When do we call it terrorism?

Last week, Joseph Stack flew an airplane into an IRS building, killing himself. Stack left behind a suicide note  in which he outlined the reasons for his attack: political grievances against the United States government. After the attack, many news outlets hesitated to refer to Stack’s attack as “terrorism” and instead called it a “criminal act.” Even the Department of Homeland Security issued a statement saying that Stack’s attack was not a terrorist act.

While this distinction may not seem important to some, labels of acts now carry serious consequences from racial profiling on airline flights to all-out war. An obvious example of this is the War on Terror that resulted from the 9/11 terrorist attacks. When one compares the Stack story to other events, it appears that when a violent act is committed by a Muslim, there is no hesitancy to label it as terrorism, no matter what the circumstances. In light of Stack’s attack many are asking this question: when do we call an act of violence terrorism? Continue reading

Reza Aslan: Losing the ‘war on terror’

Reza Aslan

Dr. Reza Aslan joins us today on Inside Islam.

Today’s guest post is from Daily Beast blogger and author of How to Win A Cosmic War: God, Globalization, and the War on Terror Reza Aslan. If you’d like to learn more about his new book, see the interview posted today by Editor-and-Chief of  altmuslim Shahed Amanullah. Later this month, Dr. Aslan will return as a guest on Inside Islam’s radio series to be interviewed by host Jean Feraca. Feel free to comment at the end of today’s guest post, or send us an email with your thoughts for Reza before the radio broadcast on May 13 (3 pm CT). Jean may read your comments on the air.

Dr. Aslan’s earlier appearances on Inside Islam are available through the links below, followed by his guest post.

Continue reading

President Obama on Al-Arabiya

A while back on the Inside Islam radio series, host Jean Feraca repeated Colin Powell’s question, “What’s wrong with being Muslim?” During his campaign, Barack Obama refrained from addressing this question in relation to his own roots. Now as president, Obama is beginning to outline his administration’s efforts to reach out to the Muslim world. In a television interview on Al-Arabiya, an Arab news station, he discussed America’s next steps in the Muslim world and said:

Now, my job is to communicate the fact that the United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world that the language we use has to be a language of respect. I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries.

Part 2 of the interview is included below.

Continue reading

Islamic Finance and Ethical Banking Practices

Forbes reported this year that $500 billion in assets are managed according to Sharia, the laws that govern Muslims’ daily life, and the sector is growing. Trends like ethical banking, global Islamic bonds, and Muslim mortgages are attracting attention everywhere from Britain to Malaysia.

Continue reading

“Obsession” Video Sparks Online Debate over Muslims in the Media

“Obsession,” a film about “radical Islam’s war against the West,” is controversial both in its content and also because of its timely promotion just after the seventh anniversary of September 11, 2001, and weeks before the 2008 US presidential election. The film itself does not mention the presidential campaign and was actually produced back in 2006 by The Clarion Fund, a non-profit, making it illegal for the organization to take choose sides in campaign politics. On NPR critics of the film claimed producers and promoters of “Obsession” attempted to sway voter opinion in favor of John McCain.

Continue reading