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Interchange – Forbearance and Fighting: Parsing Jihad and Martyrdom

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Host Doug Storm is joined by Asma Afsaruddin to discuss her book Striving in the Path of God: Jihad and Martyrdom in Islamic Thought.

In her essay “Inventing ‘Jihad‘,” Afsaruddin writes:

Privileging the legal literature above other kinds of literature—particularly the exegetical literature on the Qur’an and ethical treatises—in discussions of jihad almost inevitably leads to the conclusion that it is primarily a collective military obligation incumbent upon able-bodied Muslim men in the service of state and religion. And because what we call Islamic law is assumed to be derived directly from the Qur’an and the hadith (the sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), such an obligation is assumed to be mandated by Islam itself.

But if we put on our historical glasses a considerably different picture emerges. The earliest connotations of jihad had to do with patient forbearance in the face of harm and stoic, nonviolent resistance to wrongdoing….

Some were also of the opinion that the Qur’anic command to fight was only applicable to the first generation of Muslims who were contemporaries of Muhammad, known as the Companions, since the historical referent in the verses that deal with fighting are the hostile pagan Arabs of Mecca.

Such understandings, however, could and did prove inimical to the process of empire-building, and the need was soon felt in official and certain legal circles to promote the military jihad as a religiously meritorious activity. This is precisely what happened during the expansion of the Islamic empire after the death of Muhammad during the late seventh and eighth centuries of the Common Era….

This progressive watering-down in later exegetical and legal literature of the categorical Qur’anic prohibition against initiating hostilities is revealing of the triumph of political realism over scriptural fidelity.

Some scholars from the later period continued to dispute this cooptation of jihad in the service of Realpolitik. These scholars’ main area of contention was with the legal position which came to view lack of adherence to Islam, rather than aggression on the part of the adversary, as the casus belli for the military jihad, a position they regarded as unethical and morally impermissible.

Of Related Interest:
How Do We Talk About Islam After Charlie Hebdo?
Egypt and the Problem of Religion
Islam and Modernity: Issues for the Classroom (Podcast)

Guest:
Asma Afsaruddin is professor of Islamic Studies and chair of the Department of Near Eastern Languages & Cultures at Indiana University, Bloomington. She was named a Carnegie Scholar in 2005. Her previous books include The First Muslims: History and Memory (2008), and Excellence and Precedence: Medieval Islamic Discourse on Legitimate Leadership (2002) She was awarded the World Book Prize for the best new book in Islamic Studies given by the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance of the Republic of Iran on February 8th in Tehran, Iran’s capital and largest city.

Credits:
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Colonel Kelsey’s 70th Birthday Acknowledgement Party

WFHB invites you to join Col. Mike Kelsey and some of his friends at a 70th birthday acknowledgment party, to be held from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 29, at the Players Pub. This celebration of original, independent music features the Chicago jazz group Merge, Kalamazoo singer/songwriter and instrumentalist Joel Mabus, Tim Grimm, and the Nashville, Tennessee, duo Jeni & Billy. All proceeds go to original and independent WFHB community radio, which has helped keep Col. Kelsey off the streets for on to 20 years and counting.

Interchange – A Measure of Choice: Vaccine Opposition and Public Health

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“A Measure of Choice” explores the reasons that some parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children. The so-called “anti-vax” movement has been lumped in with what many in the popular press are calling a “war on science.” Along with trying to understand what the reasons are for this position on vaccinations, we’ll also examine the ethical and social justice issues surrounding these parental decisions and how they affect the public health.

Guests
Jennifer Reich is an associate professor of sociology at the University of Colorado-Denver whose research examines how individuals and families make decisions about healthcare, welfare, and policy. She has authored an article to be published last September in the Journal Gender & Society titled “Neoliberal Mothering and Vaccine Refusal.”

Stuart Yoak is Executive Director of the Association for Practical and Professional Ethics at Indiana University. APPE is an international, multidisciplinary association advancing ethical understanding and practice in the classroom, the workplace, and society.

Discussed in the program:
Neoliberal Mothering and Vaccine Refusal

Credits
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Production and Research: Nancy Jones
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

Local Middle School-Produced Documentary Wins National Award

Students from Batchelor Middle School in Bloomington took on issues with the No Child Left Behind Act in a documentary that just won a national award.

The students won Third Prize in a contest sponsored by C-SPAN. In order to participate, middle school and high school students from all over the nation had to answer the same question: how has a policy, legislation or action taken by one of the branches of the federal government affected you or your community?

Eighth Grade Students Sejal Rajamani, Nikki Nguyen and Piper Watson, with the support of their teacher, Jeff Rudkin, answered with their documentary titled “No Child Left Behind: Time to Change.”

“I think we’re emphasizing that No Child Left Behind is old and needs to change and standardized testing has a lot of flaws,” Rahamani says. “Although the government should be informed on how school’s are doing, standardized testing might not be the way to do it.”

When asked how No Child Left Behind has affected her life, she said it makes her feel stressed.

No Child Left Behind was passed under the George W. Bush administration. It has increased the time dedicated to standardised tests in the classroom. As a result, not only students, but also teachers and schools get evaluated solely on the performance of these tests. According to Rudkin other criteria should be taken into account.

“Do they do community service, things like that, a lot of things that play into a school’s grade rather than a single test that lasts a few weeks,” Rudkin says.

