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The militant Islam represented by Al-Qaeda is often described as a global movement. Apart from the geographical range of its operations and support, little else is held to define it as 'global'.Landscapes of the Jihad explores the features that Al-Qaeda and other strands of militant Islam share in common with global movements. These include a decentralised organisation and an emphasis on ethical rather than properly political action.Devji brings these and other characteristics of Al-Qaeda together in an analysis of the jihad that locates it squarely within the transformationof political thought after the Cold War. The jihad emerges from the breakdown of traditional as well as modern forms of authority in the Muslim world. It is neither dogmatic in an old-fashioned way nor ideological in the modern sense, and concernedneither with correct doctrinal practice in the present nor with some revolutionary utopia of the future. Instead it is fragmented, dispersed and highly individualistic.
In 1609, the entire Muslim population of Spain was given three days to leave Spanish territory or else be killed. In a brutal and traumatic exodus, entire families were forced to abandon the homes and villages where they had lived for generations. In just five years, Muslim Spain had effectively ceased to exist: an estimated 300,000 Muslims had been removed from Spanish territory making it what was then the largest act of ethnic cleansing in European history.Blood and Faith is a riveting chronicle of this virtually unknown episode, set against the vivid historical backdrop of Muslim Spain. It offers a remarkable window onto a little-known period in modern Europe-a rich and complex tale of competing faiths and beliefs, of cultural oppression and resistance against overwhelming odds.
Jihadist narratives have evolved dramatically over the past five years, driven by momentous events in the Middle East and beyond; the death of bin Laden; the rise and ultimate failure of the Arab Spring; and most notably, the rise of the so-called Islamic State.For many years, al-Qaeda pointed to an aspirational future Caliphate as their utopian end goal - one which allowed them to justify their violent excesses in the here and now. Islamic State turned that aspiration into a dystopic reality, and in the process hijacked the jihadist narrative, breathing new life into the global Salafi-Jihadi movement. Despite air-strikes from above, and local disillusionment from below, the new caliphate has stubbornly persisted and has been at the heart of ISIS's growing global appeal.This timely collection of essays examines how jihadist narratives have changed globally, adapting to these turbulent circumstances. Area and thematic specialists consider transitions inside the Middle East and North Africa as well as in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Europe. As these analyses demonstrate, the success of the ISIS narrative has been as much about resonance with local contexts, as it has been about the appeal of the global idea of a tangible and realised caliphate.
In Resilient Communities, Jana Krause focuses on civilian agency and mobilization 'from below' and explains violence and non-violence in communal wars. Drawing on extensive field research on ethno-religious conflicts in Ambon/Maluku Province in eastern Indonesia and Jos/Plateau State in central Nigeria, this book shows how civilians responded to local conflict dynamics very differently, evading, supporting, or collectively resisting armed groups. Combining evidence collected from more than 200 interviews with residents, community leaders, and former fighters, local scholarly work (in Indonesian), and local newspaper-based event data analysis, this book explains civilian mobilization, militia formation, and conflict escalation. The book's comparison of vulnerable mixed communities and (un)successful prevention efforts demonstrates how under courageous leadership resilient communities can emerge that adapt to changing conflict zones and collectively prevent killings. By developing the concepts of communal war and social resilience, Krause extends our understanding of local violence, (non-)escalation, and implications for prevention.
