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Total number of comments: 11 (since 2013-11-28 16:33:01)


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  • The life of 'Jihadi John': how one man became the symbol of ISIL
    • To quote Shaheed John Lennon: "Instant (relatively speaking) karma's gonna get you..."

  • Syrian Opposition: Baghdadi "Caliphate" lame attempt to take Spotlight off his Crime Spree
    • Once again many thanks for your lucid commentary.

      I might be a tad sectarian here (I'm convert to Twelver Shiism from Sunnism), but I think there is a genuine security threat to both the Occident and Orient emanating from this sub-strata of religious (often young) Sunni men who are in thrall to Salafi jihadism.

  • Medvedev slams Romney for "Number one Enemy" Slur
    • It offends me, as a non US citizen, that the electoral choices of uninformed and moronic US voters and the politicians that pander to them, typically Republican, affect my life.

  • Khamenei Takes Control, Forbids Nuclear Bomb
    • Thank you dear professor for your commitment to the truth, you are truly an asset to academia and political commentary in general.

      PS - Have very much enjoyed your papers on Shaykhism, especially The World as Text: Cosmologies of Shaykh Ahmad al-Ahsa'i

      Could you recommend some reading material specifically relating to the various sub-branches of the N'imatullahi Order? I'm particularly interested in the Khaneghah Maleknia Naseralishah and the Erfan Gonabadis.

  • Lyons: Islam, Women and the West
    • So there is no difference between the social status of Muslim women in Senegal compared to Afghanistan?

      You mention Western Asia and Africa. So basically you're lumping together the Muslim cultures (and the status of women therein) of China, South-East Asia, the Indian sub-continent, Middle East, North Africa/the Maghreb and sub-saharan Africa into one relatively homogeneous whole? Can't you see how that's a slightly sweeping generalisation?

      Seriously though, I'd cast your "I don't know" net a little wider. This might shock you but sub-saharan Muslim cultures differ from those of the Gulf, Levant (Syria, Lebanon etc) or Pashtun tribal belt. There are *even* differences between the Muslim cultures of East Africa and West Africa.

      For example, FGM is an issue facing Muslim women in parts of Africa and the Midde East but not in the Indian Sub-Continent or Central Asia. In addition, there are massive differences between Bamako and Peshawar in terms of women's participation in (and male attitudes to) the labour market.

      Somalia isn't typical of the Muslim world either.

    • "Trying to make the argument that life isn’t inherently difficult for women in Muslim society must founder on the rocks of Saudi lingerie shops."

      No but the argument above is left wanting due to the fact that it conflates Muslim women/societies as a whole, with that of Saudi Arabia. The issues facing urban Saudi women will differ to those faced by urban Muslim women in say Senegal, Morocco or Indonesia. Even within the Gulf region, there is some variation. In none of the other Gulf states do you get the lingerie shop 'issue' that you refer to. I pointedly refer to Saudi urban women because Saudi bedu (rural) women have been driving for years if not decades.

      Regarding harems, eunuchs and sexually rapacious sultans: the argument being made by Jonathan Lyons is that these images (of the lives of the "Oriental one percent") have helped influence Western perceptions of Muslim family life and gender relations as a whole. Nowhere does the writer say that harems and eunuchs "didn't happen". A Middle Eastern viewer of Keeping Up With The Kardashians learns next-to-nothing about the lifestyle of a typical American (or Western) family: ditto for a Westerner who reads Flaubert or gazes upon a Delacroix or Gérôme.

  • Carbon Emissions Record, Food to Double in Price
    • I really hope Cormac McCarthy's The Road isn't a blueprint for the near future.

  • Obama and the End of Al-Qaeda
  • The First Middle Eastern Revolution since 1979
    • It’s absolutely incredible! The first time an Arab autocrat has been overthrown in a spontaneous, mass-uprising. Jafar Nimeiri was, nonetheless, overthrown in a military coup d'etat (admittedly to the background noise of a general strike and mass protests). It might be nit-picking on my part, but I think the fact that Ben Ali has been kicked out sans military coup is very significant.

      Forget the Cedar ‘revolution’ in Lebanon (or the colour-coded ones in Ukraine and Georgia). This looks like the real deal. As Professor Abu Khalil mentioned on his blog: Russia was the least likely candidate for a socialist revolution in 1917 & ditto for democratic revolution in Tunisia.

      Amazing to see the EU and US scurrying about to declare their support for the Tunisian people ipso facto the demise of the ancien regime.

      Wishing the people of Tunisia a democratic and pluralistic political future!

  • Egyptian Muslims Throng in Thousands to Protect Christians
    • Wonderful news in an otherwise tragic context. At Friday prayers at London's central (or cathedral) mosque yesterday, the Azhari imam made a very impassioned sermon defending the Egyptian Copts and religious, social and political pluralism in general. I know the man personally and, even though the general theme of the sermon is dictated by Cairo, his words were heartfelt.

  • Today in Apartheid
    • Absolutely Daniel! We have a prime example of such a repulsive type of comment box (i.e. that of PHUD1). This individual manages to take a swipe at Ahmnadinejad, Chavez and perceived antisemitism in Venezuala whilst completely ignoring the substance of Juan’s article, namely the murder of innocent Palestinian civilians (plus the Netanyahu government’s attempt to blame one of their victims).

      PHUD1′s silence is deafening and galling in equal measure.

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