet again why the international community must remain more vigilant than ever against extremism. Khan himself was previously convicted and sentenced to 16 years for plotting to blow up the London Stock exchange and was deeply inspired by the American ideologue, Anwar Al Awlaki.  Furthermore,
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  • How Britain Failed To Stop Usman Khan - We now know that the London Bridge terrorist, Usman Khan, was “a student and personal friend” of the Al Muhajiroun leader, Anjem Choudary. Following his conviction for terrorist offences, he served six years in prison. As Hannah Stuart, Head of Research at the Commission for Countering Extremism, noted in 2017, a high percentage of British
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  • The Numbers Game - When the genie is out of the bottle, it’s not easy to put it back When I was growing up in the North of England in the 1970s, we were told of a mythical number of British Jews, a number which would always be there. It was 410,000. There had always been 410,000 and there
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  • The Alt-Right is Resurgent. Trump Doesn’t Seem to Care - It has been more than a week since the conservative student organization Turning Point USA’s unintentionally ephemeral event, in which Donald Trump Junior was supposed to speak on his newly released book, banally titled Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us. The fact that he was de-platformed by far-right activists
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  • The Perils of Mainstreaming Islamism: Sahar Al-Faifi and Plaid Cymru - In our paper for the Commission for Countering Extremism,  Mainstreaming Islamism: Islamist institutions and civil society organisations, published last month, we considered the energy that Islamist organisations devote to forming links with mainstream institutions, and the risks that those bodies run when they create such relationships. One of the focuses of our paper was the
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  • Money over Morality: The NBA’s Shameful Capitulation to Tyranny - From elementary to high school, whenever I would practice on the basketball hoop in front of my house, I’d imagine myself as then Phoenix Suns’ star point guard Steve Nash.  A recipient of back-to-back Most Valuable Player awards, feared sharpshooter, passing wizard, and all-around basketball masterclass, Nash is widely considered to be one of the
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  • Mainstreaming Islamism: Islamist Institutions and Civil Society Organisations - This paper has been commissioned and published by the Commission for Countering Extremism. You may read it in full, here. Throughout the 1990s and into the first decades of this century, a speaking circuit consisting of a series of preachers with a deep attachment to islamist political and religious theory toured a number of British
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  • Analysis and Comments on a Friday Sermon (Khutba) at Didsbury Mosque, Manchester, c. December 2016 - With the Name of God, All-Merciful, Most Merciful We, Usama Hasan and Salah al-Ansari, have between us, over 50 years’ experience of serving as imams in Egypt and England, since we both began as imams in our teens. This includes over 45 years’ experience of delivering Friday sermons, an important and influential religious duty since
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  • Islamic Modernism: An illusion or reality? - “Our women are now seen as serving no useful purpose to mankind other than having children; they are considered simply as serving for pleasure, like musical instruments or jewels. But they constitute half and perhaps more than half of our species…..Women are not inferior to men in their intellectual and physical capacities. In the ancient
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  • The Beijing Horse - Why Chinese Investment in Djibouti Matters to the United States (with special thanks to Charles L. Hall “I fear the Danaans, even those bearing gifts.” ~ Virgil, The Aeneid United States AFRICOM commander United States Marine Corps General Thomas D. Waldhauser told the U.S. Senate Committee on Armed Services on 7 February, 2019 that “Africa
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  • “You’re gonna go back to the gas chambers!” - I’m no stranger to antisemitism. Like pretty much every other Jew who has grown up in a non Jewish environment, I’ve heard my fair share of insults and accusations. Many of the antisemites I have dealt with have attempted to hide their prejudice behind the guise of “anti-Zionism”, but there was nothing hidden about the
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  • Ashura, Karbala and the Crisis of Islam-State Relationships - With the Name of God, All-Merciful, Most Merciful Summary On Ashura day, 10th Muharram of the 61st Islamic year corresponding to 10th October 680 CE, Husain, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was killed at Karbala in Iraq by forces loyal to Yazid bin Muawiya, who had been appointed Caliph or political
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  • As We Remember 9/11, The Triple Threat is on the Rise - The eighteenth anniversary of the  9/11 attacks in America is a good time to take stock of how far Americans and humanity as a whole have come from that horrific incident that killed almost 3,000 innocent people in the United States.  During this interval, the threat of transnational terrorism and violent extremism from groups like
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  • The Art of Solidarity - Climate change is rapidly becoming a primary reason for forced migration, be it indirectly, as a result of conflict over resources, or directly, as a result of an unlivable environment. On the receiving end of these refugee flows, artists and activists have the power to help alleviate the social exclusion experienced by refugees in Europe.
