Do Muslims Belong in the West? An Interview with Talal Asad

By: Hasan Azad


In this discussion, Talal Asad identifies the problematic ways in which the presence of Muslim communities in Western contexts has been characterized in response to outbreaks of violence such as the recent events in Paris. Asad argues that many of …
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A Islamic State (IS) ; A totalitarian, expansive and hegemonic project

By: Volker Perthes

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Are we underestimating the scope of Islamic State (IS) by referring to it as a “terrorist militia”? IS raises taxes, recruits soldiers, pays officials and is keeping oil wells in operation. According to Volker Perthes, it would be more accurate …
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Charlie’s questions

By: Esma Moukhtar

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How should we respond to an attack that hits so close? The initial reaction was an unambiguous and unanimous “Je suis Charlie”. Which was an appropriate way to start. But does that mean that everything has been said and done? …
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Revolution and despair

By: Asef Bayat

Things in the Middle East usually appear far worse than they really are when looked at from the outside. But on my recent visit to Egypt — as I talked and listened to people, watched local television, read daily papers …
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Dutch only: Charlie’s questions

Door: Esma Moukhtar

Hoe moet je reageren op een aanslag die zo dichtbij komt? Het begon met een eenduidig, eensluidend Je suis Charlie. Dat is een passend begin. Maar is daarmee alles gezegd en gedaan? Wat volgt er op de eerste reacties en …
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Islamic history is full of free thinkers – but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd

The West's best hope of dealing with the rise of Islamic extremism is to challenge the doctrines manufactured by religious scholars past and present, argues Ziauddin Sardar
By: Ziauddin Sardar

“This has nothing to do with Islam,” say the imams. “These callous and fanatic murders have nothing to do with us,” say the mullahs. “Islam means peace,” say the worshippers. These disclaimers, and variations on them, have been repeated countless …
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Étienne Balibar: Three words for the dead and the living; By Mike Watson

An old Japanese friend of mine, Haruhisa Kato – formerly a professor at Todai university – wrote to me with this: ‘I’ve seen the images of all of France in mourning. I’ve been deeply moved by all this. Over the …
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Jean Baudrillard


The torching of the French banlieues as both sequel to the No vote of May 2005 and symptom of a wider Western malaise. Rejection of official pieties of integration, and flames of revolt against an automated Europe.   THE PYRES …
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The Arab Spring and its enemies

The end of all hope

Ultimately, the Arab Spring was a failure because the movements fighting for freedom were faced with too many enemies who sought to quash the revolutions and thwart the efforts of the region’s peoples to achieve greater democracy. An essay by …
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