An Achilles Heel for Saudi Wahhabis?

by Mark Woodward* On September first the British on-line paper The Independent reported on alleged plans by the Saudi Arabian government to demolish the Prophet Muhammad’s tomb and move his body to an unmarked grave. The Prophet’s tomb is located in the mosque he built in Madinah in the seventh century and is the second most important Muslim holy site. Millions of pilgrims visit every year.   The Independent’s story was based on a 61 page […] 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 »

Hate Speech and the Indonesian Islamic Defenders Front

Front Pembela Islam (Islamic Defenders Front – FPI) is a domestic Indonesian terrorist organization. Its goal is the implementation of Shari’ah at national and local levels in Indonesia. It presents itself as an ally of government security forces in their attempts to control sin and vice. It uses hate speech to motivate and legitimize violent attacks on organizations and individuals it considers to be sinful or religiously deviant. It has targeted Christian minorities and members […] 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 »

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: A Saudi – Indonesian Contrast

by Inayah Rohmaniyah & Mark Woodward 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, religious pluralism and gender relations. The first is the Wahhabism of the Saudi state. Saudi Wahhabism couples this theological orientation with intolerance of all other forms of religion and a […] 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 »

Extremism and Contested Tunisian Identity in Kairouan

by Jeffry R. Halverson I recently traveled to Tunisia where I visited the ancient holy city of Kairouan. Elections for the constituent assembly to produce a new Tunisian constitution are less than two weeks away and there is a lot of discussion taking place about the nature of Tunisian identity and the role of Islam in Tunisian society. Islamists, both mainstream and radical, obviously envision a prominent role for Islam. However, my experiences in Kairouan, […] Read more »

Yes, Extremists are Paying Attention

by Chris Lundry Last year, my colleagues Steven Corman, Jeffrey Halverson and I wrote a series of blog posts exploring Islamist reactions to anti-Islam and anti-Muslim events in the US, including the debate over the Park51 Islamic Center and an American pastor’s proposal to burn a Qur’an on 9/11, among others. One of the points we made in our final post was that these events fuel the extremist narrative that the US and its allies […] Read more »