Planet Syria’s Call for Solidarity Answered

Planet Syria’s Call for Solidarity Answered

As the conflict in Syria wears on, activists and supporters continue to seek new and innovative ways to stay involved, stay hopeful, and promote awareness. One such non-violent awareness and solidarity campaign, which garnered global response, happened this past Tuesday, April 7th hosted by Planet...

It’s all Fun and Games

Pundits, senators, and even the President of the United States have all called for the need to counter violent extremism, a vague concept if ever there was one.  So how does one counter an ideology?  Many academics discuss the power of state narratives. Examples of state narratives as ideology can include positing Communism as the ideal good or the ultimate evil, democracy as the ultimate representation of freedom, and the Qur’an as the ideal moral guide for ordering government. Regarding violent narratives, such as those espoused by ISIS, there there is a simulation of unyielding and uncompromisable [im]morals attached to guns and swords. Countering violent ideologies through state-led narratives is an ultimately limited strategy for the United States, at least in the Middle East, because of our status as a Western state; meaning that the United States will always be viewed as propagating a foreign ideology and Western interests.  What other avenues does the United States have?

ISIS Massacres Dozens in Mabouja, Syria

News reports state over 44 people were killed by ISIS fighters in the Syrian Government held village of Mabouja, Hama Province before the Syrian Army was able to push them back using multiple airstrikes. The different sects have long co-existed in the village of Mabouja with a sizable population of minority Ismailis, Alawites, and Sunnis. Diverse areas such as the Salamiyeh region of Hama Province are highly vulnerable to attacks by religious extremists, such as ISIS, who view both minority religious groups and Sunnis who do not adhere to ISIS’s standards of interpretation of Islamic Law as heretics, non-believers or apostates. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights stated 37 of the casualties were civilians at the time of the report.