Heretic and impostor or reformer and statesman? The contradictory Western visions of Muhammad In European culture, Muhammad has been vilified as a heretic, an impostor, and a pagan idol. But these aren't the only images of the Prophet of Islam that emerge from Western history. Commentators have also portrayed Muhammad as a visionary reformer and an inspirational leader, statesman, and lawgiver. In Faces of Muhammad, John Tolan provides a comprehensive history of these changing, complex, and contradictory visions. Starting from the earliest calls to the faithful to join the Crusades against the "Saracens," he traces the evolution of Western conceptions of Muhammad through the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and up to the present day. Faces of Muhammad reveals a lengthy tradition of positive portrayals of Muhammad that many will find surprising. To Reformation polemicists, the spread of Islam attested to the corruption of the established Church, and prompted them to depict Muhammad as a champion of reform. In revolutionary England, writers on both sides of the conflict drew parallels between Muhammad and Oliver Cromwell, asking whether the prophet was a rebel against legitimate authority or the bringer of a new and just order. Voltaire first saw Muhammad as an archetypal religious fanatic but later claimed him as an enemy of superstition. To Napoleon, he was simply a role model: a brilliant general, orator, and leader. The book shows that Muhammad wears so many faces in the West because he has always acted as a mirror for its writers, their portrayals revealing more about their own concerns than the historical realities of the founder of Islam.
The story of Japan's hidden Christians is the subject of a major new film directed by Martin Scorsese (due for release in spring 2016), based on Shusaku Endo's famous novel, Silence.In Search of Japan's Hidden Christians is a remarkable story of suppression, secrecy and survival in the face of human cruelty and God's apparent silence. Part history, part travelogue, it explores and seeks to explain a clash of civilizations-of East and West-that resonates to this day.For seven generations, Japan's 'Hidden Christians' preserved a faith that was forbidden on pain of death. Just as remarkably, descendants of the Hidden Christians continue to practise their beliefs today, refusing to rejoin the Catholic Church. Why? And what is it about Japanese culture that makes it so resistant to Western Christianity?
Religions are reemerging in the social, political, and economic spheres previously occupied and dominated by secular institutions and ideologies. In the wake of crises exposing the limits of secular modernity, religions have again become significant players in domestic and international politics. At the same time, the Catholic Church has sought a "holy alliance" among the world's faiths to recentralize devout influence, an important, albeit little-noticed, evolution in international relations. Holy Wars and Holy Alliance explores the nation-state's current crisis in order to better understand the religious resurgence's implications for geopolitics. Manlio Graziano looks at how the Catholic Church promotes dialogue and action linking world religions, and examines how it has used its material, financial, and institutional strength to gain power and increase its profile in present-day international politics. Challenging the idea that modernity is tied to progress and secularization, Graziano documents the "return" or the "revenge" of God in all facets of life. He shows that tolerance, pluralism, democracy, and science have not triumphed as once predicted. To fully grasp the destabilizing dynamics at work today, he argues, we must appreciate the nature of religious struggles and political holy wars now unfolding across the international stage.
In 1144, the mutilated body of William of Norwich, a young apprentice leatherworker, was found abandoned outside the city's walls. The boy bore disturbing signs of torture, and a story spread that it was a ritual murder, performed by Jews in imitation of the Crucifixion as a mockery of Christianity. The outline of William's tale eventually gained currency far beyond Norwich, and the idea that Jews engaged in ritual murder became firmly rooted in the European imagination. E.M. Rose's engaging book delves into the story of William's murder and the notorious trial that followed to uncover the origin of the ritual murder accusation - known as the "blood libel" - in western Europe in the Middle Ages. Focusing on the specific historical context - 12th-century ecclesiastical politics, the position of Jews in England, the Second Crusade, and the cult of saints - and suspensefully unraveling the facts of the case, Rose makes a powerful argument for why the Norwich Jews (and particularly one Jewish banker) were accused of killing the youth, and how the malevolent blood libel accusation managed to take hold. She also considers four "copycat" cases, in which Jews were similarly blamed for the death of young Christians, and traces the adaptations of the story over time. In the centuries after its appearance, the ritual murder accusation provoked instances of torture, death and expulsion of thousands of Jews and the extermination of hundreds of communities. Although no charge of ritual murder has withstood historical scrutiny, the concept of the blood libel is so emotionally charged and deeply rooted in cultural memory that it endures even today. Rose's groundbreaking work, driven by fascinating characters, a gripping narrative, and impressive scholarship, provides clear answers as to why the blood libel emerged when it did and how it was able to gain such widespread acceptance, laying the foundations for enduring antisemitic myths that continue to present.
