Industrial Cracks

This blog is a glimpse into the mind of a history nerd sitting behind a laptop screen. Enjoy a series of ideas he hopes to be thought provoking.
I am quite proud of my Contemplations and Discussing Islam pages. Feel free to contact me anytime.

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Hey Everyone!

Ishqr (formerly Hipster Shaadi) has a new HQ in Philly!

We are looking for writers for our blog - it’s your opportunity to express yourself and have your voice heard on matters of love, relationships, and dating! It’ll be great to finally have a place to discuss all this and more with a Muslim twist. Don’t be shy, you can make submissions with your own name or anon! 

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Hey you guys, this is a really good opportunity to start discussing relationships and have a voice that will be heard. 
It’s great to share your stories, good or bad, as they will guide others who are in the predicament of love.

Give it a shot!

This War is Not Aimed at ISIS, But at Assad » CounterPunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names


However, there will be one crucial difference to the ISIS of pre-April 2011 and the ISIS that is now emerging under Western aerial bombardment. This time, they will benefit from a credibility that they have so far been denied – the credibility of being able to pose as an anti-Western , anti-imperialist force. Because, over the past three years, it has been so obvious they and the Western countries have been on the same side, singing from the same ‘Assad must go’ songsheet, they have not really been able to do this – until now. This will undoubtedly bring them more recruits, more support, and more funding. But an even bigger shot in the arm will come from the image of strength that they will gain from surviving airstrikes. Nothing succeeds like success, it is said, and the image of endurance and perseverance apparently ‘against the odds’ will gain them an appeal formerly beyond their reach.

And what of the ‘war against Assad’? Far from this having been eclipsed by the ‘war against Isis’, it is at its foundation. Having been thwarted from bombing Syria in August 2013 by Syrian, Russian, Chinese and Iranian steadfastness – and subsequent parliamentary nervousness in both the US and Britain – the West are now indeed bombing Syria. David Cameron, for his part, cleverly designed his motion only to refer to airstrikes against Iraq – ensuring that Syria was largely kept out of the debate – but insisted that he could expand the operation into Syriawithout parliamentary approval once it was underway. We are now being told that the West are being ‘forced’ to intervene in Syria because Assad failed to defeat ISIS, but the truth is precisely the opposite – the West is now in Syria because ISIS and its friends – the recipients of so much lavish diplomatic, financial and military support from the West and its allies these past three years – have failed to defeat Assad. The US – alongside Britain shortly, no doubt – are thus going in to Syria in order to take more direct control of a war in which, for much of this year, the momentum has been with the Syrian state forces. Indeed, there has already been talk of a Turkish ground invasion of Syria, along with a new initiative aimed at training yet more insurgents in Saudi Arabia (5000 more, apparently) – the breeding ground of the violent sectarianism that underpins ISIS. The idea is that if anyone is to seize ground from ISIS, it should not be the secular forces of the Syrian government (the only power capable of actually governing the country, even according to US general Martin Dempsey), but rather the forces of NATO and their ISIS lookalike allies.

"oh my god, you’re seriously going to pay college kids $15 an hour to flip burgers? get a real job!"


a real job? you mean, like, an internship at the white house?


okay, well what about the national democratic party?


what about interning at the united nations?


wow damn it’s almost like our economy functions on stealing labour from hardworking young people, regardless of whether their jobs are “real” or not

(via e-rocki)

US funds terror groups to sow chaos in Iran - Telegraph


Remember this guys? :’)

America is secretly funding militant ethnic separatist groups in Iran in an attempt to pile pressure on the Islamic regime to give up its nuclear programme.

In a move that reflects Washington’s growing concern with the failure of diplomatic initiatives, CIA officials are understood to be helping opposition militias among the numerous ethnic minority groups clustered in Iran’s border regions.

The operations are controversial because they involve dealing with movements that resort to terrorist methods in pursuit of their grievances against the Iranian regime.

In the past year there has been a wave of unrest in ethnic minority border areas of Iran, with bombing and assassination campaigns against soldiers and government officials.

