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Old 10-25-2008   #21
Tom Odom
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Great review!

Write more!

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Old 10-25-2008   #22
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Smile Review - with advert

Yes, a good review, which I will circulate to a few Muslims here in the UK for comment - including several women. Alongside the review is an advert for singlemuslim.com and a photo of a lady with a scarf. As the review comments on the views of Muslim women the advert is cannily well-placed.

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Old 10-25-2008   #23
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Default That was fast...

Thanks for the well written, comprehensive review, LTC Schumann. This is a book I will read and share.
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Old 10-26-2008   #24
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Default great review!

bought this book after seeing it mentioned here a couple of days back, it was very readable. if you have the luxury of hanging out w/ plenty of american muslims, non-arab muslims, middle east muslims and gulf muslims most of what's revealed in this book shouldn't be too much of a surprise.

i thought the reading goes very well w/ another work from um al-qorah university in mecca (as a bit of a counter balance), a sort of master's thesis by a student of mohammed qutb, the brother of sayyid qutb (it's a bit dated but captures the essence of salafi thought, the greatest export of the kingdom to the rest of the muslim world):

http://izzatulillah.wordpress.com/20...wala-wal-bara/ (in 3 pdf parts)


Quote:
The book deals with the concept of Loving for the sake of Allah and Hating for the sake of Allah. It was originally submitted for a Masters Degree at the Department of Aqeedah Umm al-Qorah University in Makkah. The subject matter of this work is of paramount importance and utmost interest for two major reasons:

Firstly, it is concerned with one of Islam's main foundations, namely the qualities of al-wala' wa al-bara' ( الولاء و البراء ), which are two major prerequisites of true faith: al-wala' is a manifestation of sincere love for Allah, His prophets and the believers; al-bara', on the other hand, is an expression of enmity and hatred towards falsehood and its adherents. Both are evidence of iman.

Secondly, it has been written at a very crucial time: everything has become so mixed up that some Muslims are no longer aware of those qualities which distinguish the believers from the non-believers; their faith has become so weak that they have adopted patterns of behaviour that are absolutely repugnant to a sincere believer; they have taken the disbelievers as their friends, while displaying enmity towards many of the believers by disparaging their character and degrading them.
Aqidah (sometimes spelled Aqeedah, Aqidah or Aqida) (Arabic: عقيدة) is an Islamic term meaning creed. Any religious belief system, or creed, can be considered an example of aqidah. However this term has taken a significant technical usage in Muslim history and theology, denoting those matters over which Muslims hold conviction.

The six Sunni and Shia articles of belief are:

Belief in God (Allah), the one and only one worthy of all worship (tawhid).
Belief in all the Prophets (nabi) and Messengers (rusul) sent by God
Belief in the Angels (mala'ika).
Belief in the Books (kutub) sent by God (including the Qur'an).
Belief in the Day of Judgment (qiyama) and in the Resurrection (life after death).
Belief in Destiny (Fate) (qadar).
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Old 10-28-2008   #25
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http://fora.tv/2008/07/01/Irshad_Man...eaks_for_Islam
(this is a little over 1 hour long)

Irshad Manji (not wearing hijab, author of The Trouble with Islam Today, considers herself a reform minded muslim) and Dalia Mogahed (co-author of Who Speaks for Islam?, considers herself a moderate/mainstream muslim) discuss issues surrounding contemporary Islam at the 2008 Aspen Ideas Festival, including the nature of the religion in relation to peace & conflict and the interpretation of the Koran.

***

every time we get a more than usual dose of feel good moderation, we should always chase it down w/ some walid shoebat as a rule:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=653akoOAlaE
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Old 03-01-2012   #26
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Default Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism

Sayyid Qutb and the Origins of Radical Islamism

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Old 10-09-2014   #27
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Default Fear, Inertia, and Islam

Fear, Inertia, and Islam

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Old 09-12-2015   #28
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Default Islamism, Islamofascism, and Islam?

Islamism, Islamofascism, and Islam?

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Old 12-10-2015   #29
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Default Jihadist Narratives: Democratized Islam and Islamic Nation Building

Jihadist Narratives: Democratized Islam and Islamic Nation Building

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Old 01-17-2016   #30
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Default Whence Islam?

Whence Islam?

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Old 02-04-2016   #31
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Default How Politics Has Poisoned Islam

A startling clear NYT opinion by a Turkish author and worth a read. The second passage says:
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Religion is not actually at the heart of these conflicts — invariably, politics is to blame. But the misuse of Islam and its history makes these political conflicts much worse as parties, governments and militias claim that they are fighting not over power or territory but on behalf of God. And when enemies are viewed as heretics rather than just opponents, peace becomes much harder to achieve.
He ends with:
Quote:
But when Islam merges with power, or becomes a rallying cry in power struggles, its values begin to fade.
Link:http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/04/op...slam.html?_r=0
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Old 06-02-2017   #32
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Default The Left, Islamism, and a Moment of Truth?

The Left, Islamism, and a Moment of Truth?