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  • Concentration Camps do still exist. But not in Texas - In June, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines by referring to the migrant detention centers on the US-Mexico border as “concentration camps.” She added that “never again” has to mean something, and that the Trump administration was falling short of this ideal. Her comments, which she recently doubled-down on, insinuating that these camps are comparable to
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  • The future of the Popular Mobilisation Units in Iraq - The role of the Popular Mobilisation Units (PMU) remains a huge part of debate in Iraq. With the territorial war against ISIS now over, with the group now resorting to guerrilla tactics as an underground movement; questions are now raised about the PMU’s continued existence. Following the collapse of the Iraqi army that led to
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  • Klepto-Queens and Far Right Infighting - Earlier this year, the writer Sohrab Ahmari published a piece on the website of the religious-conservative magazine First Things explicitly attacking the worldview of another member of that tribe, David French. The subject in hand was the future of the American right. Can it be reconciled both to Donald Trump and to God? Ahmari’s piece
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  • Book Review: “Muslim Modernism – A Case For A Naya [New] Pakistan” by Nadeem Farooq Paracha - I recommend this concise and readable book, “Muslim Modernism – A Case for a Naya (New) Pakistan” by the leading Karachi-based Pakistani journalist, Nadeem Farooq Paracha, for those interested in the field, as it highlights key issues for debate. Paracha’s main points are that the Islam/state relationship was understood by different Pakistani political leaders, roughly
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  • The Yezidi Genocide, five years on - Saturday 3rd August marked the fifth anniversary of the Yezidi genocide that, according to the estimate of the United Nations, resulted in the murder of 5000 innocent people by ISIS terrorists. Thousands of women were enslaved and 3000 still remain missing. The genocide inflicted on the Yezidis is not the only one in in the
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  • El Paso’s Attack is White Homegrown Violent Extremism - A 21 year old white male suspect, Patrick Crusius, has been arrested in connection with Saturday’s attack in El Paso, Texas at a shopping center, in which multiple casualties and at least 20 fatalities have taken place. This incident illustrates the steady concern that we all face in the battle against the rising tide of
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  • Korean Muslims are Quietly Thriving - Itaewon, the district of Seoul most popular with international expats and tourists, feels more like South Boston than South Korea. Enough pizza shops and fast food joints line the main street to rival most American city districts. And just outside, curbside vendors compete with each other to sell their fake Supreme t-shirts, knock-off NBA jerseys,
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  • Confronting Extremism Together: The Home Secretary’s Speech - The Home Secretary’s speech, Confronting Extremism Together constitutes a welcome broadside against extremism of all varieties. It recognises the multiple contemporary challenges to the fundamental precepts which define not only the United Kingdom, but pluralist liberal democracies generally. It also presents a series of high level principles and broad policy proposals which ought to guide
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  • What a film can teach us about war with Iran - In 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran Deal, was signed. That same year, the Israeli-Iranian film, Atomic Falafel, directed by Dror Shaul was released. The JCPOA was signed by Iran and the P5 + 1 (China, Russia, US, UK, France + European Union), and stipulated that Iran would limit its
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  • When mainstream leaders stand up against extremism the community is stronger (Part 1) - The well-known minor reality TV contestant turned rightwing agitator, Katie Hopkins, is following a well-worn path in her quest to become an international celebrity on the Islam-bashing circuit.  In turning to the Jewish community for support, she presumably imagines that fear of Muslims will be her greatest ally. The other indispensable plank of the strategy
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  • Why a literature festival upset extremists - This is a cross post from The Groundswell Project. Follow them at @GroundswellPro3 One huge threat to extremists’ existence is the coming together of people who promote unity and challenge hate. I know this because I was an ex member of Hizbut Tahrir (HuT, the liberation party) over a decade ago and some of my
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  • The Problem of a Single Muslim Narrative - The famed Nigerian novelist, Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche, delivered an insightful TED talk in 2009: “The Danger of Single Story.” In summary, she articulates the manner in which humans, our stories and lived realities are composed of many layers and overlapping stories which shape both us as individuals and the communities in which we reside. However,
