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Saturday, December 05, 2009

David Brooks, Huma Dar, Ayesha Ghani, Surprising Study On Terrorism: Al-Qaida Kills Eight Times More Muslims Than Non-Muslims,

David Brooks: But, of course, the Obama campaign, like all presidential campaigns, was built on a series of fictions. The first fiction was that government is a contest between truth and error. In reality, government is usually a contest between competing, unequal truths. The second fiction was that to support a policy is to make it happen. In fact, in government power is exercised through other people. It is only by coaxing, prodding and compromise that presidents actually get anything done....

Huma Dar: In her astute deconstruction of Varadarajan’s proposal, Aysha Ghani writes that in “the aftermath of “Going Muslim” ” she “shudders” to think that because of her critique and her sentiments, she “too might be categorized as an un-integrated American Muslim.” It is significant to note that Varadarajan’s argument here is even more insidious. He is asserting that being “integrated” or otherwise is moot for Muslims as their religion is founded on “bellicose conquest, a contempt for infidels and an obligation for piety” that may make them “more extreme” such that their “integration” is never to be trusted. It is simply a “camouflage” that could be “discarded” at any “calculated moment” of “revelatory catharsis.” Thus, all or “perhaps many more than a few” Muslims are just waiting to come out of their “camouflage” and one never knows which ones. This is where Varadarajan’s fear-mongering actually slides into fascism: the construction of the Muslim as the perfect Homo Sacer – uncannily, the term in German concentration camps for those who lost the will to live was “Mussulman”(3) – because s/he is intrinsically unpredictable, untrustworthy, fundamentally unlike the “civilized us,” and therefore ultimately intractable and dispensable. Through a deconstruction of Varadarajan’s article, I propose to show here the confluence of Islamophobia in America and with that operative in India, in the new configuration of global political and economic powers, offering a preliminary understanding of some emerging positionalities and relationalities. This will also be an initial foray into theorizing the manifestations of Islamophobia and its commonalities as well as divergences from racism as such.

And this from the Aysha Ghani link above: In closing, here’s another one from Huxley, dedicated especially to the Professor, “A fanatic is a man who consciously over compensates a secret doubt.” Calling upon and speaking for the nation in order to assuage your own fears is not a new idea - the previous administration provides evidence for this - but let us see if it works. In the meantime, I’m developing a few of my own fears, particularly concerning the possibility of being under the tutelage of a professor who’s not only frightened by my Muslim presence, but who expresses this fear through hate speech that is neither recognized nor condemned as such.

Pakistan and the Global War on Terror: An Interview with Tariq Ali - Mara Ahmed and I were given the opportunity to interview Tariq Ali when he spoke at Hamilton College in Upstate New York on November 11, 2009, during his recent speaking tour of the United States. Tariq, a native of Pakistan who lives in England, is a well known writer, intellectual [...]

Surprising Study On Terrorism: Al-Qaida Kills Eight Times More Muslims Than Non-Muslims Few would deny that Muslims too are victims of Islamist terror. But a new study by the Combating Terrorism Center in the US has shown that an overwhelming majority of al-Qaida victims are, in fact, co-religionists.

Interview with Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus: 'Everyone Should Have the Right to Credit' Microcredit loans have revolutionized the world of finance in developing nations. Now Muhammad Yunus, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate behind the concept, wants to see similar programs in the industrialized world. In a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, he explains why Germany's poor should be given loans.

SPIEGEL Interview with Pakistan's Prime Minister: 'American Drone Attacks Are Counterproductive' In a SPIEGEL interview, Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani talks about the fight against terrorism in his country, the future of Afghanistan and why US drone attacks do more harm than good.


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