Martyrs' Mirror examines the folklore of martyrdom among seventeenth-century New England Protestants, exploring how they imagined themselves within biblical and historical narratives of persecution. Memories of martyrdom, especially stories of the Protestants killed during the reign of Queen Mary in the mid-sixteenth century, were central to a model of holiness and political legitimacy. The colonists of early New England drew on this historical imagination in order to strengthen their authority in matters of religion during times of distress. By examining how the notions of persecution and martyrdom move in and out of the writing of the period, Adrian Chastain Weimer finds that the idea of the true church as a persecuted church infused colonial identity. Though contested, the martyrs formed a shared heritage, and fear of being labeled a persecutor, or even admiration for a cheerful sufferer, could serve to inspire religious tolerance. The sense of being persecuted also allowed colonists to avoid responsibility for aggression against Algonquian tribes. Surprisingly, those wishing to defend maltreated Christian Algonquians wrote their history as a continuation of the persecutions of the true church. This examination of the historical imagination of martyrdom contributes to our understanding of the meaning of suffering and holiness in English Protestant culture, of the significance of religious models to debates over political legitimacy, and of the cultural history of persecution and tolerance.
Hilal Elver offers an in-depth study of the escalating controversy over the right of Muslim women to wear headscarves. Examining legal and political debates in Turkey, several European countries including France and Germany, and the United States, Elver shows the troubling exclusion of pious Muslim women from the public sphere in the name of secularism, democracy, liberalism, and women's rights. After evaluating political actions and court decisions from the national level of individual governments to the international sphere of the European Court of Human Rights, Elver concludes that judges and legislators are increasingly influenced by social pressures concerning immigration and multiculturalism, and by issues such as Islamophobia, the "war on terror, " and security concerns. She shows how these influences have resulted in a failure on the part of many Western governments to recognize and protect essential individual freedoms. Employing a critical legal theory perspective to the headscarf controversy, Elver argues that law can be used to change underlying social conditions shaping the role of religion, and also the position of women in modern society. The Headscarf Controversy demonstrates how changes in law across nations can be used to restore state commitments to human rights.
In 1969,at the height of the Cold War, a group of British Christian researchers and activists, moved by the persecution of believers in the Soviet Union, established an organization dedicated to the study of religion under communism. They had two major goals: to educate the public about religious persecution and to promote academic analysis of religion in communist societies. The organization they founded, eventually named Keston College, amassed an extraordinary collection of primary source and research materials, used by its personnel to document the experiences of persecuted believers in the Soviet bloc and beyond and to publicize human rights violations against believers of all faiths. This formed the basis of a unique collection, called the Keston Archive, now at Baylor University. Voices of the Voiceless , edited by Julie deGraffenried and Zoe Knox, presents readers with twenty-five essays on acurated selection of images and artifacts fromtheKestonArchive. Some of the world's leading authorities onreligionand communism as well asexperts personally involved with the operation of Keston College carefullyselectedand provided commentary for these images. The archival material presented in the book offers vivid testimony of this critically important era in the history of religion and of the Cold War. A guided look into the past, Voices of the Voiceless reveals the power of what atheist and antireligious regimes sought to silence. This collection documents how believers fought for religious freedom, coped with oppression, and practiced their faith, individually and collectively, in states hostile to religion. It also presents atheist propaganda produced by communist regimes that aimed to marginalize and ultimately eradicate religion. This book offers insights into how faith survivedaandeven flourishedaduringone of the most intense antireligious campaigns of the modern era.
