Islamic Fundamentalism, Islamism and Extremism – Introduction

islamism

“The mere fact of adherence to Islam has profound political consequences.” – Daniel Pipes, In the Path of God: Islam and Political Power.

The topic  of Islamic fundamentalism, Islamism, and extremism is being widely studied, discussed, and researched in academia, in almost all the top secular Western universities, parliaments, media, and communities. Its prominence came in the wake of the Oklahoma bombings and the 9/11 incident. The rise of attacks on the West and Western tourists visiting Islamic countries and the rise of Al-Qaeda and ISIL has shown new battlefronts emerging and new generations entering into conflict because of ideologies developed from the Quran. Even within Islam, there is no consensus over these ideologies. There is no clarity and many Muslims are increasingly getting radicalized by preaching they hear from radicals invited to preach in their mosques. What makes Muslims become suicide bombers or join ISIS? What drives them and motivates them to kill people with whom they have no personal issues? What lies behind the hatred of the West in many in Islamic societies? Does an average Muslim support extremists? [Read more...]

The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner took the YA world by storm in 2009, winning the New York State Charlotte Award, the Kentucky Bluegrass The_Maze_Runner_coverAward, the Oregon Reader’s Choice Award the New Hampshire Isinglass Teen Read Award, the Missouri Truman Readers Award, the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Award , the Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award, the Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award, the Georgia Peach Book Award , and the New Jersey Garden State Book Award. Dashner went on to write three more books in the series: The Scorch Trials, The Death Cure, and a prequel called The Kill Order.

As much as I enjoyed The Maze Runner, I grew increasingly uneasy as I read the remaining books. Please be aware there will be all kinds of spoilers as I offer some thoughts about the series.

A boy named Thomas wakes up in a village populated solely by other teenage boys. He doesn’t know who or where he is. He learns they all live in the middle of a maze that changes every day. Runners go out every morning attempting to map the maze, then return every night before mechanical monsters kill them (or at least make them wish they were dead). Somehow the maze is important, but no one knows why. [Read more...]

Frozen- The Eyewitness of “No Greater Love”

DISNEY-FROZEN-618-618x400Before I go into any content about this movie, I want to warn the reader that there are major spoilers in this post. A thorough examination of the message behind the movie is not the intention of this post, rather I want to focus on one important detail in the movie that has value for understanding the force behind the eyewitness testimony of Jesus’ disciples. If you have not seen Frozen yet, please do. The main force behind what is written below is best read in the context of having seen the film first. [Read more...]

The Song

TheSong - GiveLoveAChanceThe Song opens with Jed King at a crossroads. The musician son of a highly successful musician, the David King, Jed’s still playing small time gigs in local bars, and he’s ready to call it quits.

Enter Rose, the lovely daughter of a Kentucky vineyard owner. Rose is recovering from a lost dream herself. Her boyfriend dumped her because she refused to sleep with him without the wedding happening first. But she’s beautiful, bright, and – a rarity – virtuous. Jed is intrigued and goes into full pursuit. [Read more...]

Honor Living: How the Moral Absolutes Elevate Human Life

Omni-Mandalay HotelOn the evening of January 1st, 2008, at approximately 7:30pm, a call came in to the Irving, TX, 911 emergency response line. A female voice came screaming onto the line, “Help me … my dad shot me and now I’m dying!”

The caller was 17-year-old Sarah Said. She and her sister Amina, 18, had been shot multiple times in a taxi cab which had been abandoned at the service entrance of the nearby Omni Mandalay hotel. Amina was incapacitated instantly, but Sarah had been able to make this one call before the ninth shot unloaded into her body silenced her voice for good. It is believed with good evidence that the girls’ father, Yaser Abdel Said, an Egyptian-born Muslim who was working as a taxi-driver at the time, is the perpetrator. The girls, both of whom had American boyfriends, had previously fled home with their mother and had been resisting his plans to “sell” them as wives to men of his choosing in Egypt. Said has not been seen since, and is wanted by the FBI. [Read more...]