Such incidents have been carried out by the Kurds in the west, the Azeris in the north-west, the Ahwazi Arabs in the south-west, and the Baluchis in the south-east. Non-Persians make up nearly 40 per cent of Iran’s 69 million population, with around 16 million Azeris, seven million Kurds, five million Ahwazis and one million Baluchis. Most Baluchis live over the border in Pakistan.

Funding for their separatist causes comes directly from the CIA’s classified budget but is now “no great secret”, according to one former high-ranking CIA official in Washington who spoke anonymously to The Sunday Telegraph.

His claims were backed by Fred Burton, a former US state department counter-terrorism agent, who said: “The latest attacks inside Iran fall in line with US efforts to supply and train Iran’s ethnic minorities to destabilise the Iranian regime.”

Although Washington officially denies involvement in such activity, Teheran has long claimed to detect the hand of both America and Britain in attacks by guerrilla groups on its internal security forces. Last Monday, Iran publicly hanged a man, Nasrollah Shanbe Zehi, for his involvement in a bomb attack that killed 11 Revolutionary Guards in the city of Zahedan in Sistan-Baluchistan. An unnamed local official told the semi-official Fars news agency that weapons used in the attack were British and US-made.

Yesterday, Iranian forces also claimed to have killed 17 rebels described as “mercenary elements” in clashes near the Turkish border, which is a stronghold of the Pejak, a Kurdish militant party linked to Turkey’s outlawed PKK Kurdistan Workers’ Party.

John Pike, the head of the influential Global Security think tank in Washington, said: “The activities of the ethnic groups have hotted up over the last two years and it would be a scandal if that was not at least in part the result of CIA activity.”

Such a policy is fraught with risk, however. Many of the groups share little common cause with Washington other than their opposition to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose regime they accuse of stepping up repression of minority rights and culture.

The Baluchistan-based Brigade of God group, which last year kidnapped and killed eight Iranian soldiers, is a volatile Sunni organisation that many fear could easily turn against Washington after taking its money.

A row has also broken out in Washington over whether to “unleash” the military wing of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq (MEK), an Iraq-based Iranian opposition group with a long and bloody history of armed opposition to the Iranian regime.

The group is currently listed by the US state department as terrorist organisation, but Mr Pike said: “A faction in the Defence Department wants to unleash them. They could never overthrow the current Iranian regime but they might cause a lot of damage.”

At present, none of the opposition groups are much more than irritants to Teheran, but US analysts believe that they could become emboldened if the regime was attacked by America or Israel. Such a prospect began to look more likely last week, as the UN Security Council deadline passed for Iran to stop its uranium enrichment programme, and a second American aircraft carrier joined the build up of US naval power off Iran’s southern coastal waters.

The US has also moved six heavy bombers from a British base on the Pacific island of Diego Garcia to the Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which could allow them to carry out strikes on Iran without seeking permission from Downing Street.

While Tony Blair reiterated last week that Britain still wanted a diplomatic solution to the crisis, US Vice-President Dick Cheney yesterday insisted that military force was a real possibility.

"It would be a serious mistake if a nation like Iran were to become a nuclear power," Mr Cheney warned during a visit to Australia. "All options are still on the table."

The five permanent members of the UN Security Council plus Germany will meet in London tomorrow to discuss further punitive measures against Iran. Sanctions barring the transfer of nuclear technology and know-how were imposed in December. Additional penalties might include a travel ban on senior Iranian officials and restrictions on non-nuclear business.

Additional reporting by Gethin Chamberlain.


A Sandinista guerilla in Jinotega in 1978

The Sandinista National Liberation Front (FSLN) are a democratic-socialist political party in Nicaragua that led their country in a revolution, overthrowing the Somoza Dynasty of dictators and going up against the full force of U.S. imperialism.

Named after Augusto César Sandino, who led a rebellion against American colonization from 1927-33, the FSLN rose in response to the corruption following the 1972 Managua earthquake, with the government embezzling international aid funds and leaving the people in extreme poverty. The FSLN overthrew the dictatorship in 1979, with the help of their United People’s Movement, made up of students and labor groups who held strikes and protests. 

