New Research Funded at Tilburg University Will Study Spread of Salafism and Jihadism

logoSix fresh PhD’s will study the use of social media by Salafis. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of the worldwide Muslim population is an adherent to Salafism, a fundamentalist current in Islam. And since the rise of jihadism both are viewed with suspicion. Under the lead of the Dutch scholar and Professor Herman Beck six PhD students will do research at the Tilburg School of Humanities on the spread of Salafism in Germany, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, and Spain.

Doubts about research: are Turkish Dutch fan of jihad?

According to the research 87% of the by Motivaction interviewed people (18-34 years) is happy with support from Dutch Muslims for IS and they don’t want the Dutch government to prevent them. However, they also don’t believe in prosperity without democracy and don’t believe in a caliphate. But groups of jihadi’s do establish some welcoming changes in the region. Turkish youth seem to be much more positive about IS and the ‘holy war’ in Syria and Iraq than their Moroccan counterparts.

Minister of Social Affairs and Employment and vice premier, Asscher expressed his worries about the research, explaining that he already was worried about the Turkish community who according to him, does not seem to feel ‘at home’ in the Netherlands. But the next day he was somehow doubtful about the research because of its inconsistencies. How can this youth support IS-fighters, but at the same time be against a caliphate and for democracy? He questioned.
Ahmet Kaya, PhD researcher used an own inquiry among Turkish Dutch people. According to his research, 90% of the more than 1000 respondents condemn IS-violence. Kaya admits he cannot control if the respondents are part of the target group, since the inquiry was done online, but the results do correlate with the ideas he experiences around himself.

According to Kaya the research done by Motivaction should not be taken seriously. Verheggen, Motivaction-researcher disagrees and says that nuances in a research are very easy to get lost. Being against Assad, does not automatically mean that you’re supportive of a caliphate. A possible explanation for the (so-called) support of Turkish youth for IS might be the Turkish media, that is often pro-Erdogan and anti-Assad. Verheggen says this is however not completely clear and is pleased with more thorough research.

Judge rules in favor of Muslim woman on no-fly list

January 16, 2014

 

A Muslim woman now living in Malaysia struck a blow to the U.S. government’s “no-fly list” when a federal judge ruled Tuesday (Jan. 14) that the government violated her due process rights by putting her on the list without telling her why.

Muslims and civil rights advocates say the no-fly list disproportionately targets Muslims, and they hope the ruling will force the government to become more transparent about the highly secretive program.

The lawsuit, filed by San Jose-based McManis-Faulkner in 2006 on behalf of the mother of four children and PhD student at Stanford University, alleged that the government violated Dr. Ibrahim’s due process rights when it placed her on the “no-fly” list. U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup ruled that Ibrahim had standing to challenge the government’s actions, ordered the government to correct Ibrahim’s position on the “no-fly” list and to disclose to her what is her current status on the “no-fly” list.

The lawsuit is the oldest of three currently being litigated to challenge the government’s secretive “no-fly” list, which effectively bars individuals the government often mistakenly believes to pose a security threat from flying. The Obama administration vehemently opposed Ibrahim’s lawsuit, sought to keep the December trial secret and is currently requesting that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals keep the ruling sealed.

“Judge Alsup’s ruling affirms that basic notions of transparency and accountability apply to even the U.S. government’s ‘no-fly’ list. We welcome this ruling and look forward to further clarity as to how one can navigate the maze created by the ‘no-fly’ list and other similar listings,” said AAAJ–ALC staff attorney Nasrina Bargzie.

“Each year our offices hear from hundreds of individuals who are visited by the FBI and face related travel issues,” said Zahra Billoo, executive director of the California chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “Many have lost hope about clearing their names, but this case will renew our collective desire to continue forward with the courts on our side.”

Under the guidelines, people who have been stopped from boarding flights may file an inquiry with the Department of Homeland Security, but responses do not include information about whether the person is on the no-fly list, according to the ACLU. The only way to find out whether a person has been removed from the no-fly list is to buy a ticket and try to board a flight.
RNS.com: http://www.religionnews.com/2014/01/16/judge-rules-favor-muslim-woman-fly-list/
CAIR.com: http://cair.com/press-center/press-releases/12322-civil-rights-groups-welcome-legal-victory-against-no-fly-list.html

Emin Poljarevic

Project Responsibilities: Scandinavia news and research

Positions: Affiliated researcher with the Department of Political Social Studies at the European University Institute in Florence, Italy

 

Personal Website

Area of Expertise:

  • Modern Islamic History
  • Islamist Social Movements
  • Islam and Muslim Minorities in Scandinavia
  • Sociology of Islam

Background:
Emin Poljarevic holds a PhD (2012) and M.Res. from the European University Institute (2008MA from the University of Uppsala (2006) and ). Previously he worked as a research assistant and project coordinator at the Centre for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Uppsala University (2004-2007). Here he conducted research on social security issues in Balkans, Caucasus and Central Asia.  During his PhD studies, he was a visiting assistant professor at the SAXO Institute, University of Copenhagen (2010/11). Poljarevic has presented papers at an extensive range of conferences, and has published several book chapters and articles. His current research interests intersect between social movement studies, the study of state repression, and dynamics of social motivations. At the time he is developing a postdoctoral research project intended to explore patterns of socio-political shifts in the Middle East and North Africa with special focus on Islamist social movement organizations.

