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Featuring Judith Butler
Judith Butler – I must distance myself
Some of the organizers explicitly made racist statements or did not dissociate themselves from them. The host organizations refuse to understand antiracist politics as an essential part of their work. Having said this, I must distance myself from this complicity with racism, including anti-Muslim racism.
We all have noticed that gay, bisexual, lesbian, trans and queer people can be instrumentalized by those who want to wage wars, i.e. cultural wars against migrants by means of forced islamophobia and military wars against Iraq and Afghanistan. In these times and by these means, we are recruited for nationalism and militarism. Currently, many European governments claim that our gay, lesbian, queer rights must be protected and we are made to believe that the new hatred of immigrants is necessary to protect us. Therefore we must say no to such a deal. To be able to say no under these circumstances is what I call courage. But who says no? And who experiences this racism? Who are the queers who really fight against such politics?
If I were to accept an award for courage, I would have to pass this award on to those that really demonstrate courage. If I were able to, I would pass it on the following groups that are courageous, here and now:
1) GLADT: Gays and Lesbians from Turkey. This is a queer migrant self-organization. This group works very successfully within the fields of multiple discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, sexism, and racism.
2) LesMigraS: Lesbian Migrants and Black Lesbians, is an anti-violence and anti-discrimination division of Lesbenberatung Berlin. It has worked with success for ten years. They work in the fields of multiple discrimination, self-empowerment, and antiracist labor.
3) SUSPECT: A small group of queers that established an anti-violence movement. They assert that it is not possible to fight against homophobia without also fighting against racism.
4) ReachOut is a councelling center for victims of rightwing extremist, racist, anti-Semitic , homophobic, and transphobic violence in Berlin. It is critical of structural and governmental violence.
As Berlin Queer and Trans Activists of Colour and Allies we welcome Judith Butler’s decision to turn down the Zivilcourage Prize awarded by Berlin Pride. We are delighted that a renowned theorist has used her celebrity status to honour queer of colour critiques against racism, war, borders, police violence and apartheid. We especially value her bravery in openly critiquing and scandalising the organisers’ closeness to homonationalist organisations – a concept which was coined by Jasbir Puar’s book Terrorist Assemblages. Her courageous speech is a testimony to her openness for new ideas, and her readiness to engage with our long activist and academic work, which all too often happens under conditions of isolation, precariousness, appropriation and instrumentalisation.
Ironically, the very reasons I gave Berlin Pride a pass this year — rampant commercialism, body fascism, and apolitical torpor — are the reasons I wish I had now been there to see Judith Butler turn down the organizer’s Prize for Civil Courage. Delivered in German to a surprised but delighted crowd, Butler’s scathingly political remarks rained on the parade of complacency with her pointed barbs against anti-immigrant and anti-muslim racism.
I hope Judith Butler’s refusal of the award will act as a catalyst for more discussion about the impact of racism even within groups which are considered progressive”….”that somehow people from the global south, people of colour are more homophobic than white people is a racist assumption
With Judith Butler, Angela Davis and many other commentators giving voice to this travesty, LGBT organisations would no longer have a hiding place when they are derelict in their responsibilities to all their constituency; obvious members, the oppressed, the ostracised or the afraid – that includes minorities in the West and those that suffer under unspeakable sanction in faraway lands.
Any LGBT gathering that fails to accommodate the minorities as part and parcel of the whole representation of the LGBT community at home first and abroad would cast the organisers as hypocritical and devoid of values, seriously unworthy of the social justice mantle they claim to have and detriment to any further struggle for rights and fairness as they will be open to justifiable criticism and derision. They have no hiding place anymore.
Alison Powell » Filter, Feed and Funnel: Social media participation
I’m going to talk about our historical models for citizenship, and the media spaces that they are associated with. Then I’m going to talk about the media spaces of the present, and the way that filter, feed and funnel shape our opportunities for participation. I’ll talk about some of the problems of social media participation, and then suggest things we can think about – and DO – to use the opportunity that our networked communication provides.
the blog of the Association for the Study of Nationalities, focusing on nationalism , ethnicity and national identity around the world.
