Closing the week 52

Most popular on Closer this week:

  1. Stem op het beste en slechtste
  2. Rectificatie Telegraaf – Yahya Bouyafa
  3. Vermijden van kerstmis

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Avatar | Savage Minds

I recently had a chance to see the movie Avatar in glorious IMAX 3D, which is the only way I would recommend anyone see the film. It is certainly not a film one sees for the writing, or the characters, or the story telling. It is a spectacular display of visual pyrotechnics, and I should probably leave it at that. However, the film is like a giant anthropological piñata and after two days of sitting on my hands I can’t hold off any more.

Jingle Bell – Punjabi Tadka

When we started this blog, we hoped that anthropologists among our readers would be willing to contribute ‘pictures of the week’, photos (or videos) that would illustrate in a suggestive manner a theme of cognition-and-culture relevance, but we had very little success and, sadly, we have all but given up. Here however is video not from an ethnographer but suggested by 3QuarksDaily and borrowed from YouTube that illustrates in a pleasant and timely manner how cultural items borrowed in another culture get transformed in the direction of a better integration to their novel environment.

Obama’s ‘ideological utopianism’ « Islam, Muslims, and an Anthropologist

Obama’s speeches are becoming a classic, no less than Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, for those studying English, at least in Japan. Certainly, after eight years of Bushisms, Obama’s words sound like Shakespeare. Hence, few would have complained if the Nobel committee would have awarded him the Nobel in literature. Notwithstanding that, in listening to Barack Obama’s 36-minute Nobel lecture we may wonder whether a mistake has been made and if the President was supposed to receive the Nobel in Philosophy for his contribution to contemporary Sophism instead of Peace. Indeed, if Barack Obama should be compared to somebody for his Laureate Speech, it would certainly not be Martin Luther King or Gandhi, but perhaps rather John Lennon.

One-Dimensional Us – adambohannon

Sometimes things just seem to happen all at the right moment. I finished reading the first chapter of Herbert Marcuse’s One-Dimensional Man tonight. It’s titled New Forms of Control and in it Marcuse lays out his thoughts on the extent to which modern post-industrial society has reconfigured, in part through technological progress, humanity’s priorities by bombarding us with unnecessary things and desires, creating what he calls “false needs,” ultimately resulting in a pervasive “unfreedom” — a repressive existence with the visage of liberation but that is no more than the “free choice between brands and gadgets.”

trinketing « trinketization

So, the trite thing to ask is ‘What would Benjamin have to say about the Boxing Day sales?’ If you think that the Arcades equation goes: Capitalism > Paris > Arcades > Flaneur > Snowdome then you have probably missed the entire premise. Condensation is not all that goes on here – the world is not desiccated trinkets. It’s the constellation that can be discerned in the appreciation of trinkets that matters. The book remains unfinished (and I hate to say it but that also seems to be my excuse, though the mountain and the morphine are not yet in reach).

Space and Culture : Looking back at 2009’s The Big Picture takes a wide-ranging look at 2009 and although there is plenty that could be said about these end-of-year photo reflections, really I was just struck by a strange combination of hope and despair.

hawgblawg: BrAsian post-punk band Alien Culture

Thanks to Nabeel Zuberi, I was led to this post about the post-punk British Asian band Alien Culture. The post is informative, it’s very important history, especially if you are interested in the emergence into visibility of BrAsians in Brit pop culture and anti-racist politics. You can also download the only two songs that the band ever recorded, “Asian Youth” and “Culture Crossover.” John Peel played them on his show, but the band never “made” it.

European politics
The Associated Press: Lawmaker plans bill to ban all-encompassing veil

Lawmaker plans bill to ban all-encompassing veil

By SYLVIE CORBET (AP) – 4 days ago

PARIS — A French parliamentarian said Tuesday he would file legislation to bar Muslim women from wearing veils that hide their faces in public.

President Nicolas Sarkozy has said that burqa-like veils are “not welcome” in France, and a parliamentary panel has been gathering information on the subject to release in a nonbinding report expected next month.