Muslims Fighting over Halal Meat

6 May 2012

 

Finding Halal meat is one of the most problematic issues for European Muslims and they are increasingly becoming a target of animal welfare originations. Similar to Judaism, Islam decrees upon practicing Muslims to eat only the meat of animals slaughtered according to Islamic rituals. Anything other than this is not edible for Muslims, save for life threatening situations. However, slaughtering animals is considered to be inhumane by animal welfare organizations thus the issue becomes a matter of tension between Muslims and the host communities.

 

The French Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fishing published a report in 2008, on Religious Slaughter and the Welfare of Animals which was based upon scientific research including a French veterinary PhD. According to the report, if executed properly religious slaughter causes less trauma to the animal than the conventional ways of killing, thus it is more humane.

 

According to reports, a leading veterinarian, Professor Bill Reilly has recently criticised the rise in the number of animals slaughtered according to religious laws and suggested it should be either curbed or banned. This sparked a harsh reaction from the Muslim community who considered it an attempt to interfere with their religion.

Huron University College Appoints Chair in Islamic Studies

Oct. 14, 2011

 

Huron University College in London, Ontario has appointed Dr. Ingrid Mattson as the inaugural London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at its Faculty of Theology. Dr. Mattson will begin her appointment on July 1, 2012.

Dr. Mattson was born and raised in Kitchener-Waterloo and earned her PhD in Islamic Studies from the University of Chicago. She is the first convert to Islam and the first woman to lead the Islamic Society of North America. Before accepting the Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College, Dr. Mattson was Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations at Hartford Seminary in Hartford Connecticut. She has also been an Advisor to both the Bush and Obama Administrations.

German-Afghani scholar founds publishing house for Islamic children’s literature

Milad Karimi, 31, scholar of philosophy, Islamic studies and languages has launched a publishing house in Freiburg, specialising in Islamic children’s literature. The books are aimed at supporting parents in educating their children about Islam and about the framework of the German society. Basic questions of Who was the prophet? What is the Quran? Why do we pray? are complemented with informing about living Islam in Germany and about human rights and democracy.

Karimi, who is currently finishing his PhD on Hegel, has also published a new translation of the Quran into German, which was widely acclaimed.

Gloria García-Romeral Moreno

Mailing Address:

Universitat Autònoma de Barelona. Departament de Sociologia. Edifici B, 08193.

Bellaterra (Barcelona) B3 117-1

Phone: (+34) 93.581.24.17

Email: gloria.garciaromeral(arroba)uab.cat

Area of Expertise: Sociology of religion

Narrative Bio:

Gloria received her degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Granada in 2004. Currently, she is PhD candidate at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and member and researcher of the ISOR (Research on Sociology of Religion), a group directed by professor Joan Estruch. Gloria has also carried out short periods of research at the Università degli Studi di Padova (Italy) and the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium) as an invited researcher. In 2006 she obtained a Diploma in Advanced Studies at the Autonomous University of Barcelona with the work “Nous musulmans a Catalunya. Una minoria activa dins l’islam” (about the Catalan associations of converts to Islam). Currently, Gloria is in the process of completing a PhD dissertation on Muslim death practices and rituals and their accommodation within Catalan society.

It’s “cool” to be charged with terrorism

In the radical Islamic milieu in Denmark being charged with or convicted for terrorism means high status. Two researchers from the Danish Institute for International Studies, PhD fellow Ann-Sophie Hemmingsen and senior researcher Manni Crone have investigated the Danish radical Islamic milieu and their conclusion is that persons who have been charged with terrorism typically follow two paths after they have been in the limelight of the police and the intelligence service. Some try to build a new life outside the radical circles and some enjoy the prestige they gained by being charged or convicted of terrorism. The latter stay in the radical circles and it becomes their identity that they are militant or the ‘vanguards’ of radical Islam in Denmark. Hemmingsen and Crone deem this as worrying because the idolization could motivate some to plan terrorist activities. On the other hand the Swedish researcher Magnus Ranstorp, who is a leading researcher on Islamic radicalization, doesn’t think the possibility of gaining prestige by being radical appeals to people outside the radical milieu but he agrees that the idolization of radical Muslims is worrying.

An increasing number of Danes are converting to Islam

More and more Danes choose to convert to Islam. Researchers have previously estimated the number of Danish converts to Islam as 2,800. This number is now increasing.

The Danish imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen who leads ‘The Danish Centre for Islam’ confirms the tendency. He says he talked to about 70 Danes last year who wanted to convert to Islam. Representatives from the organization ‘The Islamic Society in Denmark’ say they talk to many Danes each week who want to learn more about Islam because they are considering converting.

Abdul Wahid Pedersen estimates that one third are converting because they are marrying a Muslim, some are converting because of spiritual quests or because they grew up with Muslim friends. “A few are converting as a reaction to the very harsh public debate on Muslims in Denmark” Wahid Pedersen says. This is being confirmed by PhD Kate Østergaard who has done a survey of Danish converts. The survey shows that many converts have Muslim friends and grew up with Muslims. Another explanation could be that Islam is being seen as having a set of values which is also to be found among left wing sympathizers. “In some left wing settings Islam is seen as a religion of justice, which emphasizes equality and accept all races” Østergaard says. Like Wahid Pedersen Østergaard thinks that the polarized Danish debate on Muslims and Islam are attracting some people who want to learn more about Islam to find out whether the religion is as bad as it often seems in the public debate. “The bigger the focus is on Islam in the media the bigger the tendency is of Danes converting to Islam” Kate Østergaard says.