New Book: Why the West Fears Islam – An Exploration of Muslims in Liberal Democracies

Why the West Fears Islam flyer finalWhy the West Fears Islam
An Exploration of Muslims in Liberal Democracies

Jocelyne Cesari

Paperback Aug 2013 – 9781403969538
Hardback Aug 2013 – 9781403969804

About the book
Are Muslims threatening the core values of the West?

Jocelyne Cesari responds to this question by presenting testimonies from Muslims in France, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the United States. Her book is an unprecedented exploration of Muslim religious and political life based on several years of field work in Europe and in the United States. It provides original insights into the ways Muslims act as believers and citizens and into the specifics of western liberalism  and secularism, particularly after 9/11. It shows how the visibility of Islam in secular spaces triggers  western politics of fear. Its unique interdisciplinary scope allows for an in depth analysis of data polls, political discourses as well as first hand interviews, and focus groups with Muslims.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Shari’a, Burqa, and Minarets: What Is the Problem With Muslims in the West? An Exploration of Islam in Liberal

  1. Muslims As the Internal and External Enemy
  2. Islam: Between Personal and Social Identity Markers
  3. Multiple Communities of Allegiance: How Do Muslims Say ‘We’?
  4. Religiosity, Political Participation, and Civic Engagement
  5. Securitization of Islam in Europe: The Embodiment of Islam As an Exception
  6. How Islam Questions the Universalism of Western Secularism
  7. Salafization of Islamic Norms and Its Influence on the Externalization of Islam

Conclusion: Naked Public Spheres: Islam within Liberal and Secular Democracies

 

About the Author

Jocelyne Cesari, is a political scientist, specializing in contemporary Islamic societies,
globalization and democratization. She is Senior Research Fellow at the Berkley Center
for Peace, Religion and World Affairs at Georgetown University. At Harvard University,
she directs the international research program called “Islam in the West.” She has written
numerous articles and books on Islam, Globalization, Democratization and Secularism in
Western and Muslim-majority contexts.
Her most recent publications include Encyclopedia of Islam in the United States (2007),
Muslims in the West After 9/11: Religion, Politics and Law (2010), The Awakening of
Muslim Democracy: Religion, Modernity and the State (2013).

Praise for the book:

“This book is an eye-opener that denies all sides the luxury of willful ignorance or
unchallenged ideological projection. Bold, sophisticated and almost embarrassingly
informative, Jocelyne Cesari’s effort is certain to elevate the discourse around one of the
most important relationships of our time: that between Muslims and their Western
compatriots.” – Sherman A. Jackson, King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture, The
University of Southern California, and author of Islam and the Blackamerican: Looking
Towards the Third Resurrection

Photographer who shot Dzhokhar Tsarnaev capture is placed on restricted duty by State Police

FRAMINGHAM — A State Police sergeant has been placed on restricted duty while an internal investigation is conducted of his unauthorized release of dramatic photos of the capture of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in April in Watertown.

Sergeant Sean P. Murphy essentially will be on desk duty while the agency’s internal affairs unit probes his actions, officials said.

State Police Colonel Timothy Alben said after a hearing on Murphy’s status at State Police headquarters this morning that he held Murphy in “high regard” and considered him a “man of character” and a “man of honor.”

However, Alben said, said the integrity of the Marathon bombing probe and every criminal investigation needed to be maintained.

Murphy, a tactical photographer who is a 25-year veteran of the force, has said he released the photos — which, among other things, show a wounded and disheveled Tsarnaev surrendering with a laser bead from a police gun on his forehead — as a response to Rolling Stone magazine’s controversial decision to put an attractive self-portrait of Tsarnaev on its cover.

Federal prosecutors handling the Marathon bombing case said last week that the leak of the State Police photos was “completely unacceptable.” But an array of backers have given Murphy enthusiastic support.

NY Op Ed: Judging Rolling Stone by Its Cover

Maybe the hysteria about Rolling Stone’s August issue is heat-wave induced. That’s the only charitable explanation for the stampede of critics who have been accusing Rolling Stone editors of trying to turn Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man accused of the Boston Marathon bombing, into a rock star merely by putting him on the issue’s cover. (Never mind the word “monster” right there in big type.)

The drumbeat became so feverish that Walgreens, CVS and a few other stores have refused to sell the magazine. The mayor of Boston hyperventilated that it “rewards a terrorist with celebrity treatment.”

 

Stores have a right to refuse to sell products because, say, they are unhealthy, like cigarettes (which Walgreens and CVS, oops, both sell). Consumers have every right to avoid buying a magazine that offends them, like Guns & Ammo or Rolling Stone.

