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Aslan explores religious identities, Islam and ISIS

first_imgMichael Yu | The Observer Reza Aslan speaks in the Jordan Auditorium of the Mendoza College of Business on Thursday night.“You are, according to the FBI statistics, more likely to die from faulty furniture, than to be killed by a terrorist. You are more likely, in this country, to be shot by a toddler than killed by a terrorist,” Aslan said. “However, we cannot dismiss this fear by calling it irrational, we must recognize it and we must confront it.”According to Aslan, one percent of Americans identify themselves as Islamic, while 73 percent of American’s identify as Christian. The prominence of a religion in any state makes it easier to dissociate violent acts with religion, he said.“We live in a country where, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 73 percent of [people] consider themselves Christians,” Aslan said. “When you live in any kind of society where you are surrounded by Christianity in all its diversity, it becomes very easy to dismiss fringe versions of Christianity.“It is much easier to disconnect that behavior with the religion of Christianity. When we see acts that represent the fringe of Islam, as we are not familiar with normative Islam, we are unable to dissociate it with the religion.”According to Aslan, there are two typical responses to Islamic extremism; the first is “Islam is not like that,” and the second is, “Islam is exactly like that.” However, Aslan said both these answers are incorrect.“I understand the impulse of any community of faith when confronted with extremists to say ‘that is not us,’” Aslan said. “But this is wrong. It is incorrect because a Muslim is whoever he or she says is a Muslim. Those who act violent in the name of Islam — we must take that seriously.”Aslan emphasized that all religions have violent fringe groups. He credits this to the rise of religious nationalism around the world. According to Aslan, the failure of secular nationalism led to this religious nationalism.Aslan also made a distinction between Islamism and Jihadism. He noted that these terms are often used interchangeably, there is a remarkable difference between them. Aslan defined Islamism, as a type of religious nationalism, that most contained within the borders of a pre-determined state.In contrast, he defined Jihadism is transnational, yet anti-national. According to Aslan, Jihadists do not want to create an Islamic State, Jihadists want to rid the world of states in general, and re-organize the global as a single world order under their control.“There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what we mean when we say religious. We get caught in this polarization,” Aslan said. “Religion, it’s important to recognize, is not just an order of belief and practices. Religion, above all us, is a matter of identity.“It’s about how you are, how you identify yourself in an indeterminate world,” Aslan said. “It is not a faith statement; it is an identity statement.”Tags: Dean’s Fellows, ISIS, Reza Aslan According to Reza Aslan, more than 49 percent of American’s are scared of becoming a victim of terrorism.Aslan, an internationally acclaimed writer and scholar of religions, spoke on campus yesterday in a lecture titled “Islam and ISIS” hosted by the Dean’s Fellows of the College of Arts and Letters. The lecture, in which Aslan tackled the topics of religion and violent extremism, attracted to many students that there were more than four filled overflow rooms to accommodate those who would not fit in the Jordan Auditorium in Mendoza.last_img read more

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Pro Franchises

first_imgI decided to look up the top professional franchises in the world.  I was not surprised when the number 1 franchise was listed as the New York Yankees.  They have had 27 World Series Championships.  No one else in baseball is even close.  The second most popular franchise won’t surprise soccer fans.  It is the Manchester United Football Club of Manchester, England.  They have won 19 titles, 11 football association cups, and account for 5% of the world’s paid attendance.  Third place goes to the LA Lakers with 16 NBA championships and the most playoff appearances by any professional teams.  In fourth place are the Montreal Canadians of the NHL.  They have won 24 Stanley Cups and have 61 of their former players in the Hockey Hall of Fame.  The final franchise in this listing is the Pittsburgh Steelers.  They have achieved the most Super Bowl wins.  They were in the Super Bowl 8 times and came out with 6 championships.After the above listing, the next 5 were highlighted by what Americans would refer to as Soccer Clubs.  However, everywhere except in the United States these are referred to as football teams.  Tomorrow I will list the top sports in attendance  figures for 2013.last_img read more

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Fuming Rooney set to leave United

first_img Press Association Wayne Rooney’s Manchester United career appears to be over. The offending words were delivered to Sunday newspaper journalists during a briefing with Moyes in Bangkok last week. Moyes said: “Overall, my thought on Wayne is that if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie we are going to need him and I want as many options as possible.” It has been widely interpreted as Moyes stating he regards Rooney as an understudy to the prolific Dutchman. And understandably, that has gone down very badly. A source close to the situation has highlighted Rooney’s unhappiness. As far as the 27-year-old is concerned, he is at the peak of his career and has no intention of playing second fiddle to anyone, or being reduced to the ranks of becoming a squad player. With four Premier League titles and a Champions League winners’ medal to his name, Rooney does not believe he has anything to prove at United. Yet he feels as though he has been put on trial by Moyes at a time when he should be concentrating his efforts on recovering from the hamstring injury that saw him sent home from United’s pre-season tour within hours of landing in Thailand on Thursday. “Wayne is confused and angry”, said the source. United are aware of Rooney’s feelings and once Moyes and chief executive Ed Woodward wake up on Wednesday morning in Sydney, they will come under pressure to clarify their own position. Woodward himself added fuel to the fire by insisting there were no plans to sit down with Rooney and discuss an extension to his £250,000-a-week contract, which still has two years to run. “No contract renewals are being discussed,” said Woodward while United were in Thailand. “I am not sitting down with any player on an extension and there is no trigger date in the diary. “Would we be afraid to run a contract down? Of course not.” It represents the first major test for Moyes and Woodward, who both took over their new roles on July 1 following the exits of Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill respectively. Rooney’s future has been the subject of intense speculation throughout the summer, triggered initially by Ferguson leaving him out of the Champions League knockout clash with Real Madrid in March. Ferguson subsequently claimed Rooney had asked to leave United, something the player vehemently denies. It was widely assumed if Ferguson had remained at the helm, his relationship with Rooney had been damaged beyond repair. Moyes has adopted a more conciliatory tone and has continuously stuck by the club position of Rooney not being for sale. “Unless I was speaking double Dutch last week,” said Moyes on Friday ahead of United’s surprise defeat to Singha All Stars, “we said Wayne Rooney is not for sale.” That statement was a response to the cheeky assessment of the situation by Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho earlier in the day. “From an ethical point of view I can not speak about other team’s players,” Mourinho had said in a press conference immediately after his arrival in the Thai capital. “But I won’t speak with hypocrisy. It’s not in my nature. I always speak what I think. “He is a player I like very much but I can’t say much more. He is fast and direct and I like him. But he is a Manchester United player.” In an interview with the BBC, Mourinho added: “If Wayne is a second choice for Man Utd, then the national team will be affected.” Attempts at reconciliation will not be helped by the geographical distance between the two parties. Woodward is due to return home following Saturday evening’s encounter with the A-League All Stars at ANZ Stadium. However, Moyes will not be back in England for another week as United still have two matches in Japan and one in Hong Kong, on July 29, before their tour reaches its conclusion. Yet it would take an incredible piece of man-management for Rooney to be pulled round now. Both Chelsea and Arsenal have been linked with the player, in addition to PSG, yet United have made it their business never to sell a key player to any rival club. Whether that stance can be maintained in the current climate is open to some considerable debate. Press Association Sport understands Rooney is fuming at comments made by United manager David Moyes at the weekend which suggested he was now regarded as a second-choice striking option behind Robin van Persie. Rooney has taken that as a personal slight on a player who has given nine years’ service to the Old Trafford cause and is “angry and confused” about his treatment. last_img read more

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