Academia, anthropology, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Freedom, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Muslims, Neocon, Politics, Religion, Research, sociology, Sunni, War

From anthropology to politics: the myth of the fundamentalist Arab Muslim mind

Many would have noticed that western leaders and countries seem to shift from one position to another about the wave of revolts in the Middle East and Arab world. One prime example: Tony Blair, who incidentally is the official envoy of the Quartet on the Middle East, shifted from praising Mubarak on Wednesday 2 February 2011, to praising the protests for democracy on 13 February. At the same time, in those interviews, he first presented the Muslim Brotherhood as a dangerous para-terrorist organization and then ending in declaring that politicians should “not be hysterical about them, they are not terrorists or extremists”. Although we need to acknowledge that each revolt finds its raison d’être in local contexts and issues, we have also to recognize that Arab youth in the region want a change: they wish to end the long post-colonial period of time marked by dictators at the service of western economic and geopolitical interests. Continue reading

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Italy: do not ask for a mosque but rather smoke your daily weed

It would be a good news, among the bad, if you were a Baye Faal Muslim of Gambia and, with your Muslim Rasta dreadlocks and ready to enjoy your daily dose of wisdom weed. Indeed, today you would have come to know that the Italian State, controlled by not-so-post fascist parties, may not allow you to have a real mosque to pray in, and oppose your constitutional right to have your freedom of religion respected, but recognise your right, as Bayee Faaal Muslim, to have your Afghani weed.
Today the Italian Cassazione (High Court) has decided that Rastafarians are allowed to posses and smoke high quantities of Marijuana (read here for an English short version of the story) despite the very restrictive Italian law. Continue reading

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Afghanistan, America, anthropology, Bush, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Europe, Freedom, Journalism, Politics, South Asia, War on Terror

From the Taliban to the Taliban: the case of Sayed Perwiz Kambakhsh

Why did our European and US governments invade Afghanistan? How many of us can recall the general rhetoric of a Just War fought in the name of an ‘Enduring Freedom’ to liberate Afghan women from their burqa and Afghan men from their long beards, as well as bringing to justice bin-Laden? The Afghan campaign has been a half military success, with US and Nato generals blaming each other for the other half failure, while bin-Laden, if not dead by natural cause, can celebrate Bush’s most evident flop. The Afghan war, while facilitating a new form of old corruption in the cities and capital, has increased the suffering of the rural population, often caught in battles of which they are only the victims. Yet some say that Afghanistan is now a better place since it is on the route toward democracy, though a fictional and corrupted one. Continue reading

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