Many schools around the nation have also had to cut down on electives, to accommodate the time and money that taking this test demands.

“We’re lucky we have a school that still has electives and supports a well-rounded education,” Rudkin says. “But a lot of schools across the country are having to cut electives, like P.E., to focus on this test.

When asked about an alternative, Rudkin answered that the core idea of No Child Left Behind is commendable. He says it’s the way the law has been implemented through a single standardised test that fails to work.

The problem, says Rudkin, is that legislators are not willing to sit down to talk about the alternatives.

“The legislators aren’t willing to sit down and talk with teachers who have ideas on how to improve it,” he says.

For Nguyen, one of the students, the solution has to be found closer to home, within the community.

“I think we should bring it down to a local level so the people in the community can address what needs to be done because they probably know more about what’s going on in the community than the state or national government,” Nguyen says.

ISTEP+, the standardized test in the state of Indiana, is taken every Spring in subjects such as English and Math.

Activate! – Buskirk-Chumley Theater: Donna Cohen

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Donna Cohen shares anecdotes and her experience volunteering at the Buskirk-Chumley theater. Also, three volunteer opportunities available through the Buskirk.

LINKS
Bloomington Volunteer Network: Buskirk-Chumley Theater
Buskirk-Chumley Theater

Firehouse Sessions – Nora Jane Struthers

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In the studio today for a new Firehouse Session is Nora Jane Struthers accompanied by Joe Overton.  Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Line are here from Nashville, TN playing at local venue The Bishop whilst touring their new album “Wake”. We get the chance to chat with Struthers day 2 of her next hectic three month tour schedule across the USA.  Struthers chats to us about her new autobiographical writing style, inspired by love and what was involved with getting this album ready and out on the road.

SONGS
1. “The Other Side”
2. “Mistake”
3. “The South”

Hosted by Angela Backstrom
Engineered by Jim Lang & Dan Withered
Produced by Katie Moulton
Executive Producer is Jim Manion

Originally aired on February 26th, 2015.

Local Live – Joe Donnelly and the Indulgences

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Joe Donnelly and the Indulgences play us some tracks from their new album “Everyday.” Joe is a middle school band director and the song themes are drawn from that experience.

SONGS
1. Everyday
2. Step One
3. Workin’
4. Mud Covered Toes
5. I’m Getting Tired

Joe Donnelly: Electric Guitar, Saxophone, Keyboard, Guitar Vocal
Kevin MacDowell (AKA Kid Kazooey): Electric Guitar, Keyboard, Vocal
Scott Kellogg: Bass, Vocals
Jay Olson: Drums

Hosted by Frankie Ferrell
Engineered by Jim Lang & Matt Gwaltney
Produced by Erin Tobey
Executive Produced by Jim Manion

Interchange – Primary Candidates for Mayor: A Conversation

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Host Doug Storm welcomes the primary candidates for Mayor of Bloomington.

Democrats: John Hamilton, John Linnemeier, Darryl Neher
Republican: John Turnbull

Some Topics Discussed: growth and development projects; job creation; minimum wage; tech sector; Party politics; IU Health’s decision to move the hospital out of downtown; city-wide broadband; political appointments.

The Primary Election is Tuesday, May 5th, 2015.

Firehouse Sessions – Glen Hansard

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Irish singer-songwriter and bandleader Glen Hansard stopped by for a very special Firehouse Session before a sold-out show at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. He is best-known for his work with The Frames and the Swell Season, as well as his lead role in the musical film Once, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song. Next month, Hansard releases a tribute EP for late Bloomington musician Jason Molina, and he spoke emotionally about his friendship with Molina and performed the Songs:Ohia song “Hold On, Magnolia.”

SONGS
1. “Hold On, Magnolia” (Songs:Ohia cover)
2. “Paying My Way”

Hosted and Produced by Katie Moulton
Engineers: Jim Lang, Dan Withered
Executive Producer is Jim Manion

Interchange – The Prick of Noon: Romeo & Juliet

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We have two guests with us tonight to discuss the play both as production or performance and as text; the deed and the word. As Harold Goddard said, “Drama is a portrayal of human passions eventuating in acts. Poetry is a picture of life in its essence.” Shakespeare toils to mend the two.

In Act One, “The Play’s the Thing,” we’re joined by the director of the IU Theater Production of Romeo & Juliet, Nancy Lipschultz to talk about producing the play for the stage.

In Act Two, “The Prick of Noon,” we’re joined by Ellen MacKay, a scholar of early modern English drama and public culture whose approach to the Shakespearean stage is “driven by the epistemological problems that the theatre poses to a culture eager to draw a clear line between artifice and authenticity.” We discuss Shakespeare’s treatment of time.

We don’t need to withhold any plot points tonight as our subject is a play that was written sometime near the end of the 17th century and like all of Shakespeare’s plays is based on a prior text or two. It’s an ancient plot, warring tribes, political enmity in city-states, and even star-crossed lovers: all nothing new. We can even find Dante referencing historical Montagues and Capulets as feuding political parties in the Purgatory of his Divine Comedy.

And so you know, Romeo and Juliet are always dead before we even begin. It is the outcome that begs a reason why and the play begins with the Prologue giving up our ghosts.

Credits
Producer & Host: Doug Storm
Board Engineer: Jonathan Richardson
Social Media: Carissa Barrett
Executive Producer: Joe Crawford

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