In 2017, Myanmar's military launched a campaign of violence against the Rohingya minority that UN experts later said amounted to a genocide. More than seven hundred thousand civilians fled to Bangladesh in what became the most concentrated flight of refugees since the Rwanda genocide of 1994. The warning signs of impending catastrophe that had built over years were downplayed by Western backers of the political transition, and only when the exodus began did the world finally come to acknowledge a catastrophe that had been long in the making. In this updated edition of the book that foreshadowed a genocide, Francis Wade explores how the manipulation of identities by an anxious ruling elite laid the foundations for mass violence. It asks: who gets to define a nation? How can democratic rights be weaponised against a minority? And why, at a time when the majority of citizens in Myanmar had begun to experience freedoms unseen for half a century, did much-lauded civilian leaders like Aung San Suu Kyi become complicit in the most heinous of crimes?
Sunni and Shia in Iran, Iraq, or Syria. Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland. Afrikaners and black churches in South Africa. The rising tide of anti-Semitism and Islamophobia across Europe. Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land. The fear of immigrants and those who are different. The surge of nationalism. Violence, religious violence, violence done in the name of religion. Religious violence must be understoodaits history, its relationship to sacred texts and communities, and its consequences. Religious violence must also be confronted. Another story must be told, a different story, a counternarrative other than the one that grips the world today. In Confronting Religious Violence , twelve international experts from a variety of theological, philosophical, and scientific fields address the issue of religious violence in today's world. The first part of the book focuses on the historical rise of religious conflict, beginning with the question of whether the New Testament leads to supersessionism, and looks at the growth of anti-Semitism in the later Roman Empire. The second part comprises field-report studies of xenophobia, radicalism, anti-Semitism, and Islamophobia surrounding the conflicts in the Middle East. The third part reflects on moral, philosophical, legal, and evolutionary influences on religious freedom and how they harm or help the advancement of peace. The final part of the volume turns to theological reflections, discussing monotheism, nationalism, the perpetuation of violence, the role of mercy laws and freedom in combating hate, and practical approaches to dealing with pluralism in theological education. Edited by Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks and Richard Burridge, Confronting Religious Violence contains insights from international experts that form essential reading for politicians, diplomats, business leaders, academics, theologians, church and faith leaders, commentators, and military strategistsaanyone concerned with a harmonious future for human life together on this planet.
In recent decades, the taking of hostages has proven to be a particularly effective tactic for Islamic terrorist organizations worldwide, including al Qaeda. The global jihad movement regards citizens of foreign (mainly western) countries as prime targets for abduction, although in fact local residents have constituted the majority of kidnapping victims. This book analyzes Islamic terror abductions over the last 30 years in the Middle East (Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia), Asia (Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and the Philippines), Africa (the Maghreb, the Sahel regions, and Somalia), and in Russia as a part of the RussianChechen conflict. Discussion also focuses on the abduction by Hizballah of Israeli soldiers, the Second Lebanon War of 2006, the Mumbai terror attack (2008), the Chechen hostage crisis in Moscow and Beslan (2002 and 2004), the kidnapping of employees of the Algerian In Amenas gas facility by al Qaeda of the Maghreb in January 2013 and the Nairobi Westgate Mall hostage crisis in September 2013. The role of Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, and its patronage of terror organizations that utilize the tactic of abduction to promote Iranian interests in Lebanon and Iraq, is highlighted throughout. Discussion focuses on the challenges faced by countries whose citizens have been abducted by Islamic terror organizations and their reactions to these challenges, and provides theoretical classifications of the phenomenon of terrorism in general and terror abduction in particular.
The rise of ISIS and the murderous trail they have carved across the Middle East have brought the fate of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian Christians to the forefront of the news. This book, drawing on eye-witness accounts, brings that suffering into clear focus. Beginning with the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the book traces the story of the war, the occupation, and the resulting impact on Iraqi and Syrian churches, to the present day. The book traces the lives of key individuals and their families, as the author returns again and again, over a twelve year period.
