A Muslim walks into a bar on a Friday night. The set-up already alludes to a preposterous story but bear with me. It's a good one. Said Muslim sits down and gets chatting to a well-meaning gentleman. The conversation flows as follows...
Over the past weeks and months, the world has been witness to the tragic destruction of historical sites across Iraq - both secular and religious. The most recent attacks on humankind's shared civilisation saw ISIS destroy the ancient cities of Nimrod and Hatra.
Forget about the millions missing Top Gear, the BBC are expecting record viewing figures for another programme next Monday (March 30): a made-for-television film about the life of Noah, with David Threlfall playing the lead role and moving from shameless to righteous.
It's worth remembering that the vast majority of horror-show videos from Syria in the last four years have shown atrocities coming from the government side. It seems we need a jolt to remind us of this. A "killer stat" (literally) like Ghadbian's. A sort of lightbulb moment. We need to shine a light on Syria.
After the rejection by the British Parliament of intervention against Assad, he has been given free rein to destroy Syria and its people, creating devastation, chaos and a power vacuum. Into that gap stepped Islamic State, Iran and the Shia militias which have committed brutal and widespread crimes of their own.
It is a rich and nuanced piece touching on all the points that the arrival of ISIS has raised in Syria and Iraq. Typos aside, this is an important contribution to the emerging literature on ISIS and will surely be on any academic reading list for years to come.
The European Parliament has a very critical role. Not only as the co-legislator, but also in the social response needed in order to promote tolerance and fight anti-Semitism and Muslim-bashing.
Words can't describe the horrific and inhuman acts taking place in the name of religion by Islamic State, also known as ISIS. The brutal beheadings, the tortured deaths, the horrific treatment of children and raping women is a copy of what the Mughals did to the Sikhs during the 15th Century.
Rape needs to be understood as a crime of violence against women as women, not as offences the property 'rights' of husbands or families nor a symbolic assault upon the identity a the enemy... A world without rape must start from the respect for women's rights over their own body: in war and peace.
While there has been deliberate targeting of minorities, including Christians and Yazidis, it is clear that acute need exists among people from all religious backgrounds. An estimated 2.2 million people have been displaced across Iraq in the last year and 5.2 million require humanitarian assistance.
With so much attention on the young girls flocking to join ISIS from the UK and elsewhere, surely a message like Jiya's that empowers girls and stands up to extremism should be spread.
Modern Britain has a problem with Islam. This may not come as much of a surprise to some readers. For many in Britain, Islam is considered an isolating force, and its followers are somehow externalised from British identity, regardless of their birthplace or what passport they hold...
With counter terrorist units at airports struggling to cope with workloads that have doubled, they also have to attempt to fill the gaps left by the absence of outbound border controls. Too few officers and too many flights make this a near hopeless task.
It is inevitable that the Western world is still recovering from the horrific images of British aid workers and American journalists being beheaded in orange jump suits, by a masked executioner with a London accent. But as difficult as it may be, there must be a genuine attempt in creating a nuanced approach to understand what leads individuals like Adebolajo and Emwazi to resort to such extreme measures.
The shocking news of three mid-teen girls from east London missing on 17th February and boarding a Turkish Airline flight from Gatwick to Istanbul, most probably on their way to join ISIS in Syria, has decimated their parents and stunned local communities. Safeguarding and well-being of children is of highest priority for any civilised society.
Perhaps the so-called "radicalisation" of these schoolchildren has more to do with being groomed, or acting out to be a rebel, as opposed to well-thought-out politicised acts. The societal/familial background contribute just as much to their actions, something that is entirely overlooked in debates surrounding the radicalisation of British Muslim youth.