Spencerdanism: A new cult?

Finally Mr Spencer has answered my questions, of course in Spencer’s style, despite his traditional protestation and much crocodile tears, sees a great degree of victimization, demonization of the ‘enemy’, and manipulation of others’ viewpoints. Yet this post is not about Spencer’s answers, which in any case you can read and draw your own conclusions about. It is not about his lack of humour, and his self-centric business related, attitude. It is more about the kind of people who seem to orbit around him.

Indeed, due to such a reality, it becomes impossible to have any serious (or even humorous) discussion with him. You can read the slandering comments by his supporters posted on his post about me (with some comments lacking humour and sounding more like a jihadist-style rant), and the hundreds that I have received on my blog: some unpublished because of the vulgarity within them, and others which have even included, more or less serious death-threats.

I am an anthropologist, and as such I am fascinated by the situation. I may have discovered a new cult: Spencerdanism. Continue reading

Burnout

Dear all,

As you may have noticed, there has been a reduction in the number of posts on my blog. Despite interesting events concerning Muslims in the West, the reason is because I am drowning in paperwork. I have also organised some events – which now, of course, I have to attend. The first one is a panel at the Deutscher Orientalistentag, entitled Muslims and Globalisation: Lives, Dreams and Experiences.

However, the most important is a symposium that I have organized with Springer to celebrate the first volume of my journal, Contemporary Islam; Dynamics of Muslim Life.

If you wish to have more information, you can find it here:

 

Beyond the Stereotypes:Dynamics of Muslim Life in the Globalized World

Meanwhile, while trying to reach Freiburg im Breisgau (and believe me, it’s a bit of an adventure), I will write a post about cyberterrorism since I have been contacted by a journalist about the case of Mohammed Atif Siddique. The enigma of the Sphinx this time is, ‘can the Internet alone transform a young Scots student into a “wannabe suicide bomber?”

Gabriele

Stop the word, save the world

Sometimes reading an Italian newspaper can provide you with news that otherwise would remain unnoticed in the more globalized Anglo-Saxon mainstream mass media. This is particularly true when the guy in the spotlight is an Italian professor and lawyer, who today is the Vice President of the European Commission, Prof. Franco Frattini. Frattini is certainly not a Google supporter. In different cases, he has criticised the company and their policies. Of course, Google is certainly not a paladin of privacy at all, and the way in which it manages the billions of data and information about us makes it a bit Big Brotherish. Prof. Frattini, who is the commissioner responsible for Freedom, Security and Justice, is a cybersceptic and this is certainly not something unusual for Italian politicians. Not unusual is also the Italian, and increasingly EU, tradition of suggesting ridiculous solutions to serious issues. Continue reading

Twenty years since the fatal shooting of cartoonist Naji al-Ali

To be a cartoonist has never been easy. Fewer and fewer people in the world have a real sense of humor or understand satire and sarcasm. Naji al-Ali has been a cartoonist who expressed his criticism about Palestine, the oppression of Palestinians and Palestinian political life, in a powerful way.

His pen was sharp and his cartoons powerful, so powerful that somebody, if not a real consortium, decided to kill him in London twenty years ago. Indeed, on July 22, 1987, he was shot in the face, at point blank range, as he left the London offices of the Al Qabbas newspaper. He died after laying in a coma for 5 weeks. Continue reading

Collateral damage in the Wars on Terror: between Afghanistan and Glasgow

I left a raining London on the 28th of June. London was busy as usual, noisy as usual, and multicultural and multifaith as usual. While the nation greeted the new Prime Minister Gordon Brown in London, an increasing number of civilians in Afghanistan were killed and maimed by the increasingly ruthless ISAF attacks. Even President Hamid Karzai, surely one of the most passionate supporters of the coalition forces, and certainly not a Taliban sympathizer, strongly condemned the military actions which have terrorised and killed the civilians in the north of the country. News from Afghanistan attracted little attention for the Western audience.

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The Cyber-Crusader Knights of the Beeb

Are you bored? Is the latest gadget not anymore attractive? Has your girlfriend just left you for your best friend? Are you addicted to the Internet so much that you are now unemployable? Well, do not worry, you can become a member of Vigil, a cyber-crusader group which hunts web-terrorists! Fun is guaranteed and you may even become one of the greatly esteemed ‘Knights of the Beeb‘. Yes, we are speaking of grown-up children playing something like cyberspace “Cops and Robbers”. But let me start from the beginning. Continue reading

Mr Bishop Nazir-Ali and his Ancestral ‘Muslim Hypocrisy’

Islam, Islam, Islam and again Islam. Do you want to make money? Do you want to attract attention? Do you want to start your political career? Do you want to candidate yourself as the future Archbishop of Canterbury? Here’s the solution: Say something controversial about Islam and Muslims. Yet, remember, you are up against incredible competition: Satanic Verses, Danish Cartoons, apologetic Popes and the Bush and Blair supporters.

Continue reading