Closing the Week 48 – Featuring Morocco and Western Sahara

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  2. The Ideology and Influence of Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi (Guest Author: Joas Wagemakers)
  3. Islamizing Europe – Muslim Demographics

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Featuring Morocco and Western Sahara
Department of Anthropology at Western – Sahrawi in words and pictures

The Moroccan and Mauritanian invasion on Western Sahara in 1975 led to the mass exodus of Sahrawis towards Tindouf, a small town in the Algerian desert. Refugee oral histories and narratives recount horror stories of war, including phosphorous bombs hurled from the skies on the fleeing population. While fighting its military battles on two fronts, the Polisario helped the Sahrawi refugees find safe shelter, distributed food and water (the little that was available) and began establishing and organizing the refugee camps. In February 1976 the Polisario declared a state in exile – the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR) and the refugees became ‘citizens’ who lived in ‘provinces’ the term Sahrawis use in reference to each camp named after districts, towns and areas within Western Sahara.

Pambazuka – Western Sahara and Morocco’s physical and symbolic violence

With tensions coming to a head over the past two weeks, Morocco is once again under the international spotlight for its alleged illegal territorial occupation of Western Sahara. In the wake of a raid on the Sahrawi encampment of Gdeim Izik by Moroccan forces on Monday 8 November, Konstantina Isidoros argues that such ‘events shed illuminating insights into Morocco’s illegal occupation’.

Western Sahara: Morocco incites potential for war – : Africa news, Maghreb news – The african daily newspaper

At six am on Monday 8th November, Moroccan armed military forces began a violent attack on one of the largest of Western Sahara’s three ’independence camps’, comprising a reported 8000 tents and 30,000 Sahrawi residents.

AFP: WSahara group ‘releases policeman’ held for spying

The UN refugee agency confirmed on Saturday that Western Saharan independence movement the Polisario Front had freed a policeman it detained on accusations of spying for arch-enemy Morocco.

Spain downplays row with Morocco over Western Sahara – Monsters and Critics

pain on Friday downplayed the importance of its diplomatic problems with Morocco, with Deputy Prime Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba saying there was a sufficient basis of mutual ‘trust’ to solve them.

Rabat announced Thursday that it would review its relations with Madrid after the Spanish parliament adopted a motion urging the government to express its concern over alleged human rights violations in Moroccan-ruled Western Sahara.

Spain’s relations with Morocco were ‘strategic’ and ‘very important,’ Rubalcaba stressed.

As dispute over Western Sahara wears on, growing numbers of refugees journey back home

Some 90,000 Sahrawis, or native Saharans, have lived in desolate tent camps in Algeria since the late 1970s, where they fled to escape warfare between Morocco and the Algerian-backed Polisario Front. Now they are fleeing back to the Moroccan side of the Sahara in increasing numbers, according to reports from the Moroccan government and the United Nations. Most escape to reunite with their families and settle in growing Sahrawi communities; some peacefully promote independent statehood for Western Sahara, while others have planned attacks on Moroccan security forces.

Anthropology (AAA and Science)
New Orleans: 6000 anthropologists, much tweeting, some blogging, no press coverage

It has been one of the best attended conferences ever. More than 6000 anthropologists went to the 109th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Society (AAA) in New Orleans.

But as usual, it’s hard to find any press coverage. There are some blog posts about the conference, though, and more than 1000 tweets. “This year was a breakout year for the use of Twitter at the AAA”, Kerim Friedman writes at Savage Minds. The tweets – mostly internal conversations – aren’t of much value for us who haven’t been there, though.

News: Social Sciences and Human Decency – Inside Higher Ed

That conflict is one among many that members of the American Anthropological Association were grappling with here during several sessions of their annual meeting last week. The association is working on its first large-scale revision of its code of ethics in a decade, though some adjustments have been made in the interim, said Dena Plemmons, chair of the task force and a research ethicist at the University of California at San Diego. A new ethics statement is likely to come up for a vote among members in spring 2012.

Anthropology is not a science, says the AAA | Benson Saler’s blog

The Board of the American Anthropological Association has recently adopted a new “mission statement” that omits any reference to “science” in its characterization of anthropology. The previous mission statement contained such a reference.

A number of US anthropologists have protested the new mission statement. I paste below a recent post from Professor Eric C. Thompson of the National University of Singapore. I find Professor Thompson’s post especially interesting because it summarizes some of the data that he and his associates collected from graduate students in several leading US anthropology programs. The student respondents gave their opinions as to which anthropologists they regard as having been most influential on the development of anthropology during the last two decades.

