Closing the Week 2

Most popular on Closer this week:

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  2. Islamizing Europe – Muslim Demographics
  3. Tourism, leisure and violence in Israel
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Gender, fashion & police
Status of face-covering veils Muslim around Europe –

NETHERLANDS: The Dutch government considered but abandoned legislation in 2006 for a total ban on Muslim veils, after lawyers said it would likely be unconstitutional. Instead, it said it would seek a ban on face-covering veils in all schools and prevent government employees from wearing them. No legislation has yet been passed.

France’s ban on the burqa: The war of French dressing | The Economist

FOR American commentators who like to denounce European complacency in the face of an increasingly assertive Islam, France is an intriguing test-case. It is home to Europe’s biggest Muslim minority, numbering some 5m-6m, and it unapologetically expects Muslims to adapt to French ways. In 1994 the government began clamping down on religious symbols, including the Muslim headscarf, in state schools. Ten years later it banned all “ostentatious” religious signs, including the veil, from state schools and other public buildings. Now yet another tightening is in the works: a proposed ban on wearing the burqa in any public places.

Grazia Talking Points: Are the fashion police going too far?

Can you imagine being fined a week’s salary for wearing the ‘wrong’ item of clothing on the street? Well, that’s what could happen in a few weeks time, because the French government is voting on a proposal to ban burkas and niqabs, full-body cloaks with eye slits. Jean-Francois Copé, leader of the majority party UMP, revealed the law would levy a €750 fine on anyone whose face is ‘fully covered in public’. That’s £675 in today’s exchange rate – ouch.

A B O U T – F A C E — blog » Attention t.v. shows, chick flicks, and magazines: stop pitting women against women!

The other day my friend and I were flipping through a recent Cosmopolitan magazine, and I was shocked by the comments coming out of my mouth:

The caged and the saved: finding feminism in the Islamic world – The National Newspaper

Like most ideas, this one did not have a single genesis. I’ve been thinking, and to some extent writing, about feminism for many years and in many guises.

The word itself is controversial, with some damning it as the force that destroyed the family and others defending it as the movement that freed a gender.

It is one of those terms that starts simply and rapidly gets tangled: if you look around the world and think there are inequalities between the genders, and that those inequalities are not biological and are unfair, you are probably a feminist. And that’s where the arguments begin.

War and Terror
Dutch PM backs away from criticizing Iraq report – Yahoo! News

HE HAGUE, Netherlands – Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende conceded Wednesday, “with the knowledge of now,” that a stronger legal mandate was needed for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 — and his decision to support it.


Defne Bayrak, the wife of the suicide bomber who killed seven CIA employees, tells Adem Demir what motivated her husband, Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi.

The Role of Women in Al Qaeda – Christopher Dickey –

What role do women play in Al Qaeda? A few are suicide bombers; others may encourage their men to become one.

Generation Abdulmutallab | Foreign Policy

Generation Abdulmutallab
Young Africans have been failed by their governments and are increasingly turning to extremism.

The foiled attempt by young Nigerian extremist Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 on Christmas Day has baffled many Africans and sent them scrambling for an explanation. This is not the stereotypical poor and desperate young man usually associated with violence on the continent. – International – Dutch government misrepresented case for Iraq war

The Dutch government was less than truthful in presenting its case for the invasion of Iraq to parliament, a report released on Tuesday noted.

Britain Moves to Ban Islamic Group –

Britain said Tuesday it was outlawing a radical Islamic group that had incited outrage by planning a protest march through the streets of a town made famous for its somber ceremonies honoring British soldiers killed in Afghanistan.

“Jihad For Dummies”: Shaykh Abdullah al-Faisal « JARRET BRACHMAN

Over the past few weeks, in the aftermath of the Anwar al-Awlaki’s rise to mainstream media prominence, I’ve been asked by several journalists to identify and discuss the role of the influential ‘online celebrity shaykhs.’ At the top of my list of Western jihadist clerics has been a guy known as Shaykh Abdullah al-Faisal. Well, turns out, he’s not just at the top of my list.

Al Jazeera English – Focus – The $30bn pair of underpants

Almost immediately after it was learned that Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the Nigerian accused of trying to blow up a US airliner using explosives concealed in his underpants, received training in Yemen, US politicians called for Barack Obama, the US president, to expand the ‘war on terror’ – which remains very much a war despite the administration’s official ban of such vocabulary – to that country.

Middle East Online

Many recent terrorism cases have not resulted from a top down process of recruitment and radicalization initiated by al-Qaeda and its affiliates or radical preachers but rather from a bottom up dynamic. Today, individuals initiate. They become alienated and radicalized due to their own experiences and perceptions. They are profoundly affected and changed by what they see as endless oppression, corruption and injustice, notes John L. Esposito.

