Category Archives: Islamic fundamentalism

Revelations of Afghanistan as A War Zone: Andrew Quilty’s Photo-Journalism

A series of striking images for the Year 2016 in the local Advertiser newspaper include one by Andrew Quilty which had the caption, ”Shock: a dead patient on an operating table at Afghanistan’s MSF Trauma Center after an attack by an American gunship on the hospital.” I am still searching for this particular image but found a veritable treasure trove in the Andrew Quilty site. I present selections for the benefit of those readers who bask in the comforts of relatively peaceful sites and landscapes. For many Sri Lankans of all ethnicities, of course, these pictures will evoke memories of traumatic times, albeit within landscapes that differ from the mountains and valleys of Afghanistan. For bio-data on Quilty, see

quilty-33 DAY 17: Sunday 21 August 2016: “I was up early this morning to meet the friend and fixer that Sune, Danielle and I often work with in Helmand, on the outskirts of Kabul. Although Helmand is his home, Rauf is in self-imposed exile at the moment. As an Afghan that worked for several years as an interpreter for the British army (not to mention foreign journalists), had the province fallen to the Taliban as was recently feared, he’d have been a marked man. (Rauf has been waiting more than 18 months for his UK visa to be finalised.)We were waiting to speak with the local commander at a police checkpoint toward the southern outskirts of Kabul when a taxi pulled to a stop. Its boot was open and a pair of bloodied, lifeless feet hung over the tailgate. Inside, a middle-aged man lay on a stretcher. Several bandages barely hid stab wounds – inflicted during what we were told was a family dispute. A younger man held a clear bag of IV fluid to the roof. His hand was rusty with dried blood.” Continue reading

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An Egyptian Journalist’s Introduction to Jailhouse Jihadism and Al Jazeera’s Partisan Activities

Robert Fisk, in The Island, 2 January 2017, where the title is “Living among Jihadis in an Egyptian prison” … with emphasis in highlights being The Editor, Thuppahi’s imposition


To interview a jihadi is one thing, to live among jihadis quite another. To share their prison cells and their jail trucks on the way to a dictatorship’s trials is both a journalist’s dream and a journalist’s nightmare. Which makes Mohamed Fahmy a unique figure: in a prison bus, he hears his fellow inmates rejoicing at the beheading of a captured journalist in Syria. “They won’t let us out,” a voice shouts at Fahmy in Egypt’s ghastly Tora prison complex. “We haven’t seen the sun for weeks.” And he hears the rhythmic voices of prisoners reciting the Koran.

Fahmy, who is an Egyptian with Canadian citizenship, is the Al Jazeera English channel reporter who spent almost two years in his native country’s ferocious prison system, as a guest of President al-Sisi, locked up with two colleagues for being a pro-Muslim Brotherhood “terrorist”, fabricating news and endangering the “security” of the state. Continue reading

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Cockroaches: A Universal Pejorative in the Particular Armoury of a Sunni Extremist in Melbourne

A Melbourne teenager [name withheld] from a middle-class background had “expressed violent loathing of non-believers and likened Shia Muslims to cockroaches” in his Facebook and Surespot rantings. He had gone further and gathered the material for a pressure cooker bomb –activities which have seen him tried and sentenced to a seven-year jail term (see The Australian, 8 Dec 2016)


There is dark paradox here:  a highly particular ideologue has deployed a universal pejorative. Continue reading

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The Muslims in Sri Lanka: Trends, Dangers, Failures

ameer_ali-140x150ACL Ameer Ali,  courtesy of Colombo Telegraph where the title is Paranoia & Paralysis: The Buddhist-Muslim Tragicomedy” …  Note that the highlighting emphasis below is that of the Edito , Thuppahi

