Why Some Islamists are Violent and Others Aren’t

by Steven R. Corman For some time people who think about the problem of terrorism have faced a puzzling question: Why is it that some Muslims who hold fundamentalist or radical beliefs about Islam become violent, while others don’t? New research shows that the answer is probably not what you might think. A popular view is that Islam is simply a violent belief system. For example, in National Review’s blog The Corner Andy McCarthy writes: [A]s an admirer […] Read more »

Theology and Creed in Sunni Islam

by Jeffry R. Halverson The following is a summary of some arguments  from my new book, Theology and Creed in Sunni Islam: The Muslim Brotherhood, Ash’arism, and Political Sunnism, published by Palgrave Macmillan.  It offers an explanation of why fundamentalist literal interpretations of the Qu’ran have so much influence in contemporary Islamist extremism, and why extremists’ views about what the Qu’ran says can be so difficult to challenge. Mohammed Arkoun has described the notion of […] Read more »

Lessons from Aceh Terrorist De-Radicalization

by Mark Woodward, Ali Amin & Inayah Rohmaniyah Although the International Crisis Group’s reports on radicalism in Indonesia are extremely detailed and well informed, their recommendations tend to be short-term solutions aimed at preventing terrorist acts in the near term. This report argues the value of a longer term approach to both prevent radicalization as well as to rehabilitate jihadis who have been identified and arrested. Although the ―soft‖ approach to imprisoning arrested jihadis is […] Read more »

Lessons from Aceh Terrorist De-Radicalization

by Steven R. Corman The Consortium for Strategic Communication has released a new white paper by Mark Woodward, Ali Amin, and Inayah Rohmaniyah entitled Lessons from Aceh Terrorist De-Radicalization.  The full white paper can be downloaded here. The executive summary is as follows: Although the International Crisis Group’s reports on radicalism in Indonesia are extremely detailed and well informed, their recommendations tend to be short-term solutions aimed at preventing terrorist acts in the near term. […] Read more »

Recent arrests in Indonesia

by Chris Lundry Indonesian police have continued to make arrests of those with suspected ties to terrorism, including 14 people in the last week. Remarkably, many of those arrested have direct ties to firebrand cleric Abu Bakar Basyir and the organization he founded in 2008, Jemaah Anshoru Tauhid (JAT, the Supporters of Monotheism). According to the Jakarta Post, Basyir, who has been imprisoned twice in Indonesia, issued a statement stating that he is ready to be  questioned […] Read more »

Hip-Hop Ambassadors Wanted

by Jeffry R. Halverson Apparently I wasn’t the only one thinking about the diplomatic potential of Muslim hip-hop when I posted a blog about it for COMOPS Journal back in September of 2009. Recently we heard from Tyson Amir, one of the Muslim artists that I featured in the blog, and he had some interesting news to report. Amir is from San Jose, California, and currently performs with the Remarkable Current Musician Collective, founded by […] Read more »