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  • Mufti Abdullah Patel on the Tory Leadership Debate - The Conservative candidates debate last night was a predictably dreary affair: reminiscent of a Freshers’ Week event at the Oxford Union Society. At the end of the hour’s viewing pretty much every prejudice that the population of this country might hold about politicians in general would have been amply reinforced. There has been some comment
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  • Sudan, journalism, democratic values - A number of people on social media started complaining this week that there was no reporting on the current conflict in Sudan. The accusation is untrue, and yet it is widely perpetuated across social media platforms. To disprove the claim, one has but to type “Sudan” into the search bar in Google. Almost every mainstream
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  • We Need to Be Honest About the Problems in the Muslim Community - In the west, we mostly live in representative democracies. Our vote ultimately decides the direction which our country takes. The electorate must be sufficiently informed to make a decision as to whom they might want to represent them. This is why openness and honesty in public discussion and debate are imperative. Nothing should be taboo
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  • The Prison States - The twentieth century has passed and the world has changed. The great evil of the period can perhaps be assumed to have mutated and changed, too. That era’s gravest sin and greatest threat, totalitarianism, seems less evident today, and its equivalents are assumed to have updated their methods. When fearing for the future, journalists and
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  • ISIS seek a rebirth in Iraq and attempt to capitalise on political and ethnic disputes in Kirkuk - A series of explosions in Iraq’s disputed city of Kirkuk led to a reported five people dead and eighteen people wounded on Thursday night as the head of the city’s security operations blamed the attack on ISIS. The instability in Kirkuk, which stems from constitutional and political disputes between the Federal Government in Baghdad and
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  • The ChristChurch Call will do more harm than good - Last week, governments and leading tech companies got together to produce a collective response to the horrific ChristChurch terrorist attack. The agreement they came up with, dubbed the “ChristChurch Call”, lays out the steps they will take to better prevent the spread of violent extremist and terrorist content online of the kind that motivated the
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  • As mainstream political parties continue to fail centrists must fill the power vacuum - The UK continues to be polarised by the many issues that it faces. Brexit, anti-Muslim bigotry and antisemitism dominate political discourse in this country, particularly within the Conservative Party and the Labour Party. The country’s two traditional parties have moved away from big tent politics and have retreated to their respective corners, flying the flag
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  • Burning of Haskallic literature in Brooklyn, NY - The author of the text that is to be burnt was written by Naphtali Hirz Wessely: an 18th century Maskil. He was fully committed to traditional observance and belief, but advocated for widening the Jewish curriculum to include secular studies. His views were essentially no different to those expressed by Rav Hirsch, who is accepted
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  • Why not to boycott Israel over Eurovision - The beginning of May is always a busy and emotional time in Israel. First comes Holocaust Memorial Day between the 1st and 2nd, and then on the 8th, Remembrance Day, when Jews commemorate the fallen soldiers in Israel’s history. The week long mourning ends with a huge celebration: Independence Day on the 9th. This year,
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  • We are not “in the gutter” with the far right – but those who spread fear and hatred cannot be allowed to go unchallenged - On Saturday, Glyn Secker – one of the luminaries of the astroturfing organisation “Jewish Voice for Labour” – accused the UK Jewish community of allying with the far Right. Claims of this sort provide good examples of the “two-campism” of the type that has become synonymous with Corbynism. That perspective pits the “community of the
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  • On the Saatchi Gallery Exhibition - HRH The Prince of Wales once observed that the Western world needs to re-learn a “sense of the sacred” from Muslims. Indeed, much of the history of art cannot be understood without a sense of the significant of both the holy and the profane. Our common culture is built upon these categories, and the distinctions
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  • A Question of Tone - Over a decade ago, I spent some time cataloguing the various hate preachers and dubious meetings taking place at the East London Mosque and the activities of the associated Jamaat-e-Islami aligned Islamic Forum Europe. A number of my pieces considered the conduct of a particular IFE activist, who was given to making especially inflammatory statements.
