Academia, anthropology, Australia, Cartoons, Censorship, CyberOrient, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethnic Minorities, Freedom, Humor, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Islam in Europe, Islamo Fascism, Islamophobia, Journalism, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Religion, Riots, sociology, Terrorism

Hooligans of Islam: understanding the Sydney Muhammed video riots

On a normal Sunday in Sydney’s CBD people started to gather to protest against an offensive short YouTube clip that misrepresented Muhammed, the main Prophet of Islam, in a vulgar, a-historical and in most parts, ridiculous way. What was supposed to be a ‘peaceful’ protest (but the banners being waved were anything but peaceful), turned violent with protesters attacking the police, screaming abuse at Christians and smashing properties. After the Cronula riots, the Muslim communities in Sydney together with the rest of Australian society had worked hard to reestablish trust in multiculturalism as an Australian way of life. Last Sunday multiculturalism and Islam faced criticism again. Questions such as “is there something wrong with Islam?” resurfaced in forums and even in the mass media. Continue reading

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anthropology, Catholic Church, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Humor, Immigration, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Islam in Europe, Italy, Journalism, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Refugees, Religion, Research, sociology, War on Terror

Berlusconi and the ‘Mamma the Turks!’ strategy

In Italy it is time for the administrative elections. This electoral test has surely, as at beginning Berlusconi suggested, a national value. After the first electoral turn, last week, for Berlusconi things are not so good. In his Milan stronghold, the oppositional candidate, with a clear Communist past, has won the first part of the competition. Berlusconi’s main ally, the xenophobic and Islamophobic Lega Nord, was furious with the result and Berlusconi’s government now has to dance a different Bunga Bunga. The fear that the Left will take control of Milan, the city-symbol of Berlusconism, is enough to convince Berlusconi himself to adopt Lega Nord’s favourite weapon: what I call the ‘Mamma the Turks’ strategy.

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anthropology, Arts, Australia, Catholic Church, Ethics, Fashion, Freedom, Humor, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Journalism, Muslims, Politics, Religion, Satire, Sexuality, sociology

Religion, sex and money: the hedonism of scandal

Some of you reading the title of this post may think that I am referring to the most hedonistic prime minister in the world: Silvio Berlusconi and his adventures with teenagers as well as professional, and well paid, escorts. Yet, I am actually referring to another, less known and less publicized, case which has been taking place in Australia since May 2009. A quite unknown filmmaker has decided to sponsor his new ideas through the ever- successful use of blasphemy.


The filmmaker Justin Sisely wishes to produce a ‘documentary’ that will follow two virgins (one male and female) as they auction their virginity to unknown bidders. To succeed in his attempt, he, of course, needs certified virgins. Today, as we know, (at least in the ‘Western’ hemisphere) this is not a simple task, and to find two who are willing to prostitute their first intercourse is probably even harder. Continue reading

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anthropology, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Ethnic Minorities, Freedom, Humor, Islam, Islam and Christianity, Journalism, Politics, Religion, Research, Singapore, South Asia

Malaysian Muslim? Sorry, no yoga for you!

Yesterday the Malaysian National Fatwa Council has issued another of its many fatwas, which have seen an increase in numbers during this time of political turmoil. “Yoga is forbidden for Muslims. The practice will erode their faith in the religion,” said Abdul Shukor Husin, the council’s chairman.This time the target was one of the most (also among Muslims) anti-stress activities: Yoga. As mental and physical discipline, Yoga has been appreciated by many Muslim scholars, who have even suggested that the practice could be ‘Islamicized’. 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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Apocalypse, bin-Laden, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Europe, Humor, Islam in Europe, Journalism, Politics, Religion, Satire, Terrorism, War on Terror

A real Orwellian story

Few British newspapers, and even less European, have reported the Orwellian plans of Brown’s increasingly illegitimate (and barely democratic) government for a 2008 version of Big Brother’s 1984. The main idea is to collect the largest database in the world though logging all the communications (from old phone to the Internet) of Her Majesty’s Subjects. A massive government database holding details of every phone call, e-mail and time spent on the internet by the public will be held in the most ‘secure’ place: the British Home Office. Of course, the reason behind this massively expensive, and entirely futile, database is to save us from terrorism….or isn’t it?The only way to know if the New Labour government is really fighting terrorism or transforming itself into a party of Orwellian magnitude is to check its record before the word terrorism possessed the ascetic face of the evergreen (nearly immortal, and surely elusive) Osama. Continue reading

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Afghanistan, anthropology, Democracy and Justice, Europe, Humor, Islam in Europe, jihad, Muslims, Politics, Prison, Terrorism, The UK, Uk government, War on Terror

Why do they enjoy doing their porridge?

Recently the Crown has claimed its first success in prosecuting, under Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006, a wannabe ‘jihadi’, Mr Sohail Anjum Qureshi. Mr Sohail Qureshi, 29, pleaded guilty at the Old Bailey to charges of preparing to commit terrorist activity and possessing items of use to terrorists, including a night vision scope and medical supplies To count this sentence as the first success of a quite unsuccessful piece of legislation is like to celebrate for a faux victory. I will explain the reasons below. Yet let me observe some aspects of the case. Here’s what the BBC has to say about it

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