Afghanistan, America, anthropology, Censorship, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Fashion, Freedom, Gender, Immigration, Islam, Islam in Europe, Islamophobia, Italy, Journalism, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Research, sociology, The UK, War on Terror

Burqu’ing freedom: the danger of ‘moral civilizing’

The year 2010 appears to be marked by the ‘war on burqas’ (the Switzerland minarets being an exception). While Belgium has formally moved to ban niqabs and burqas, Italy used regional laws to fine Muslim women using niqabs, and Quebec has imposed a ban for anyone wearing one to enter government places, including hospital and casualty departments (see this article for more information). The majority of European nations, such as France, are still debating the matter. Both politicians and experts recognize that the number of people who wear a face veil (click here to avoid any confusion about them as often happens) on European streets are very few, and in Belgium they are even less than fifty. It would not be so unimaginable to suggest–even starting from my own observations–that today in the west there are more Muslim women wearing miniskirts than face veils.
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anthropology, Anti-Semitism, BBC, Catholic Church, Censorship, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Gender, Immigration, Islam, Islam in Europe, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslim family, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Research, Sexuality, sociology

The shameful silence: abuse and repression between tradition and lack of education

 

Muslims in the UK, as in another countries both in the geographical west or east, have to reflect carefully on the issue of child abuse within their heterogeneous communities as well as religious organisations, instead of wrapping themselves in a cloak of embarrassment, silence, and unacceptable complicity reinforced by the shared idea that, as in an interview one person told me, ‘these things do not happen in our community and do not happen among Muslims’. In reality they happen as often as in other communities, regardless of ethnic and religious background.   Continue reading

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anthropology, Arts, BBC, Censorship, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Fashion, Freedom, Gender, Humor, Islam, Islam in Europe, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Research, Sexuality, sociology

Sarah Maple loves jihad: it makes money

 

Sarah Maple defines herself as an artist To use my definition of identity she feels to be an artist. Some would recognize her as such and invite her to expose her works  Other, as often is the case for contemporary at, would consider her ‘art’ as another pice of junk. Sarah Maple was born in 1985 and grew up in Sussex. The daughter of a mixed religious and cultural couple, she was brought up as Muslim by her mother.Let me say that I do not find Sarah Maple’s work interesting or original at all. For somebody born in Florence, tolerance for contemporary art tends to end with Kandinsky.

I tend to find Miss Maple’s artistic expression too childish and simplistic, when not overtly vulgar or distasteful without being even too original. Her work it seems often more the production of a school girl with too many hormones in her blood. Indeed it does not reach the artistic power of an unique scandalous artist affected by genitalphilia  such as Francis Bacon.  I have also the impression that as other artists and writers today, she is trying to find an easy route to fast success by playing with controversy surrounding Islam and Muslims. Continue reading

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anthropology, Apocalypse, Censorship, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Freedom, Humor, Islam in Europe, Islamo Fascism, Islamophobia, jihad, Journalism, marranci, Neocon, Politics, Robert Spencer, Satire

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

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anthropology, Censorship, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Europe, Freedom, Islam, Islam in Europe, Islamo Fascism, Islamophobia, Journalism, marranci, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Research, Research Metodology, The UK, Uk government, War on Terror

Dr MacEoin clarifies his methodology and the real reasons behind the report

I thank Dr MacEoin for his time and for his kind reply to my criticism and series of questions concerning his Policy Exchange’s report. Dr MacEoin replies below to my questions (I supposed in a very hasty way) :

Oh, this is so silly. The report makes it clear that teams of young Mudslims [sic] visited the mosques and bought or were given the materials that served as the basis for the study. They obtained receipts everywhere they went. With the help of an advisory committee, I organized the material, identifying offensive passages where they occurred. Some were in English, some were translated from Arabic. The offensive passages are now in the public forum, and the report identifies the places whjere [sic] they were found. I don’t doubt this could all be refined, but that wasn’t our purpose. All we did was show that offensive and hate material was available in around a quarter of the premises visited. Continue reading

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anthropology, Censorship, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Europe, Freedom, Islam, Islam in Europe, Islamo Fascism, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslims, Politics, Research, Research Metodology, Terrorism, The UK, Uk government

Policy Exchange hijacks professional research

To conduct professional research is not easy, it’s difficult and in particular the most difficult thing is to plan the research and test these plans for accuracy. Another reason for which research is not easy is that it should be ethical; and I cannot emphasise this enough. For this reason, doctoral students are carefully trained. When research has an amazing impact on human beings (or even animals) the ethical concerns should be paramount. Today writing and research about Muslims, because of the political situation and increasing, highly concerning, anti-Muslim sentiments, should be of the most professional level and ethically and methodologically correct.

Today the think tank Policy Exchange has presented a report entitled The Hijacking of British Islam. Continue reading

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Censorship, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Europe, Freedom, Humor, Islam in Europe, Muslims, Politics, Satire, Terrorism, War on Terror

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

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