Religion was thought to be part of the problem in Ireland and incapable of turning itself into part of the solution. Many commentators deny the churches a role in Northern Ireland's peace process or belittle it, focusing on the few well-known events of church involvement and the small number of high profile religious peacebuilders. This new study seeks to correct various misapprehensions about the role of the churches by pointing to their major achievements in both the social and political dimensions of the peace process, by small-scale, lesser-known religious peacebuilders as well as major players. The churches are not treated lightly or sentimentally and major weaknesses in their contribution are highlighted. The study challenges the view that ecumenism was the main religious driver of the peace process, focusing instead on the role of evangelicals, it warns against romanticising civil society, pointing to its regressive aspects and counter-productive activities, and queries the relevance of the idea of 'spiritual capital' to understanding the role of the churches in post-conflict reconstruction, which the churches largely ignore. This book is written by three 'insiders' to church peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, who bring their insight and expertise as sociologists to bear in their analysis of four-years in-depth interviewing with a wide cross section of people involved in the peace process, including church leaders and rank-and-file, members of political parties, prime ministers, paramilitary organisations, community development and civil society groups, as well as government politicians and advisors. Many of these are speaking for the first time about the role of religious peacebuilding in Northern Ireland, and doing so with remarkable candour. The volume allows the Northern Irish case study to speak to other conflicts where religion is thought to be problematic by developing a conceptual framework to understand religious peacebuilding.
"Hammerin'" Hank Greenberg was coming off a stellar season where he'd hit 40 home runs and 184 RBIs, becoming only the thirteenth player to ever hit 40 or more homers (and one of only four players to have 40 or more home runs and 175 or more RBIs in a season). Even with his success at the plate, neither Greenberg nor the rest of the world could have expected what was about to happen in 1938. From his first day in the big leagues, the New York-born Greenberg had dealt with persecution for being Jewish. From teammate Jo-Jo White asking where his horns were to the verbal abuse from bigoted fans and the media, the 6-foot-3 slugger always did his best to shut the noise out and concentrate on baseball. But in 1938, that would be more difficult then he could have ever imagined. While Greenberg was battling at the plate, his people overseas were dealing with a completely different battle. Adolf Hitler, who had been chancellor of Germany since 1933, had taken direct control of the country's military in February of '38. He then began his methodic takeover of all neighboring countries, spreading Nazism and the early stages of World War II and the Holocaust. Hank Greenberg in 1938 chronicles the events of 1938, both on the baseball diamond and the streets of Europe. As Greenberg's bat had him on course for Babe Ruth's home run record, Hitler's "Final Solution" was beginning to take shape. Jews across the US, worried about the issues overseas, looked to Greenberg as a symbol of hope. Though normally hesitant to speak about the anti-Semitism he dealt with, the slugger still knew the role he was playing for so many of his people, saying "I came to feel that if I, as a Jew, hit a home run, I was hitting one against Hitler."
Nearly a century had passed since Languedoc had been put to the sword in the Albigensian Crusade, but the stain of Catharism still lay on the land. Any accusation of Catharism invited peril. But repression bred resentment and it was in Carcassonne that resistance began to stir. In 1300 a great orator emerged who brought together the currents of resistance. Three years later the terrible prisons were stormed and the inmates set free. The orator was a Franciscan friar, Bernard Delicieux. The forces ranged against Delicieux included the ruthless Pope Boniface VII, the Machiavellian French King Philip IV and the grand inquisitor of Toulouse Bernard Gui (the villain of The Name of the Rose). This magnificent book, which forms a kind of sequel to Stephen O'Shea's bestselling The Perfect Heresy, tells his inspiring life and tragic story.
Tolerance currently occupies a very high place in Western culture,
a bit like motherhood and apple pie in 1950s America: it is
considered gauche, even boorish, to question it. In The Intolerance
of Tolerance, however, questioning tolerance or, at least,
contemporary understandings of it is exactly what D. A. Carson
Reconstructing the activity of the ""Tribunal of the Faith"" in Italy during the period 1400-1600, this compelling book analyzes the ideology of its judges and takes a closer look at Italian witches and their clientele. For the first time, the English reader, student, and scholar alike will be offered direct access to this little-known world through a large selection of translated Inquisition trials from the rich State Archives of Modena. From the voices of the men and women who practiced the occult arts or resorted to them on a daily basis, magic and witchcraft will emerge as an integral part of social life in early modern Italy and a means for contact and communication between diverse cultural spheres.
