Narrating the Exit from Afghanistan

by Steven R. Corman With the United States and NATO set to withdraw all or most forces from Afghanistan in 2014, a key question is: How do we want to be remembered for our efforts there? The current narrative of the Afghanistan war is a mess. Yet the narrative of the war, as history tells it, will affect future domestic support for counterinsurgency operations and our credibility with local populations where conflicts take place. If […] Read more »

Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #63

by Bruce Gregory* “Amb. Ryan Crocker in Conversation with NPR’s Steve Inskeep,” 2012 Annual Banquet Keynote Address, Middle East Institute, November 13, 2012. Inskeep, the host of National Public Radio’s Morning Edition, interviews retired US Ambassador Ryan Crocker.  In discussing a range of issues relating to Afghanistan and the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya, Crocker offers considered views on lessons from the death of US Ambassador Chris Stevens.  “One of the lessons […] Read more »

New Book: Muslim Nonviolence and the Future of Islam

 by Steven R. Corman CSC researcher Jeffry Halverson has published a new book on Muslim nonviolence.  Titled Searching for a King: Muslim Nonviolence and the Future of Islam, the book is available through the publisher, Potomac Press and at Amazon. At a time when violent images of the Muslim world dominate our headlines, people are growing increasingly interested in a different picture of Islam, specifically the idea of Islamic nonviolence, and what it could mean […] Read more »

New White Paper: Hate Speech and the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front

The CSC has released a new white paper entitled Hate Speech and the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front by Mark Woodward, Mariani Yahya, Inayah Rohmaniyah, Diana Murtaugh Coleman, Ali Amin and Chris Lundry. The paper looks at hate speech tactics used by the terrorist group Front Pembala Islam (FPI, Islamic Defenders Front) against Christian minorities, the Ahmadiyah sect of Islam, and Muslim organizations and intellectuals supporting religious freedom. Efforts by Indonesian security forces to counter international […] Read more »

U.S. Public Diplomacy Increasing Domestic Outreach

by Steven R. Corman I have been following developments in public diplomacy for close to twelve years now.  Lately I have noticed something new: Messages in my inbox from Tara Sonenshine, the new Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (whose department, for arcane reasons, is known as “R”). She was appointed earlier this year as successor to Judith McHale.  I cannot remember ever receiving regular email messages from this office before.  Wondering what […] Read more »

Public Diplomacy: Books, Articles, Websites #62

by Bruce Gregory* Sean Aday, Henry Farrell, Marc Lynch, John Sides, and Dean Freelon, New Media and Conflict After the Arab Spring: Blogs and Bullets II. United States Institute of Peace, Peaceworks No. 80, July 2012.  Aday, Farrell, Lynch, Sides (George Washington University) and Freelon (American University) follow up their Blogs and Bullets in Contentious Politics(2010) study with an analysis of the role of social media in four Arab Spring protests (Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and […] Read more »

A Different Take on the ICG Indonesia Report

by Mark Woodward This ICG report recently reviewed by Chris Lundry is another example of that organization doing what it does best, providing detailed information about the activities of extremist groups linked to Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) in some way. But in my view the degree to which JI poses a threat to Indonesia has always been overestimated and there are more important developments in the country related to extremism and terrorism. The Indonesian security forces […] Read more »

Qur’an Verses Study: A Response to Our Critics

By Jeffry Halverson, Bennett Furlow & Steven R. Corman Our study, entitled How Islamist Extremists Quote the Qur’an, released last week, seems to have touched a nerve in some and has generated some negative commentary. To date, we have received no criticism from other scholars or experts on these matters. Much of it seems to come from people who may have read a headline about the study in the press and reacted to it without […] Read more »

New CSC White Paper: How Islamist Extremists Quote the Qur’an

by Steven R. Corman The CSC has released a new white paper, entitled How Islamist Extremists Quote the Qur’an. The study is based on of over 1500 verse citations from over 2000 items of extremist propaganda collected as part of our extremist narrative project. The quotes are overwhelmingly about enduring hardships and maintaining faith and hope in the face of attacks by enemies of Islam. The results are surprising considering conventional wisdom in many quarters […] Read more »

Wahhabi Perspectives on Pluralism and Gender

The CSC has released a new white paper by Inayah Rohmaniyah and Mark Woodward entitled Wahhabi Perspectives on Pluralism and Gender: A Saudi – Indonesian Contrast.  The paper is available here and the executive summary follows: In public discourse about Islam, “Wahhabi” is usually a synonym for intolerance, misogyny, and extremism.  Though this is sometimes true it is an over-generalization.  In this paper we contrast two very different forms of Wahhabi Islam focusing on education, […] Read more »