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When Anum Hussain heard about the Boston Marathon bombing, she immediately panicked, worried that the culprits would be like her. The 22-year-old Muslim was in the offices of Hubspot, the Cambridge marketing-software company she works for.
This is an interesting article; place and context mediate cultural interactions. I can only imagine how incredibly difficult it would be to be a Muslim in the Boston area right now. This geographer wishes that everyone could feel safe everywhere.
Tags: terrorism, religion, Boston, Islam.
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A Muslim friend of mine went through hell in high school, and was often called a terrorist. People used to knock his books over in the hallways and took his religious cap from him. They would talk behind his back, mock his holy garb, and blame him for events such as the bombing of the twin towers on 9/11/01, which was ridiculous because he was not even a teenager at the time that event happened. He shall remain nameless for purposes of respect and privacy, but this allusion is in order to establish my opinion that if people had gotten to know more Muslims at a younger age, as I have in this case, they would not associate Muslims with terrorism in their first impressions with these people. My friend is a kind, musically inclined, and peaceful artist, and I am open to believing that these qualities reflect more accurately what Muslims are about, at least to me, than the negative connotations of dangerous radicals within that religious sect. It seems the media's portrayal of the truth is more important than the truth itself to many people, for it is weighted with shining gold credibility spoken through shiny white teeth on an HDTV screen in high resolution... not from upset protests by bearded, turban-clad Muslims, however innocent they may actually be. The Muslims that have wonderful qualities have been overshadowed not by the dangerous radicals, but by the extreme portrayals and labelings from the media.
Being from around the area and listening and watching the tv during the boston bombings all I really thought about was how the city and families were effected by the tragic event. However I never really thought about how it impacted muslim people in the area. For people to put a blame on all muslim people is not right. We are not all the same, which means not all muslims are the same. Some muslims have lived their whole lives in the US and for people to catogorize them all as terrorists isn't right. All people should be treated them same way. It is sad to read the article and think that some muslims in Boston walk around in fear of being beat up or killed just because of their culture. The bombings effected an entire city and muslim people people should be able to mourn with the rest of the city. They grew up there just like we did. So what makes them so different from me and you? Not all muslims are killers like the two boys from the bombings. It is really sad to me that they have to live their lives in fear everyday in a place that they call home, just because of their culture. No one deserves to live like that. I can't even imagine how difficult it is for muslim people in Boston.
Terrorism is a huge problem in our Country today. I'm not trying to racist saying this but I feel like they do it to themselves. Coming into our country and terrorizing our nation thats okay? Yes not every Muslim is a terrorist im not saying that but you never know if they are or not. Since 911 we cant trust anyone, and theres a reason for that. I understand that they should not have to feel any different then the average American but the past is what we all dwell on.
"This week's Boston Marathon bombing fit with the norm of U.S. terrorist events and threats in one important way: it occurred in a major city. American concerns about terrorism, however, seem to ignore that pattern...There’s a divide on people’s thoughts about terrorism. People that live in places most likely to be hit by terrorism seem the most sunny about the country’s anti-terror prospects and efforts. And those in rural places, are more concerned and pessimistic."
This article cites data from the PEW Reseach Center that implies that city dwellers seem to feel less dread about terror threats than their suburban and rural counterparts, despite the fact they live in the primary target zone (see full size infographic here--note that the data was assembled before the Boston Marathon attack).
Question to Ponder: Why are the Americans most vulnerable to terrorist attacks the least concerned with terrorism?
Tags: terrorism, statistics, USA, infographic, urban.
Tags: Syria, terrorism, Boston.
Balancing the interests of stakeholders in the Malian polity will be difficult, however some key steps should be taken.
This is a great article for give to students to provide them with the geo-political context to understand the situation in Mali. It also give a great reminder for observers and the involved parties to not lump all Tuareg civilians in the north with the Islamists groups that are in control. "This failure to consistently distinguish between different groups in the North by multiple stakeholders...portends longer term trouble." For additional reading, see this Geography in the News article on Mali, tailor-made for classroom.
Tags: Mali, Africa, political, conflict, war.
Problems in this area will only increase if the powers that be do not take the innocence of the civilian population into account. When trying to put down a terrorist insurgence it is imperative that a government tries to safe guard the population. If not it will only drive these people into the arms of the insurgents.
In collecting cartographic materials relating to the events of 9/11, the Library's Geography and Map Division is concentrating on documenting the role maps played in managing the recovery effort.
This page from the Library of Congress, hosted by the Geography and Map Division is a visually rich resources of geospatial images (aerial photography, thermal imagery, LiDAR, etc.) that show the extent of the damage and the physical change to the region that the terrorist attacks brought.
Tags: Mapping, geospatial, remote sensing, historical, terrorism.