UK fails to halt female genital mutilation – Home News, UK – The Independent

Girls are still at risk this Christmas as ‘cutters’ are flown in from abroad to perform the illegal procedure here

By Nina Lakhani

Women in Somalia being educated about the dangers of genital mutilation. Campaigners in the UK are angry that there have been no prosecutions of practitioners

Hundreds of British schoolgirls are facing the terrifying prospect of female genital mutilation (FGM) over the Christmas holidays as experts warn the practice continues to flourish across the country. Parents typically take their daughters back to their country of origin for FGM during school holidays, but The Independent on Sunday has been told that “cutters” are being flown to the UK to carry out the mutilation at “parties” involving up to 20 girls to save money.

Take off my what? Headscarves, hats and history (2) by HERA HASHMI*

Whenever the headscarf ban is mentioned, it quickly spirals into a debate about secularism, which is another major justification for the ban.

But what makes headscarf-wearing women in Turkey such an obstacle to a secular government when women in many Western countries and democracies wear headscarves and are able to participate easily in the public sphere?

Stop tiptoeing around ‘honour’ killings | Poorna Shetty | Comment is free |

Stop tiptoeing around ‘honour’ killings

Anyone who thinks murder is better than suffering the indignation of a community needs more than a softly-softly approach

The Curse of Being a “Moderate Muslim” | MPACUK – Empowerment through political participation

Recently, I’ve been reading a book by Stephen Poole entitled ‘Unspeak’ which explains just how powerful words can be in shaping the minds of an entire society.

And it was whilst reading this book that I came across an old article by Daniel Pipes about ‘moderate Muslims’.

Now, the fact is that I used to believe the tripe that we need Muslims to be “moderate” but the more and more I thought about it, it became clear just how detrimental this term is.

By saying that you are a ‘moderate Muslim’ you are basically saying that you moderately follow the tenets of Islam.

Op-Ed Columnist – Thomas Friedman at

Let’s not fool ourselves. Whatever threat the real Afghanistan poses to U.S. national security, the “Virtual Afghanistan” now poses just as big a threat. The Virtual Afghanistan is the network of hundreds of jihadist Web sites that inspire, train, educate and recruit young Muslims to engage in jihad against America and the West. Whatever surge we do in the real Afghanistan has no chance of being a self-sustaining success, unless there is a parallel surge — by Arab and Muslim political and religious leaders — against those who promote violent jihadism on the ground in Muslim lands and online in the Virtual Afghanistan.

John L. Esposito: Tom Friedman on Muslims and Terrorism: Getting it Wrong Again

Thomas Friedman, in his Dec. 15 column “” repeats and reinforces the same tired, totally incorrect, but commonly-made generalization preached in his July 9, 2005 column, “If it’s a Muslim Problem, It Needs a Muslim Solution,” that “no major Muslim cleric or religious body has ever issued a fatwa condemning Osama bin Laden.” In his most recent column, Friedman continues to assert, despite readily available information to the contrary, that ” a “violent, jihadist minority seems to enjoy the most ‘legitimacy’ in the Muslim world today” and that “Few political and religious leaders dare to speak out against them in public”…..”How many fatwas — religious edicts — have been issued by the leading bodies of Islam against Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda?” Friedman asks and then answers his own question with “Very few.”

How To Win A Cosmic War

The global jihad movement is more than a movement – it’s an idea Aslan says. It goes beyond nations, states, cultures or ethnicities. The way to end such cosmic movement is by addressing the fundamental grievances Muslim’s feel in order to make the movement irrelevant.

Anwar al-Awlaki, Radical Cleric, Believed Unhurt In Yemeni Airstrike

A U.S.-born radical cleric is alive and well following reports he may have been killed in a Yemeni airstrike against suspected al-Qaida hideouts, friends and relatives said Friday.

The government said it targeted a meeting of high-level al-Qaida operatives in Thursday’s airstrike in the remote Shabwa region. It claimed at least 30 militants were killed, possibly including Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical cleric who has been linked to the shooter in last month’s attack at the Fort Hood military base in the U.S.

On Friday, a friend of the cleric, Abu Bakr al-Awlaki, told The Associated Press he was not among those killed. He refused to say if the cleric was attending the meeting.