The military victory led by an overwhelmingly Sinhala-Buddhist army over the tyrannous LTTE in 2009 has, among other things, injected in the minds of certain sections of the Buddhist community that Sri Lanka belongs only to the Sinhala Buddhists and others are permitted to live here only at the behest of the Buddhists. This twisted ideology which is now developing into an anti-Muslim, anti-Christian and anti-Tamil paranoia is totally contradictory not only to the noble teachings of the Enlightened Buddha but also and more significantly to the millennial historical tradition of ethnic and religious tolerance indelibly engraved in the long legacy of the island’s Buddhist monarchs. To deny this historical truth is to court intellectual dishonesty.

sinha-le-15-feb-ss maha-jaatiya-image

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What Trump may bring to the US Table on Sri Lanka in contrast with Clinton’s ”Humanitarian Imperialist Cloak”

Daya Gamage, courtesy of Asian Tribune, where the title reads “Trump – Tamil Diaspora Eelam Activists & Sri Lanka Trajectory”

When asked about the implications of the ongoing purge – immediately following the abortive military coup in Turkey – Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump echoed: What right do we in the United States have to criticize the condition of human rights elsewhere? Here’s Trump: “I think right now when it comes to civil liberties, our country has a lot of problems, and I think it’s very hard for us to get involved in other countries when we don’t know what we are doing and we can’t see straight in our own country. We have tremendous problems when you have policemen being shot in the streets, when you have riots, when you have Ferguson. When you have Baltimore. When you have all of the things that are happening in this country — we have other problems, and I think we have to focus on those problems. When the world looks at how bad the United States is, and then we go and talk about civil liberties, I don’t think we’re a very good messenger.” donald-trump_3 hillary-11-business-indider

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Meet Asra Nomani, a Muslim American who supported Trump

Asra Q. Nomani, in The Washington Post, 10 November 2016, where the title is “I’m a Muslim, a woman and an immigrant. I voted for Trump”

Asra Q. Nomani is a former Wall Street Journal reporter and a co-founder of the Muslim Reform Movement. She can be found on Twitter at @AsraNomani.

A lot is being said now about the “silent secret Trump supporters.” This is my confession — and explanation: I — a 51-year-old, a Muslim, an immigrant woman “of color” — am one of those silent voters for Donald Trump. And I’m not a “bigot,” “racist,” “chauvinist” or “white supremacist,” as Trump voters are being called, nor part of some “whitelash.”

asra-q-nomani-twitter from Twitter

In the winter of 2008, as a lifelong liberal and proud daughter of West Virginia, a state born on the correct side of history on slavery, I moved to historically conservative Virginia only because the state had helped elect Barack Obama as the first African American president of the United States. But, then, for much of this past year, I have kept my electoral preference secret: I was leaning toward Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Tuesday evening, just minutes before the polls closed at Forestville Elementary School in mostly Democratic Fairfax County, I slipped between the cardboard partitions in the polling booth, a pen balanced carefully between my fingers, to mark my ballot for president, coloring in the circle beside the names of Trump and his running mate, Mike Pence. Continue reading

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Tensions at the World Peak Today: Learning from the Gorbachev-Reagan Summmit Meeting

Lowana Veal, courtesy of Indepth News, where the title runs “Learning from the Reykjavik Sumit 30 years On”

At a time when there is a sharp deterioration in relations between the United States and Russia, triggered by disputes over Ukraine, the Crimea and Syria, the capital of Iceland hosted experts, diplomats and researchers on October 10-11 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the historic Reykjavik Summit between Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. IDN, a flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate group, spoke to some of the participants of the commemorative event, the initiative for which came from the International Peace Institute (IPI) in New York. What prompted them to organize the event?

aamikhailMikhail Gorbachev speaking. Source: Video message
“The Reykjavik Summit was the beginning of the end of the Cold War – though not the only factor, but one of them – and was the beginning of the end of the Soviet empire,” Terje Rød-Larsen, IPI President told IDN. “Tensions are now rising between Russia and the U.S. … There is also a rise in violent political Islam, which has very clear authoritarian features, and is in many ways an oriental form of fascism. Once again there’s a rise of right-wing ideologies in Western Europe with racist overtones,” Rød-Larsen said. Continue reading

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