CSC Sponsors Strategic Communication Events at ICA

by Scott W. Ruston The International Communication Association (ICA) holds its annual conference later this week here in Phoenix 24-28 May, and the CSC is sponsoring two events focused on strategic communication.  If you’re interested in strategic communication and in town for ICA, please consider these events. First, the CSC has put together a back-to-back panel series on strategic communication in the public sector.  The first panel addresses theoretical and ethical issues and the second […] Read more »

Escalating Muslim Reaction to Terrorist Bombings in Indonesia

by Mark Woodward* Since March 15 Indonesia has experienced another wave of bombings, including a suicide attack on the Az Zikro mosque located in a police compound in Cirebon, Central Java. The bomber struck during Friday prayers. Other targets have included a book bomb mailed to Ulil Abshar Abdallah, the leader of Jaringan Islam Liberal (The Liberal Islamic Network), the offices of Densus 88, an elite anti-terrorism unit, a natural gas pipeline and Christian churches […] Read more »

Challenging Assumptions about Muslim Education and Fundamentalism in Indonesia

by Steven R. Corman Readers of this blog will be interested in an article by Mark Woodward (a frequent contributor to this blog) and his colleagues Inayah Rohmaniyah, Ali Amin and Diana Coleman in the most recent issue of Perspectives on Terrorism.  The paper, based on years of ethnographic fieldwork in Indonesia, challenges the popular notion that fundamentalism and religious education have a causal connection to violent extremism.  They have observed that, to the contrary, […] Read more »

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 »

How Natalie Portman and Johnny Depp Can Save the World

by Jeff Halverson In the war of ideas for the “hearts and minds” of the Muslim world, cultural diplomacy can go a long way. The US government may not be very popular abroad, but our cultural products certainly are. Many Muslims hate our policies, but they still love our movies, listen to our pop music, and cheer for our athletes. Extremists, on the other hand, actively try to disseminate monolithic images of “the other” to […] Read more »

Simulating Peace in Israel and Palestine

Z. S. Justus Today I restructured the Palestinian police force. Earlier in the day I launched a joint cultural initiative between Israelis and Palestinians, but not before I eased travel restrictions in Gaza. Of course I did not actually do any of these things, but an innovative simulation by Impactgames allowed me to try out different policy ideas and scenarios as part of their game/teaching tool Peacemaker. The simulation is part of a growing class […] Read more »

Jordan’s Queen Rania on YouTube With Plan to Reduce Stereotypes

by Edward T. Palazzolo Leveraging the power of Web 2.0 and social networking, Jordan’s Queen Rania launches an online campaign to help curb Arab stereotypes. Queen Rania has launched an official YouTube page, with an exclusive message on the importance of cross-cultural dialogue in breaking down stereotypes.You can visit Her Majesty’s page at Queen Rania’s goal: For people to know the real Arab world. To get to know the places and faces, the culture […] Read more »