KH: How has America changed since the attacks of September 11, 2001? We are still struggling to find a balance between saftey and civil liberties. The Patriot Act, prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, interrorgation techniques have all become parts of our lives.
The article asks the questions...
• Can the government listen to our phone conversations and read our e-mails without warrants?
• Should suspected terrorists at the Guantánamo prison in Cuba have the right to challenge their detention in court?
• How much power does the president have to search for and punish those accused of having terrorist ties?
• Are harsh interrogation techniques ever justified? And at what point do they become torture?
Do you remember a time when you could board a plane with friends or family seeing you off from the gate? Do you remember bringing liquids though security? The youth of this country do not. For more resources on September 11th, check out this scoop.it topic.
This book is a compilation of letters exchanged between two 18-year-old girls who live in Jerusalem: one Israeli and the other Palestinian. Having met through a student exchange program, they openly discuss their frustrations with the political situation of 2002, and over time come to appreciate the others cultural and political viewpoints. This is a great cross-cultural interaction as the girls show their misconceptions of the other group, but through open dialogue come to an appreciation for other perspectives. This would be a good project to have student read the book and synthesize the cultural and political elements within them to reinforce the class content with a real-world example.
The resources tab of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) webpage is a treasure trove of lesson plan materials for teachers. This particular link focuses on War and Terrorism, and provides resources to help teachers to educate their classes about the emerging geopolitical landscape. This is a set of over 30 lesson plans, articles, maps and resources that focus on the U.S. war in Iraq, terrorism, and other military incursions in the Middle East. Collectively they give geographic perspective on current events so students can understand more about the places in the world that they hear about in the news.
This must be a great teaching plan so students can be thought about what is going on in the world. It also shows them what is going on in Iraq and in the Middle East and it could probably trigger one of them to fight back and change the Middle East from all the discrimination towards women and probably destroy all these bad groups that just have a motive to destroy and kill.
How can political stability and security be measured? What constitutes effective governance? Foreign Policy, in conjunction with the Fund for Peace, has created a statistical ranking to measure the lack of effective political institutions. For the 4th year running, Somalia has been statistically measured as the most failed state on Earth. Chad and Sudan are respectively ranked as the 2nd and 3rd most failed states.The 12 metrics that are a part of this index are:
I wonder why it is difficult for states to be formed. I would think it would be great because the village people won’t be forced to make big decisions they can just hire someone to do it for them. But in the other hand there would be other people who will make it difficult for them and will ruin it for everyone else. Becoming a state can change there live. They should have approved to become a state.
TED Talks Why do transnational extremist organizations succeed where democratic movements have a harder time taking hold?
Globalization cut both ways. Maajid Nawaz discusses how social movements use ideas, narratives, symbols and leaders through borderless technologies, to create transnational identities. This has lead to highly sophisticated extremist organizations in Muslim-majority societies (and the speaker was a participant in that for 13 years). Isolated extremist are now globally connected. Given the Arab spring, how can these tools strengthen democratic social movements?
"Geographer Reece Jones discusses his recent book Border Walls, examining the history of how and why societies have chosen to literally wall themselves apart. He gives a brief history of political maps, how international lines reshape landscapes, and how the trend towards increased border wall construction contrasts with the view of a “borderless” world under globalization."
This 30-minute audio podcast is a great preview of Reece Jones' book Border Walls; and discusses many concepts important to political geography. The physical construction of barriers is an old practice (Great Wall of China, Hadrian's Wall), but those borders were the exceptions. The recent proliferatrion of walls to separate countries is dramatically reshaping our borders and impacting economics, politics, migration and other geographic patterns (How recent? Over half of the borders with walls and fences we see today have been constructed since 2000). Although walls are often justified as a means to prevent terrorism, most of the world's walls can best be explained as dividing wealthy and relatively poorer countries to prevent migration (download podcast episode here). You can also read his New York Times article on the same topic.
Tags: book reviews, podcast, borders, political, landscape, states, territoriality, sovereignty.
The Caucasus region, dominated by the imposing Great Caucasus mountain range and stretching between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea, has long been known as one of the world’s ethnically and linguistically most diverse areas.
After this weekend it has become glaringly obvious that many are painfully ignorant of the geography of Chechnya and the surrounding Caucasus Mountain region. This article from GeoCurrents discusses the linguistic diversity of the region and this Geography in the News article outlines the contentious geopolitical situation of Chechnya within the Russian Federation. Also, the Washington Post published an article entitled, 9 questions about Chechnya and Dagestan you were too embarassed to ask.
I do not post these materials to lay blame to an entire ethnic group, religion or region for the terrorists acts of two individuals. On the contrary, I post these articles because I find this to be a teaching moment where we as educators can clarify the geographic context of an unknown part of the world to our students. As we teach this context, quick labels and lazy narratives become harder to maintain and our students can become less prejudiced and critically think about the situation with greater depth and clarity.
