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Truly Medieval: Jihad in Medieval and Modern Islam

In the modern world, we often hear two very different stories regarding the Islamic doctrine of jihad. From anti-Islamic sources and so-called Jihadist terror groups, we hear that jihad is an endless war against all non-Muslims in which all infidels are targets. On the other hand, some say that jihad is entirely a defensive concept, or even that jihad exists only as an internal struggle. While the latter of these two arguments contains a good deal more truth than the former, neither of the two truly explain jihad in its entirety. To understand jihad, we need to first understand the context in which Islam developed. Before and even after Islamization, many warlike Bedouin tribes called Arabia

Reach for the Sky: Gun Control in the American West

A rugged-looking man in sun-faded ranching clothes and a white Stetson stands, shootin’ hand at the ready, in a dusty frontier thoroughfare. Another man - similarly rugged, similarly tense, but this time with a black Stetson - faces him twenty paces away. A tumbleweed rustles by, because of course it does. Beads of sweat gather on the men’s foreheads as the town sheriff watches nervously from the safety of the local saloon. The men are still - until one hand twitches. BAM! Guns blazing! Six-guns popping! One less hat! Right? Okay, maybe not. Aside from being the climax of most spaghetti westerns, this scene is also probably the first thing to come to mind when we think of the American West.

Free Speech in America

This may be surprising, but free speech was not a true hot-button issue in American politics or jurisprudence before the 20th century. Of course, there are examples of speech-related controversies in the preceding years, such as the Sedition Acts in the 1790s and the gag-rule and mail suppression regarding abolition in the decades preceding to the Civil War, but these incidences never really percolated up the judicial system. However, the frequency of incidences of Supreme Court rulings on the limits of the First Amendment greatly increased during and after the Progressive Era. However, the influx of new immigrants at the beginning of the 20th century brought new ideas - radical ones - to

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