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NATIONAL SECURITY

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Muqtedar Khan
Fellow
12/18/2014
Every time my cell phone buzzes early in the morning, I get up and reach for it reluctantly, with a sense of foreboding and dread. Nine out of ten times it is BBC, Delhi, London or Islamabad, requesting a comment on some horrible event in the Middle East or in South Asia. Sometimes I am fortunate to reflect on good news, such as Malala’s Nobel Prize, or a safely completed election and peaceful transfer of power, as in Pakistan last year and Tunisia this year. This month however has been an unending conversation about these horrendous events; ISIS in Iraq, The civil rights fiasco in Ferguson, the US Senate report on CIA’s use of torture and the latest atrocity committed by the Taliban.... » read more
SpearIt
Fellow
9/10/2014
In the post-9/11 era, debates about the role American prisons play in contributing to “homegrown" or domestic terrorism grow with each passing year. However, much of the debate has been premised on alarmist rationales, political distortions, and plainly faulty analyses. The book, The Spectacular Few: Prisoner Radicalization and the Evolving Terrorist Threat by criminologist Mark Hamm is an attempt to assess the situation in the United States. As this book represents the first that tackles the question of prisoner radicalization, it is important on that count alone, for it has great potential to influence scholarship, law, and policy. This review critiques the book’s main thesis, which posits that prison conditions are the main cause of prisoner radicalization. ... » read more
Hassan Abbas
Fellow
7/30/2014
In his authoritative and highly readable account, author Hassan Abbas examines how the Taliban not only survived but adapted to their situation in order to regain power and political advantage. Abbas traces the roots of religious extremism in the area and analyzes the Taliban’s support base within Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas. In addition, he explores the roles that Western policies and military decision making— not to mention corruption and incompetence in Kabul—have played in enabling the Taliban’s resurgence.... » read more
SpearIt
Fellow
2/3/2014
In the last decade, politicians and analysts have clamored about the “danger” and “threat” posed by Islam in American prisons. Yet these characterizations sit in tension with several decades of sustained Islamic outreach in prison to support inmate rehabilitation and re-entry. They also sit in tension with the fact that since the 1960s, Muslims have been proactive about using American courts to deal with disputes and grievances. Today, Muslims are arguably the most proactive litigants among religious followers in prison.... » read more
1/31/2014
In Islam Is a Foreign Country, Zareena Grewal explores some of the most pressing debates about and among American Muslims: what does it mean to be Muslim and American? Who has the authority to speak for Islam and to lead the stunningly diverse population of American Muslims? Do their ties to the larger Muslim world undermine their efforts to make Islam an American religion?... » read more
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