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"Jihad Jane": Some Links 
14th-Mar-2010 08:41 pm
hot chick
I've been following the Colleen LaRose indictment with only a quarter of an eye--while I'm interested in the politics of jihadist recruiting, I'm far more interested in the politics of non-violent Muslims and Arabs, substantially because I think our collective anxiety over the very few individuals who participate in this sort of politics ends up silencing the far bigger group of people who share identities or political stances with them, and who get ruled outside of the political field.

But as a discourse analyst, I couldn't help but find a whole bunch of what is being said about "Jihad Jane" interesting. (Note: when an academic says "interesting," at least 50% of the time it's a synonym for "fucked up.") Here are some random links, with my commentary.

Who'd You Rather? Jihad Jane or Irshad Manji - KABOBFest

Keeping in mind that KABOBFest's level of humor is generally at about this level of maturity, I do give this a hairy eyeball. The line "They’re both Muslim extremists, just in different ways" is interesting, though. And I'm amused by the commenter who says "While it's true that [Manji] looks like a Hindi Steve Erkel, it's usually the nerds that are freaks in the bed." I'm also confused that not a single person has mentioned that Manji's queer, which would strike me as, you know, relevant.

Neighbor: 'Jihad Jane' Was 'Weird, Weird, Weird Lady ... Across The Hall' - NPR

Key quote: "Newell's wife, Kristy, said LaRose talked to her cats all the time. But they never heard her discuss politics or extremist plots." I talk to my cats. Kind of a lot. Frequently in LOLCat. I hope that's not enough to get a terrorism investigation started these days.

Pennsylvania: "Jihad Jane" indicted for plotting to recruit jihad fighters and commit terror acts - JihadWatch

Oh, JihadWatch. If I were writing a bingo card for the comments, I'd make sure to include "open advocacy of violence," "derision at the idea that racial/ethnic/religious profiling is racist," and "attempts to rhetorically strip LaRose of her whiteness." I mean, Khaleen? Really? (Which wouldn't even be homophonous with Colleen, FYI.)

The ‘Jihad Jane’ Case vs. Racial Profiling at Airports - Washington Independent

For JihadWatch, what the LaRose case proves is that profiling does work--we need to profile Muslims to prevent terrorism. For Spencer Ackerman at The Washington Independent, it means profiling does not work--LaRose was specifically recruited to help avoid detection, because she doesn't 'look like' a Muslim. (This ThinkProgress piece takes the same line, and also includes a bunch of pro-profiling quotes that make me want to slap people.) Interesting that the same event and details could be used to 'prove' both sides of the same argument.

Three crucial questions in the 'Jihad Jane' case - Christian Science Monitor

Key Quote: "Born in Michigan, raised in Texas, living in Pennsylvania, LaRose may have had no contact with actual Muslims prior to professing a willingness to die for their cause in electronic messages." This is what interests me about her; I'm not convinced, from what I've seen, that LaRose is actually a Muslim in any doctrinal sense--that she'd taken shahada, studied Islam in an organized manner, prayed at a masjid, anything. What did Islam mean to her? Why was it the road to resisting the trials of her daily life that she chose?

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