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  • I am worried not by Chowdhury’s antisemitic comments – but by his divisive politics - There’s a petition going around requesting for Omar Chowdhury to resign from his post as BME Network Chair in the Bristol Student Union, following the antisemitic comments he made to me on Facebook last year. I want to offer my perspective on the matter. Omar has apologised to me and to the Jewish studentship in Bristol and
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  • Naik Nicked - Indian hate preacher, Zakir Naik has been charged with money laundering by Indian prosecutors in Mumbai on Thursday. They claim that he has acquired $28 million worth of criminal assets, a charge which he denies.  The prosecution’s case is that he acquired funds from dubious sources in order to buy property in India and to
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  • Left wing smears feed right-wing extremism - The practice of hijacking a salient, emotional issue for political purposes has been a staple in American politics for years. U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy used fear in relation to the real threat of Communism to smear his various political adversaries as traitors. Presidential First Lady and future Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton referred to inner-city gang
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  • Why is media-basher Jeremy Corbyn speaking on a panel defending journalists like Lyra McKee? - These are the times that try men’s patience. Sample the following from an email sent by the National Union of Journalists to their members about an upcoming event: “Lyra McKee was murdered doing her job, London-based BBC Persian Service journalists are targeted by the Iranian authorities and Turkey has become the world’s biggest jailer of
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  • Terrorism is Thriving on Bin Laden’s Death Anniversary - Today marks 8 years since the death of Usama Bin Laden, the notorious and infamous leader of al-Qa’ida. Though the organization has suffered setbacks and has been degraded, its brand and influence continue to offer influence and carry a message even after its founder’s death. Even now, the group has been seeking to reconstitute itself,
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  • On Sri Lanka and the Far-Right - After an act of evil, silence and solemnity are rarely enough. Even commemoration of the victims, and calls for social stability and solidity frequently come up short. As attractive, if not more, are demands for action, in extreme cases vengeance, and attacks on those seen to be reacting wrongly or perversely to the tragedy newly
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  • Next in Q Podcast Episode 12 – Andrew Copson: A Cock & Bull Story -  Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s Director of Policy, David Toube, discusses the tricky question of the interface between private religious conservatism and secularism with Andrew Copson of Humanists UK. Religiously mandated slaughter methods and circumcision are two such crux points. Listen on
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  • Kingston University and Suicide Bombers - In 2003, Asif Hanif – Britain’s first jihadist suicide bomber – murdered three people at Mike’s Bar in Tel Aviv. He had attended Kingston University. This week, a second alumnus of Kingston University, Abdul Lathief Jameel Mohamed, committed a horrifyingly bloody massacre in Sri Lanka. A significant number of takfiri jihadist terrorists have passed through
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  • Sri Lanka attack shows how we must view Islamist terrorism - The mass murder of Sri Lankan Christians this past Easter Sunday has shaken the world. There are still many questions that remain, but here is what we know now: Beginning at 8:45 AM Easter morning, bombs were detonated at three major Churches throughout Sri Lanka, four more went off at luxury hotels, and another at
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  • Notre Dame and Crank Politics - Incommensurable: “ Not able to be judged by the same standards; having no common standard of measurement”. This is the nature of those comparisons between Grenfell, colonialism, climate change and the destruction of Notre Dame. Incommensurable. It does not mean that they are any less important: but there is no common denominator. It is facile
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  • Next in Q Podcast Episode 11 – Andrew Copson: In a Secular Motion -  Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s Director of Policy, David Toube, speaks to Andrew Copson of Humanists UK about the meaning of Humanism, and how religious communities can benefit from a secular society. “If secularism is going to work as a political settlement
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  • The Sudan Coup: Women, Youth and an Opportunity for the World - Thursday’s announcement that President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the 75-year-old African leader was ousted from power after a 30 year tight fisted rule in power was refreshing news for the citizens of Sudan, Washington policymakers and international practitioners. Al-Bashir orchestrated the killing of hundreds of thousands of people from Darfur. He turned his country into a
