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Issues of Our Times

Save your midterm exam as a “shell,” give it a name and save it to your hard drive.  Then open your 33-question exam and insert your answers into your “shell.” Your original questions must be included in your completed exam.  This is an untimed exam.  You may open and close your exam as many times as you wish.  Answers to the questions must be only 2-4 sentences OR one third of a page long (whichever is shorter) and come exclusively from the readings and/or class lectures.  Answers from google will NOT be accepted. Plagiarism will NOT be tolerated.  Only answers from the student/submitting the exam will be accepted. Completed exams are due by March 3, 2019.  Late exams will be penalized 40 points.  Please highlight your answers like this.

  1. The year 570 A.D. is significant for its association with what two events described in our text? Are these two events treated as major or minor developments by the 1.8 billion large Muslim world? Because Africans are associated with at least one of these two events in 570 A.D., is it accurate to suggest that Africans have played major roles in the worldwide Islamic ummah?

Muhamed was born in Saudi Arabia in 570AD. Additionally, general Abraha attempted to attack Mecca, but was stopped by his elephants refusal to enter the city. Both events are important, though the birth of the Prophet has far more important consequences. If Abraha had succeeded, Mecca would become a colony and have and be more influenced by Africa, increasing Africans’ roles in ummah.

2. Instead of using words like jihadi, jihadist or jihadism as commonly used in the US what is

   the Arabic word used in your text to denote a “terrorist?” What additional phrase is used in your text as a substitute for the phrase, “radical Islamic extremists?”  Why is it inaccurate, dangerous and unduly provocative to use the phrase, “radical Islamic extremists?”

Khawar’ij is the word Arabs use to denote extremists. According to conservative Muslims, words extremist and radical do not characterize their religion. The phrase “radical Islamic extremists” can be replaced by Islamist militants.

3. According to your text, the plot to bomb the first World Trade Center in New York in 1993 occurred in what Arabic speaking African state?  What specific US retaliatory action was taken against this state by the US, years later? Along with Osama bin Laden, what other well-known Islamist militant may have played a role in plotting these activities according to your text?

The plot to bomb the World Trade center in New York was planned in Sudan. In 1998, the US fired missiles at a pharmaceutical factory in Sudan where bin Laden supposedly manufactured chemical weapons. Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed were among the organizers of the attack.

4.According to your text, what African state has routinely shown favoritism toward Muslims?

    According to your text, what African state routinely directs violence, hostility and bigotryagainst Muslims in the form of vigilante anti-Muslim mobs and/or state supported militias? 

    Based on your text’s discussion, provide the name of one such vigilante group?

Nigeria is a country in Africa that is benevolent towards the Muslims. On the other hand Central African Republic has anti-balaka, an anti-muslim vigilante militia.

5.Instead of radical Islamic terrorist, what label is used by your text to denote a person driven by Wahhabi/Salafist ideology who directs violence against innocent civilians in the Islamic world?

Other than referring to them as Islamic terrorist, Muslims who direct extreme violence against civilians can be referred to as Islamic militants.

6.What is the name of the newest “terrorist” group on the international scene that receivedmajor attention in February 2019 after the publication of your text in December 2018?

    The group was discussed in face-to-face classes on campus but is also mentioned in your text. 

    The group is a breakaway splinter faction of Boko Haram.  Who is the leader of this group?

Boko Harama terrorists have witnessed two splits since 2015. ISIS-WA is the group that was formed after the second split of Boko-Haram. The leader of the group is Abu Musab Al Barnabi. They came into limelight following their kidnapping and returning of more than 110 girls from the Nigerian Science and Technology college.

7.What former African head of state is described as looting his nation’s finances literally

    by stealing truck-loads of money from the national treasury, who upon his death wasfound in the company of foreign prostitutes

President Sani Abacha of Nigeria

8.What events linked to militant Islamists with links to North and West Africa illustrate how words in the Islamic world can have serious consequences?

While ISIS, a North African group, and Boko Haram, a West African one, do not share leadership or coordinate their attacks, they share a common language that allows them to recruit militants and promote their activities, leading to terror attacks.

9.What Muslim state is described as corrupt to the point of routinely engaging in roadblocks  allegedly for the purpose of checking vehicle registrations but which actually resemble roadside “shake-downs” of innocent civilians by state security officials who after receiving payment from detainees give “change” to their victims!


10.What African state discussed in your text routinely practices discrimination against its

      Muslim minority leading a growing number of Muslims to change their names in an attempt to conceal their true identities in hopes of escaping discrimination, or worse

Central African Republic

11.According to your text, how is the challenge of terrorism akin to the spread of deadly disease?