In recent years, it might have seemed that nationalism and ethnic conflict is a phenomena of the 1990s. The headlines of the 2000s have been dominated by terrorism and other themes. It is of course no secret that nationalism remains a potent force and that ethnic and national identity continue to shape politics in many, if not most, countries around the world.
Understanding the continuing relevance of nationalism is crucial not just for scholars of particular countries, but also for understanding broader trends and regional dynamics. This blog seeks to provide timely commentary and analysis on events like these. Scholars and analysts associated with the Association for the Study of Nationalities will contribute their postings and we encourage a debate on the topics and postings on the topic of nationalism and ethnic conflict.
But, everything had changed. The neighborhood was nearly empty. We were told that something like40 percent of the Pakistani population had either voluntarily left, were deported, or simply disappeared.
In the days and months after 9/11, security had tightened, the community was repeatedly raided for illegal immigrants, and hundreds were deported. Many more left because of fear. In another part of Brooklyn, Imam Siraj Wahhaj spoke about the fear of those in the neighborhood. “Just imagine FBI knocking on your door at 3:00 in the morning and questioning you,” he said, “people get scared.” Some estimate that about 15-20,000 left the neighborhood. Many stores went out of business. “In the old days,” someone said, “when you went to Coney Island Avenue you saw a lot of people, even at 12 o’clock midnight. And now at nine o’clock at night this place is deserted.”
The neighborhood is now seeing a resurgence thanks to many Pakistanis who have returned. We have much more on Little Pakistan, National Security and Immigration in the book.
Turning and turning in the widening gyre | The falcon cannot hear the falconer | Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold | Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world | The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere | The ceremony of innocence is drowned | The best lack all conviction, while the worst | Are full of passionate intensity. — W.B. Yeats, The Second Coming
* Team USA at the 2010 FIFA World Cup: Motivation Unthinkable without the Military
by Maximilian Forte
In a military-dominated culture, where the militarist ethos tries to reach into every little corner of social experience and attempts to appropriate every possible making of cultural meaning, this is the latest for our files: Team USA at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa was apparently unable to think of motivation, discipline, and bonding outside of the military experience. Apparently in the U.S. these qualities have become monopolized by the military, and by militainment propaganda.
The Listening Post described how various branches of the American armed services–the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard–and the Department of Defense itself have each established a beach-head in Hollywood. The Pentagon has liaison officers stationed in Los Angeles, precisely for the purpose of working with Hollywood, and indeed, one of these officers has since left and joined Al Jazeera, and is interviewed in this report. In return for Pentagon consultants, and even actual troops performing stunts and carrying out action scenes in select films (such as Blackhawk Down), as well as the provision of U.S. military equipment, Hollywood filmmakers submit their scripts to the Pentagon for review and approval. The result is a “slickly produced feature length advertisement” for the U.S. military. Where news media are concerned, the Listening Post provides a quick review of what has already been documented and established, concerning the practice under Rumsfeld’s Pentagon of preparing retired generals to go out and serve as “expert military analysts” in order to talk up the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Entities such as NBC/CNBC/MSNBC are owned by GE, a major defense contractor. Meanwhile, the video game industry, which exceeds Hollywood in profits, has been a major output of militarized culture, with some games meant to serve as intentional recruitment tools, while actual war itself is being rendered into a video game (such as the flying of drone strikes).
Increasingly, even the silent Muslim majority, that used to rebuke the radical minority for their idea that Muslims/Islam ‘are under attack’, are expressing their loss of confidence in the democratic liberal system to respect and protect them. There is increasingly a sense of dystopia since a growing number feel that Muslims are told one thing (i.e. trust the liberal democratic system, the freedom of speech, the justice of British values) but treated in a way that continuously contradicts those elements (including an astonishingly anti-liberal mass surveillance). Some Muslims, particularly the young, find themselves in a form of double bind (which Bateson has so well theorized) which, in some cases, may led to radical acts of identity.