Why anthropology is ‘true’ even if it is not ‘science’ | Savage Minds

A recent article in Inside Higher Ed documented the latest ‘issue’ in anthropology making its way around the Internet: anger amongst ‘scientific’ anthropologists that the executive board of the American Anthropological Association has rewritten the mission statement of the association and removed language which describes anthropology as a science. Now, I have no intention to defend the executive board of the AAA, and I have no objection to labeling myself a social scientist. However, I am concerned that objections to the new statement 1) do a bad job of understanding what ‘science’ is and 2) fail to understand that the knowledge anthropology produces can still be ‘true’ even if it is not ‘scientific’.

Anthropology, Science, and Public Understanding | Neuroanthropology

During November’s annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association, the AAA executive committee made significant changes to its long-range plan statement. By choosing to drop “science” as the main qualifier of the field of anthropology, the executive committee has kicked up a firestorm among anthropologists as well as created a wider reaction in the higher education community.

Here are the old and new wordings for the first of the three sections in the American Anthropological Association’s Statement of Purpose.

Putting ‘science’ back in anthropology – This Just In – Blogs

Remember Anthro 101? You probably learned about far-off cultures and methods of observing human social life, in addition to some human evolution, perhaps. Your professor likely referenced published research, and the course catalog said it was a “social science.”

The Social Construction of Neighborhood Navigation… » Sociological Images

…and more in this 3-minute TED talk by Derek Sivers, sent in by AJ S. As AJ points out, the examples show that “…just because something is different doesn’t mean it is not logical in context.”

Somatosphere: Political Subjectivity / Subjectivity beyond the Subject

I have come across an interesting talk by Caroline Williams which would be of interest and relevance to those following the topic of subjectivity, and political subjectivity in specific.

How the Literary Darwinists Got it Wrong | Psychology Today

At the moment, I happen to be reading a 700-page Stephen King novel, left over from time in an airport. In Duma Key, a nasty dead person under the sea bed is able to influence events on this small but spooky island in the Florida Keys. This evil spirit works through paintings. It inspires the protagonist, a renter on the island, to create paintings that amaze and astonish and fetch admiration and high prices. But these paintings do things. They cause heart attacks, remove a bullet embedded in a friend’s skull, make another friend commit suicide, and the paintings make various other people die from various other causes.

Now this is nonsensical, isn’t it? Paintings don’t extract bullets or cause heart attacks. Paintings don’t kill people.

Why we act helpfully toward others – The Times of India

“In anthropology, they say if you are envied, you might act more socially afterward because you try to appease those envious people,” van de Ven says—by sharing your big catch of fish, for example. They wanted to know if these observations from anthropology held up in the psychology lab.

Book review of Cultural Diversity and Global Media (Siapera 2010) « media/anthropology

Review of Cultural Diversity and Global Media: The Mediation of Difference by Eugenia Siapera (2010, pubs. Wiley-Blackwell). This is a draft only, for the final version please see in due course the International Journal of Media and Cultural Politics.

Germany’s angst about Islamists goes mainstream

The 200 robed and bearded men gathered at dusk on the market square, rolled out their prayer rugs and intoned Allah’s praises as dismayed townspeople looked on.

It was Ramadan, the Muslim fasting month, and the group that calls itself “Invitation to Paradise” was mounting a defiant response to weeks of public protests against construction of a religious school to teach its austere, militant interpretation of Islam.

In Germany, where the racial crimes of the Nazis have bred extreme sensitivity toward the rights of minorities, such confrontations would until recently have been limited to the far-right margins. The weekly rallies in this city of 250,000 near the Dutch border these days look decidedly mainstream.

MOI Studiedag ‘Verbinding, Verbeelding en Vertier’ Moslims en Multimedia

De Nederlandse Vereniging voor de Studie van het Midden-Oosten en de Islam(MOI) organiseert op vrijdag 10 december 2010 een studiedag in Amsterdam:’Verbinding, Verbeelding en Vertier. Moslims en Multimedia’. Aan de hand van recent onderzoek zullen thema’s als methodes van internet onderzoek, salafisme, Fitna the movie en tegenfilms op Youtube, en mediagebruik onder moslims worden toegelicht.

Bruggenbouwers » Reactie liberale moslims op islamnota PKN

De islamnota ‘Integriteit en respect’ van de PKN heeft al de nodige reacties opgeroepen uit eigen geleding, getuige diverse artikelen in de media. Een bevriende dominee heeft mij geattendeerd op de nota en vroeg mij wat ik, moslim, er van vind. Hoewel de nota nog gewijzigd of aangescherpt zal worden en vooral de interne discussie binnen de PKN dient, kan het geen kwaad vanuit moslim-perspectief alvast een eerste reactie te geven.

Volgens Wilders begrijpen veel moslims de islam niet –

De PVV-visie op de islam kort samengevat: je kunt zeggen, wat je wilt maar Osama heeft gelijk.

