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The modern world struggles to make sense of the savage violence and terror perpetrated by Islamic State. In this timely publication Dr Patrick Sookhdeo analyses its ideology, theology, eschatology and strategy and scrutinizes key IS publications explaining the motivating beliefs of the leadership. He exposes the cruel nature of life under IS rule. He argues that it cannot be defeated by military means but must be delegitimised by the encouragement of reform movements within the Muslim community.
Since 2012, hundreds of men and women have left Western countries to join jihadist groups fighting in Syria. Many are still there, many have been killed, but some have chosen to return to their countries of origin. French Journalist David Thomson met some of those who came back. Bilel, Yassin, Zoubeir, Lena, each has a different profile and story. Some have returned disgusted by the violence of the Syrian battlefields, or the terrorist attacks that have struck across Europe; they try to become forgotten, living under extreme surveillance. Others return seriously wounded or psychologically destroyed. Others still are in jail, a breeding ground for broader radicalization. And some have come back to continue to carry out jihad in Europe. In utmost secrecy, David Thomson gathered their testimonies and recounts them in this remarkable and revealing book. With ISIS losing ground on all fronts, the steady flow of jihadists returning to Europe represents one of the greatest challenges facing countries across the continent. This nuanced analysis of the social, religious, political, familial and psychological factors that push people to violent extremism is more necessary now than ever. It will be essential reading for all those seeking to understand how we might address this threat.
Why and how does religion fuel fighting, death and destruction? This is the central question in Michael Jordan's powerful new book. From jihads and crusades to individual acts of violence, religion can be a force and excuse for terrible acts. Michael Jordan examines the history of religious violence and at the relationship between religion and politics.
This edited volume examines the implications for international development actors of new kinds of terrorism taking place in civil conflicts. The threat from terrorism and violent extremism has never been greater - at least in the global South where the vast majority of violent extremist attacks take place. Some of the most violent extremist groups are also parties to civil conflicts in regions such as the Middle East and the Horn of Africa. But are these groups - especially the violent Islamists which constitute the greatest current threat - qualitatively different from other conflict actors? If they are, what are the implications for development practitioners working in war zones and fragile or poverty-afflicted countries? This study aims to answer these questions through a combination of theoretical enquiry and the investigation of three case studies - Kenya, Nigeria, and Iraq/Syria. It aims to illuminate the differences between violent Islamists and other types of conflict actor, to identify the challenges these groups pose to development practice, and to propose a way forward for meeting these challenges.
Following the enormous success of the 2009, 2011 and 2013 occasions of the International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong, the "International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong 2015" (IPNH K2015) will be held in November 2015. The Organizing Committee of IPNH K2015 will continue to accomplish the mission of making literature a more prominent part of daily life in Hong Kong, by organizing more literary activities such as this biennial event. IPNH K2015 brings together internationally renowned poets from different partsof the world to create opportunities for college and high-school students, as well as for local writers and the public to meet the invited poets through IPNH K2015 activities, broaden their horizon in the reading of world poetry, and be aspired by the writing of their local environment. IPNH K2015 also seeks to foster close collaboration with institutions of tertiary and secondary education, connecting higher education with the public at large for the sake of knowledge transfer. The theme of IPNH K2015 is "Poetry and Conflict," which explores the multi-layered relationships between poetry and war. Poetry has been generally recognized as the highest form of language, while war inflicts the most pains on human history. IPNH K2015 invites world-acclaimed poets from war-troubled countries in the past such as the United States (Anne Waldman, Peter Cole), Japan (Tawada Yoko, Mizuta Noriko), South Korea (Kim Hye-soon), Macedonia (Nikola Madzirov), Catalonia (Gemma Gorga), Portugal (Fernando Pinto do Amaral), Burma (ko ko thett), Morroco (Mohammed Bennis), Mainland China (Wang Xiaoni), Taiwan (Chen Li), Hong Kong (Yin Jiang), and those of today such as Israel (Agi Mishol) and Palestine (Ghassan Zaqtan, Najwan Darwish). These poets, who engage their works with "war" as a topic, are going to exchange views and explore the many layers where equanimous poetry is able to play its role in the most violent events in human history, and in so doing, encourage writers and readers of war-free Hong Kong to reflect upon the local milieu in a global framework.
