Show 510: Islamophobia, ISIS, Hamas, & the Politics of Empire

Islamophobia, ISIS, Hamas, & the Politics of Empire w/ Deepa Kumar

A few days ago marked the 13th anniversary of the attacks on America on September 11th, 2001. Among the still many unanswered questions concerning politics, religion, and the nature of global violence — at least for Americans and some Europeans — is what role Islam has played in all of this? That is, it is assumed Islam is different, somehow, from other major religions because it was founded as a warrior religion and seems to be immune to the liberalization process other religions tend to have gone through.

But of course, religion can not be separated from the people who practice it, and thus there have been many racial undertones and overtones to the debates. Even in the atheist and otherwise secular world, many condemn and blame Islam far more than they condemn and blame Western Imperialism, geopolitics, or economics… And this has once again taken hold of the Western imagination with the recent battle between Israel and Hamas, and the brutal actions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, better known as ISIS.

Today, new host Abby Davenport, will discuss these topics with a guest who we’ve had the pleasure to talk with on Equal Time in the past, Deepa Kumar. Deepa Kumar is an Associate Professor of Media Studies at Rutgers University; and is affiliated faculty with Middle Eastern Studies and graduate faculty in the Sociology department. She is a public speaker and has spoken at dozens of university and community forums on a range of topics: Islamophobia, Political Islam, US foreign policy in the Middle East and South Asia, the Arab Spring, women and Islam etc. She has shared her expertise in numerous media outlets such as BBC, The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Philadelphia Inquirer, St. Louis Post Dispatch, Hurriyat Daily News (Turkey), Al Jazeera and other national and international news media outlets.

Today we will be discussing current events in light of her latest book, Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire.

Show 382: Secular Art W/ Global Perspective w/ Aladdin Ullah

This week, Aladdin Ullah will perform excerpts of his one-man show, Indio, which follows his travels from his childhood home in the projects of Harlem to the childhood home of his parents in Bangladesh.  This surprisingly hilarious show deals with the ache of displacement, the contrasts as well as the commonalities of oppressed people on different sides of the globe, and a unique perspective on religion as it takes shape in different cultures.

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Show’s 335: A World Without Islam

A World Without Islam w/ Graham Fuller

Is Islam a religion of Peace as many Muslims argue?

Is Islam, and other religions, really what poisons everything, as many atheists argue?

Can we answer the ‘chicken and egg’ question as regards religion and political economy?

How should we best understand and heal the violence done in the world today in the name of God?

Equal Time for Freethought had the privilege of speaking with former vice-chair of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA, Graham Fuller, on his new book: ‘A World Without Islam.’ We aired excepts of this interview on our Fund Drive Program a few Tuesdays ago, and thought it important enough to play in its entirety for our regular listeners.

*This program aired in two parts on 11/7 & 11/14 in 2010

Show 331: Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State

Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State

On Saturday, we will be airing a special one-hour program on the global rise in religious fundamentalism and in particular the political revolution and/or rebellion of groups who seemed defined by their religion against the industrial nations whether capitalistic or s0-called communistic.   What are the motives of these groups?  Why have they become so numerous over the last 4o years?  Does religion act as the catalyst, cause, or as a tool for these uprisings?  And, how do those nations best deal with the violence these groups target them with, while finding new ways to prevent these uprisings in the first place?

To speak to these questions and more, we will have on the line sociologist Mark Juergensmeyer, author of Global Rebellion: Religious Challenges to the Secular State, from Christian Militias to Al Queda.  Juergensmeyer is an American scholar and writer best known for his studies of religious violence and global religion.  He also has written on conflict resolution and on South Asian religion and society, and has been a pioneer in the field of global studies.

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Show 328: “911: The Day that Changed Everything?”

“911: The Day that Changed Everything?” w/ Deepa Kumar

It has been 9 years since the terrorist attacks on two cities in the US, that – at least according to the ruling classes – changed the world forever.  Certainly, these passing years have indeed changed the lives of many.  Many lives have been lost, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan, American families have lost or welcomed home maimed and distraught young men and women from the Middle East, the American Left has been even more marginalized than before, despite an early, strong resistance to the Iraq invasion back in 2003, and tensions have been drawn between people of differing religions (and the non religious), not the least of these being, of course, Muslims here and abroad.

Every year since 911 – particularly with the vicious and sometimes delusional attacks on President Obama – fear and hatred of Muslims everywhere has grown to dangerous proportions, culminating thus far in a major protest over a  proposed Muslim Center near Ground Zero, to planned Koran burnings in Florida by a Christian Pastor. What is going on here, and can it be stopped before we have a full-fledged disaster on our hands? And can the Left find a voice in these deeply troubling times when those who seem to be heard the loudest – and who have genuine concerns we on the Left share – are taking their cues from the radical right?

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Show 165: Robert Dreyfuss on How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam

Devil’s Game: How the United States Helped Unleash Fundamentalist Islam

“I wrote Devil’s Game to fill in a gap amid the millions of words that have been written about political Islam and U.S. policy since September 11, 2001.

“It’s the story before the story, and it helps answer the question: How did we get into this mess? It’s my contention that part of the answer to that question, at least, is that for half a century the United States and many of its allies saw what I call the “Islamic right” as convenient partners in the Cold War.

“I approached this book not as an historian, but as a journalist. A great deal of it is based on scores of interviews with men and women from the State Department, the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. military, and the private sector who participated in many of these events. And I relied on dozens of published works. Most of the sources I interviewed are quoted on the record, and virtually every fact in the book is footnoted…” – Robert Dreyfuss

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