On May 29, 1915, a large group of Buddhists celebrating the festival of Vesak made its way through the streets of Kandy in central Sri Lanka. When the noisy procession — with its elephants, drummers and singers — approached a mosque, some Muslims hooted and hollered.
In response, some procession members attacked Muslims and the mosque, triggering nine days of riots across the country. By the end of the violence, 25 Muslims lay dead and more than 4,000 Muslim shops, houses and mosques were damaged or destroyed. This was the first of at least nine anti-Muslim riots in Sri Lanka over the last century, the most recent of which occurred this week.… Seguir leyendo »
In June 2014, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria branded itself as a caliphate. Over the past year, its catastrophic loss of population centers and governing infrastructure have prompted an avalanche of analysis on the next phase, projecting the group’s likely reversion to insurgency and terrorism.
But the organizational lens only captures part of the picture. The Islamic State’s success as a protostate and its future as an insurgent/terrorist group was and is fueled by a social movement that ensured a steady flow of adherents to execute its ambitions. Understanding the movement’s appeal is crucial to forecasting its future.
Extremism is built on identity — social parameters that define who is part of the movement and who is excluded, known as “in-groups” and “out-groups.” For extremists, these equate to friends and enemies, the saved few and the damned masses.… Seguir leyendo »
Last Friday was the first anniversary of the assassination of Jo Cox, the British member of Parliament who was killed by Thomas Mair, now serving life in prison for her murder. “This is for Britain,” he shouted as he stabbed and shot to death Ms. Cox, a 41-year-old Labour Party politician and mother of two, a week before the Brexit referendum. As shocking as this attack was, it did not come without precedent. In recent years, there have been noticeable upticks in far-right violence, even if its frequency and deadliness have often been overshadowed by the more high-profile attacks claimed by the Islamic State.… Seguir leyendo »