A Clash of Messianisms: now let me get this straight

[ by Charles Cameron -- slightly tongue-in-cheek, intrigued at a rhetorical level, not sure who here, if anyone, necessarily believes the words they speak ] . Okay, let’s see now. In December 2009, Israeli PM Netanyahu said, “You don’t want a messianic apocalyptic cult controlling atomic bombs. When the wide-eyed believer gets hold of the [...] Read more »

Apocalyptic Fire in Azan #2

[ by Charles Cameron -- on end-times rhetoric and having no need of sun or moon ] . ** On the whole, the “signs of the end times” described in the installment of Maulana Asim Umar‘s Third World War and Dajjal, pp. 23-31, and now posted in the second issue of Azan on pp 83-89 [...] Read more »

Words, words — what’s a bunch of Wordsworth?

[ by Charles Cameron -- bemused again, "jihad" (the word) in the news, "big data" too, plus Google expecting Mahdi ] . I suppose I should be glad — or should I? — that the word jihad is now in the news. It’s about time. Jihad (the word, the concept, the interpretations) should have been [...] Read more »

On eating one’s enemy

[ by Charles Cameron -- not good branding, not Islamic, dumbstruck? -- not a whole lot else to say ] . Let’s take the bald facts first: Commander Abu Sakkar of the Farouq Brigades, Free Syrian Army, had himself videotaped this month cutting open and seeming to eat the flesh of a just-killed Syrian soldier [...] Read more »

Close reading, Synoptic- and Sembl-style, for parallels, patterns

[ by Charles Cameron -- if we omit all mention of the Qur'an, will the jihad perhaps disappear, you think? ] . On Friday, Oct. 29, 2004, just before the 2004 US Presidential Election, a videotaped speech by Osama bin Laden was released online and variously reported: . . Being a theologian at heart, I’ve [...] Read more »

New White Paper on Rhetoric of Domestic Extremist Groups

by Steven R. Corman The CSC has released a new white paper by Bennett Furlow entitled Extremism and Victimhood in the U.S. Context.  The Executive Summary appears below, and the full white paper can be downloaded here. Political extremism is not a new phenomenon. From the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s to the Weather Underground of the 1960s, political extremism has been a present force on both the political right and left. This study looks […] Read more »

Extremism and Victimhood in the U.S. Context

by R. Bennett Furlow Political extremism is not a new phenomenon. From the Know-Nothing Party of the 1850s to the Weather Underground of the 1960s, political extremism has been a present force on both the political right and left. This study looks at four modern day extremist groups, two from the right and two from the left, and examines their use of rhetoric and narrative. A comparison is also made between these groups and the […] Read more »

Rhetoric, intent — logistics — and who went first?

[ by Charles Cameron -- when religious leaders talk of wiping nations off the map ] . -Two bearded religious figures face of with what seems like parallel but opposite rhetoric: ______________________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________________ The Ayatollah Khamenei, left, is the Supreme Jurisprudent of Iran — not merely a senior cleric but Iran’s final authority. Rabbi Ovaida [...] Read more »

The Promise and Pitfalls of Humor and Ridicule as Strategies to Counter Extremist Narratives

CSC members H. L. Goodall, Jr, Pauline Hope Cheong, Kristin Fleischer and Steven R. Corman have just published a new article in Perspectives on Terrorism.  The abstract is below, and the article is available (free) here. Rhetorical Charms: The Promise and Pitfalls of Humor and Ridicule as Strategies to Counter Extremist Narratives In this article we provide a brief account of the uses of humor, in particular satire and ridicule, to counter extremist narratives and […] Read more »

Obama changes rhetoric but the ‘war on terror’ continues to impact civil society

Despite a change in rhetoric, the legislation, practices, policies and structures introduced since 9/11 still inhibit society’s ability to practise democracy The recent leaks of more than 90,000 sensitive documents revealing the extent of civilian casualties in Afghanistan has yet … Continue reading Read more »