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From Terror to Deliberation

The United Kingdom has been shaken by four terror attacks in three months. Three were carried out by ISIS supporters and the latest was the result of anti-Muslim sentiments. These attacks follow a number of jihadi attacks in other European countries: France, Belgium, Germany and Sweden. The recurrence of these events (and often their low-tech […]

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Posted in Europe, Islam, Religion, Security Issues, Terrorism, World0 Comments

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Should We Empathize With Extremists?

When U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon suggested in a recent Security Council speech that an Israeli drive to build settlements beyond its territory partly fueled Palestinian extremism, it drew ire from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “There is no justification for terror,” responded Netanyahu. “The comments of the U.N. Secretary-General encourage terror.” In the epochal ‘war […]

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Posted in Islam, Israel, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

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Understanding the Saudi-Iranian Cold War: A Road Map

The execution of a renowned Arab Shi’a cleric, Sheikh Nimr, just after the New Year has set long-standing rivals Iran and Saudi-Arabia on a new collision course. Radical elements in Iran attacked the Saudi diplomatic compound in the country prompting Riyadh to sever its relations with Tehran. While the Iranian government condemned the attacks, immediately dismissing some officials […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, World

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The Forerunners of ISIS

The recent creation and sudden conquests of the so-called “Islamic State” have astonished policy-makers, military strategists, and foreign affairs analysts. The self-proclaimed caliphate of Abû al-Baghdâdi went from a broken outfit of Iraqi insurgents to a feared theocracy that currently threatens the established order of the Middle East. One can be forgiven for thinking such a movement as being […]

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Posted in Africa, Culture, Education, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Terrorism, World

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Genocide in Myanmar

Millions of Myanmar’s citizens will go to the polls on 8 November to cast their votes in the first relatively democratic elections in 25 years. At stake is control of the country’s bicameral legislature – the Pyidaungsu Hluttaw, which is currently dominated by President Thein Sein’s ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP). As stipulated […]

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Posted in Asia, Humanitarian Intervention, Islam, Refugees, Religion, UN, World

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Women’s Rights and the Decline of the Culture Wars

By Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of education and history at NYU Last Sunday, at the United Nations, world leaders marked the 20th anniversary of the landmark Beijing accord on women’s rights. They celebrated women’s progress—especially in education, health, and labor—and underscored ongoing gender inequalities. But they also condemned the jailing of female political dissidents in China, which […]

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Posted in China, Religion, UN, World

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After Authoritarianism: State Development and National Identity in the Middle East

The Arab Uprisings have resulted in an increase in the expression of both sectarian and trans-state identities, making the process of reunification and the prospects for a peaceful coexistence somewhat dependent on the new leaderships’ ability to unite, make amends and, possibly for the first time in the region, craft a territorial nationalism that complements rather […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, World

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Was ISIS Inevitable?

ISIS’ exploits dominate headlines, horrifying witnesses around the world. As a history graduate who specialised in researching the rise of Islam, its culture, and its creation of a complex and inspiring civilisation, the recent destruction of millennia old artefacts have almost reduced me to tears. As we now watch and condemn the destruction of priceless […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Refugees, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

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ISIS, Islam and Credulity: More Irreverence Needed in the Fight Against Extremism

This week, King Abdullah of Jordan appealed to European parliamentarians to help root out both terrorism and ‘Islamophobia’. Setting aside this interesting conflation, the wholesale failure of Arab and majority Muslim countries to embody either mutual respect or inclusivity towards many of their ethno-religious minorities bespeaks of an imbalance in critical attention to how those […]

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Posted in Europe, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

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ISIS and The Illusion of Power

It can be difficult to stay optimistic about peace while an atmosphere of gloom permeates the contemporary Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria. It is nearly impossible to watch the news without being inundated by provocative visuals of ISIS’s atavistic executions of U.S. journalists and perplexed by ISIS’s seemingly uncanny ability to recruit Westerners. […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Syria, Terrorism, US, World

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Mediterranean Migration Reveals Flaws in Dublin Convention

John Donne famously reminded us that ‘no man is an island’. Likewise in today’s polycentric, ever-globalized, and interconnected world, no state can remain untouched by social, economic, or political influences from neighbouring states. As terrible as Islamic State has been for people living in Syria, Iraq and Libya, its effects on Europe are also increasingly being felt. […]

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Posted in Africa, Conflict, Economic Security, Europe, Germany, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Refugees, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, UN, World

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Nigeria Now

  ‘173 million Nigerians and 68 million voting’ These figures may come as a surprise to some. Whilst it is true that this election cannot compare to the one in India last year, it is still much larger than most realize. The Nigerian electorate is larger than the entire French population. Unfortunately, Nigeria’s reputation precedes it. Despite officially […]

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Posted in Africa, Islam, Security Issues, World

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Why Are Humanitarian Workers Targeted?

Why are humanitarian workers targeted? On World Humanitarian Day this year the United Nations reported that in various conflict zones in 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 were injured and 134 were taken as captives. We have to ask, what is the justification for such acts? Let us begin with the illegal occupation of […]

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Posted in Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, UN, World

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Living Ordinary Lives? European Muslims After Charlie Hebdo

The tragedy of Charlie Hebdo has provoked an immense response from Muslims and non-Muslims all over the world. Almost all who have written about this issue have condemned the killings in Paris, equating them to other similar terrorist threats and attacks such as the Rushdie Affair and the 7/7 bombings in Britain, the 9/11 attacks, and […]

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Posted in Europe, Islam, Religion, Security Issues, Terrorism, World

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