Closing the week 26
Most popular on Closer this week:
- Islamizing Europe – Muslim Demographics
- Het kan bekeren – Jonge bekeerlingen
- Closing the week 26 – Featuring Iran
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Featuring: Democracy & Blogosphere
Internet & Democracy project release study of the Arabic blogosphere | Berkman Center
“Mapping the Arabic Blogosphere” utilizes a unique methodology that blends link analysis, term frequency analysis, and human coding of individual blogs to investigate the online discussions taking place across the Middle East and North Africa. Internet & Democracy project director Bruce Etling and his team, with Morningside Analytics founder and Berkman affiliate John Kelly, and co-authors Robert Faris and John Palfrey, identified a base network of approximately 35,000 active blogs (about half as many as found in their previous study of the Persian blogosphere), created a network map of the 6,000 most connected blogs, and with a group of Arabic speakers hand coded 4,000 blogs. Congratulations and thanks to all who collaborated on this significant work!
The goal for the study was to produce a baseline assessment of the networked public sphere in the Arab Middle East, and its relationship to a range of emergent issues, including politics, media, religion, culture, and international affairs. Whereas the previous study of the Persian blogosphere revealed a network organized primarily around political ideologies and topical issues, such as reformist and conservative politics, religion, and poetry, the Arabic blogosphere is organized primarily around countries. Moreover, personal life and local issues are the most important topics of discussion: most bloggers write mainly personal, diary-style observations, but when writing about politics, bloggers tend to focus on issues within their own country. Bloggers link to Web 2.0 sites like YouTube and Wikipedia (English and Arabic versions) more than other sources of information and news available on the Internet. The overall picture is one of country-based groupings of blogs focused on domestic issues.
* To download the paper, including the full Key Findings, or to view the map of the Arabic blogosphere, visit http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/publications/2009/Mapping_the_Arabic_Blogosphere
Online Discourse in the Arab World: Dispelling the Myths | Berkman Center
The Internet & Democracy project will present the Berkman Center’s new research on the Arabic blogosphere, which analyzes over 10,000 blogs from 18 countries and which follows last year’s Mapping Iran’s Online Public: Politics and Culture in the Persian Blogosphere. The Arabic blogosphere findings will be discussed by an exceptional panel of speakers, with the online participation of bloggers from the Middle East.
John Palfrey and Bruce Etling, Harvard University, Berkman Center for Internet & Society
John Kelly, Morningside Analytics
Daniel Brumberg, Georgetown University, Acting Director of USIP’s Muslim World Initiative
Saad Ibrahim, Voices for a Democratic Egypt
Raed Jarrar, Iraqi blogger, Raed in the Middle
Sheldon Himelfarb, United States Institute of Peace (Moderator)
Bloggers from throughout the Arab world will also participate live online and via video, including Raed Jarrar (Iraq), Nora Younis (Egypt), Laila El Haddad (Palestine), and Amira Al Hussaini (Bahrain).
What Not To Wear, Religious Edition: Supreme Court of Michigan Adopts Rule Allowing Judges to Exercise “Reasonable Control Over the Appearance of Parties and Witnesses” Based Upon Niqab Case « Feminist Law Professors
Of course, it could be argued that, unlike in these cases, judges have a compelling interest in having a witness remove a niqab because the finder of fact cannot observe the wearer’s face and determine her credibility.
There are at least two responses to this potential argument. The first is that the decision of the Michigan Supremes might still be out of line with precedent from across the country. Last December, the Fifth Circuit decided Boyd v. Texas, 2008 WL 5129645 (5th Cir. 2008). In Boyd, Karwana Boyd claimed that a trial judge in Texas’ Second Administrative District ordered her to leave his courtroom because she refused to remove a head scarf that she was wearing in observance of hijab. Boyd quickly sued the judge, and the Chief Judge of the District just as quickly sent a letter to all of the judges in the District
Second, the validity of the demeanor rationale is questionable. I direct readers to Aaron J. Williams excellent comment, The Veiled Truth: Can the Credibility of Testimony Given by a Niqab-Wearing Witness be Judged Without the Assistance of Facial Expressions?, 85 U. Det. Mercy L. Rev. 273 (2008), for a full and fair discussion of the issue.
Saudi Arabia: Drop ‘Cross-Dressing’ Charges | Human Rights Watch
The arrests of 67 men in Riyadh on June 13, 2009, reportedly for wearing women’s clothing, violate basic human rights to privacy and freedom of expression, Human Rights Watch said today. Human Rights Watch called on Saudi authorities to drop charges against the men, most of them from other countries, and release any they are still holding.
“If the police in Saudi Arabia can arrest people simply because they don’t like their clothes, no one is safe,” said Rasha Moumneh, researcher in the Middle East and North Africa division of Human Rights Watch.
The episode was reported by the Saudi daily Al-Riyadh on June 16 and corroborated by independent sources contacted by Human Rights Watch who asked to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal. The newspaper reported that several men outside a private party, held in an east Riyadh neighborhood to celebrate the Philippines’ Independence Day, were arrested for what the police told them was “suspicious behavior” because they were wearing women’s clothing.
Terry » Archive » Talking to Someone Wearing a Headscarf: An Etiquette Guide
When you meet women who wear a headscarf and ask them to share their experiences, the similarities among them are striking. Regardless of their varied ages and cultural backgrounds, they have been subjected to the same abrupt questions and patronizing behaviour from others that is arguably an alien experience to the rest of society. Perhaps there is an etiquette guide circulating about, explaining to people exactly how this special individual- the Muslim woman they meet in their community, their workplace and at school ought to be treated. Such a guide must look something like this
Agency — Crooked Timber
I’m working on a co-authored paper on the notion of agency in Amartya Sen’s work. Agency as related to empowerment and autonomy, and not as an institution such as a real estate agent. Suddenly I recalled that when I was teaching on Sen in Louvain-la-Neuve two years ago, I was told that there is no word in French for ‘agency’. So now I am wondering: is this true? And if so, are there more languages that do not have a word for ‘agency’? (in fact, I even have a hard time to come up with an appropriate translation in Dutch). I checked it with an internet translator, which only translates it (for Dutch and French) as an institution, not as a property of human beings. Weird.