As someone familiar with the major studies on boredom, I found this book to be an engaging introductory text that presents many of the major ideas and historical discussions of this modern phenomenon. Read in conjunction with sources like Goodstein, Essays on Boredom and Modernity can be seen as adding a level of diversity and variation to existing explorations of boredom, which in turn open us new means of interpreting modern and even postmodern views of the world. What is particularly interesting about this book is the cultural vision of modernity that is collectively constructed through this variety of engagements with boredom, one that speaks to the fragmentary and often contradictory experiences of modern culture.
Amayreh’s study is in two parts. The first consists of interviews with three of Hamas’s female MPs: Sameera al-Halayka from the Hebron area, and Jamila Shanti and Huda Naim from Gaza. The second is Amayreh’s own analysis of the significant role women have played in bolstering Hamas.
Several Muslim women who wear the headscarf face a lot of trouble with sports associations, particularly the football one, which forbids them to play the game with their headscarf on.
Thousands Kosovo Albanians staged a protest rally Friday in Pristina after girls were banned from school for refusing to take off their Muslim headscarves.
The D.C. police department will no longer intervene in an ongoing protest by Islamic women over their place in area mosques, The Washington Examiner has learned.
A group of Muslim women has provoked confrontations in mosques in and around the capital for months by claiming the right to worship next to men. The gestures have led to angry arguments between the women and conservative men among the Muslim worshipers.
When I tell progressive-minded people that I focus on women’s rights in Muslim contexts, I am often met with a round of questions designed to peg me as either a Geert Wilders (a Dutch politician known for his criticism of Islam) or a Moazzam Begg. That is, do I think (a) that Islam is an inherently barbaric religion that hates women or (b) that all calls to promote women’s human rights hide a neo-liberal agenda to demonize Islam and re-colonize the Muslim world? My interrogators often look for clues on my person — my clothing, skin color, accent, and demeanor — to determine which of these is my dominant mind-set.
SCOTLAND’S leading Islamic scholar is launching an unprecedented campaign to place anti-domestic violence messages in Friday prayers at every mosque in Scotland.
Shaykh Amer Jamil, right, the country’s most prominent and respected Muslim thinker, is to meet every imam in Scotland over the coming months. Jamil will ask the imams to tell their congregation about Islam’s stance opposing domestic violence, and give the clerics advice on dealing with the police.
Even though the Saudi national football team has not qualified for the 2010 World Cup that is to begin in South Africa on Friday, Saudi designers are insisting on celebrating the tournament with flair with the launch of a new selection of abayas with World Cup themes.
If you pay close attention to the coverage of Islam in the mainstream press, you may have noticed that there are three major themes:
(1) Islam is a religion of peace.
(2) There is no one Islam.
(3) When some Muslims do horrible things, they are being driven by cultural (not religious) realities, even if they insist that their motivations are rooted in their Islamic beliefs.
It’s easy to spot the tensions created by these templates. For example, if “Islam is a religion of peace,” then that makes it sound like there is only one Islam. Meanwhile, if there is one, true form of Islam, is it logical that journalists in the West (or even professors at Georgetown University) should be the ones who get to make decisions about which form of Islam is the true form? That sounds rather provincial, doesn’t it?
Ethnicity, Religion and Conflict
The ethnicisation of violence in Southern Kyrgyzstan | openDemocracy
Media talk of ‘ethnic conflict’ in Kyrgyzstan is misleading, in that it takes ethnicity to be causal. This does not describe the complex, messy process – political, economic, social and structural – whereby this crisis has become ethnicised. What matters now is to understand why and how this has occurred with such destructive speed
Brookings has a new paper out — it’s two papers in one, really — examining the role of madrassas (religious schools) in promoting militancy in Pakistan, and the interplay between education and conflict.