Vertrouwen of beeldhouwen? : Nieuwemoskee

Eenentwintig jaar geleden besloot ik de islam tot de basis voor mijn verdere spirituele zoektocht te maken. Nu ben ik dus een soort ‘volwassen moslimvrouw’, wat niet betekent dat het leren en zoeken voorbij zijn. Dat hoop ik tot de dag van mijn vertrek uit dit aardse leven te blijven doen, God willende. Toen ik moslim werd, was er nog nauwelijks informatie over islam in de Nederlandse taal beschikbaar. En ook de ‘Rusdhie-affaire’ ging nog grotendeels aan mij voorbij. Toen bepaalden het aanleren van gebed, voedsel- en andere voorschriften, maar vooral de prachtige religieus geïnspireerde verhalen die mijn man vertelde, mijn beleving van gelovig zijn.

De pijnlijke geboorte van de Liberale Islam –

De dit jaar overleden Egyptische vrijdenker Abu Zaid kreeg door zijn liberale religieuze opvattingen problemen met orthodoxe moslims. Opvallend: ook hier in Nederland vielen denkers Abu Zaid af. Vrijdenkers, atheïsten en secularisten zagen niets in het idee van een liberale islam. Terecht?

Vroege Vogels: halal vlees is nog geen halal als er halal op staat

Eén miljoen Nederlandse moslims eten zonder dat ze dat weten, vlees dat eigenlijk niet halal is. Halal vlees komt vrijwel altijd uit de gangbare vee-industrie en het welzijn van de dieren en de manier van slachten is vaak in strijd met de voorschriften van de Koran. Echt halal vlees is volgens Islam deskundigen gelijk aan biologisch vlees, maar in de praktijk is dat absoluut niet het geval. Dier & Recht roept de 1 miljoen Nederlandse moslims op halal vlees uit de gangbare veehouderij (en dat is vrijwel al het halal vlees) te mijden.

‘Islamofobische hetze tegen Witte Tulp’ – AT5 Nieuws

De stichting, die huiswerkhulp geeft aan Turkse kinderen, zou nauwe banden hebben met de omstreden Islamitische Gülenbeweging. Ook zouden jongens en meisjes er gescheiden les krijgen.

Dat stond afgelopen week in een artikel in ambtenarenblad Binnenlands Bestuur. Naar aanleiding van het stuk eiste de VVD Nieuw-West opheldering van het stadsdeelbestuur.

De leiding van de Witte Tulp is uiterst verbolgen over het artikel. “Wij zien dat de hetze rond Stichting Witte Tulp ‘een islamofobisch karakter’ heeft.”

‘Ik hoor de kritische moslims te weinig’

Dat zei theoloog Ruard Ganzevoort vandaag in Dit is de Dag. Hij betreurt het dat de progressieve Nederlandse moslims zich weinig laten horen op gevoelige onderwerpen binnen de Islam. ‘Die moslims zijn er wel, maar ik hoor ze niet’.

Hoe ziet mijn toekomst eruit als ik de islam wél praktiseer? (reactie op Tofik Dibi)

Op 16 oktober publiceerde de Volkskrant een column van Tofik Dibi (tweede kamerlid GroenLinks) met de titel “Wees moslim met opgeheven hoofd!”. Dibi vertelt dat hij, net als ik overigens, sinds de verkiezingen veel vragen krijgt van jonge moslims. Zij blijken onzeker te zijn van de toekomst en vrezen de gevolgen van de monsterzege (een mooi gekozen aanduiding) van Wilders en zijn toenadering tot de macht. De kern van het betoog van Dibi komt mijns inziens tot uitdrukking in de afronding van zijn artikel, waar hij schrijft: “Wees mondig en vol zelfvertrouwen. Wees moslim met opgeheven hoofd. Word een voorbeeld voor anderen. Dát is het meest overtuigende en onweerlegbare bewijs van het ongelijk van Geert Wilders”. Tot zover geen vuiltje aan de lucht.

Nederlandse mediastilte rond Saharaconflict

Wat gek dat ik in de Nederlandse media niets terug kan vinden over de ontwikkelingen in Marokko van de laatste weken. Op de internetsites van de dagbladen ben ik in elk geval niets tegengekomen. Alleen in Het Parool stond een kort bericht: honderdduizenden protesteren in Casablanca tegen EU-resolutie, en beschuldigen vooral de Spaanse socialistische partij van vooringenomenheid.

Wat is er aan de hand?

Interview Rob Vreeken: Baas in Eigen Boerka – Wij Blijven Hier!: Het schrijversplatform van moslims

We horen veel over vrouwen en emancipatie. Vooral erg veel over moslimvrouwen (moslima’s) en emancipatie, of juist het ontbreken ervan. Volkskrantverslaggever Rob Vreeken vond het beeld van het Westen hierop eenzijdig en star. Hij ging dan ook in de moslimwereld op zoek naar vrouwen om erachter te komen hoe divers de emancipatie verloopt. stelde hem een aantal vragen over het resultaat, zijn boek: ‘Baas in eigen boerka’.

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