September 6, 2012
Lest we forget — let’s not get too carried away this election season. Our problems are bigger than Republicans vs Democrats.

Lest we forget — let’s not get too carried away this election season. Our problems are bigger than Republicans vs Democrats.

July 6, 2012
ICYMI - new at The Revealer

I’ve been a busy bee, but my colleagues at The Revealer have been writing more than me!

Rethinking Mali’s Political Culture | Jun 28 | by Alex Thurston

The MNLA and Ansar al Din have dominated the headlines about Mali this spring and summer. But how have other Malian Muslims reacted to the crisis in the north, and to the partial “Islamization” of the conflict by Ansar al Din?

The First Draft of History: Wire Agency Reporting in Egypt | Jul 2, 2012 | by Maurice Chammah

The editors weren’t pleased. It was too complex…It would be easier, they decided, to frame the story as one of religious hatred.

Intersections of Religion and Media: Interviews | Jul 2, 2012

S. Brent Plate interviews Jolyon Mitchell, Rianne Subijanto, Diane Winston, J. Kwabena Asamoah-Gyadu, Benjamin Dorman and Stuart Hoover.

Missed Opportunities: a review of “Arab Media” | Jul 5, 2012 | by Narges Bajoghli

It’s true that mass media have been used (and still are, in some contexts) as a means of social engineering. Nonetheless, we must complicate our understanding of the hegemony of state-controlled media.

June 11, 2012
Schooling Muslims in Northern Nigeria: Politics, Policies and Conclusions

New from Alex Thurston for The Revealer, June 6:

In March, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan launched a policy of opening religious schools for Muslims in Northern Nigeria. The policy came in response to the militant movement Boko Haram, which has been burning government primary schools in Northern Nigeria as part of its campaign of violence against the government, Christians, and other designated adversaries. Government officials suspect Boko Haram, whose name is often literally translated “Western education is Islamically forbidden,” of using some Islamic schools as recruiting centers, and of drawing recruits from Northern Nigeria’s large population of itinerant, and often desperately poor, Qur’anic students (Hausa: almajirai, singular almajiri). Government-run Islamic schools, then, are to be a source of “counter-radicalization” as well as a means of moving almajirai into more “productive” schools. But the policy is unlikely to succeed.

Read the full article here.

March 28, 2012
"A black body in public space must presume its own guilt and be prepared to present a rigidly controlled public performance of docility and respectability."

Trayvon Martin: What It’s Like to Be a Problem | The Nation

Melissa Harris-Perry delivers an eloquent and insightful discussion on race and public space in America.

Trayvon Martin was not innocent. He was guilty of being black in presumably restricted public space. For decades, Jim Crow laws made this crime statutory. They codified the spaces into which black bodies could not pass without encountering legal punishment. They made public blackness a punishable offense. The 1964 Civil Rights Act removed the legal barriers but not the social sanctions and potentially violent consequences of this “crime.” George Zimmerman’s slaying of Trayvon Martin—and the subsequent campaign to smear Martin—is the latest and most jarring reminder that it is often impossible for a black body to be innocent.

Read the full article here

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