Gender, activism and debate – Beauty: Loving the skin you’re in: Unlearning the obsession with fair skin

Looking into the mirror, I stare at the reflection of my chai-colored forehead; I pause and consider the shades of color slowly descend down my face. Peeking through the brown, a soft pink highlights my cheekbones and the dimples around my crooked smile. The protected skin around my eyelids is the much coveted milky cream color that incites the unwelcome thought of discontent at the shade of my skin.

Violence against women is not a tenet of Islam by Naazish YarKhan – Common Ground News Service

Glendale Heights, Illinois – Listening to the radio one day, I was shocked to hear the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) report on widespread occurrence of rape in Afghanistan. As a Muslim who knows that the core of her religion is about justice and mercy, I asked myself how the perpetrators of these acts could have strayed so far from the Muslim faith and from basic humane principles.

South Asians Confront AIDS Among Monogamous Women | Womens eNews

Ice was broken here in early December among three powerful groups of South Asian women.

About 20 female parliamentarians, journalists and staff members of nonprofit groups in South Asia left Washington, D.C., with strategies they believed could reduce the current specter of women losing their homes after caring for spouses who died of AIDS, as well as aiding HIV-positive women who are unable to reach rural clinics and teens who aren’t aware of how to prevent the infection.

AFP: Egypt university to appeal niqab ruling

Egypt university to appeal niqab ruling

(AFP) – 5 days ago

CAIRO — A leading Cairo university will appeal a court decision allowing female students to don the full face veil on campus dormitories, a university official said on Monday.

“Cairo’s Ain Shams University will immediately appeal the decision issued by the Supreme Administrative Court on Sunday,” the official said.


The High Court here today fixed Jan 25 for a decision on the application by Sisters in Islam (SIS) to lift the Home Ministry’s ban on its book “Muslim Women and the Challenge of Islamic Extremism”.

Justice Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof fixed the date after hearing submissions from senior federal counsel Noor Hishamuddin Ismail, for the then homeminister, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, and SIS’s counsel, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

SIS, in its application for a judicial review, claimed the ban on the book was outside the ambit of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 and contravened Articles 8(2), 10(1)(a) and 11(4) of the Federal Constitution.

tehran times : IKF banned women’s Shukokai style due to unveiling hijab

IKF banned women’s Shukokai style due to unveiling hijab
Tehran Times Sports Desk

TEHRAN – Iran’s Karate Federation (IKF) banned the Shitoryu Shukokai Union style for women after the youth athletes unveiled their hijab (Islamic covering) in the tournament held in Germany two weeks ago.

Iran: Woman Activist Somayeh Rashidi Arrested

Somayeh Rashidi, women’s rights defender and Campaign activist was arrested earlier today, Saturday December 19, after appearing for interrogation at the Revolutionary Courts.

Feeling like a Muslim « The Making of My Identity

How do you feel today? Do you feel like a Muslim? Are you thinking like a Muslim? Talking and acting like a Muslim?

LoonWatch Islamophobia Montage |

One of our readers, isherif who if I recall has been commenting on our site for quite some time now really took the initiative and provided us with a cool short montage of some of our best hits. We really love it when readers interact with us and are pro-active in joining us in exposing Islamophobia.

Top political philosophy books of the noughties — Crooked Timber

Jacob Levy is asking his Facebook friends to nominate their tips for the best political philosophy books (best, most enduring, most interesting) of the decade that Brits are now referring to as “the noughties”.

Switzerland celebrates democracy and “extreme” tolerance | El Koshary Today

Following last month’s vote that resulted in a ban on the construction of minarets throughout the federation, Switzerland is set to handle the growing threat of Muslim immigration coined “non-Swiss chocolate”. While the majority of Western European countries have not succeeded in outcasting Muslims outright, and in some cases going as far as granting them basic rights, the Swiss have become an example of a functional democracy that guarantees equality to all citizens that matter.

Reaching such a historical achievement was no walk in the park. The Association of Swiss Saviors, or ASS, is a group of liberal, intellectual teenagers who have realized that climate change, and the financial crisis accompanied by poor chocolate exports are of little concern when compared to the ever present, imminent threat of Muslim infiltration.