     Based on this, what must one do and not do in the fight against terrorism?

Islamic militant ideas are akin to a virus. Recruiters target vulnerable populations , mostly dissatisfied your men, and give them a sense of purpose and belonging. The disease of militancy spreads from one person to another. Thus, instead of trying to kill the patient, one must immunize the population, namely institute community programs and involve those discontent.

12.What does Michael Scheuer believe is the key to understanding “our enemies?”  What are his

      views based on, that is, what job did he have before becoming a Professor at Georgetown

      University in Washington, DC?

Michael Scheuer believes that religion is vital in understanding terrorists. Terrorist groups have become more complex and can only be destroyed through wars and endless wars. He served as an interligence officer based at the Bin Laden issue office. He worked with others to carry out intelligence focused on tracking down Osama Bin Laden before he become a professor of Georgetown.

13.What does Scheuer say is the greatest gift to the terrorist?

The invasion of Iraq.

14.Government leaders around the world including the US, France and Britain typically claim

     that terrorists hate the West for its freedoms, beliefs and way of life?  But what does

     Scheuer have to say about this?

The terrorists attack US and other European countries not because of what they are but because of what they do. The governments of the region have devised and adopted policies in the Middle East most of which are not desirable to the target population.

15.What bigoted and racist views did the famous Arab scholar Ibn Khaldun express toward


Africans can only be slaves and, as animals, are devoid of critical thinking or reasoning.

16.What contemporary white economist examined in the course has expressed views regarding

      Africans that are opposite to those expressed by the ancient scholar, Ibn Khaldun?

Benjamin Cochrane

17.What popular professional magazine is described in your text as making a dramatic reversal

      in its assessment of Africa?  How did this magazine’s about face turnaround affect

      President Obama’s outreach efforts to Africa? Was it helpful or harmful?

The Economist first called Africa the hopeless continent in an article. However, in 2000 its cover stated, “Africa Rising.” Negative publicity complicated Obama’s promotion of the continent among US corporate elite.

18.According to your text, how many sitting US Presidents have visited Africa while still in

     Office?  Which President, G.W. Bush or Barack Obama is described as being more popular

     among Africans?  What is the reason for his greater popularity according to your text?

George W. Bush is more popular in Africa. He is known there for AIDS programs and trade. On the other hand, Africans had too high expectations for Obama and blame him for continued war and drone attacks.

19.What foreign policy representative for the US was fired by the President (via twitter)

      after he was described in the media as having referred to his boss, as a  “f__ing moron”?

      What consequence did this action have on efforts to extend greater attention to Africa in

      official State Department circles?    Did it ultimately help or hurt Africa?

Rex Tillerson’s firing prevented him from going on a tour of Arican countries which ultimately hurt Africa because it failed to raise its profile.

20.According to your reading and/or class lectures, from where does the now famous tourist

     attraction Gibraltar derive its name?  Specifically, what two words combine to form its name?

Gibraltar was named after Tariq Ibn Ziyad, a Muslim commander who led the Islamic Ummayad conquest. The place was first named Jabal-al-Tariq or Hill of Tariq and is currently known as Gibraltar.

21.What notoriously famous terrorist born in Venezuela was arrested and convicted of murder

      and is currently being held in a French prison according to your text?  What was the African

      state wherein he was arrested?  What is his family background and how does it appear to

      have contributed to his militancy?  How does this terrorist appear to reflect the behavior of

      an al-Ansar?

Ilich Ramírez Sánchez, also known as Carlos the Jackal, was arrested in Sudan. His father was a passionate Marxist, which may have served to set an example of radical beliefs early on. As as  an al-Ansar,  Ramírez Sánchez was a non-believer but supported the Iranian revolution and Islamic militants.

22.Who were the Chibok girls?  What has been their fate?  The youngest age of the Chibok

      victims was age ____.  According to your text, where were most of them held?

Chibok girls were school children kidnapped by Boko Haram from their school in the town of Chibok in Borno state.  \About 276 female students were kidnapped, some being as young as 10 years old. They were held in Northern Cameroon.

23.Identify what may be the most bazar development in the investigation of the crash of Flight

     5017 on July 24, 2014 according to your textbook?

The plane was missing for a whole day leading to the delays in the investigation process.

24.What is RCT as discussed in your text? What assumption does RCT make regarding human

      decision making capacity?  What alternative approach discussed in your text provides a more

      accurate description of human decision making?