UK Muslim TV channel linked to al-Qaida cleric al-Awlaki | World news | The Observer

A London-based satellite broadcaster that describes itself as “the voice of authority for Muslims in the UK” has been accused of giving a platform to Anwar al-Awlaki, the extremist cleric with alleged links to al-Qaida and to the man charged with trying to blow up a transatlantic jet on Christmas Day.

The Islam Channel, a free-to-air English-language channel that claims to be “a trustworthy source to the two million-plus population of Muslims in the UK”, last year carried adverts for a box set of DVDs of Awlaki’s sermons and for at least two events at which the cleric was due to be the star speaker via a video link.

Metro – Social media gives rise to the new iMuslims

You’ve seen their mugshots: A Nigerian charged with trying to blow up a plane on Christmas Day; five young American Muslims detained in Pakistan, apparently desperately seeking jihad.
You’ve heard they went online in search of radical imams ready to recruit every Muslim within a foot of an Internet connection.

I bet you haven’t heard of these mugshots: Iranian men in chadors and headscarves.

Muslim religious guides only men? Think again by Moha Ennaji – Common Ground News Service

In recent years, Morocco, Egypt, and Turkey have trained and appointed a new group to the ranks of religious guides: women. Women religious guides, referred to as murshidat in Arabic, reach a demographic that might otherwise not be available–or receptive – to male imams, such as women and children, particularly those in poorer neighbourhoods. The efforts are an attempt by these countries’ governments to democratise and to curb extremism by reaching out to women, who can be a moderating voice in their families, and to youth, who are introduced to a tolerant and mainstream version of Islam at a young age. – Female imams: Searching for American “nu ahongs”

A quiet Muslim community known as the Hui that has long been buried among China’s Buddhist majority has recently been receiving attention for its nu ahong – female spiritual leaders. While the spotlight is new, the concept is not. As early as the late Ming dynasty (around the 17th century), the faithful set up Muslim schools catering exclusively to young females and by the arrival of the late Qing dynasty in the 19th century, these schools had transformed into mosques operated by and serving women. In the coming decades, the practice of female Imams, if you will, permeated all Chinese Muslim societies.

Roger Davidson – Jihad jokes | New Humanist

Imagine a sitcom featuring a Muslim community which has settled in a small prairie town where white locals suspect them of terrorism and fundamentalism. It has jokes about suicide bombing, polygamy and inter-religious sex; it has a love triangle involving a young Muslim woman, and an Imam whose ludicrous sermons make him a figure of fun even among his congregation; and it can also boast a range of comic references to 9/11. And yet Little Mosque on the Prairie has for the past two years been one of the most popular comedies on Canadian television.

2009 for Netherlands’ Muslims – – European Muslims

With the arrival of the hopefully better new year, Euro-Muslims team thought of displaying slideshows of Muslims’ harvest of the year in some European countries. In the series of “2009 harvest,” all prominent Muslim-related events are highlighted with their impact on the Muslim communities on all levels. Some of the countries covered in this series are France, Belgium, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Greece. Here we present the harvest of the year for the Netherlands with all hope it will appeal to you.

The Americanization of Mental Illness –

For more than a generation now, we in the West have aggressively spread our modern knowledge of mental illness around the world. We have done this in the name of science, believing that our approaches reveal the biological basis of psychic suffering and dispel prescientific myths and harmful stigma. There is now good evidence to suggest that in the process of teaching the rest of the world to think like us, we’ve been exporting our Western “symptom repertoire” as well. That is, we’ve been changing not only the treatments but also the expression of mental illness in other cultures. Indeed, a handful of mental-health disorders — depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and anorexia among them — now appear to be spreading across cultures with the speed of contagious diseases. These symptom clusters are becoming the lingua franca of human suffering, replacing indigenous forms of mental illness.

Teaching Anthropology: Unteaching: its what we do

I think I spend most of my time unteaching–I suppose that gets labeled as “critical thinking” or the “reexamination of our own cultural biases”. In many respects, a good cultural anthropology class just provides the safe environment to ask those questions and rethink how to find the answers. But first, students need to find their way back to those questions and like Walmart, we have to roll back those preconceived notions.

anthropologyworks » Recent sources on Haitian culture and social change

This list is intended to provide a guide to recent resources on culture and society in Haiti for people who wish to be better informed themselves about the context in which the recent earthquake and its devastation are occurring. With apologies, most of the journal articles are not public access.

Upsurge in gay Muslims fleeing forced marriage | Lesbilicious – the web’s tastiest lesbian magazine

UK charity The Albert Kennedy Trust has reported an upsurge in young gay Muslims becoming homeless after fleeing forced marriages and so-called honour violence.

LRB · Henry Siegman · Israel’s Lies

Western governments and most of the Western media have accepted a number of Israeli claims justifying the military assault on Gaza: that Hamas consistently violated the six-month truce that Israel observed and then refused to extend it; that Israel therefore had no choice but to destroy Hamas’s capacity to launch missiles into Israeli towns; that Hamas is a terrorist organisation, part of a global jihadi network; and that Israel has acted not only in its own defence but on behalf of an international struggle by Western democracies against this network.

