The Dutch banned ritual slaughtering by Muslims and Jews. In a proposal heavily condemned by Muslim and Jewish organizations the Party of the Animals wanted a complete ban on dhabiha and shechita in cases where the animals were not stunned before the killing; the ritual slaughtering by Muslims and Jews. The ban will mostly effect orthodox Jews since all of the shechita slaughtering involves animals fully conscious while in the case of dhabiba this is the case in only 25%-40%. Or how ‘food’ has become field where people battle over political, religious, economic, social and animal welfare issues.
PBS met with prof. Jocelyne Cesari on secularism in France. She directs Harvard University’s Islam in the West program and was interviewed while in residence this year at the National War College. In this post you see the interview and a debate between her and others on French secularism.
A weekly round up of writings on the Internet, some relevant for my research, some political, some funny but all of them interesting (Dutch/English). (As usual to a large extent based upon suggestions from Dutch, other European, American and Middle Eastern readers. Thank you all.) This week featuring the Wilders trial, freedom of speech and beyond.
In this entry I give an overview of the events of the trial against extremist anti-islam nativist Geert Wilders. A court case can be seen as a ritual that can offer a temporary solution to a complex and difficult political situation and that should transform a tense situation (as was clearly the case with Fitna) to a more balanced situation. It seems however that the whole trial did not lead to balance and social integration of conflictual standpoints, but to dissensus. A dissensus ritual does not (at least not immediately) lead to social integration but to a focus of the public on the existence of social crises and the escalation of such crisis. The distinction however is not that strong. By relegating the conflict between Wilders’ PVV and its supporters on the one hand and Muslims and anti-racism organisations on the other hand, and the state supposedly somewhere in the middle, decreases the conflictual aspects. It confirms that the natural order of how conflicts should be solved in this country is either by trial or by political debate. As such it establishes and reinforces a hierarchical order of how people should respond to the world. But dit it work?
Last night Moroccan king Mohammed VI announced reforms and a constitutional referendum. This can be seen as the answer of the Moroccan establishment to the protests in Morocco. Will it be sufficient for the protesters? The ideas of the king sounded healthy and promising but isn’t it more of the same…again? At the same time I’m also not that sure of the ‘revolutionairy spirit’ is so strong anymore. Furthermore it remains to be seen whether the supporters and opponents of reform will get an equal share of media publicity in the weeks leading up to the referendum. And if the referendum will be a clear yes for the reform, will the reforms eventually lead to a substantial decrease of the power of the current elite? Journalist Achmed Benchemsi has a good first take I think on the speech at Al Jazeera.
Het tijdschrift Theologisch Debat doet haar naam eer aan en heeft een debatsectie; ditmaal over interreligieuze dialoog. De opening wordt verzorgd door kersverse hoogleraar interreligieuze dialoog Marcel Poorthuis. Andere artikelen zijn van Gé Speelman (Een integere en respectvolle dialoog – Opmerkingen bij de Islamnota van de PKN), Bernhard Reitsma (Wat er achter de dialoog schuil gaat) en van uw blogger en antropoloog: Dialoog en Geloof in Actie.
A weekly round up of writings on the Internet, some relevant for my research, some political, some funny but all of them interesting (Dutch/English). (As usual to a large extent based upon suggestions from Dutch, other European, American and Middle Eastern readers. Thank you all.) This week featuring the uprisings in the Middle East, again.
Bernard Haykel and Charles Schmitz are two of the most renowned scholars working on Middle East, including Yemen. In this talk they both shed some light on the complex background of the Yemeni situation, local and international politics, Al Qaeda, president Saleh, tribal matters and so on. Listen and watch this crash course on Yemen.
Madawi Al-Rasheed is Professor of Social Anthropology at King’s College, London. Born in Saudi Arabia, she currently lives in London. Her research focuses on history, society, religion and politics in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Her recent publications include Politics in an Arabian Oasis, A History of Saudi Arabia, and Contesting the Saudi State. In an interview with The Real News she reflects on current developments in Saudi Arabia against the background of the Middle Eastern uprisings and ‘Western hypocrisy’.