Anonymous, 22 Jan 2020
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New Book: Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It

Cutting the Fuse offers a wealth of new knowledge about the origins of suicide terrorism and strategies to stop it. Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman have examined every suicide terrorist attack worldwide from 1980 to 2009. Their work fundamentally changes how we understand the root causes of the most important terrorist campaigns today and reveals why the War on Terror has been ultimately counterproductive.

Online Suicide Attack Database Presented at Conference in DC

The Chicago Project on Security and Terrorism (CPOST) newly updated its online Suicide Attack Database. The team is directed by Robert A. Pape from the University of Chicago, who recently presented his findings, based on data produced by a six-year study of suicide terrorist attacks around the world, at the conference Cutting the Fuse: Moving Beyond the War on Terror at the Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on October 12, 2010. He argued that the suicide terrorism was essentially driven by lengthy military occupations rather than a religious motivation. The video of his speech is available via C-SPAN.

Controversial Shooter Video Game Placed in Somalia

Teyon, a Polish video game developer and producer from Krakow, has recently released a new arcade on-rails shooter "Heavy Fire: Special Operations" for Nintendo's WiiWare. Taking place during a fictional conflict in Somalia with the aim to shoot "rebels who spread terror and fear," the game has already caused controversies among video game players and reviewers, criticizing it for reinforcing stereotypes of Arabs and Muslims.

New Book: The Digital Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy: Information Technology and Political Islam

This book looks at the role that communications technologies play in advancing democratic transitions in Muslim countries. As such, its central question is whether technology holds the potential to substantially enhance democracy. Certainly, no democratic transition has occurred solely because of the internet. But, as Philip Howard argues, no democratic transition can occur today without the internet. According to Howard, the major (and perhaps only meaningful) forum for civic debate in most Muslim countries today is online. Activists both within diasporic communities and within authoritarian states, including Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, are the drivers of this debate, which centers around issues such as the interpretation of Islamic texts, gender roles, and security issues. Drawing upon material from interviews with telecommunications policy makers and activists in Azerbaijan, Egypt, Tajikistan and Tanzania and a comparative study of 74 countries with large Muslim populations, Howard demonstrates that these forums have been the means to organize activist movements that have lead to successful democratic insurgencies.

New Directions in Middle East and North African Studies Symposium

On May 20-21, the Middle East and North African Studies Working Group (MENA) will host a two-day symposium entitled "New Directions in Middle East and North African Studies." The event, open to the public, features scholars working in various disciplines and time periods of Middle East studies, each in his or her own way bringing unique or paradigm shifting approaches to their discipline and the field at large.
Ismail, Faranaaz, Muslim Websites in South Africa – A Critical Review. ARISA, Vol. 4, 2001 abstract PDF
Haron, Muhammed, South African Muslims’ Venture into Cyberspace. ARISA, Vol. 6, 2003 abstract PDF

Mapping the Global Muslim Population

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life has published a comprehensive demographic study of more than 200 countries which offers the most up-to-date and fully sourced estimates of the size and distribution of the worldwide Muslim population, including sectarian identity. It finds that there are 1.57 billion Muslims of all ages living in the world today, representing 23% of an estimated 2009 world population of 6.8 billion. The full report is accessible online.
Noman, Helmi; Zarwan, Elijah, Middle East and North Africa. Cambridge, MA: OpenNet Initiative, The Berkman Center for Internet and Society, 2007. abstract full text

CAMRI African and Arab Media conference

Media research to date has largely neglected the fast growing and diverse media audiences in African and Arab countries. Blogs, chatrooms, social networking sites, and the use of SMS indicate that African and Arab audiences are highly active in sending and receiving messages in innovative ways. This conference, organised by the University of Westminster's Communication and Media Research Institute (CAMRI), will explore this activity, taking in the old, the new, and processes of change and transformation. It draws on the combined resources of CAMRI's African Media Series, Arab Media Centre and Audiences Group. It focuses on media use and media users in two overlapping regions, where the culture and politics of former colonial powers have combined with internal influences to shape the audience experience in particular ways.
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