 

But singling out one magazine issue for shunning is over the top, especially since the photo has already appeared in a lot of prominent places, including the front page of this newspaper, without an outcry. As any seasoned reader should know, magazine covers are not endorsements.

Behind Rolling Stone’s Cover, a Story Worth Reading

Of all the outraged responses to the Rolling Stone cover of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston marathon bombings, those from Boston were particularly acute. Mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter of protest to Rolling Stone and several retailers with Boston ties said they would not sell the controversial issue.

And then on Thursday, Boston Magazine responded to Rolling Stone’s editorial decision with one of its own, publishing photos of the manhunt and arrest of Mr. Tsarnaev. The images were taken by Sgt. Sean Murphy, a photographer with the Massachusetts State Police who was described as “furious” about the Rolling Stone cover and accused the magazine of “glamorizing the face of terror.”

His protest, which included graphic photos of Mr. Tsarnaev during his capture, ended up creating a controversy of its own. According to Boston Magazine, Sergeant Murphy was relieved of duty just hours after he turned over hundreds of photos to the magazine.

Mr. Murphy’s actions may have put him in hot water at work, but it is not hard to understand the emotions that drove his decision. News developments, and the way they are presented in the news media, always fall harder on some than others, especially victims, families of victims and first responders.

Part of the mass umbrage would seem to stem from a misunderstanding of the magazine and its cover. From the very beginning, Rolling Stone has seen long-form journalism as part of its mission, and more recently has proven its journalistic chops with important stories about Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and the so-called vampire squids of Goldman Sachs. Those were good, important stories and while the profile about Mr. Tsarnaev did not break a lot of new ground, it did an excellent job of explaining how someone who looked like the kid next door radicalized in place and, according to the federal charges, decided to attack innocents to make a political point. There is civic and journalistic value in finding out more about who this person is, and if the cover created in-bound interest, that would seem to be to the good.

Still, many piled on, accusing Rolling Stone of a cynical play for attention while they sought some of the same in their reaction. The actor James Woods, among others, found himself on the moral high ground, issuing a profane and personal rebuke to Jann Wenner, the owner and publisher of Rolling Stone.

Rolling Stone Tsarnaev cover draws outrage

The cover of Rolling Stone’s Aug. 1 edition features a photograph of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing in April. Many have responded angrily to the magazine’s treatment of Tsarnaev’s image:

Rolling Stone editors said in a statement that the story falls within the traditions of journalism and the magazine’s commitment to serious and thoughtful coverage.

“The fact that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is young, and in the same age group as many of our readers, makes it all the more important for us to examine the complexities of this issue and gain a more complete understanding of how a tragedy like this happens,” the statement said.

Lawmakers ask Obama for religious diversity summit

Nearly 40 members of the U.S. House, among them Buddhists, Hindus, Jews and Muslims, sent a letter to President Obama on Wednesday (July 17) urging him to convene a “Religious Diversity Summit” and do more to fight discrimination against religious minorities.

“The targeting of religious minorities in America is reaching a crisis point and we believe your leadership is crucial to stemming this rising tide of violence,” the letter writers said.

The letter comes just ahead of the first anniversary of the Aug. 5 attack by a white supremacist on a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wis., that killed six worshippers. Muslim advocacy groups say there has been an increase in attacks against mosques and Muslims since the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15.

All 37 signatories were Democrats, including Buddhist Hank Johnson of Georgia, Hindu Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, Muslims Keith Ellison of Minnesota and Andre Carson of Indiana, and Jews Jared Polis of Colorado, Jan Schakowsky of Illinois, and Henry Waxman and Alan Lowenthal, both of California.

“The terrible and very public episodes of violence this country has seen over the past several years deserve a response, and as elected leaders we have an obligation to be a part of that response,” wrote Arizona Democrat Raul M. Grijalva, one of several Christians to sign the letter.

Nominee for California student regent draws rare ire

SAN FRANCISCO — The University of California’s governing board confirmed its first Muslim student member Wednesday, despite some Jewish groups’ claims that she marginalized Jewish students and promoted an anti-Israel agenda.

Regents voted unanimously to ratify UC Berkeley student Sadia Saifuddin’s nomination, with one regent, Richard Blum, abstaining from the vote.

UC Berkeley senior Sadia Saifuddin was picked from a field of 30 applicants to serve on the UC Board of Regents during the 2014-15 academic year. As student regent-designate, the 21-year-old Pakistani American would participate in meetings but wouldn’t be able to cast votes during the school year that begins this fall.

