What's on This Week

01.25.2015
Our planet is facing a mass extinction crisis. By the end of the century, we could lose up to half of all living species. But people are working hard to save endangered species...
01.25.2015
Train Station
Are you planning a winter getaway? Are you headed to a quiet beach, or somewhere more adventurous? In this hour, we talk with writers, philosophers and veteran itinerants about...

On Our Minds

I Read
It's National Readathon Day! Need a little inspiration to pick up a novel? Here's Ursula K LeGuin on why books will endure...
White Noise
January 21st marks the 30th anniversary of Don DeLillo winning the American Book Award for his breakthrough novel, “White Noise.” We don’t have an interview with DeLillo in...
David Lynch
The inimitable film director David Lynch turns 69 this week, and we're paying homage to the man Mel Brooks described as “Jimmy Stewart on Mars” by revisiting our decidedly...
Image: Chris Boland Via: Flickr Creative Commons
"The Collectors" is a brand-new audiobook by writer Philip Pullman. The story sheds light into the early life of Marisa Coulter, a villain from Pullman's acclaimed fantasy...
South Bend Voice
Martin Luther King Jr. Day has us thinking about America's Great Migration -- the epic struggle for freedom that saw six million people migrate north from the southern states...

Islam, Hip Hop, Free Speech and Extremism

The shocking attacks in Paris earlier this month renewed a range of cultural debates about free speech and racial tolerance in France and the rest of the world. It also marked another round of questions about the relationship between hip-hop music and violence.

According to Hisham Aidi—an expert on globalization and social movements—there are currently two central debates around French-Muslim hip hop. The first is whether or not Cherif Kouachi—one of the Charlie Hebdo attackers and an aspiring rapper—was radicalized through hip hop. The second, more complex question is how speech is policed in contemporary France. Many French hip hop artists have openly denounced the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, even though they have been critical of the paper in the past. These artists see the paper as promoting hate speech and hiding behind free speech, while the French government has taken Muslim rappers to court for inciting the public and criticizing the police.

You can find a playlist of hip hop from the Muslim artists, and our interview with Aidi, here.