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  • Next in Q Podcast Episode 10 – Tania Joya: Jihad with a Seaside Riad -  Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s US Executive Director, Dr Muhammad Fraser-Rahim who continues his conversation with Tania Joya, former Islamist and ISIS bride. When ISIS declared a Caliphate, Tania’s (former) husband moved her and the children to the Middle East, and eventually
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  • Next in Q Episode 9: Tania Joya – Jihaders Wives -  Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s US Executive Director, Dr Muhammad Fraser-Rahim in conversation with Tania Joya, former Islamist discussing growing up in East London, immersed in its Islamist subculture. When ISIS declared a Caliphate, why travelling to join it seemed the natural
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  • Next in Q Episode 8: Sara Khan – Radically Candid -  Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s Director of Policy, David Toube, as he continues his conversation with Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism, in this second part, about the challenges of her role in tackling extremism. “Extremists, when they do come into
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  • My Autobiography: A Talk at the Liberal Jewish Synagogue, London – 20th of March 2019 - Tonight’s theme is “transitioning to one’s authentic self”. I am not sure what an “authentic self” is and I definitely haven’t found mine yet. But I can tell you about my transition: a transition from chassidic yeshiva boy, to secular university student. My name is Izzy Posen. I am a second year physics and philosophy
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  • 16 years on, the Iraq War was still the right choice - The 20th March marked the 16th anniversary of Iraq’s liberation from Saddam’s genocidal dictatorship. Yes, I call it liberation because Saddam was the Middle Eastern equivalent to Adolf Hitler. His Arab Socialist Baath Party waged wars against countries over territories that he considered part of a greater Iraq, namely Kuwait and Iran. Furthermore, his treatment
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  • Lessons from domestically rehabilitating a former extremist in the US - Earlier this month I traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark engaging with government, academia, media and civil society organizations to shed light on several robust approaches to combat extremism from a range of initiatives at a domestic and global level. Denmark is not alone as many other states, including the UK, Saudi Arabia and Singapore have all
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  • Next in Q Episode 7: Sara Khan - Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s Director of Policy, David Toube in conversation with Sara Khan, Lead Commissioner for Countering Extremism. Sara shares her experiences of extremism that led her to take on this important role.   Listen on Apple Podcast here. Support our
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  • With the war on ISIS coming to an end, the West must support the Kurds - Since February 9th of this year, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) began operations in the final enclave of ISIS in eastern Syria. The Battle of Baghuz Fawqani has taken longer than expected due to ISIS holding hundreds of prisoners, most of which are civilians that are being effectively used as human shields. With an
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  • Great Replacement Conspiricising - Amongst the scrawling on the weapon and magazines of the Christchurch shooter, was the slogan “14 Words”. His manifesto stated those fourteen words: “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children”. These words, also abbreviated 14 or 14/88, were coined by alt-right terrorist David Lane. They are used frequently
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  • New Zealand shootings: Muslims are fearful and hurting but we must not give in to hate - This article by Maajid Nawaz was originally posted in The Times on 16th March 2019. Yesterday’s attack announces the lowest point for Muslim communities in the West since the Bosnia genocide. This is now the single biggest terror attack in Australasia, equal in number of victims to the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016. It will
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  • New Zealand Massacre: White Nationalist Iconography and Ideology - The manifesto and the gun decorations displayed by Brenton Tarrant, the man arrested for the horrifying massacre of scores of worshippers at two New Zealand mosques, are steeped in the iconography of the neo Nazi far Right. This is a deliberate choice: the purpose of the attack is to spread these ideas. Many readers will
