On Saturday video surfaced on YouTube and other websites which showed ISIS fighters destroying sculptures at Hatra. The voice-overs from several ISIS fighters contained the standard spiel about shirk, idolatry, and Muhammad destroying the idols of the Kaaba. The video was quickly removed, but I took some screenshots that will suffice illustrate the items which have been destroyed while leaving out the majority propaganda elements.
The good news is that the damage to Hatra is not as extensive was was first feared. The bad news is that more irreplaceable and unique Hatrene art has been damaged, threatening to further erase an already under-studied field.
As a scholar of media studies, Deepa Kumar knew her tweet comparing the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to the Islamic State (ISIS) was provocative. But the tweet, posted in March, didn’t stir up much controversy until recently, when it resurfaced on far-right blogs and on Fox News. Now Kumar, an associate professor at Rutgers University, is being flooded with hate mail and even violent threats. And unlike several others scholars who’ve been slammed in recent media reports for their controversial tweets, Kumar is speaking out against coverage she says is unfair.
“This is not the only case of a professor being targeted by Fox News and by the right – in fact, there’s a long history here of trying to silence and intimidate faculty who have dissenting opinions on the U.S. government and policies in the Middle East,” Kumar said in an interview. “The only way to push back and defend myself is to be public about it.”
Kumar, author of Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire, is a frequent critic of U.S. foreign policy, including on Twitter. And in March she posted the following tweet, linking to a report on the number of casualties resulting from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the post attracted some criticism from other social media users at the time. But it hardly made waves until Monday, when Fox News ran a segment on Kumar’s tweet. Several commentators criticized her rhetoric and questioned whether she should be teaching at a publicly funded university. The general consensus of the discussion was that Kumar’s comments were objectionable but protected speech.
But Kumar said the segment veered into a “smear campaign” when commentators erroneously asserted that Rutgers had revoked former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s 2014 invitation to deliver the commencement address amid intense criticism from faculty members, including Kumar. In fact, Rice backed out of her own accord – although, of course, under intense pressure. Fox commentators suggested that Kumar was a hypocrite for exercising her own free, controversial speech while attempting to stifle Rice’s. As proof, they referenced a 2014 tweet by Kumar saying “we won” in response to Rice’s withdrawal.
Kumar called the characterization of her participation in the campaign against Rice’s appearance inaccurate. She reiterated that Rutgers did not pull the plug on Rice, and said that she and other concerned faculty members didn’t want to block the George W. Bush-era secretary of state from coming to campus altogether. Rather, Kumar said they wanted to engage Rice in a more dialogue-based format than a commencement speech.
“They distorted a bunch of things about what I’ve said and done,” Kumar said of the commentators. “I had no objection to [Rice] coming as a guest speaker, but commencement speeches are not a venue for debate.” Within hours of the segment, Kumar started to receive hate mail – some of it forwarded to colleagues and administrators, as well. One email sent to dozens of Rutgers peers, for example, includes a number of racist and sexist slurs, and suggests that Kumar leave the country for Syria and endure “vaginal mutilation.”
Regina Marchi, a fellow associate professor in Kumar’s department, said via email that she and other faculty members “found the level of sexualized vulgarity and violence in the [note] extremely disturbing.” The role of a university professor, she added, “is to encourage critical thinking and diverse perspectives in order to foster the the kind of lively discussion and debate necessary for democratic deliberation. Professor Kumar’s tweet, which was from last March, was presented by Fox News with no context, making it impossible for the public to understand her larger arguments.” Marchi said Kumar’s colleagues support her right to free speech. But others outside the university have publicly criticized Rutgers for continuing to employ Kumar.
Kumar said she believes the commenters want to intimidate her into silence. She said she’s concerned about her physical safety and even her position at the university.
“They seemingly think they have the power to get us fired,” Kumar said of those who have contacted the university about her and other controversial professors elsewhere, “which I hope doesn’t happen.”
A Rutgers spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. As to why her tweet is coming to light now, Kumar said she was involved in a June conference for critical terrorism studies scholars that attracted lots of negative attention in the blogosphere. A slide from Kumar’s presentation, which she said was taken out of context, has been circulating since. And earlier this month, the far-right college life website SoCawlege published a piece on Kumar and her Twitter history.
If the story sounds somewhat familiar, it is. In May, for example, SoCawlege published months-old tweets about race by Saida Grundy, an assistant professor of sociology and African-American studies at Boston University. Fox News ran a story about Grundy’s tweets, leading to a similar controversy. And earlier this month, the University of Memphis announced that Zandria Robinson – the assistant professor of sociology whose tweets about race were compiled by another set of conservative blogs – was no longer employed there. (She left after she was hired by Rhodes College.)
Grundy and Robinson have stayed relatively quiet about their cases. But Kumar, who has tenure, intends to keep speaking out. She said she welcomes debate and engagement on the issues raised in her original post, but not intimidation.