Does religion cause war? It is often claimed that religion is responsible for more wars, more global conflicts and more deaths than any other factor. After all, the world has seen its share of crusades, inquisitions and jihads. Enlightened, modern people assume that if we could only discard primitive religious belief, the world would be a better place. Alas, the picture is not quite so simple. "Indeed," writes Meic Pearse, "there is only one thing that bears a heavier responsibility than religion as a principal cause of war. And that is, of course, irreligion." In this provocative book, historian Meic Pearse debunks the common misconception that religion causes war. He argues that while religion is often a significant generator of armed conflict both in the past and in the present, the two principal causes of human warfare are in fact culture and greed for territory, resources or power. Since culture and greed often clothe themselves in religion, wars fought for culture often appear to be fought for religion. With keen analysis of global history and current events, Pearse shows how irreligion has produced far bloodier wars than religion, and how global secularism itself does violence to religion and traditional cultures. Ultimately, throughout history warfare has been waged over the shape of society itself. A crisis in meaning leads people to fight for what they fear may be lost. For a world weary of war, Pearse points beyond both cultural and secular metanarratives to an alternative hope.
A landmark history of the antisemitic blood libel myth-how it took root in Europe, spread with the invention of the printing press, and persists today. Accusations that Jews ritually killed Christian children emerged in the mid-twelfth century, following the death of twelve-year-old William of Norwich, England, in 1144. Later, continental Europeans added a destructive twist: Jews murdered Christian children to use their blood. While charges that Jews poisoned wells and desecrated the communion host waned over the years, the blood libel survived. Initially blood libel stories were confined to monastic chronicles and local lore. But the development of the printing press in the mid-fifteenth century expanded the audience and crystallized the vocabulary, images, and "facts" of the blood libel, providing a lasting template for hate. Tales of Jews killing Christians-notably Simon of Trent, a toddler whose body was found under a Jewish house in 1475-were widely disseminated using the new technology. Following the paper trail across Europe, from England to Italy to Poland, Magda Teter shows how the blood libel was internalized and how Jews and Christians dealt with the repercussions. The pattern established in early modern Europe still plays out today. In 2014 the Anti-Defamation League appealed to Facebook to take down a page titled "Jewish Ritual Murder." The following year white supremacists gathered in England to honor Little Hugh of Lincoln as a sacrificial victim of the Jews. Based on sources in eight countries and ten languages, Blood Libel captures the long shadow of a pernicious myth.
If you truly love Allah, you will die for him.
Your death will mean much reward for you and your family in heaven.
Only death will prove your love.
It was the final test. A chance to win not only the love of Allah, but the love of her father--something she had never been able to earn. Esther took a deep breath and raised her hand in the air. At the age of eighteen, she had just volunteered to become a suicide bomber.
Defying Jihad is the true story of a girl growing up under radical Islamic rule, trained to believe her ultimate purpose was to serve Allah by dying as a jihadist. But two nights before she was to leave forever, she had a dream . . . one that would change the course of her destiny.
Against all odds, Esther became a follower of Jesus--even though leaving Islam meant her death sentence. But rather than kill her immediately, Esther's furious father challenged her to a series of public debates with Muslim scholars: the Bible versus the Quran. If Esther won, she might yet survive. But if the Muslim clerics won, Esther must renounce her Christian faith. For an entire month--if she lived that long--Esther would be brought before the mob daily to defend her newfound faith. Would God give her the words to argue against Muslim leaders, former friends, and even her own family?
Defying Jihad is an amazing story of a woman prepared to surrender all for Jesus--and whose life transformed from terror to overwhelming love.
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