With the brutal and pitiless beheading of Samuel Paty on October 16th 2020 for teaching schoolchildren about satire, a strong defence of secularism and freedom of expression from President Emmanuel Macron, and widespread condemnation of French secularism as blasphemy by Islamists across the world, there is little doubt that France has become a flashpoint for the confluence of far right backlash against Muslims, the battle over freedom of expression versus offending religious sensibilities, and issues over the feasibility of immigrant assimilation. These issues will undoubtedly be exacerbated by another recent Islamist attack on October 29th, 2020, in Nice, France in which a man armed with a knife killed three people – two women and a man – in a terrorist attack at a church From Ankara to Dhaka to Islamabad, Islamists and their followers have decried Macron and France as catalysing prejudice and fomenting anti-Muslim hatred through defending satirists’ rights to freely express views that are offensive to some.
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Jack is a graduate from Indiana University with a B.A in Near Eastern Languages and Cultures and Central Eurasian Studies with a focus on the Arabic language. He also studied Turkish Language and Literature at Boğaziçi University in Istanbul, Turkey. His interest in counter terrorism and counter insurgency began when he researched the decentralisation and fragmentation of Al-Qaeda.
His research evolved to include Islamic State Khorasan Province in Afghanistan and Pakistan and separatist movements in Balochistan. He currently works in the Afghanistan Pakistan studies centre at the Middle East Institute as a research assistant.
Jack has Awarded FLAS Fellowship to participate in 2018 IU Summer Language Workshop in Turkish; Academic Year 2019-2020, FLAS Fellowship by the Centre for the Study of the Middle East for Arabic Studies; and also awarded FLAS Fellowship to participate in 2020 Summer Language Workshop in Pashto.
Jack is fluent in Turkish; Fluent in Arabic, Fluent in Dari. Proficient in Urdu, Russian, and Pashto languages.