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US Public Diplomacy Attempts to Confront Islamic State

PDiN

The Barack Obama administration is focusing its public diplomacy efforts on persuading “swing voters” in the Muslim world that the group calling itself the Islamic State (IS) is a bigger threat to them than US policies, the State Department’s top communications official says.

Iran Cultural Center in Sudan Padlocked

PDiN

A Sudanese official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Thursday that the centers would close their doors by Sunday. Sudan’s foreign ministry told the centers to stop work and ordered their Iranian staff to leave the country. "The decision to close the Iranian cultural centre is final and there will be no retreat from that," foreign ministry spokesman Yousif al-Kourdafani said, quoted Sunday by the official SUNA news agency. Sudan said it acted in response to the centres’ spr

Tanzania Challenges Violence-Hit Kenya as Regional Tourism Hub

PDiN

Tanzania expects tourist numbers to double to 2 million by 2017, the state tourist board said, challenging regional rival Kenya where Islamist attacks have scared away visitors. Tanzania, famed for its pristine beaches and safari parks beneath snow-capped Mount Kilimanjaro, has always played second-fiddle to Kenya, which has a more developed tourism industry and better air links to the key markets in Europe and United States.

Take a Tour of Muslim Youth Culture Through ‘Rebel Music’

PDiN

“For Muslim youth, music [is a way] to proclaim your identity, to proclaim your politics, to explain who you are, to mobilize, to build community,” Hisham Aidi told chief arts correspondent Jeffrey Brown.  In his new book, “Rebel Music: Race, Empire and the New Muslim Youth Culture,” Aidi explores the cross-cultural trends in political activism and movements throughout history, and how it’s all brought together with music.

The ISIS Propaganda Machine Is Horrifying and Effective. How Does It Work?

PDiN

The Islamic State’s “A Message to America,” showing American journalist James Foley’s final moments, is vile and horrifying. Significantly, unlike the early propaganda of Al Qaeda, this video is also professionally cut and edited. It is the sort of thing engineered to achieve rapid, viral spread on the open internet. It also represents the main weapon the Islamic State is increasingly employing to great effect against the West.

Islamic State Magazines: Violent Extremism in Glossy Form

PDiN

In addition to pictures of mass executions and beheading videos, the Islamic State also puts out propaganda magazines containing stories about stoning adulterers and joining the jihad — all wrapped in a package with high production values.

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