Closing the week 23


Most popular this week:

  1. Islamizing Europe – Muslim Demographics
  2. Rwina – Stijl in debat
  3. Radicalization Series Part I – The slippery slope of ethnic profiling & Een impressie van het Nationaal Islam Congres

What’s the point of media anthropology? « media/anthropology

Yet a nagging doubt remains. Given anthropology’s late arrival at the study of media and communication, what can our discipline hope to contribute to this long-established field of interdisciplinary research? What is, in other words, the point of media anthropology? Mark A. Peterson (2003: 3) has suggested that media anthropology has three main contributions to make: thick ethnographies, a decentred West, and alternative theories. First, in contrast to other media scholars, media anthropologists conduct relatively extended, open-ended fieldwork in which media artefacts and practices are but one part of the social worlds under study. Second, media anthropologists are as likely to work in remote corners of the global South as they are in metropolitan areas of Europe or North America. This wide geographical scope allows them to broaden the media research agenda from its traditional North Atlantic heartland. Third, media anthropologists bring to the study of media a long disciplinary history of grappling with sociocultural complexity through theories of exchange, social formations and cultural forms. This theoretical expertise, argues Peterson, can help the field to finally leave behind the simple models of communication that dominated its earlier history.

Whilst concurring with this assessment, I wish to suggest that there is one crucial dimension missing from Peterson’s and other existing media anthropological programmes, namely history.

Truth among the…

(Ten year ago or so, Maurice Bloch and I started discussing a basic issue in folk-epistemic, the variety of notions of truth across cultures, and we ran several workshops in Paris with psychologists, historians, and anthropologists on the theme. I would like to revive the discussion, maybe in the form of an online workshop, but first, let me raise the issue on this blog.)

Do considerations of “truth” play a role in human intellectual and social practices in all cultures? Are diverse notions of truth involved both across and within cultures? Are implicit notions of truth involved, and, if so, how do they relate to explicit notions? In which cultural practices and domains of discourse is a notion of truth invoked? Are there institutions and social positions which entertain a privileged relationship with “truth”?

News: Militarizing the Social Sciences and Humanities in Canada « OPEN ANTHROPOLOGY

No consideration is given to the fact that when social scientists are perceived to be agents of the deadliest arm of the state, with clear goals of domination and subordination, the future of social research is jeopardized by mistrust and antagonism toward academics. In addition, if researchers are seen as instruments of a militarist state, their own lives are ultimately placed in jeopardy, as well the reputation of their respective disciplines and their universities. Doing no harm is a fundamental principle of Canadian research, and the weaponizing of research runs counter to that — so that some fights will have to occur at the level of university ethics review boards, at the level of academic associations, and in the national media.

Caught in the Net – The Internet & Compulsion « Neuroanthropology

Why are you reading this? Do you want to learn? Are you doing research? Maybe you’re bored and are looking to kill time? Are you addicted and can’t get offline?

So just how many of those links did you check out? After clicking on the first one, did you want to click on another? Did you fight the urge or just keep clicking?

A Conversation With Pauline Wiessner – Where Gifts and Stories Are Crucial to Survival – Interview –

People who made exquisite gifts and told enthralling stories would have been more successful in maintaining relationships. They might have been the ones who would have had better opportunities for survival and to pass their genes onto the next generation.


A. Facebook. People who use it say it keeps memories of distant friends alive and it sometimes brings long-lost relationships back home.

Open Anthropology Cooperative

The new anthropologists hangout

Obama, Obama, Obama
My first take on The Speech | Marc Lynch

President Obama’s speech today in Cairo met the bar he set for himself. In an address modeled after the Philadelphia speech on race, he forewent soaring oratory in favor of a thoughtful, nuanced and challenging reflection on America’s relations with the Muslims around the world (not “the Muslim world”, which for some reason became a major issue in American punditry over the last few days). As he frankly recognized, no one speech can overcome the many problems he addressed. But this speech is an essential starting point in a genuine conversation, a respectful dialogue on core issues. After the initial rush of instant commentaries and attempts to inflame controversy pass, it should become the foundation for a serious, ongoing conversation which could, as the President put it, “remake this world.”