This comprehensive and thought-provoking volume examines the role and function of religion in Hezbollah's political strategy in the context of contemporary Lebanese politics and global security. The book demonstrates how Hezbollah uses religious mechanisms such as taklif shari (religious assessment), ijtihad (interpretation) of jihad, and fatwa (religious verdict) as political tools to mobilise the Shi'a in Lebanon and the Middle East and to build political support. The comprehensive content analysis scrutinised speeches of Hezbollah Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, from 2000 to 2013. The results provide and inform a wide-scoping discussion of Nasrallah's uses of rhetorical devices and context to imbue religious elements into Hezbollah politics to mobilise and motivate supporters. Additionally, a case study analysis of Hezbollah's intervention in the Syrian conflict is also included. This further demonstrates Hezbollah's strategic use of political pragmatism and religious rhetoric to link its political and military agendas and to transition the Party from a resistance group in Lebanon to a regional actor with a regional priority. As such, readers are provided with new and interesting insights into Hezbollah's ideology and identity as a domestic and regional non-state actor, and the social mobilisation of Shi'a in Lebanon and the region. Providing a nexus between religion, politics, and security, the book will be a key resource for students and researchers interested in religious studies and Middle East politics.
Religious terrorism poses a significant challenge for many countries around the world. Extremists who justify violence in God's name can be found in every religious tradition, and attacks perpetrated by faith-based militants have increased dramatically over the past three decades. Given the reality of religious terrorism today, it would seem counterintuitive that the best weapon against violent religious extremism would be for countries and societies to allow for the free practice of religion; yet this is precisely what this book argues. Weapon of Peace investigates the link between terrorism and the repression of religion, both from a historical perspective and against contemporary developments in the Middle East and elsewhere. Drawing upon a range of different case studies and quantitative data, Saiya makes the case that the suppression and not the expression of religion leads to violence and extremism, and that safeguarding religious freedom is both a moral and strategic imperative.
In the Spring of 2015, a post-modern version of the Salem witchcraft trials took place at Connecticut College on the Thames River. Only this time instead of sorcery it was Zionism; instead of punishing in the name of God's law it was in the name of anti-hate speech and inclusive excellence; instead of young teenage girls leading the hysteria it was college-aged social warriors stampeding 200 professors into sacrificing one of their colleagues, and thereby contributing to a wave of administration-promoted hate-speech at their college. The Pessin affair offers us a case study in a tendency towards "public shaming" that not only deeply compromises the integrity of academia, but increasingly spreads to many aspects of our society, so susceptible to media-driven feeding frenzies.
This is an explosive and insightful account of Pakistan's Proxy War in J&K in general and the Counter-Terrorist (CT) operations in the grim and forbidding Killing fields of Kishtwar, in particular. The author is most eminently qualified to write about these operations due to his extensive combat experience. He commanded a Company in CT operations in Punjab. He then commanded his battalion in fierce skirmishes on the LC in Kargil. He went on to command a Brigade in intense CT operations in Kishtwar and this book is the detailed account of those grim operations. He then moved on to command the reputed Romeo Force Division in concerted CT operations in the volatile Rajouri and Punch districts of Jammu and Kashmir. In between these tenures, the officer served in the prestigious Military Operations Directorate at Delhi. Thus he not only personally led these high risk operations in the field but also oversaw their planning at the apex level. Few people would be better qualified than him to write about these grim struggles in Jammu and Kashmir. He not only provides the doctrinal overview for these operations but goes on to give a blow by blow account of these campaigns and some of the debates and decision- dilemmas they generated. He highlights one very painful and largely blanked out aspect of these operations- the horrible ethnic cleansining of the Kashmiri Pandits from the valley and how it was blanked out from the media. Subsequently, to stall talks of the Owen-Dixon Plan to partition Kashmir along the Chenab Valley, the ISI deliberately attempted another ethnic cleansing of the Dogras from Kishtwar. He recounts the grim struggle to protect the population from such genocidal attacks and the strenuous attempts made to prevent their large scale exodus to Himachal. It was a grim and very taxing struggle but the Indian Army succeeded at last in deterring such attacks. He questions the conspiracy of silence that did not permit us to publicise the genocidal actions of the ISI in Jammu and Kashmir. Like the Serbs, they deserve to be tried for this ethnic cleansing. The most valuable part of this book is the authors reflections on the lessons learnt. He raises a debate on some seminal issues. Should the Indian Army continue to treat Internal Security as a secondary task to be best avoided? The Chinese Army treats it as one of its tasks on par with conventional operations. He questions the British era principle of Minimal force in the context of the rising lethality of such operations and explores the new concept of Proportional Force. He takes a detailed look at the future and forecasts that the Demographic youth bulge could lead to a vast increase in Internal armed conflict in India. Maoism is just the trailor of this lethal conflict. The road ahead is grim and full of challenges. This book is a classic by a scholar warrior who was directly and intimately involved in these operations and is a must for not only the military professionals but equally the laymen alike. By turns racy and analytical, this is an un-putdownable book on par with Frank Kitson's classic.
