Taliban Threatens to End Polio Vaccinations in Pakistan

By Chris Lundry According to a CNN report Monday, the Taliban in Pakistan released a statement threatening to cut off all polio vaccinations for children in the North Waziristan region if the US continues drone strikes there. From the Taliban statement: Almost every resident of North Waziristan has become a mental patient because of the drone strikes, which are worse than polio… On one hand, the U.S. spends millions of dollars to eliminate polio, while […] Read more »

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 »

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 »

Suharto Era Comops Backfire in 2012 Indonesia

by Chris Lundry Indonesian extremists continue to portray Ambonese Christians as engaged in separatist rebellion against Indonesia, and a crusade against Muslims. This isn’t true, but raises the question: where on earth did they get this idea? The adage that if a lie gets repeated enough times it becomes true is, apparently, applicable in Indonesia’s Ambon region. It was home to a brief separatist insurgency following the Indonesian revolution (1945-49).  Following their defeat in 1950, […] Read more »

Indonesian Extremists Approve of Anonymous Crusade

by Chris Lundry Indonesian Islamist extremist supporters ar Rahmah posted a story today (2-13) on their website and Facebook page about the hacker group Anonymous’ plans for a cyber-attack on Israel. The story (here) links to the Anonymous YouTube video announcing their plans. While ar Rahmah undoubtedly supports the effort, the article quotes the video as a declaration of a “Crusade” (perang salib) against Israel. The Crusade narrative is the second most frequently invoked among […] Read more »

The Aftermath of Another Affront

by Chris Lundry (with R. Bennett Furlow) It did not take long for the images of the US Marines urinating on corpses of Taliban fighters to go viral. A moment of lapsed judgment will circulate as long as anyone is interested in seeing it, certainly long after short attention spans move on to other things and the fallout – including, presumably, disciplinary actions for the soldiers – settles. Predictably, extremist sites have been all over […] Read more »

Contesting New Media: Indonesia vs. the Muslim World League

By Mark Woodward and Inayah Rohmaniyah* Earlier this month (December 13-15) we were privileged to participate in a “The 2nd International Conference on Islamic Media” sponsored by the Saudi sponsored Muslim World League (MWL, Rabita al-Alam al-Islami) and the Indonesian Ministry of Religion in Jakarta Indonesia.  Tension between the co-sponsors was evident in the selection of participants, the themes of formal presentations and in social interaction over the course of the conference. Differing perspectives on […] 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 »

Another Bombing in Indonesia, Another Struggle over Framing

by Chris Lundry On Sunday, September 25, a lone suicide bomber detonated a bomb at a Protestant Church in Surakarta (Solo), Central Java, as services were letting out. Along with the bomber, one congregant was killed and several wounded from the shrapnel composed of nails, bolts and buckshot. In the ensuing week there has been a struggle over how the event should be framed, with most Islamist groups denying responsibility. The bomber has been identified […] Read more »

U.S. Domestic Politics and Public Diplomacy in Asia

by Steven R. Corman As Congress is once again behaving badly, I thought I would post a brief note about some interactions I have had while visiting Asia.  Comments here show that what many of us regard as “inside baseball” matters a lot to foreign publics, and it has them worried. Last week I attended the Singapore Global Dialogue, organized by the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University. It was attended […] Read more »