Fieldwork · Work

Second-generation Pakistani-Irish Individuals Face Identity Challenges

By Amy McCaig  Published first on Rice University News and Media Second-generation Pakistani-Irish individuals are facing identity challenges among Ireland’s mainstream views of national identity or “Irishness,” according to a new study from Rice University. “What Does It Mean To Be ‘Irish’? Perceptions of Irish Identity Among Young Pakistani Men” appeared in a recent edition…… Continue reading Second-generation Pakistani-Irish Individuals Face Identity Challenges

Pictures · Travels

Pictures of trip to Rome


Sufism’s Neoplatonic Roots in Ancient Greece

Aristotle, not Plato, is the dominant figure in Muslim philosophy, and few Muslims are familiar with the name of Plotinus, who was more commonly called ‘the Greek Master’ (al-Sheykh al-Yaunani).  But since the Arabs gained their first knowledge of Aristotle from his Neoplatonist commentators, the system with which they became imbued was that of Porphyry…… Continue reading Sufism’s Neoplatonic Roots in Ancient Greece


Irish President Calls American Tea Partier “Wanker Whipping Up Fear”

The President of Ireland Michael D Higgins eviscerated ardent US Republican radio broadcaster Michael Graham over issues like healthcare and foreign policy. Read more here.


Déjà vu and the Tea Party

To be a member of the Know Nothing Party, one had to be ‘a native born citizen, a Protestant, born of Protestant parents, reared under Protestant influence, and not united in marriage with a Roman Catholic’.  In addition, members of the Know Nothing Party had to take a pledge to prevent ‘the insidious policy of…… Continue reading Déjà vu and the Tea Party


An easy way to debunk a common myth (‘kill the infidel’) of Islam

Muslim Americans are often harassed and forced to defend themselves against controversial verses in their holy text – the Qur’an.  One of these verses is Surah 9:5 (the ‘kill the infidel’ verse).  I am not a Muslim, but I still have concerns over how ‘experts’ say Muslims kill because the Qur’an tells them to (Representative…… Continue reading An easy way to debunk a common myth (‘kill the infidel’) of Islam


Sociology: The way to understand ‘race’ and ‘racism’

Stuart Hall is a theorist who has contributed a great deal to our understanding of identity and racism.  He is one of the ‘founding fathers’ of cultural studies and here discusses race as a floating signifier.  I was not able to find all the videos but you should be able to search for them on…… Continue reading Sociology: The way to understand ‘race’ and ‘racism’


Religion: Atheistic humanism in The Cube and the Cathedral

Have you heard about the ‘European problem’?  To your likely surprise, the problem has nothing to do with debt, sovereignty, Brussels, or the devaluing euro. As George Weigel posits in The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America and Politics Without God, the ‘European problem’ is atheistic humanism or, as he often calls it in more academic…… Continue reading Religion: Atheistic humanism in The Cube and the Cathedral

Fieldwork · Religion

Religification of Pakistani-American youth

Note: Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher’s research here is quite similar to my own.  I want to share with you her important findings. One of Ameena Ghaffar-Kucher’s explications examines a cultural production process called religification, in which religious affiliation, rather than race or ethnicity, has become the core category of identity for working class Pakistani-American youth in the United…… Continue reading Religification of Pakistani-American youth

Fieldwork · Religion

Thick and thin religion

Kavirah (2010) argues that the growing religiosity in many parts of the world is quite different from our traditional understanding of religion (in his writing, he refers to rising Hindu identity and nationalism).  He argues that we need to distinguish between ‘thick and thin religion’.  Thick religion encompasses traditional rituals, practices, and beliefs, whereas thin…… Continue reading Thick and thin religion


Religion: Meet Christophobia

In his book The Cube and the Cathedral, George Weigel turns to Joseph Weiler’s ‘Christophobia’ theory to discuss the ‘European problem’ (or the struggle for cultural and moral supremacy between atheistic humanists (secularists) and Christians).  ‘Christophobia’, which resists any acknowledgement of the Christian sources of Europe’s democracy, has eight key features, as outlined by Weigel,…… Continue reading Religion: Meet Christophobia

Film-work · Politics

Noam Chomsky Defines American Identity as Myth and Fear

Location: Noam Chomsky’s office, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Date: October 2008 Topic: American identity (with some focus on Muslims in the USA) Project: Journey into America: The Challenge of Islam Principal investigator: Akbar Ahmed Filmed by: Craig Considine © Akbar Ahmed


Photo-journal documenting trip to Athens and Santorini

I’ve done my fair share of traveling since graduating from college in 2007, from researching around the U.S. for one year with Ambassador Ahmed, to my own personal adventures throughout Europe and eastern Asia.  I’ve been to some amazing places, from the Château de Padiès in Southern France, to the hills of Honolulu, to the famous…… Continue reading Photo-journal documenting trip to Athens and Santorini


New survey confirms quote on sexuality in University Times

In February, a journalist from TCD’s University Times asked me a few questions on Irish youth and their position towards sexuality.  Rachel Levin paraphrased our conversation: Sociology Lecturer Craig Considine explains this silence. ‘Now that people are turning away from the Catholic Church, who is the authority on sex? Who has the credibility to advise?…… Continue reading New survey confirms quote on sexuality in University Times