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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup (October)

[Heiress Dorris Duke's home in which she collected Islamic art from around the world, now operated as the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts. Image by Erin Williamson/Flickr] [Heiress Dorris Duke's home in which she collected Islamic art from around the world, now operated as the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts. Image by Erin Williamson/Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating about Islam and reflects a wide variety of opinions and approaches. It does not reflect the views of the Critical Currents in Islam page or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Saturday night of every week.]

Art and Science

How LA's Islamic art shows might expand our 'Middle East' vision The Islamic art exhibits organized by the Department of Cultural Affairs in Los Angeles is showcases different views of Islam that humanize Muslims. The art is from across time and location 

Take a tour of Muslim youth culture through 'Rebel Music' PBS reports on a new book by Hisham Aidi that focuses on global trend of Muslim youth expressing their identity and politics through music. Aidi argues that the spreading of this music, particularly hip-hop, has introduced different ideas and experiences to both Muslim and non-Muslim youth.

Saudi Overhaul Reshapes Islam's Holiest City Mecca Aya Batrawy reports on the most recent significant changes Mecca is undergoing. Batrawy reports that while there have been criticisms over the changes which have demolished historical neighborhoods and sites, the ruling Al Saud family views these changes as improvements enhancing the family’s prestige.

Toronto Opens North America’s First Islamic Art Museum Sarah Cascone writes on the opening of the Aga Khan Museum, the first Islamic Art Museum in North America, and the project’s patron. The museum, which was funded by Aga Khan, hopes to introduce Islamic art to a Western audience and contains art dating back a millenium.

Flag on Praying Muslim Player Was an Error, the N.F.L. Says NFL officials clarify that Husain Abdullah, a Muslim player for the Kansas City Chiefs, should not have been penalized for kneeling in prayer after scoring a touchdown.

Muslim Minorities and Minority Muslims

Demonstrators in Europe: IS Has Nothing to do With Islam  Deniz Serinci writes on thousands of people demonstrating against the Islamic State across several European cities. Those participating in the protests praised support for the United States’ efforts to combat the group and contend that the group is not representative of Islam.

French Muslims Protest Against Islamic State Inti Landauro reports on the “Not in My Name” campaign by Muslims in France to protest the Islamic State following the killing of a French national in Algeria by militants.

Christian and Jewish leaders campaign to support Muslim community Gabrielle Chan writes on “We’ll love Muslims 100 years,” an interfaith initiative in Australia to offer support to an alienated Muslim community. Organizers are seeking to reach out to Muslims following polarizing political debates on combating terrorism.

Violence, threats, prompt more Muslim women in Britain to wear a veil Reuters reports on several women who chose to wear the headscarf in the Britain. Citing a survey showing that the majority of women in Muslim minority countries choose to wear the veil, the article highlights that for several women this is a deliberate choice to publicly identify as Muslim in the face of attacks on people visibly identifying as Muslim.  

Muslim hate crime 'rises 65% in London' BBC reports in a sixty-five percent increase in hate crimes directed at Muslims in London over the past year.

Islamic, yet integrated The Economist writes on differences between Europe’s Muslim population and Muslims in the United States. The article concludes that both communities differ in number and origin as well as financial security. The American Muslim community is seen to be more successful at integration and is largely more successful, but resembles the country as a whole.

US banks suddenly close dozens of accounts, Muslim group suspects racial profiling RT reports on the closure of several US bank accounts belonging to Muslims, which led to complaints of prejudice to the US Department of Justice by a Muslim civil rights organization.

A Beautiful Glimpse Into The 'Hidden World' Of Young Muslim Women In China An art project by Giulia Marchi, “Call Her Fatimah--Musilin” captures Chinese Muslim women. Marchi uses a series of photos to illustrate the links between gender, ethnicity, and religion through everyday photos devoted young Chinese Muslim women, who are a sizable minority in China.

Belgium Burqa Ban: Brussels Officer Strips off Niqab from Qatari Princess Gopi Chandra Kharel reports on the incident in which the “Chief of Protocol” of Brussels forcibly removed a Qatari princess’s face-veil, which Belgium outlawed in 2012.

Political Islam

Islamic authority: Extremists no 'Islamic State' Dar el Ifta in Cairo has declared a campaign urging people to not refer to extremists in Syria and Iraq as the “Islamic State.” They contend that calling it the “Islamic State” perpetuates the wrong image of Islam.

Egypt Court Dissolves Muslim Brotherhood Party In early August, the banned Muslim Brotherhood had its assets liquidated as part of a continuing crackdown on the group.

Egypt court bans another Islamist party Al Ahram reports on an Egyptian court ban on the Istiqlal party over its cooperation with the Brotherhood-led National Alliance to Support Legitimacy (NASL) and following the arrest of the group’s founder on terrorism related charges.

Libya's Islamist Militias Claim Control of Tripoli Felicia Schwartz and Tamer El-Ghobashy report on the condemnation of European and US governments of violence between Islamist groups over control of Tripoli. The article also discusses the regional concerns and actions of Egypt and the United Arab Emirates over an Islamist controlled Libya.

How Qatar is funding the rise of Islamist extremists David Blair and Richard Spencer discuss the current conflicts in Libya and Syria among extremists and the failure of Britain and US hopes for a friendlier Middle Eastern regimes coming to power. Blair and Spencer point to funding from Qatari individuals and lack of a crackdown by the Qatar government as instrumental in sponsoring these extremist groups.

Indebted to America, Kosovo struggles to curb Islamist recruits Fatos Bytyci reports on the sense of indebtedness many Muslim Kosovars feel towards the United States for supporting their independence from Serbia. Bytyci also follows the trend of anti-Western and Islamists sentiments rising due to increasing poverty and corruption that has led to Islamists recruits to Middle East conflicts. 

Muslim Scholars Release Open Letter To Islamic State Meticulously Blasting Its Ideology Lauren Markoe writes on a detailed letter released by several Muslim scholars from around the world heavily citing Islamic scripture and tradition to refute the ideology of the Islamic State.

Jordan Plans Crackdown on Unauthorized Mosques to Combat Radical Islam Maria Abi-Habib reports on Jordan’s crackdown on unregistered mosques and imams as part of a national effort to combat radicalism. 

Azhar: the evolution of a beacon of moderate Islam Salma el-Shahed writes on the changing the history and standing of Al Azhar as an Islamic institution over the years. El-Shahed highlights a new constitutional clause that makes the university’s president no longer appointed, but rather elected by the Council of Higher Scholars, establishing a greater separation between the state and the religious institution.

Projects, Papers, and Books

Study: Muslims hate terrorism, too A new study released by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that Muslims in the Middle East are concerned with the rise in extremism and there are widespread negative opinions of Hamas, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda.

Americans' Attitudes Toward Muslims And Arabs Are Getting Worse, Poll Finds In a poll conducted by Zogby Analytics, Americans’ negative attitudes towards Muslims and Arabs is on the rise. The poll also finds that the majority of Americans feel that they do not know enough about Arabs or Muslims.

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