Ethnic and national identities: an anthropological outreach « media/anthropology
Let me start with one or two things we know about ethnic and national identity – but do please interrupt me if I ramble as I think aloud:
- As a result of migration, intermarriage, war, interethnic contact, trade, mass schooling and a myriad other factors, a lot of people around the world today (in 2009) have a mixed ethnic, national and/or religious background. […]
- Peoples, ethnic groups, nations, etc, have no ’soul’, no ‘essence’; this is just a Romantic fantasy – they have histories of sociopolitical change and continuity, linguistic and other cultural commonalities (as well as inner differences), but not souls or essences.
- Although identity is not always as fluid or situated or blurred as many social theorists influenced by postmodernism wish it were, neither is it as fixed and certain as nationalists would like it to be. […]
- Having multiple identities is not only perfectly possible, it can also be great fun. […]
Somatosphere: Just in time for your summer reading list: Annual Review of Anthropology
Those of you looking for yet more summer reading material in medical anthropology are in luck: the Annual Review of Anthropology has just released a number of articles from the forthcoming 2009 issue online in advance of its print publication in October. These include several reviews focused on issues of medicine and health. In fact, it look like this issue will have a sizable cluster of medicine-related reviews.
ethnosnacker: Breaking rules in the Middle East
How to make friends and influence people in our Dubai office: tell everyone that you are a fundamentalist. A fundamentalist video ethnographer.
“Marrying” anthropology and science
What does anthropology have to do with IT? Plenty, says Intel’s User Experience director, who believes her role helps make technology more accessible and user-friendly.
Iran: Halt the Crackdown | Human Rights Watch
The Iranian government should immediately end its nationwide crackdown on opposition activity, Human Rights Watch said today. The scale of the crackdown is apparent in the arrest of scores of reformist politicians, intellectuals, and journalists across Iran on June 17 and 18, together with violent attacks by police and state-sponsored militias against largely peaceful demonstrators, Human Rights Watch said
Arts & Culture
In Harmonium » Music, symbols and cross-cultural communication
If you listen to the two groups singing, you will note that each song (in the broad sense) “promises” (threatens?) what will happen to the other. Furthermore, each group acts out the promise inherent in their singing. The act of singing, by both groups, is not merely for moral, it is a statement of intent and an entrainment of a mind state. We see similar “statements” and entrainments in the current conflicts, although the “promise”, mind state and music are quite different.
A Brief History of Jihadism in Turkey — jihadica
Despite the Istanbul attacks in 2003, the Turkish fight against terrorism has remained largely synonymous with the fight against Kurdish separatists. To my knowledge, there are few if any in-depth academic studies of Turkish jihadism. Not even the 2003 Istanbul attacks have been closely examined by scholars, despite a wealth of available Turkish sources. At most, there are studies of how the Turkish media covered these events, and the emphasis is on the narrative being used by non-jihadists to describe the phenomenon (see e.g. Gökhan Gökulu’s 2005 M.A. thesis “Terör Eylemlerinin Medyaya Yans?mas?”). With the exception of Mehmet Faraç’s book ?kiz Kulelerden Galata’ya: El Kaide Turka and the reporting of a few other journalists, Turkish writers and intellectuals seem surprisingly uninterested in the phenomenon itself. Although it has been thought that the secular Turks were almost immune to militant Islamism, the Turkish jihadist community appears to be growing.
Making Sense of Jihad: A Study of “Martyrs in a Time of Alienation” (XI)
In January 2008, Al-Fajr Media Center, an al-Qaida affiliated media group, released an extensive issue in its series, “Biographies of the Martyrs in the Land of Khorasan.” The book — in the summary translation used here — consists of 120 brief biographies of men who died in the insurgency against Coalition forces and regional governments. The following is a brief analysis (in green) of the book’s content based on a summary translation available through WNC (Dialog), see the “Introduction” post for record information.
Moslim en lesbisch: Laïla liep weg van huis – Wel Jong Niet Hetero – Welkom bij de Vlaamse en Brusselse holebi-jongeren!!
Het borrelde al een hele tijd bij Laïla, een vlotte twintiger van Marokkaanse afkomst. De verwachtingen die haar ouders hadden, zou ze nooit kunnen inlossen. Zolang ze bij haar ouders woonde, zouden die verwachtingen er blijven, en de hoop dat hun rebelse dochter op een dag zou trouwen en kindjes krijgen. “Die kindjes mag je al schrappen, daar heb je een man voor nodig. En net dát wil ik niet!”, zegt Laïla overtuigd. “Ik wil iets van mijn leven maken en samen zijn met mijn vriendin.”
Daarom zocht ze een uitweg.
drogredenen.nl: Smalhout als pseudo-expert (18/6)
Smalhout beweert dat de twee auteurs vooraanstaande schrijvers en wetenschappers op het gebied van mensenrechten en de relaties tussen de joods-christelijke wereld en de islam zijn. Die bewering werd op het internet snel opgepikt en regelmatig keert deze kwalificatie terug. Maar kan Smalhout dat eigenlijk adequaat inschatten? Hij is medicus en beschikt niet over een expertise op het terrein van mensenrechten.
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