أماگي هي كلمة سومريّة تعبّر عن تحرير أو عتق العبيد. و ترجمتها الحرفيّة تعني العودة إلى الأم ، نظرا لكون العبيد السابقين كانت تتم إعادتهم لأمّهاتهم ، أي أن يتم تحريرهم. و يعتقد بأنّها أول تعبير مكتوب عن مفهوم الحريّة
والرمز المسماري أماگي قد تمّ تبنّيه من قبل العديد من المجموعات ذات الإتجاهات الليبراليّة . كمجلّة مجموعة هايك في كليّة لندن للإقتصاد ، أكبر مجموعة طلاّب تحرّرية في أنگلترا تمّت تسميتها بإسم أماگي . وكما يستعمل هذا الرمز كشعار المعهد السياسي للحريّة في بيرو ، و نسخة أخرى هي العلامة التجاريّة لشركة النشر : مؤسّسة الحريّة في الولايات المتّحدة الأمريكيّة
Earliest-known written appearance of the word “freedom” (amagi), or “liberty” [was found in] a clay document written about 2300 B.C. in the Sumerian city-state of Lagash
According to Samuel Noah Kramer in From the Tablets of Sumer (1956), Lagash was the site of the first recorded social-reform movement. Once considered a relatively free society of farmers, cattle breeders, boatmen, fishermen, merchants, and craftsmen, the Lagashites found that a change in political power had stripped them of their political and economic freedoms and subjected them to heavy taxation and exploitation by wealthy officials
Sumerian historians believe that at this low point in Lagash’s history, Urukagina became the leader of the Sumerian city-state of Girsu/Lagash and led a popular movement that resulted in the reform of the oppressive legal and governmental structure of Sumeria
Although Urukagina’s reforms were short-lived, the oppressive conditions in the city before the reforms were recorded in cuneiform on several clay cones and an oval-shaped plaque excavated by the French in 1878. On the tablets of the period is found the first written reference to the concept of liberty (amagi or amargi, literally, “return to the mother”), used in reference to the process of reform
In northern Iraq, where soldiers are battling the self-declared Islamic State, or ISIS, one fiery singer is on a mission to stir up patriotic sentiment.
Crimson-haired Iraqi performer Helly Luv has a recording contract in the U.S., but she didn’t want to shoot her latest video in Hollywood.
Her track, called “Revolution,” is a tribute to the ethnically Kurdish soldiers known as peshmerga who are fighting against ISIS. So she took a video team to a front-line village, as bullets flew and battles raged.
“Yeah!” she tells me. “We shot the video right there, and it was so crazy.”
The video features a bejeweled Helly Luv — herself Kurdish — dancing in a traditional peshmerga outfit, and in a tank firing a shell.
“Rise up, ‘cause we’re so much stronger as one,” she sings in English. “Breaking the silence as loud as a gun. Brothers and sisters, we all come from one. Different religions, we share the same blood.”
Almasjid Alaqsa this morning after The Zionist forces have entered the mosque They hit women , they are not allowing to men under 50 age to enter the mosque only men who slept yesterday at the mosque are now trying their best to protect our mosque المسجد الأقصى صباح اليوم بعد أن إقتحمته القوات الصهيونية بذكرى خراب الهيكل المزعوم ، ضربوا النساء وحراس المسجد ، لم يسمحوا لمن عمره أقل من خمسين عاما من الرجال بالدخول للمسجد ، فقط من إعتكف من الشباب ليلة أمس يقوم الآن بحماية المسجد الأقصى المبارك
2016 Election Guide for Muslim Americans. Who Deserves Our Support?
According to the Pew Research Center, there are nearly 2.8 million Muslims in the United States, 2.3 million of whom are American citizens and have a political stake in the future of this country. For a lot of us who feel that our identities have become so politicized over the recent decades, we can’t help but be more and more aware of who our leaders are and what they’re saying about us. It’s important for Muslim Americans now more than ever to decide who will serve our best interests, if at all, and who we should vote for.
The focus of this post will be on the two most prominent Democratic candidates - Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders - because both appeal to minority voters like us through their inclusive economic and social policies. Using this as the foundation, Muslim Americans must now assess which contender exhibits more overall sensitivity to the issueswe specifically find important. This includes topics such as surveillance, prisoner rights, the Invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq, Palestine, Iran, drone strikes, and more.
US Foreign policy is particularly significant because many of us have personal and emotional relations to the countries of our parents and/or grandparents. America’s increased interest in the Islamic world also has deep implications for both Muslims across the globe and Muslim Americans at home.
It is therefore important to recognize that our vote doesn’t just affect our domestic lives but also the lives of Muslims worldwide who are profoundly impacted by US foreign policy. If we want any positive change then we must take this election and our participation in it very seriously.
I’m going to try my best to include a lot of issues that are relevant to Muslim Americans. Please contribute to this post if I am leaving anything out. I also recognize that there are many non-Muslim Americans, non-Muslims, and non-American Muslims who care about these topics so this post is also for you.
Lastly, I will also match both candidates up to every issue as much as possible so you can compare and contrast their policies. Other than that the structure of this post is pretty self-explanatory once you read through it.
Overall it’s up to you to decide who you want to support but wallahi exercise your right to VOTE.
I.) INVASION OF AFGHANISTAN, INVASION OF IRAQ, MILITARY INTERVENTION, & DRONE STRIKES
Don’t abstain from voting. This is a very flawed form of “political activism” and is actually advantageous to candidates who are more problematic than others.
Vote in the Primaries! There isn’t just one stage of voting!
I hope this entire post shed important insight on the two currently prominent Democratic candidates and allows Muslim Americans to make an informed decision on who they should vote for in 2016. Again, if I have left anything out then please contribute to this post.
I know Eid is a time of celebration, but I ask you to pray for the 200+ innocent Iraqis killed by Isis bombings on Eid and the dozens more that were wounded. As usual they targeted Shi'a majority areas. I don’t really care if you’re still in denial when it comes to Shi'a genocide and targeted killing, but I ask you to pray for their souls as human beings and for my entire country because everyone is suffering.