Saifuddin’s critics had urged the regents to reject the nomination, pointing to a student government proposal Saifuddin co-sponsored calling for the university to divest from companies with economic ties to the Israeli military or Israeli settlements on the West Bank. The critics said it was evidence she is unqualified to represent all of the UC system’s more than 222,000 students.

Jewish Voice for Peace, a Berkeley-based group that opposes Israeli settlements in the West bank and Gaza, issued a statement Wednesday saying that Saifuddin had been “made the target of yet another intimidation and repression campaign against anyone who dares criticize Israel on campus.”

The State Department’s Arabic outreach team spoofed an al-Qaeda video

In the war for Middle Eastern hearts and minds, the U.S. Digital Outreach Team is on the virtual front lines: debating America’s critics on Twitter, commenting on Arabic message boards and generally engaging with anyone they can reach. But that outreach appears to have crossed a new line: spoofing al-Qaeda propaganda videos on an official State Department YouTube channel.

The Digital Outreach Team is fairly transparent about its activities — as evidenced by that closing credit. According to an Associated Press article from April, a month before the Zawahiri spoof went online, the team consists of roughly 50 native Arabic, Punjabi, Somali and Urdu speakers. It’s grown considerably since January 2009, when a State Department bulletin listed only 10 team members; it’s been around, per the bulletin, since November 2006.

The team runs Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels, and it tangles with commenters on popular Arab news and discussion sites, always identifying themselves as State Department employees and using their real names. In 2012, they had 7,000 online engagements, reports the AP, up from 2,000 in 2009. The idea is to “explain U.S. foreign policy and to counter misinformation” through the power of Diplomacy 2.0, says the State Department bulletin.

The program’s success is difficult to gauge. A 2012 study of the program, published in The Middle East Journal, concluded that engagement did little to change the tone of anti-American conversations. In a sample of several hundred forum posts, users were more likely to ridicule or refute the Outreach Team than engage with it. Only 4 percent of posts expressed positive views of the team, and a sliver more — 4.8 percent — expressed positive views toward U.S. foreign policy.

Appeals court delays Gitmo genital search ban

WASHINGTON — A federal appeals court is allowing the U.S. government to continue genital searches of Guantanamo Bay detainees — at least temporarily.

A three-judge panel of the court Wednesday granted the Obama administration’s emergency motion for a temporary delay in enforcing U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth’s order banning the practice.

Detainee lawyers say the searches began after prisoners were told they would have to travel from their resident camp to another site at the base to meet with or talk on the telephone with their lawyers. The lawyers say some detainees had refused to make the trip because of the new searches.

In court papers, the government argued that Lamberth’s order would weaken security at the U.S. Navy base in Cuba by making it harder to prevent smuggling of contraband. And it said that the ruling went where no other court has gone before.

“For the first time to the government’s knowledge, a federal court has restricted a military commander from implementing routine security procedures at a detention facility holding enemy forces, notwithstanding the universally recognized need for the maintenance of discipline and order in those facilities,” the government wrote in its motion with the appeals court.

Jets’ Aboushi Faces Aspersions for Being Palestinian

On the night of June 29, two months after he was drafted by the Jets, Oday Aboushi stood before more than 700 people at the El Bireh Society convention in Arlington, Va., and discussed his journey to the N.F.L.

Aboushi shared what it was like growing up in Brooklyn and Staten Island as one of 10 children. He spoke about graduating from the University of Virginia in three and a half years. He discussed his 2009 visit to refugee camps in the West Bank, how that trip inspired him even more to succeed and to represent his community.

“It was the classic American success story,” said Sarab Al-Jijakli, the president of the Network of Arab-American Professionals, who was in the audience that night.

Aboushi’s appearance at the convention, a three-day gathering of Palestinian-Americans that was described by another attendee as a “cultural networking event,” produced an outcry from some online who charged Aboushi with being a Muslim extremist. An article on the Web site FrontPage Mag suggested that he had terrorist ties. A column on Yahoo Sports, since removed, said he held anti-Semitic views. An employee of MLB.com on Twitter compared Aboushi to Aaron Hernandez, the former New England Patriots tight end charged with murder, before later apologizing.

Waves of support for Aboushi started rolling in on Thursday, and on Friday, the Anti-Defamation League released a statement condemning the attacks on his character and applauding him for taking pride in his culture. The Jets also backed Aboushi, an offensive lineman they selected in the fifth round.

In a statement, Aboushi said he was upset that his reputation had been tarnished by people who did not know him, but that he was proud of his Palestinian heritage and to have been born and raised in the United States.