democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Ethnic Minorities, Europe, Freedom, Islam, Islam in Europe, Muslims, Politics, Prison, Terrorism, The UK, Uk government, War on Terror

Losing the hearts, upsetting the minds: Brown’s 42-day detention

Today we are a less safe country than yesterday. Today, Britain has betrayed its own history, values and beliefs thanks to nine votes provided by a Northern Irish party, the DUP, no stranger to terrorist links. Today, the right to undermine even the basic principles behind our Magna Carta have been claimed by a childish Prime Minister performing a public ‘virility test’ in the House of Commons. The 42-day detention law has passed in the parliament. In a dramatic and unprecedented decision, the conservative Shadow Home Secretary David Davis has resigned from the House of Commons and has clearly pointed out the reasons for rejecting the overall vision of Brown’s Britain as Orwellian and now even Kafkanian society. Continue reading

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

anthropology, democracy, Democracy and Justice, Ethics, Europe, Freedom, Politics, Refugees, The UK

Britain supports torture not in theory but de facto

As an anthropologist who works with Muslims, many of whom are immigrants, refugees, asylum-seekers, as well as illegal immigrants, I came to know how difficult their lives could be. Of course, there are people who exploit the system; there are people who lie to acquire naturalization (see for instance the case of Ayaan Hirsi Ali), there are people who do not need to remain, as refugees, in our country. Yet I can tell you that the life of an asylum-seeker and refugee cannot be understood while sitting on a sofa, watching sensationalist news while eating crisps and drinking Coke, and waiting for the rest of the family to be ready for dinner and for the children to stop playing their Nintendo console. Continue reading