Obama, Sarkozy press conference in France: Iranian threat, Muslim women head covering. Transcript. – Lynn Sweet

Obama, Sarkozy press conference in France: Iranian threat, Muslim women head covering. Transcript.


I had planned to write today about the Arab response to the speech, and about an interesting meeting I had yesterday morning, but I wasn’t able to post due to technical problems with the site. Oh well. For now, I just have to share what has to be the best start of a presidential interview ever:

“THE PRESIDENT: I think you pressed play instead of record.”


Maldives News | Minivan News

I thought I’d seen it all until I came across a news article on a show called Islamic Idol. I cringed. What next? Muslim Survivor? (probably already happened and I fortunately missed it). It was bad enough hearing about ‘Afghan Star’ – a pop talent show in Afghanistan. While the country and its people, ravaged by war and poverty, struggled to survive and make ends meet, the desperately needed dollars for development in Afghanistan were spent seeking untapped talent, as well as untapped resources. Capitalism is thriving in Afghanistan today, when not much else is.

Hijabtrendz » Blog Archive » AsiaOne Reviews the Islamic Fashion Festival

AsiaOne recently posted pictures of the Islamic Fashion Festival that took place in Jakarta on May 25th and 26th.

According to AsiaOne the Festival is for men and women to find contemporary Islamic fashion.

It’s Barbie’s World. « Nuseiba

[Amina Yaqin]concludes that it arguable whether the dolls break stereotyped representation of Muslim women, or whether the dolls reinforce stereotypes through the universalizing of a female Muslim subject. She rightly argues Razanna is a ‘veiled mimicry’ of Barbie.

So do Fulla and Razanne represent “protest products” made to resist Western consumer culture? Or, as Katie Cercone argues, are Fulla and Razanna (like their white Barbie counterparts) “emblem[s] of the cultural pressure to conform to one extremely limiting female role?”

What Not to Wear, Baghdad-Style – Fashion Rules Begin to Change –

BEFORE AND AFTER Riam Salaam Sabri, 16, wore more conservative clothing while security in Baghdad was poor, but now she feels safe in Western clothes.


BAGHDAD — The young women of Baghdad acknowledge that there are more serious concerns in Iraq these days than hair, clothes and makeup.

But they also say that there might be nothing quite as exhilarating as stepping out of the house in a pretty dress, hair flowing freely behind them, behaving as if their country had not been shattered by war and dominated by religious conservatism for much of their lives.

Taliban Stir Rising Anger of Pakistanis –

history moves quickly in Pakistan, and after months of televised Taliban cruelties, broken promises and suicide attacks, there is a spreading sense — apparent in the news media, among politicians and the public — that many Pakistanis are finally turning against the Taliban.

The shift is still tentative and difficult to quantify. But it seems especially profound among the millions of Pakistanis directly threatened by the Taliban advance from the tribal areas into more settled parts of Pakistan, like the Swat Valley.

Boy ‘made suicide vests after watching Abu Hamza on internet’ – Telegraph

A former public schoolboy, who converted to Islam in just three months after watching videos by the radical cleric Abu Hamza on the internet, mixed explosives and made suicide vests before carrying out reconnaissance trips on targets, a court has heard.

Terror trial defendant makes own closing argument –

The federal trial of a former Georgia Tech student accused of supporting terrorism came to a close Thursday with the defendant delivering his own closing argument.
The FBI says Syed Haris Ahmed took casing video of the Pentagon and discussed attacks on the United States.

The FBI says Syed Haris Ahmed took casing video of the Pentagon and discussed attacks on the United States.

Syed Haris Ahmed, charged with providing material support to terrorism in the United States and abroad, used the time to talk about his Muslim faith instead of addressing the evidence against him.

BBC NEWS | Programmes | From Our Own Correspondent | Saudi reform in ‘fits and starts’

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah presents himself as a sponsor of reformed Islam, but as Ginny Hill discovers competing power bases in the country mean that social reform develops sporadically.