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Old 06-12-2017   #33
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Default The challenge of Islamism

A commentary by Sir John Jenkins, an ex-UK diplomat and Middle East SME, that has a wider application than the UK:https://policyexchange.org.uk/a-state-of-extremes/

Two "tasters":
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Islamists are by definition revolutionary. They reject most existing political systems as un-Islamic – something they claim exclusively to define. They seek to replace the secular and neo-Westphalian with a new Islamised order nationally and internationally. This does not mean that they all seek revolution now. Some do. Others value patience and seek to manufacture consent. They are prepared to use force where this is not effective or fast enough or where they are not allowed to operate with sufficient freedom.
The penultimate sentence:
Quote:
Above all we need to recognise the threat for what it is, one of the most significant ideological challenges to our conception of ourselves and our societies since the Second World War.
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #34
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Default The new great game in the Middle East

Sir John Jenkins, a retired Uk diplomat, has a wide ranging overview of the Middle East; sub-titled:
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Since the fall of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Iran has become ever more powerful in the region. But now a new Saudi-led alliance is fighting back. Are we heading for a catastrophe?
Link:https://www.newstatesman.com/world/m...me-middle-east
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #35
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A double whammy, a second piece (20 pgs.) by Sir John Jenkins; this time a lecture @ Policy Exchange on the Middle East, political Islamism - including the Muslim Brotherhood - and the conflict between nations. Some very telling phrases, especially on Iran - which defy copying.
Link:https://policyexchange.org.uk/wp-con...rt-version.pdf
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Old 2 Weeks Ago   #36
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Default RE: John Jenkins on "The new great game in the Middle East"

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Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Sir John Jenkins, a retired Uk diplomat, has a wide ranging overview of the Middle East; sub-titled:Link:https://www.newstatesman.com/world/m...me-middle-east
In response...

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jenkins
It is also true that the latest Kurdish disaster in Iraq is far more consequential than previous ones. This is not simply about the Kurdistan regional government: it is about the Middle East as a whole. The failure of the Kurdish referendum project has given Iran in particular an opportunity to weaken the one part of Iraq that has consistently been pro-Western and open for business. And it has given Iran the ability to shape Kurdish politics not just inside Iraq but also in Syria, where the Western-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which have led the ground assault against Islamic State, will have drawn lessons from President Barzani’s apparent abandonment by the US and the UK – and inside Iran itself. The Kurdish failure gives Iran leverage inside Turkey, through the links it has cultivated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party. And it has strengthened some of the key sectarian militias inside Iraq. It has shown Turkey that the US will not stand with the Kurds if it has bigger interests at stake, a lesson that Turkey will apply in north-western Syria, where it is seeking to make an extension of Kurdish control impossible.
Thus far, Iraq has merely returned the situation to the pre-2014 status quo, which was not unfavorable to the Kurds. The Kurdistan Regional Government has been “pro-Western and open for business” because it has been a U.S. client or protectorate for over a generation: specifically since 1991. The same is hardly true of the Turkish and Syrian Kurds, who are mainly under the control of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party and its Syrian branch, the Democratic Union Party.

Unfortunately, Jenkins makes the grave error of conflating Iraqi and Syrian Kurds, the KDP and the PKK, and the Peshmerga and the YPG. Barzani attempted a fait accompli despite Western warnings, and despite the fact that the West was not about to allow Iraqi Kurdistan to be overrun by Iraqi Shia militias and subjugated into a unitary Shia-dominated state. Iraqi Kurdish frustration with the status quo was understandable, but so too should have been the necessity of continuity. Unless the U.S. was planning on expelling Turkey from NATO and championing Kurdish independence against opposition from Iran, Turkey, Iraq and Syria (which are united on that particular issue), any unilateral declaration of independence was sheer folly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jenkins
…but they [the Saudis] are no nearer a conclusion to the war in Yemen, where the Houthis remain defiant and Iran can keep its modest but still significant military supply lines open.
As CrowBat and others have noted, the Iranian “military supply lines” to the Houthi/pro-Saleh forces in Yemen are very “modest” indeed. Houthi successes have more to do with former president Saleh’s support than Iran’s.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Jenkins
…it is inconceivable that Riyadh, whatever discussions may have taken place in private, will be able to rush Israel into launching a war against Hezbollah in or outside Lebanon, or against Iranian forces inside Syria. Egypt is characteristically reluctant to get involved. And in any case, Israel is the only actor with the ability to take them on in any serious way, for reasons of geography, capability and competence. Although Israel constantly plans for the next conflict and is determined that Iran will not threaten its borders, it is unlikely that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants war now, any more than Hezbollah or Iran does. They all have other priorities and may not have decided yet whether it would make sense to fight each other directly at any point in the short to medium term.
Jenkins seems to ignore the fact that aside from the perception that Iran is now more influential in Iraq, Lebanon, and Syria now, than it was in 2011, Iran has had to marshal all of its resources in order to preserve Assad’s rule in perhaps one-third of Syria. Not only are the IRGC and foreign Shia militias occupied in Syria or Iraq (~35,000 of them), but Syria’s once-formidable air defenses (at least 4X more capable than Iran’s) have been neutralized by the war, and no longer provide any protection from or early-warning of an airstrike on its nuclear facilities, ostensibly by Israel. In addition, Syria’s arsenal of tanks and artillery are now denied to Iran in the event of conflict with Israel. Iran’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs aside, Israel is less threatened by Iran’s allies or auxiliaries than ever before, and Lebanese Hezbollah is in no position to pummel northern Israel as it did in 2006.
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