“Torn”: A Tale of Tolerance and Doubt

Scene from the movie Torn.

After reading the synopsis of Torn , a film written by Michael Richter and directed by Jeremiah Birnbaum, I thought: Oooh, this might be yet another film on the post 9/11 era, blaming the Muslim community for all evil things that happened, and echoing  all sorts of stereotypes that have defined America’s perceptions of Muslims around the world.But Richter and Birnbaum proved me wrong. After watching Torn, I believe cinema can still surprise us with bold ideas and out-of-the-box un … [Read more...]

White Widows, Black Widows and Jihad Janes: What Does A Terrorist Look Like?

Samantha Lewthwaite pictured on the cover of a newspaper in 2005. [Source].

The recent arrest warrant issued by Interpol for Samantha Lewthwaite has fuelled media fuel speculation that she was involved in the attack that killed more than 60 people in Nairobi’s Westgate mall. Since speculation always makes a good story, there has been an overwhelming amount of coverage on the woman dubbed “The White Widow.” The stories seem eerily familiar. Perhaps because, like Colleen LaRose (aka Jihad Jane), Lewthwaite has her own alliterative alias. Or because like Katherine Russell ( … [Read more...]

Al-Shamikha: Not Your Average Ladymag?

A new magazine is “making waves” in Europe and North America—or so it would seem from the media coverage. Al-Shamikha, a publication directed to women and published by Al-Fajr Media Centre (Al-Qaeda’s online propaganda distributor), has been defined as “Al-Qaeda’s Cosmopolitan” or “Jihad Cosmo.” The magazine, which is roughly 30 pages long, covers a variety of topics that range from beauty to “proper” wifehood and motherhood.  The magazine’s conception of “jihad,” which it defines specifically as … [Read more...]

Portrait of The Grey Lady: Aafia Siddiqui’s Construction in the Media

Following a long trial, this month Aafia Siddiqui was convicted of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder of U.S. soldiers and FBI agents while being held in custody in Afghanistan in 2008. Known as “Lady al Qaeda,” she was identified in 2004 as the only woman among seven most wanted al Qaeda operatives.The media coverage of her trial has made much of her extensive psychiatric testing, which eventually concluded that she had faked her mental illness. Doctors stated that she was "in … [Read more...]

Naked Ambition: Airport Body Scanners Only Offensive to Muslim Women?

Earlier this month, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for a gradual introduction of body scanners into U.K. airports following the failed attack on an American airliner on Christmas Day European nations are split over the necessity of introducing the body scanners. Italy, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom are planning to install the scanners on a large scale in the near future, while France, Germany and Spain remain undecided, with the Belgian Home Secretary coming out to declare … [Read more...]

OMG, it’s a Muslim! Call the terrorist police!

Okay, good news first: Dr. Ingrid Mattson, president of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and professor at Hartford Seminary, among other things, will be among those offering prayers at the National Prayer Service this Wednesday of (soon-to-be) President Barack Obama's inauguration.  Dr. Mattson will be part of a multi-faith group of prayer leaders of various Christian denominations, as well as from Jewish, Hindu and other faith traditions.I was impressed to see the number … [Read more...]


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