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Quick note pending review: Tim Furnish

Monday, January 18th, 2016

[ by Charles Cameron — slowed down by health issues, but getting there ]

furnish x 2

A quick announcement from Tim Furnish:

The second of my complementary volumes on Islam and Islamic world issues is finally up on Amazon, albeit at this point only in Kindle format. Sects, Lies, and the Caliphate: 10 Years of Observations on Islam is the follow-on to Ten Years’ Captivation with the Mahdi’s Camps, which came out in November 2015. The latter focused entirely on Islamic eschatology and apocalyptic movements (especially ISIS and Iran); the new one, on the other hand, deals with more mundane, but no less important, issues–such as the Islamic roots of ISIS and Muslim terrorism, how Christianity is indeed more peaceful and less problematic than Islam (not to mention being true), and, in the longest section (some 86 pages), on mostly failed US policies toward Islam and the Islamic world over the last decade.

I shall be reviewing both books when time permits, but wanted to let you know both are now available.

Tim’s previous book, Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden (Praeger, 2005) is more scholarly — it’s Tim’s doctoral dissertation-turned-book. These two books bring us up to date on Tim’s thinking since then.

Early notes on McCants’ The ISIS Apocalypse

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

[ by Charles Cameron — a couple of grace-notes while I’m working on my review of Will McCants‘ book, The ISIS Apocalypse ]


My first note concerns the elegant way in which McCants‘ view of the changing state of IS eschatology as it has developed in practice conforms to Max Weber‘s theory of the routinization of charisma:

SPEC DQ Weber McCants

Toth, Toward a Theory of the Routinizationnof Charisma
McCants, p 147



There are four sentences that fall in series in Will McCants’s Conclusion — three of a kind followed by one with a different quality to it. Each one ends a section, and the last ends the Conclusion as a whole:

  • This is not Bin Laden’s apocalypse.
  • This is not Bin Laden’s insurgency.
  • This is not Bin Laden’s caliphate.

  • This may not be Bin Laden’s jihad, but it’s a formula future jihadists will find hard to resist.
  • The relevant pages respectively are pp. 147, 151, 153, and 159.

    Tim Furnish update, new book just out

    Saturday, November 28th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — this just out from Tim Furnish, author of Holiest Wars: Islamic Mahdis, Their Jihads, and Osama bin Laden ]

    I’m looking forward to reviewing this, from my friend and our blog-friend Tim Furnish:

    A second volume of Tim’s recent writings should be out shortly.

    Islamic State, Etat Chrétien

    Tuesday, November 24th, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — breaking news, and I hope it stays broken ]

    Here’s the breaking news in French, followed by my comments, then back to the document in question:


    There’s a symmetry to the names, Etat Chrétien and Islamic State — and a considerable asymmetry as to the size of the two groups — but here we have my (poor) translation of the Etat Chrétien’s message to a mosque in Molenbeek, Belgium — a Brussels municipality much in the news recently:

    In the name of Christ our Lord!
    Tremble, Muslim that you are!
    The Christian State will avenge our brothers fallen in various attacks!
    No mosque and no business of yours will be sheltered!
    Your brothers will be slaughtered like pigs and crucified as our Lord was in order to convert their souls!

    I’m not clear on whether the import of that last line is that the EC will slaughter and crucify Muslims to convert their souls, or that Christ was crucified to convert their souls. Either way, for those who claim to be Christians to crucify anyone under any circumstances seems a seriously aberrational act in light of what was done to Christ himself.

    Crucifying others is not the Imitatio Christi.

    It’s as if these people want to prove that the propaganda narrative of IS, AQ and the rest is right, and Christianity truly is at war with Islam — which in itself is a gift to IS propaganda and recruitment.

    The asymmetry I mentioned, BTW, is pretty much evened out by the old saw phrased by the RAND corporation thus: Terrorists Have to Be Lucky Once; Targets, Every Time. In the present case, both sides are terrorists, and each only has to be lucky once.


    I’m ashamed of my rusty French skills — in case yours are better, here’s the missive:


    Two ways a resemblance can be unwelcome

    Monday, November 23rd, 2015

    [ by Charles Cameron — NSFW, I repeat, NSFW , maybe ]

    You can be photoshopped from Canada to France, Sikh to Muslim, &c —

    The fake (on the left), photoshopped from the authentic selfie (on the right), was apparently created and posted because of the guy’s support of women in the games industry, cf Gamergate.


    Alternatively, your name might sound suspiciously NSFW to non-Vietnamese=speaking ears:

    Details at the link Cath at Sembl provides.

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