Rational Choice Theory assumes that human being are equipped with perfect knowledge and problem solving capacity. The bounded rationality paradigm may be more accurate.

25.What activity was captured on surveillance cameras present in the Westgate shopping mall

      in September of 2013? Based on the information produced by this surveillance, what

      conclusion does your text reach regarding the value of US allies in Kenya in the War on

      terror (WOT)?

CCTV cameras captured the brutal attack on the Westgate mall. The text concludes that US allies in Kenya produce more militants and must be sanctioned.

26.According to your text, who is the leader of ISIS and what was his earlier relationship with

     the US?  How might he be described as a product of US institutions?  On an unrelated point,   

     what group has suffered more deaths at the hands of Islamist militants than any other group in

     the War on Terror?  How is this fact reflected in the victims of Boko Haram?

The leader of ISIS is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. He was severely traumatized by the US occupation of Iraq. Nigerials have suffered much from the war on terror. Several cases of kindappping and bombing are witnessed in the region, especialy by the Boko Haram Militia group.

27.What practice among Islamist militants in Africa represents a distinguishing feature of

      militants in Africa that differs from Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq?   For example, what

      related practice among members of al-Shabab caused Osama bin Laden to reject al-Shabab’s

      bid for al-Qaeda membership before 2011?

The strategy of war adopted by the militants differs. The Syria and Iraq based militants main enemy is the US and other European nations that they believed enforced unfavorable laws in the middle east. As such, they conduct their attacks in those countries. However, the African based militia targets the near enemy and look for American property and citizens in the neighboring nations. Osama bin Laden warned al-Shabab against high taxation and requisitioning of resources because he feared negative public sentiment.

28.What break-away splinter group of ISIS in Africa is growing in Africa despite President

      Trump’s claims that the US is close to defeating ISIS?  Based on descriptions offered in your

      text what is the primary reason for this ISIS group’s emergence in Nigeria?

ISIS is an Iraq and Syria based extremist group that infiltrated into Nigeria, due to its collaboration with Boko Haram. The group has growing splinter group IS-WA.

29.In what way does the tragedy of Fort Negro in colonial Florida resemble similar war-torn

     tragedies witnessed in contemporary Syria?

The events at Fort Negro and Syria was are similar since the Muslims in the two wars were unable to recognize who they were fighting.

30. According to your text, who was Benjamin Cochrane?  How does his behavior appear to

     support the practice of taqiya.  Given Cochrane’s circumstance, how might the practice of

     taqiya be a reasonable practice for him and others like him to embrace?

Benjamin Cochrane wrote a letter in Arabic that encouraged black Muslims to continue their fight (jihad). The practice of taqiya refers to the denial of religious practices due to prosecution. His writing was thus an encouragement for the Muslims not to relent but to focus on the fight if they are to reach paradise.

31.What action did the African sheikh Abd al-Kadir undertake after three children were

      captured by the French in the Futo Torro area of West Africa, presumably for enslavement?

      According to your text, do American historians typically recognize acts of resistance

      against the slave trade such as those of sheikh Abd al-Kadir in Africa?  Based on your text,

      what conclusion might be drawn from the failure to recognize anti-slavery campaigns in

      Africa and their possible links to anti-slavery abolition movements in the Americas?

He wrote a letter threatening death to any person who will be involved in slave trade.  A number of African leaders resisted slave trade, even though the British management to continue practicing the trade in some parts of the continent. The failure of the British to recognize the anti-slavery movement in Africa led to those who were already slaves in America hosting campaigns to force the British government and colonialists to stop the slave trade in Africa

32.What famous Islamist militant leader in the US sided with Republican Presidential

      Candidate Barry Goldwater (over presidential hopeful John F. Kennedy) based in part on his

      agreement with Barry Goldwater over Martin Luther King’s non-violent civil rights

      movement and the value of gun ownership and training as a defense strategy against Ku Klux

      Klan violence in instances where police at the time proved either unable or unwilling to

      protect black law-abiding citizens?  What other famous black Islamist leader in the US was

      identified in your text as being supportive of the Republican party before his death in 2003?

Malcolm X  sided with Republican Presidential Candidate Barry Goldwater. Imam W.D. Mohammed was likewise supportive of the Republican party.

33.Who was William Thom and what contribution did he offer to the subject of your textbook? 

     From where did Thom trace biased ideas toward Africa?  Who held these biased ideas, where

     did they come from come, and what were their effects on US policy?

William Thom is a former senior Africa specialist in the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency. There, he fought the prejudice and ignorance of officials against Africa. According to him, such bias stems from the Cold War.

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