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Ed Webb

Blaming Islam for ISIS: A convenient lie to prepare us for more war | Middle East Eye - 0 views

  • We can’t defeat ISIS if we misrepresent what and who ISIS actually is. Far from being the apocalyptic Islamist group that Wood contends they are, actual IS documents and blue prints reveal IS to be methodical state builders, led by secular Baathists – who aim to restore Sunni-Baathist power in Iraq. These documents also make clear that Saddam’s former generals (anti-Islamists) use Islam as a recruitment tool. “They [ISIS founders] reasoned that Baghdadi, an educated cleric, would give the group a religious face,” notes the German newspaper Der Spiegel.
  • recruits are drawn to ISIS for reasons that have little to do with extremist Islam. “They are woefully ignorant about Islam and have difficulty answering questions about Sharia law, militant jihad, and the Caliphate,”
  • the media welcomes only those who blame Islam or “radical Islam” and not those who speak to the conditions that make ISIS appealing
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  • blaming Islam makes us feel good about ourselves. Blaming Islam is good for television ratings. Blaming Islam makes it easier to sell new wars
Ed Webb

This Intifada Will Be Digital - The Black Iris - 0 views

  • In these 15 years, we went from an era where mainstream media dominated the narrative, to an era where social media dominates it. This isn’t a time when the mainstream sees the online as a playful mechanism of democratized media (or an opportunity to present their brands as participatory), but a time when the mainstream is chasing down leads from what circulates online. And the region’s people now have the power to shape the narrative (whether we’ve fully realized it or not).
  • Internet user growth in the region has gone up by 6,091.9% between 2000 and 2015
  • Arabic is now the fourth biggest language on the Web after English, Chinese and Spanish
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  • as a Jordanian, I was part of what I personally believe to be the final generation that actually gave a damn what the government did or did not do. Our relationship with the state was like our relationship with a television – a one-way communication channel, where we are on the receiving end no matter how much we yell at the screen. And that was that
  • Like everyone else, I have no idea how this conflict will end. But I know that the Web will undeniably play a leading role – and that’s not something anyone could’ve imagined back in 1948. As yet another cycle of violence is upon us, that role is worth studying, and it’s that role that I find myself paying attention to the most.
Ed Webb

Arab autocrats use anti-IS Web war to stifle dissent: Report | Middle East Eye - 0 views

  • the region’s authoritarian leaders are using the threat of IS propaganda as a pretext to clamp down on online critics
  • “A spate of new anti-terrorism laws around the region have overly broad definitions of terrorism that fail to distinguish between speech that incites violence or promotes extremism and the type of free speech posted by online journalists and human rights activists.”
  • According to the Brookings Institution, a US-based think tank, IS and its supporters ran some 46,000 Twitter accounts last year
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  • “In the UAE, publicly declaring one’s animosity or lack of allegiance to the regime falls under the country’s broad definition of terrorism. Whereas in Saudi Arabia, the same applies to calling for atheist thought.”
  • Globally, internet freedom declined around the world for the fifth year running in 2015, with some governments changing tactics as Web users got better at by-passing state-run controls
  • More than 61 percent of Web users live in countries where criticising the government, military or ruling family is censored online, the report said. Another 58 per cent live in countries where people can be jailed for sharing political, social or religious content online
Ed Webb

Egypt TV host uses video game to show Russian air raids - Al Jazeera English - 0 views

    Moussa is a persistent pro-government troll and real stain on Egyptian journalism
Ed Webb

The State of Reporting on the Middle East: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with C... - 0 views

    Well worth listening to the conversation between experienced observers of the region, and of those reporting on it.
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