Christian classic telling the stories of men and women who were martyred for their faith.
The apparent resurgence of hostility toward Jews has been a
prominent theme in recent discussions of Europe; at the same time,
the adversities faced by the continent's Muslim population have
received increasing attention. In "Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia,"
Matti Bunzl offers a historical and cultural clarification of the
key terms in these ongoing problems. Arguing against the common
impulse to analogize anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, it instead
offers a framework that locates the two phenomena in different
projects of exclusion.
The five-year period following the proclamation of the Republic in April 1931 was marked by physical assaults upon the property and public ritual of the Spanish Catholic Church. These attacks were generally carried out by rural and urban anticlerical workers who were frustrated by the Republic's practical inability to tackle the Church's vast power. On 17- 18 July 1936, a right-wing military rebellion divided Spain geographically, provoking the radical fragmentation of power in territory which remained under Republican authority. The coup marked the beginning of a conflict which developed into a full-scale civil war. Anticlerical protagonists, with the reconfigured structure of political opportunities working in their favour, participated in an unprecedented wave of iconoclasm and violence against the clergy. During the first six months of the conflict, innumerable religious buildings were destroyed and almost 7,000 religious personnel were killed. To date, scholarly interpretations of these violent acts were linked to irrationality, criminality and primitiveness. However, the reasons for these outbursts are more complex and deep-rooted: Spanish popular anti-clericalism was undergoing a radical process of reconfiguration during the first three decades of the twentieth century. During a period of rapid social, cultural and political change, anticlerical acts took on new -- explicitly political -- meanings, becoming both a catalyst and a symptom of social change. After 17--18 July 1936, anticlerical violence became a constructive force for many of its protagonists: an instrument with which to build a new society. This book explores the motives, mentalities and collective identities of the groups involved in anti-clericalism during the pre-war Spanish Second Republic and the Spanish Civil War, and is essential reading for all those interested in twentieth-century Spanish history. Published in association with the Canada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies.
Within the next decade, China could be home to more Christians than any country in the world. Through the 150-year saga of a single family, this book vividly dramatizes the remarkable religious evolution of the world's most populous nation. Shanghai Faithful is both a touching family memoir and a chronicle of the astonishing spread of Christianity in China. Five generations of the Lin family-buffeted by history's crosscurrents and personal strife-bring to life an epoch that is still unfolding. A compelling cast-a poor fisherman, a doctor who treated opium addicts, an Ivy League-educated priest, and the charismatic preacher Watchman Nee-sets the book in motion. Veteran journalist Jennifer Lin takes readers from remote nineteenth-century mission outposts to the thriving house churches and cathedrals of today's China. The Lin family-and the book's central figure, the Reverend Lin Pu-chi-offer witness to China's tumultuous past, up to and beyond the betrayals and madness of the Cultural Revolution, when the family's resolute faith led to years of suffering. Forgiveness and redemption bring the story full circle. With its sweep of history and the intimacy of long-hidden family stories, Shanghai Faithful offers a fresh look at Christianity in China-past, present, and future.
In recent years, the Danish cartoons affair, the Charlie Hebdo murders and the terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris have resulted in increasingly strident anti-Islamic speeches by politicians. This raises questions about the limits to freedom of expression and whether this freedom can and should be restricted to protect the religious feelings of believers. This book uses the case law of the European Court of Human Rights to provide a comprehensive analysis of the questions: whether legal prohibitions of religious hate speech violate the right to freedom of expression; and, whether such laws should be used to prosecute politicians and others who contribute to current debates when they use anti-Islam rhetoric. A well-known politician who uses such rhetoric is Dutch politician Geert Wilders. He has been prosecuted twice for hate speech, and was acquitted in the first case and recently convicted in the second. These prosecutions are used to illustrate the issues involved in drawing the line between freedom of expression and religious hate speech. The author argues that freedom of expression of politicians and those contributing to the public debate should not be restricted except in two very limited circumstances: when they incite to hatred or violence and there is an imminent danger that violence will follow or where it stops people from holding or manifesting their religion. Based on this, the author concludes that the European Court of Human Rights should decide, if it is asked to do so, that Wilders conviction for hate speech violates his freedom of expression.
Take a journey with God's suffering people; empathise with their ordeals and experience the joy that often comes with their pain. This journal is an inspiring collection of short testimonies, poems and prayers from persecuted Christians around the world, as well as uplifting Bible verses and space to record your own thoughts and reflections. Covering 12 months, it can be started at any time, and provides an ideal gift for Christian friends as well as encouragement for your own spiritual walk.
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