Omroep Gelderland – Nieuws – nieuwsartikel – Lerares bedreigd om hoofddoek

Lerares bedreigd om hoofddoekOOSTERHOUT – Een lerares van openbare basisschool De Oversteek in Oosterhout heeft een dreigbrief ontvangen vanwege haar hoofddoek.

De politie heeft de zaak uitgebreid onderzocht en zegt naar aanleiding daarvan dat de bedreiging niet serieus wordt genomen. Er zijn ook geen personen aangehouden. Volgens de politie is het onderzoek daarmee afgerond.

De school heeft woensdagavond in de wijk rondom De Oversteek brieven uitgedeeld om de buurt te informeren. In de brief worden de afzenders van de dreigbrief gevraagd uit de anonimiteit te treden. Ook wordt benadrukt dat de school achter de lerares staat. Volgens een woordvoerder hebben veel mensen hun steun aan de lerares uitgesproken.

De dreigbrief die is verstuurd, is ondertekend door het Ouderfront tegen de islamitische invasie. Een jaar geleden werd een vergelijkbare brief naar de school gestuurd.

Beluister ook de interviews met ouder en een directielid bij Omroep Gelderland.

Joost Niemöller » Martien Pennings: geen vrijheid voor het Kwaad

Martien Pennings is tegen de ver opgerekte vrijheid van meningsuiting die Mark Rutte bepleit. Hij wil de islam daarvan uitsluiten. Hij ziet geen bezwaar tegen het koran verbod van Wilders. Zijn stelling bepleitend gaat hij hieronder in de aanval tegen Carel Brendel en Joost Niemöller. -door Martien Pennings-

Géén vrijheid voor het Kwaad. Óók niet ‘van meninsguiting’.

’Ali was lief, hij deed alles voor me’ – Trouw

Loubna (28) herinnert zich haar huwelijksfeest nog als de dag van gisteren. Er waren veel mensen. Het hele dorp, dichtbij de Marokkaanse stad Rabat, was uitgelopen. Het was warm, maar niet te warm. De zon was niet te fel.

Aziz maakt van Dordt calvinistisch bedevaartsoord – Trouw

Een gewaagd kunstproject: Dordrecht krijgt een bedevaartsoord voor calvinisten dat licht geïnspireerd is op het Islamitische Mekka.

De heiligste plaats van de islam komt in Dordrecht. Om de 500ste geboortedag van Calvijn te vieren. Kunstenaar Aziz tovert Het Hof, de plaats waar Willem van Oranje in 1572 werd gekozen tot stadhouder, om tot een ’hedendaags bedevaartsoord’: het „Mekka van Calvijn’.

Gedoe over frikadellen en halalsnacks zit ‘Klarendal Culturendal’ in de weg – Arnhem – voorpagina – Gelderlander

Het bestuur van De Leuke Linde vindt dat de Islamitische Unie zich bij de voorbereiding eenzijdig en veeleisend opstelde. “Met deze manier van samenwerken zijn we het niet eens en willen wij ook niet verder”, schrijft Ron Onstein namens het bestuur in een brief aan direct betrokkenen.

Het festival moest voor elk wat wils bieden. De Unie wilde echter bepalen hoe er gekookt werd, aldus Onstein. De Leuke Linde reageerde daarop ‘uiterst verbaasd’ en concludeerde dat de Unie dus wenste te beslissen over wat ze daar ‘wel of niet in het weekeinde mag verkopen’, aldus Onstein. De Klarendaller concludeerde: “Dit werkt voor ons niet.”

Voorzitter Bahaeddin Budak van de Islamitische Unie betreurt de gang van zaken. “Vorig jaar was het geen probleem, toen organiseerden we alles zelf en mochten we de keuken van De Leuke Linde gebruiken.” Dat ging gepaard met rein, toegestaan halal-voedsel zonder verboden varkensvlees. Budak heeft de Hollandse keukenmeesters proberen uit te leggen hoe nauw alles luistert. “Het kan niet zo zijn dat je kip, frikadellen en friet in dezelfde olie bakt.”

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