Lezers van Closer kiezen het beste/slechtste nieuwsbericht/blogentry over islam/moslims/multiculturele samenleving. Ga HIERHEEN.

‘Justitie dwingt asielzoeker tot islam’ – TrouwHoe de PVV-helden voorkomen dat alle niet-moslims worden afgeslacht door alle moslims |

Ik was even bang dat de PVV was begonnen met een offensief om ons Nederlanders tijdens deze Kerst dood te vervelen. Maar dankzij zo’n bondgenoot van de PVV, dit keer een labiele Nigeriaan, valt er toch weer wat te beleven, een heus spoeddebat. En waarover? De Koran.

Vrouw en Islam | Justice

De laatste tijd proberen sommige politici over de ruggen van moslimvrouwen heen te scoren door hen voor te stellen als onmondige en domme vrouwen die onderdrukt worden door hun brute broers en vaders. Wil men deze broodnodige discussie helder en zuiver voeren dienen politici, ‘witte’ feministen maar zeer zeker ook moslims zich op de hoogte te stellen wat de Islam zelf zegt over bijvoorbeeld: vrouwenrechten, eerwraak, educatie, vrije partnerkeuze, maagdenvlies mythe, het orgasme, echtscheiding, 2e vrouw, politieke loopbaan, huishouding, bezit en de eigen achternaam

Moslimbroeder: gij zult geen kerst vieren | De Dagelijkse Standaard

Nou Ahmed, als het aan jouw grote idool al-Qaradawi ligt, breng jij je dochtertje volgend jaar dus niet meer met een hapje naar school voor dat gezellige en warme kerstdiner.

Voetbalzone – Meepraten over voetbal. Abel Xavier beëindigt actieve carrière en bekeert zich tot islam

Abel Xavier heeft dinsdag definitief een punt gezet achter zijn actieve loopbaan. De 37-jarige Portugese verdediger, geboren in Mozambique, maakte het nieuws op een persconferentie in de Verenigde Arabische Emiraten bekend. Xavier liet ook weten zich tot de islam bekeerd te hebben en vanaf nu Faisal te heten.

In naam van de moslim – Funda – VKBlog – de Volkskrant

Mijn lief begrijpt mijn opwinding niet over het besluit van de Haagse Hogeschool om dit jaar geen grote kerstboom in de hal te plaatsen. Hij werkt zelf in het onderwijs: “Jij weet hoeveel wij moeten bezuinigen. Misschien was het alleen maar een financiële overweging. En een kerstboom die niet eens gemist zal worden, scheelt veel geld. Doe toch niet mee met die hitserigheid.”

“Wat jij hitserigheid noemt raakt ons allemaal. Die studenten is niets gevraagd. Misschien missen zij de gezelligheid van een grote kerstboom in de hal wel degelijk. In Turkije worden restaurants en hotels al jaren opgesierd met immens grote kerstbomen; als symbool van gezelligheid en de jaarwisseling. En stel dat jij gelijk hebt met je: het is alleen maar een financiële overweging. Waar blijft de verantwoordelijkheid van deze ‘beslissers’ als het gaat om de gevoelige en verhitte discussies over moslims en de islam in Nederland? Het zet alleen maar kwaad bloed. Ik citeer wat mijn Turkse glazenwasser deze week zei: “Wat voor moslims verzinnen dit soort dingen? Natuurlijk worden Nederlanders boos. In Turkije is het toch ondenkbaar dat nieuwkomers de tradities veranderen of aanpassen?”

De schijn van islamitische dominantie – Wij Blijven Hier!: Het schrijversplatform van moslims

Voor moslims in dit land is een belangrijke taak weggelegd en wel deze: Moslims moeten enige terughoudendheid betrachten en de schijn van ‘islamitische’ dominantie in het Nederlandse straatbeeld zien tegen te gaan.

‘Discriminatie moslims alarmerend’ –

Anti-moslimsentimenten vormen een ernstig probleem in Europa. Te veel Europeanen geloven dat een religieuze identiteit integratie tegenwerkt, terwijl de meeste moslims zich juist sterk identificeren met het stad en het land waarin zij wonen.

