Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, is a former cop who now often consults with law enforcement. He studies all sorts of movements -- neo-Nazis, the violent fringe of the environmentalist movement, jihadis. "I could care less politically where someone is at," he says. "What I look at is, is this entity an entity that promotes extrajudicial violence? Is it an entity that promotes falsehoods and bigotry? Is it an entity that regards itself as removed and hostile towards the institutions and processes of democracy?"
In The New York Times today, Nader Nadery and Haseeb Humayoon take the United States to task for sidelining the issue of women’s rights in Afghanistan. Nadery, a member of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, and Humayoon, who has consulted for NGOs working in Afghanistan, cite the brave girls who returned to school after being disfigured in acid attacks in Kandahar and the similarly valiant women who protested restrictive new legislation in Kabul this week. “They don’t fear much — except that the world might abandon them,” they write.
On Feb. 6, 2007, two women, both of whom had been circumcised in Africa, met in the conference room of a small foundation on Fifth Avenue in New York City for a highly unusual debate. It was the fourth annual International Day of Zero Tolerance of Female Genital Mutilation, an occasion for events across the globe dedicated to abolishing the practice. The gathering drew about 30 women, half of them African immigrants from countries including Senegal, Sudan, and Kenya, where female circumcision is common. Several of them were shocked to realize that, despite the name of the event, this wasn't so much a discussion about how female circumcision can be eradicated as about whether it should be.
A newly leaked Department of Homeland Security warns, quite sensibly, that the “economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment.” Many people who study the right have been expecting exactly that. The 1980s farm foreclosure crisis in the Midwest did much to spawn the Posse Comitatus movement, a progenitor of the milita movement.
Like many writers with a new book out, I’ve been obsessively charting the vicissitudes of my Amazon.com sales ranking. Until a couple of days ago, when the ranking disappeared. At the same time, the hardcover version of my book stopped coming up in searches, although the Kindle version still did.