Extremists Rebrand the Conflict in Afghanistan

by Chris Lundry Indonesian extremist site Prisoner of Joy recently posted the announcement by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan that operations against the United States and its allies will now be named Al Farooq Operations. From the post: The invaders should be made aware that the names of these operations are not merely accidental rather they have a special meaning and interpretation. This new name, however, may carry broader connotations of conflict within the Muslim […] Read more »

Bin Laden Worried about Impact of Muslim Killings on AQ Brand

by Steven R. Corman In previous posts I have advocated amplifying al-Qaeda’s record of killing Muslims, and argued this practice was doing serious damage toAQ’s brand.  Captured documents from bin Laden’s compound indicate that he was worried about the same thing. Last week David Ignatius of the Washington Post wrote a story based on his “exclusive look” at those documents.  The headline was about bin Laden’s supposed plot to kill President Obama.  But later in […] Read more »

Obama’s Trip to Indonesia, Australia

by Chris Lundry President Obama has now made his second trip in office to the land where he spent four years of his youth, Indonesia, while on a trip to Asia and Australia. Although Obama’s time in Indonesia was brief, he was welcomed relatively warmly by most Indonesians, who appreciate his ties to the most populous Muslim country. There are, however, plenty of people who disapproved, including the usual suspects, the Islamist extremists. The trip […] Read more »

Narrating the Death of bin Laden and the Afterlife of bin Laden’s Narrative

by Bud Goodall Sunday night President Barack Obama officially declared Osama bin Laden dead.  He began his speech with these words: Good evening.  Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States has conducted an operation that killed Osama bin Laden, the leader of al Qaeda, and a terrorist who’s responsible for the murder of thousands of innocent men, women, and children. It was nearly 10 years ago […] Read more »

New Third Way Narrative Poses Challenge to U.S. Strategic Communication

by Bud Goodall There is a new narrative responsible for the success of the uprisings that spread from Tunisia through Egypt and now are heard in the streets of Syria, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere.  It is a secular narrative generated by young Muslims who recognize that older jihadist forms of “telling their resistance story” by linking them to Islamic Master Narratives were largely responsible for the binary oppositions that divide them, and Islam, from the […] Read more »

A Different Kind of Crusader?

by Chris Lundry In our work identifying and tracking the use of Islamist narratives here at the CSC, the second most frequently invoked among Islamist extremists in our research (after Nakba or Palestine) has been the Crusader master narrative. The use of this term among Islamists connotes religious war, subjugation by Western Christians, injustice, and eventual colonization. Its use in the West, however, connotes a much different meaning: a righteous cause, good triumphing over evil, a reclamation […] Read more »

Democracy, God, the People, and the Pharaoh: A Master Narrative’s Work is Never Done

by Bud Goodall The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia last week beget further democracy uprisings in Egypt and Yemen this week, as well as protests in Jordan and Mauritania.  If the protesters are finally successful in Egypt and President Hosni Mubarak is forced out, this eruption of game-changing scenarios inspired by deep conflicts between the people and their leaders, and enabled by the velocity and spread of social media, poses a whole new set of communication […] Read more »

Obama’s Indonesia Trip and Associated Whacky Extremist Claims

by Chris Lundry President Barack Obama concluded his brief visit to Indonesia yesterday, fulfilling his promise to travel there despite having cancelled three prior trips to the land where he spent time as a young boy (between 1967-71). The cancellations had provoked much discussion there and among those who study Indonesia, some of whom were worried that that the President had irrevokably strained relations by not following through on his trips. The naysayers were mostly […] Read more »

Foreign Reaction to U.S. Anti-Muslim Events, Part IV: Narrative Coherence

by Steven R. Corman, Jeffry R. Halverson, and Chris Lundry This series has examined the reaction, mostly in mainstream news sources of foreign Muslim societies, to the recent surge in anti-Islam events in the United States. Part I focused on the Park51 (or Cordoba House) project, the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.” In part II we looked at the controversy surrounding the “International Burn a Qur’an Day,” previously scheduled for tomorrow. Part III examined various other  incidents involving Muslims […] Read more »