After the successful people’s revolution, the United States funded the “Contras”, a counterrevolutionary group made up of Somoza’s National Guard. The American government claimed that the Sandinistas must be stopped in order to stop communism and preserve democracy. In reality, one of the core principles of the FSLN was democracy, and they had no communist affiliations until the U.S. agression, when they were forced to take Soviet aid.

After Congress passed the 1982 Boland Amendment, prohibiting American aid of the Contras, the Reagan Administration continued a covert involvement in Nicaragua. This culminated in the infamous Iran-Contra affair, in which senior officials of the executive branch sold missiles and other military weapons to Iran in exchange for the return of seven American hostages, and used the profits of that sale to illegally continue to fund the Contras. Although President Reagan was an open supporter of the Contras, it is disputed as to whether or not he was involved in the scandal.

(via mochente)

theinvertedtower: I've created a Sub-Reddit for where people can help each other find or verify facts and other information. You can access it by searching for the tag ( InfoAsYouNeedIt ) on the Reddit website.

This is a great resource. Thank you :)

Like many other concepts that shape our understanding of medieval history, the idea of a “Muslim Golden Age” is a historiographical construct. It promotes the notion that, until at least the early thirteenth century, the Muslim world experienced an era of unprecedented stability, prosperity, and cultural production. More particularly, it emphasizes that the period between roughly the ninth century and the thirteenth century (sometimes extended to the eighteenth century in order to include the Ottomans and Mughals; the Safavids are usually ignored) can be considered to represent the pinnacle of human endeavor in the Muslim world. There are many problems with this perspective. Putting aside the fact that it imposes an anachronistic framework on medieval Muslim history, its main argument that the period between the eighth century and the thirteenth century can be characterized mainly by tolerance, cultural efflorescence, political unity, and religious harmony is contrary to many of the facts that one encounters upon reading the history of the various civilizations which are subsumed under the category of “Islamic civilization,” a phrase which conceals the linguistic, cultural, intellectual, theological, and political diversity of the lands in which Muslims resided during the medieval and early modern periods. This is to say nothing of the fact that the narratives promoted by these “Golden Age” perspectives are usually a reworking of official histories that do not take into account the realities of marginalized groups during the same period. The “Golden Age” perspective is also problematic because it is in many ways reactionary and a response to the many political, religious, and intellectual challenges faced by the Muslim world in the modern period. History, or rather particular historical narratives about a “Golden Age,” therefore becomes an important repository for the “greatness of Islamic civilization” and a refuge in which Muslims can seek solace in order to refute the idea–promoted mainly by those hostile to Islam–that Muslim civilization was, is, and always will be characterized by death, destruction and chaos.


There are hundreds of other examples that can be deployed to “demonstrate” the violence of Islamic civilization, just as hundreds of examples can be cited to “prove” the toleration of the medieval and early modern Islamic world and the shining examples of art and literature that were produced as a result of inter-faith and inter-cultural cooperation. It is very irresponsible to take either the examples of “tolerance” or the examples of “intolerance” and string them together into a narrative that sets out to cast the Muslim world in a particular (polemical) light. It is worth mentioning that many of the same dynasties and civilizations responsible for much of the intellectual flowering, magnificent monuments and cultural production during the early modern period were also capable of the worst examples of intolerance. This is something that is worth paying more attention to and it just underscores the uselessness of “Golden Age” (or “Dark Age”) paradigms that reduce the complexity of civilization to a singular mode of conduct without taking into account that very often “tolerance” and “intolerance” were by-products of the same civilization. The problem with the “Muslim Golden Age” paradigm, moreover, is that it does not acknowledge the complexity of Muslim societies and history and tends to gloss over inconvenient realities (read: facts) in its attempt to portray a rosy picture of the Islamic past. This is no different than how many anti-Islamic propagandists seek to demonize Muslims today by pointing to the less-than-rosy anecdotes drawn from the Muslim past. In any case, to reduce a civilization–any civilization–to a mere category of “tolerant” or “intolerant,” is therefore to exhibit major ignorance of the reality of human societies. It is best relegated to the realm of polemic or apologetic.