The art of Jihad, detained on honeymoon and Britain's first liberal Mosque

 image: flickr Geoff Livingston

image: flickr Geoff Livingston

Welcome to this week's roundup of what's in the media.

A book The Art and Social Practices of Militant Extremists has recently been published. The book describes daily life for Jihadis. It describes their poetry, music, emotional sensitivity as well as guidance gained through dreams.  The author of the book, Hegghammer, started being interested in this subject in 2001, soon after the 9/11 attack was carried out in New York and this research has been his passion ever since. The book gives an insight into "more than bombs and doctrines. It is also about rituals, customs and dress codes. It is about music, films and storytelling. It is about sports, jokes, and food.”  

Jihadists did a lot of things seemingly at odds with their brutal image: weeping, writing and reciting poetry, singing, recalling and interpreting dreams, perfecting their manners and taking an inordinate interest in their appearance.
— https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/23/the-culture-that-makes-a-jihadi-thomas-hegghammer-interview-poetry-militancy

As well as dealing with what Jahadis do in their down time there is also a discussion about their religious knowledge and motivation.

“They’re not real Muslims” is now a set response to any atrocity committed in Islam’s name. It’s an understandable, perhaps even commendable impulse, but it suffers from the great disadvantage of being factually wrong.
— https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/23/the-culture-that-makes-a-jihadi-thomas-hegghammer-interview-poetry-militancy

A couple have been detained on honeymoon "because the groom is Muslim". After paying £7000 for a dream trip to LA, Las Vegas and Hawaii, the couple were detained on arrival in America. After being held for questioning - a process they believed would take ten minutes but took 26 hours, their luggage and phones were confiscated. They were then handcuffed and put on a plane to return to the UK.  They can only conjecture that they were refused entry because the groom originates from Turkey but is in reality a British citizen. The US embassy has so far denied that people are barred from entry on grounds of faith.

‘We believe that since Trump was elected, they took one look at his name, thought he was Muslim and didn’t let him in.’
— http://metro.co.uk/2017/07/25/couple-detained-on-honeymoon-because-the-groom-is-muslim-6803939/

54 year old feminist Seyran Ates, accompanied by close protection officers, visited London this week. Seyran, who has had police protection since 2006, founded a liberal Mosque in Berlin and would like open the first liberal Mosque in Britain. Despite receiving death threats she would like to open a Mosque where men and women, people of any race, as well as LGBT Muslims, and Muslims from all strands of Islam are able to pray together. She also takes a tough stance on headscarves and when the Mosque in Berlin first opened women wearing headscarves were not admitted.  Egypt's Islamic body has declared such an approach incompatible with Islam, the Turkish religious authority has called it an experiment to ruin religion, whereas Labour peers in the UK support her concept of an inclusive Mosque.

“I’m not alone with this idea. It is a movement, it’s a revolution,” she told the Guardian. “I may be the face of the liberal mosque, but I alone am not the mosque. We have millions of supporters all over the world.”
— https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jul/26/seyran-ates-muslim-feminist-liberal-mosque-london-britain

For more about differences between Muslims check out Nabeel Qureshi's vlog. I'll leave the last word to him. 

You have many differences among Muslims. If you just see Muslims as a monolithic set of people, chances are you haven’t spent any time with real Muslims- because you’ll realize they are all different.
— Nabeel Qureshi