Using this article helps to teach ourselves, students, and others about particular places in the world that are unknown or very little known. We can use articles such as this one to be less prejudiced and more apt to think about these places of the world in a different context rather than just a negative, terrorism-related one.
Most Americans had never heard Chechnya before the Boston bombing in April 2013. Now, most think that it is full of America-hating terriosts. However, Chechnya is so very complex and diverse a place, that it is ludacris to think that. Over 100 languages are spoken in the country. The southern half speaks languages such as Georgian, Svan and Mingrelian. Turkish, Iranian and Chechens are the languages you will probably hear in the North. Another misconception is that there are many Christians in Chechnya as well as Muslims. This country is made up of so many different groups, it is incredible.
It is amazing to consider such a small area (the size of New England) could hold such a vast area of languages. The mountainous region certainly helps in creating such diversity as it isolated villages from each other in the ages before modern communication and travel.
Terror in the United States have evolved since 1970: once the tool of left-wing radicals, then right-wing radicals, terrorist attacks are now uncommon, often unsuccessful, and not nearly as deadly.
While terrorism is being discussed in the media as a rising trend in the United States after the Boston Marathon, the statistics don't show that analysis to be true. This resources compiles maps, charts and graphs so you can evaluate the historical terrorist patterns for yourself.
Tags: terrorism, statistics, USA, media.
Acts of violence against Muslim Americans and their houses of worship have increased, especially in the weeks since Ramadan began this year.
Tags: religion, Islam, culture, conflict, terrorism, unit 3 culture.
The the United States, 9/11 is memorialized in our landscapes and is etched in our collective consciousness. This coming Tuesday is the anniversary and Teaching History has put together a host of teaching materials about the importance and impact of the terrorist attacks of Septemper 11th, 2001 on the U.S. and the world.
Tags: Landscape, terrorism, conflict, states, political, place, historical, unit 4 political.
(eTN) - The headline news in eTN about the takeover of Timbuktu by Islamists compels tourism stakeholders to think sincerely why such events are happening at the map of tourism? With the rebels, including Islamist factions preaching Sharia of ...
Tourism, with it's elements of geographical voyeurism, can be seen as a potent symbol of what many extremists are trying to eliminate. Also, it gets international attention in a hurry.
This chilling documentary outlines the historical genocide of Tutsi people predominantly by Hutu's in Rwanda during 1994. So often, students who have always lived within a society with effective political institutions are unable to see how such atrocities could even happen. This video lays the groundwork for understanding the disintegration of political institution within Rwanda, reasons the international community underestimated the threat, why the UN in 1994 (after Somalia) was not prepared to use forceful action and why westerners fled. In this state of lawlessness, the cultural tensions and colonial legacy lead to horrific killings. This genocide has no one reason, but a complex set of geographic contexts. This would be a powerful video to show students. WARNING: considering the content, there are necessarily depictions of death. To learn more about the documentary, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/
while watching this video i was reminded of the very good film Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle. The only difference is while Hotel Rwanda is based on a ture story, this is a real life look at what was hapening in this area. It was sad to see hwat was happening and all I could wonder was why no one decided to hel pthem.
Abshir Boyah, a pirate who says he has hijacked more than 25 ships off the coast of Somalia, says he will give up this career if certain terms are met.
What economic, cultural and political circumstances in the 21st century would allow for piracy to exist? What are the impacts of piracy on Somalia?
Much like the piracy in the Caribbean in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries it is done in order to gain wealth and by the looks of it, fame. They are called Pirate Kings in the video by the New York Times. Again much like the pirate kings of the Caribbean. Here however they are willing to give it up in order to better their country with the help of the internation community, the pirates of the Caribbean didn't have a country and they liked it that way. However, it was tried in the early 1990's to help allievate the food and humanitarian suffering. However the warlords of the time, especailly Aideed, saw their power, as well as their money, disappearing, so they fought this relief effort and kept Somalia in the dangerous situation it is in today. So you have to ask the question: Can you take the pirates seriously that they want to change?? Past history says no.
Sex and World Peace (9780231131827): Valerie M. Hudson, Bonnie Ballif-Spanvill, Mary Caprioli, Chad F. Emmett
I have not yet had the opportunity to read this book but feel that it touches on some of the core issues in geography today: gender, culture and political stability (plus, it's just a great title). The authors of Sex and World Peace explore the relationships between cultural norms regarding gender and political stability and war. They show that security for women translates to security for the state. According to the authors, they "compare micro-level gender violence and macro-level state peacefulness in global settings...[and] mount a solid campaign against women's systemic insecurity, which effectively unravels the security of all."
Written by geography, political science and psychology professors, Sex and World Peace is the synthesis of years of research produced as a part of the WomanStats project. For more about this ongoing project and the great database which they have produced (loaded with potential for student projects) see: http://womanstats.org