What is your outlook?

Reza Aslan: I think Muslims, particularly young Muslims in the Middle East, are growing more and more comfortable in defining themselves in nationalistic terms. And again it depends what country you’re referring to, of course. But many Egyptians, many Turks, have no problems referring to themselves as Egyptians first, or as Turks first. And I think that sense . . . that rising sense of national identity, in particular this sort of overwhelming movement of individualism that is taking place within the Muslim world with the rise of the Internet and the widespread access to new ideas and novel theories; and the way in which these notions are being passed around in a new kind of community, a virtual community being created online. I think you’re seeing a sort of response to that geopolitical fragmentation that I spoke of; one that is at once comfortable with certain nationalistic identities, and yet also striving to create new identifies beyond borders, and beyond ethnicities, in an attempt to recreate the umma, the world wide Muslim community, and yet to recreate it not in the real world, but in a virtual world. And so we’re gonna see, I think, a lot more of that. As the region of the Middle East becomes even more fragmented and more fractured, I think people are going to go increasingly online to find new ways of creating collective identities that are simply not applicable anymore in the real world.


Recorded On: 7/5/07

"I think Muslims, particularly young Muslims in the Middle East, are growing more and more comfortable in defining themselves in nationalistic terms."

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Think you’re bad at math? You may suffer from ‘math trauma’

Even some teachers suffer from anxiety about math.

Image credit: Getty Images
Mind & Brain

I teach people how to teach math, and I've been working in this field for 30 years. Across those decades, I've met many people who suffer from varying degrees of math trauma – a form of debilitating mental shutdown when it comes to doing mathematics.

Keep reading Show less

A world map of Virgin Mary apparitions

She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.

Strange Maps
  • For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
  • These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
  • Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
Keep reading Show less

How KGB founder Iron Felix justified terror and mass executions

The legacy of Felix Dzerzhinsky, who led Soviet secret police in the "Red Terror," still confounds Russia.

Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Felix Dzerzhinsky led the Cheka, Soviet Union's first secret police.
  • The Cheka was infamous for executing thousands during the Red Terror of 1918.
  • The Cheka later became the KGB, the spy organization where Russia's President Putin served for years.
Keep reading Show less