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  • The Parkfield protestors are nothing but bigots disguised as victims: We must not be fooled - This month, it was reported that over 600 Muslim students had been withdrawn from Parkfield Community School in Birmingham over claims that they were being brainwashed by a ‘gay agenda’. Yesterday, in a move that demonstrates the institutional strength of British democracy, Ofsted said in a report that there was no evidence the curriculum overly focused on LGBT issues
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  • Iranian and Russian Influence Wars in the US: Targeting African Americans - Iran and Russia continue to face internal challenges in light of sanctions imposed by the international community, in the case of Iran, in response to ongoing nuclear issues, and support of terrorist organizations including Hezbollah and, in relation to Russia, incursions into the territory of neighbouring states. We are familiar with Russia’s influence operations in
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  • On Islamists and Salafists - With religion having been largely relegated to the private sphere due in no small part to the secularising effect of the processes which culminated in the formation of the modern nation-state, this current state of affairs has given rise to concerns surrounding the assertive religious identities of many Muslim communities within the West. Chief among
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  • Why should anyone take Yosef Mizrachi seriously? - The impending visit of Yosef Mizrachi, the widely condemned extremist preacher, to the UK, has already run into trouble with the speedy cancellation of two public appearances after widespread protests. There is a view often expressed about Mizrachi, particularly by the religiously knowledgeable, that he is, essentially a joke. Not a funny one, considering the
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  • What now for Algeria? - Tens of thousands of Algerians are protesting the decision of their ailing President, Abdelaziz Bouteflika to run for a fifth term. The 82-year old announced his candidacy for the April 2019 elections by letter last month despite having suffered a stroke in 2013, being in a wheelchair and potentially unable to speak. His last public
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  • “If Only” - “If only we could have a transformative socialist Labour Government, but without the antisemitism.” “If only we could be part of the Corbyn movement; and if only we could persuade that movement to oppose antisemitism.” But I don’t want to be part of the Corbyn movement. If by magic the Corbyn movement wasn’t antisemitic, it
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  • Next in Q Episode 6: Macer Gifford – The Return of Raqqa - Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s Director of Policy, David Toube as he continues his conversation with Macer Gifford, Human rights activist & anti-ISIS campaigner. He fought in Raqqa with the MFS (Syriac Military Council) and served for 3 years in the YPG.  
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  • British authorities are not equipped to deal with jihadis returning from ISIS - This is a cross-post by Khadija Khan from Sedaa In 2004 the British government secured the release of Jamal Udeen al-Harith from Guantanamo Bay, after strenuous diplomacy with the Americans who had captured him in Pakistan, where he was believed to be an al-Qaeda operative. Al-Harith carried out a suicide bombing in Iraq in 2017 after joining
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  • The Extremism of Clowns and Fools - The man described by the Jewish News as the “Rabbi of Hate”, Yosef Mizrachi, has been planning a visit to the UK. No doubt he hoped that the universal condemnation that he attracted from everyone from Chief Rabbi Mirvis to the National Autistic Society in 2016 has died down enough to allow him to sidle
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  • Next in Q Episode 5: Macer Gifford – The Call of the Kurds -  Tune in to a new episode of Quilliam’s ‘Next in Q’ podcast with your host Quilliam International’s Director of Policy, David Toube in conversation with Macer Gifford, Human rights activist & anti-ISIS campaigner. He fought in Raqqa with the MFS (Syriac Military Council) and served for 3 years in the YPG. “All of a
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  • Outrage Culture and the Severity of Hate Crime Hoaxes - Most everyone can agree on the gravity of hate crimes. To hear that a hate crime has taken place in your neighborhood elicits a palpably stronger emotional reaction than other forms of unlawful acts. Indeed, we created this special category of crime because of the general understanding that when a criminal act is committed based on
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  • Cults, Grooming and Culpability - I find the idea that Shemima Begum was groomed both intriguing and problematic. I have consistently said that IS behaves like a cult. Indeed, it conforms in many ways with a range of indicators that it operates in a cult-like manner. Powerful and exclusive dedication/devotion to an explicit person or creed. Their use of “thought-reform”
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