I am not aware of a single major American newspaper, radio station or TV channel whose coverage of the assault on Gaza questions this version of events. Criticism of Israel’s actions, if any (and there has been none from the Bush administration), has focused instead on whether the IDF’s carnage is proportional to the threat it sought to counter, and whether it is taking adequate measures to prevent civilian casualties. – Dutch children are again the happiest

Dutch children have the best lives of all children living in industrialised countries, according to new research by Unicef Germany, quoted by news agency ANP.

40 Dutch Innovations – Finding Netherland, from Used Napkin Chairs to Triplet Skyscrapers (CLUSTER)

40 Dutch Innovations Edit
Finding Netherland, from Used Napkin Chairs to Triplet Skyscrapers

No easy riding for Gaza bikers – Yahoo! News

When Munzer Diyya wants to get away from it all, he sits astride his motorcycle and takes to the open road — all 45 kilometres of it.

Diyya has the misfortune of being an open road enthusiast living in the Gaza Strip, a tiny territory sandwiched between Israel and Egypt and blockaded by both.

Anjem Choudary on the Islam4UK ban | EuropeNews

Anjem Choudary, the former leader of the now-banned organisation Islam4UK defends his actions as Andrew Neil asks him about the group and its origins and its possible reincarnation, as well as allegations over Mr Choudary’s benefit claims.

Stiekem is de PVV doodnormaal | zaterdag | Het laatste nieuws het eerst op

Psssst, niet verder vertellen. De PVV is helemaal niet bijzonder, anders of vernieuwend. Ze zijn net als alle andere politieke partijen: ambitieus, geobsedeerd met media-aandacht en een tikkeltje amateuristisch. Door Remy Chavannes | Artikelen | Minister Wilders…

Het zinderend nostalgische ‘ik had u lief, en leerde u verachten, Nederland’ zou de lijfspreuk kunnen zijn van al die mensen die nu zo graag Geert Wilders in de regering zien.

Wat als ze hun zin kregen?

Biep Biep » ‘Hoi, ik ben Marokkaans en wie ben jij?’

het deed me weer denken aan één van mijn grootste ergernissen. Als je mij op de kast wil jagen, dan moet je allereerste vraag aan mij zijn: ‘Waar kom je vandaan?’ Als het je tweede vraag is, dan ben ik overigens ook niet heel blij met je. Af en toe, dan heb ik zin om lekker te klieren en geef ik de naam van de plaats waar ik woon. ‘Néé! Dat bedoelde ik niet!’ Goh, echt? Nou fijn dan: ‘Mijn ouders komen uit Marokko, maar zelf ben ik hier geboren.’ Dat is tegenwoordig mijn standaard antwoord, want als je antwoordt met ‘Marokko’ gaat men er meteen van uit dat je daar geboren bent.

Tilburgse imam Salam stoorde gsm’s om rustig te kunnen bidden – Binnenland – Algemeen – bndestem

De Islamitische Stichting voor Opvoeding en Overdracht van de Tilburgse imam Salam is door de Bredase rechter veroordeeld tot een boete van 650 euro wegens het verstoren van het gsm-verkeer.

Allochtonenweblog: Mijn salafistische vrienden

Pleiters voor waakzaamheid jegens de islam houden ons voor dat alle moslims die hun geloof serieus nemen vroeg of laat voor geweld tegen ongelovigen zullen kiezen. Ze suggereren dat aan die conclusie een redenering ten grondslag ligt. Een blog van Bart Voorzanger.

De angst voor radicale moslims zit er bij velen stevig in. Nu ken ik mensen, die door anderen als radicale moslim worden beschouwd omdat ze wel eens naar de Al-Tawheedmoskee gaan, omdat ze omgaan met mensen die dat doen, of omdat ze een baard, een kalotje en een djellaba dragen. Als hun diagnose deugt, koester ik heel wat slangen aan mijn borst.

Toon lef in de zaak Wilders – Opinie – de Volkskrant

Het gaat erom dat iemand een visie mag geven op de islam, op de positie van migranten en op de multiculturele samenleving en dat een ieder die visie mag ondersteunen door de opvattingen van anderen instemmend aan te halen. Het gaat daarmee om het voortbestaan van het publieke debat want als uitwisseling van meningen strafbaar wordt, is dat debat niet langer mogelijk.

Toon lef in de zaak Wilders – Opinie – de Volkskrant

Het gaat erom dat iemand een visie mag geven op de islam, op de positie van migranten en op de multiculturele samenleving en dat een ieder die visie mag ondersteunen door de opvattingen van anderen instemmend aan te halen. Het gaat daarmee om het voortbestaan van het publieke debat want als uitwisseling van meningen strafbaar wordt, is dat debat niet langer mogelijk.

  • If you want to stay updated and did not subscribe yet, you can do so HERE
  • You can follow Closer on Twitter now (trying the find out what the use of it is): Martijn5155

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