Hoe Europa z’n zelfvertrouwen verloor – Opinie – de Volkskrant

In het christendom liggen zelfkritiek, zelfrelativering en schuld besloten. Misschien ligt daar de oorzaak van ons gebrek aan zelfvertrouwen.

Er is een islamitische burgeroorlog nodig – Opinie – de Volkskrant

Hoe lang duurt het nog voordat moslims en Arabische leiders hun stem verheffen en protest aantekenen tegen moslim-aanslagen?

Opklaringen » De witte band en de zwarte hoofddoek

Wat vindt u? Slaat het Westen, zoals Bolkestein stelt, door in zijn zelfkritiek? Verschilt het christelijke Europa in zijn basis echt zoveel met de islamitische beschaving? Of zijn de problemen met homoseksuele docenten op de Veluwe van een zelfde orde als de incidenten met moslims die weigeren vrouwen de hand te schudden? En is het verstandig om in het integratiedebat de christelijke wortels van Europa te benadrukken?

Mohammed, Alia en Feruk vieren Kerst – Trouw

Islam en Kerst, gaat dat samen? Steeds meer mensen vinden van wel. Kerstmis is niet alleen een religieus feest, maar heeft ook aardse waarde, „vriendschap, liefde, warmte en gezelligheid. Daar kan een moslim niet tegen zijn”.

Bouyafa met argusogen bekeken – Binnenland – de Volkskrant

De gezaghebbende Yahia Bouyafa (47) lijkt zich in te zetten voor de Nederlandse moslims. Maar is dat ook zo?

Bruggenbouwers » “Nederland kijkt naar de islam door een christelijke bril”

Mirjam Shatanawi is historicus en arabist. Ze deed onderzoek naar de islam in Senegal, Soedan en Egypte en is nu werkzaam als conservator Midden-Oosten en Noord-Afrika bij het Tropenmuseum. Onlangs verscheen haar prachtige boek Islam in beeld. Kunst en cultuur van moslims wereldwijd. Wat is haar favoriete kunst en wat vindt zij van de manier waarop Nederlanders naar islamitische kunst en cultuur kijken?

waar werd oprechter trouw, dan tussen man en vrouw: Nora Kasrioui komt in verlegenheid

Nora Kasrioui komt in verlegenheid

door het minarettenverbod. Naar nu blijkt hebben Zwitserse feministen met hun stem het minarettenverbod in Zwitserland mogelijk gemaakt. Door de afkeer van sharia en de onderdrukking van de vrouw, heeft de Zwitserse feministe Julia Onken besloten een positief stemadvies te geven. Door een email sneeuwbal kwam uiteindelijk een positieve stemming voor het minarettenverbod op gang.

Is Europa schatplichtig aan de islam 1 (Islam) – Eurabia

De gedachtenpolitie is ook actief op universiteiten en in het onderwijs. Ons culturele zelfbeeld wordt gelijkgeschakeld in afwachting van verdere islamisering.

De islamitische hoofddoek is een swastika

Waarom? Hans Jansen zegt het niet zo, maar legt het wel nog een keertje uit. Lezen bij Hoeiboei. Ook minaretten zijn swastika’s. Symbolen van de islam, wat een fascistische doctrine is. -(notitie voor Meldpunt Discriminatie Internet -MDI- en Justitie: Michiel Mans, Rozengracht 48 III, 1016ND Amsterdam)- Kortom, leve de Zwitsers dus.

‘Justitie dwingt bekering tot islam af’ – Nederlands Dagblad

‘Justitie dwingt bekering tot islam af’

Geplaatst: 21 december 2009 08:00, laatste wijziging: 21 december 2009 08:19

van onze redactie binnenland

ZWOLLE – De Dienst Terugkeer & Vertrek (DT&V) van het ministerie van Justitie dwingt een christelijke asielzoekster te scheiden van haar man en zich te bekeren tot de islam. Op deze manier kan zij opnieuw een islamitisch huwelijk sluiten met haar man en uitgezet worden naar Afghanistan.

Lezers van Closer kiezen het beste/slechtste nieuwsbericht/blogentry over islam/moslims/multiculturele samenleving. Ga HIERHEEN.

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