I have just published an essay in the new issue of Foreign Affairs which uses Paul Berman’s polemic against Tariq Ramadan, Twilight of the Intellectuals, as a jumping off point for a broader discussion of the challenge of non-violent Islamism. I finished drafting it over a month ago, and since then several excellent review essays have appeared including one by Pankaj Mishra in the New Yorker and another by Yale University’s Andrew March in the American Prospect. I found much to criticize in the book, including Berman’s exceedingly thin engagement with the vast scholarly and historiographical literature, his still-puzzling obsession with Ramadan, and his tiresome infighting with a few liberal Western journalists such as Timothy Garton Ash and Ian Buruma. But looking past the polemics, there’s a serious debate to be had about how to think about non-violent Islamist activism in Europe and the United States, the Middle East, and throughout the Muslim communities of the world. In the end, I argue, Berman “flags important debates about Islam’s impact on Europe and the world, but he is an exceedingly poor guide to navigating them.”
From Nazis and CIA agents to the Muslim Brotherhood, Ian Johnson’s A Mosque in Munichunlocks a little known chapter of history, writes Issandr El Amrani, but its views are simplistic.
Europe’s largest intergovernmental human rights watchdog has warned that intolerance toward Islam and Muslims in Europe has been increasing in recent years and urged immediate action to stem violence against Muslims.
The Lib-Con coalition has raised the spirits of some British civil rights campaigners who have praised the new government for scrapping New Labour’s ID-card scheme, amending the DNA database model, and ensuring that migrant children will no longer be held in detention. Yet last week’s news headlines declaring that an Indian Muslim preacher would be barred from the UK brought about a strong sense of déjà vu from the not-so-distant New Labour past.
T.L. Caswell on how Union Carbide’s negligence in the Bhopal chemical leak near Agra in the 1980s was punished late and lightly, whereas BP was forced by the US to establish a $20 billion payout fund right away.
Aljazeera English reports on the ongoing Bhopal protests by victim families, and their new resentments about how their disaster was dealt with compared to the more pro-active and tough stance taken toward BP.
A long-standing tradition in North Africa, convincingly rejected by Ibn Khald?n but perpetuated by poets and curricula alike, claims that some major Berber tribes descend from Yemeni Arabs through semi-mythical pre-Islamic kings and their wholly mythical vast conquests. This idea has little to support it, and probably became popular because it allowed these tribes to claim prestigious connections in the context of a high culture dominated by Arab ideas; but why should the connection be specifically Yemeni, rather than, say, North Arabian or perhaps Persian? Linguistics suggests a possible answer.
It is too easy, her article implies, to simply insist that the cross is, in fact, an essentially Christian symbol (Justice Steven’s position). It is equally too easy to insist that it is universal—that is, that it can be a symbol for all faiths—even when what one means by that seems to be a version of a Christian universal (Justice Alito’s position).
It is too easy, not because these positions are unsophisticated, but because they are effectively ideological. Neither Stevens, the secular apologist, nor Alito, the religious apologist, has, in fact, the least idea of how this symbol functions, how it is read, how it has changed and is changing. Has the cross become more Christian in the past 50 years? Or less? Hard to say without actual research. How facts have changed would seem crucial to understanding how norms should be understood and applied, now and in the future.
Het boek geeft inzicht in racistisch geweld in Nederland en laat zien dat er sprake is van een hardnekkig probleem gedurende de gehele periode van 1950 tot heden. In Nederland bestaat een grote neiging om het racistische karakter van geweld te bagatelliseren en om het structurele karakter van dit geweld te ontkennen. Juist deze reactie, en dan met name van landelijke en lokale overheden, heeft een grote invloed gehad op de wijze waarop dit geweld zich gedurende 60 jaar heeft voorgedaan en nog steeds voordoet.
In Nederland is de helft van de Marokkaanse jongens op zijn tweeëntwintigste met de politie in aanraking gekomen voor een misdrijf. Eén op de drie in deze groep is een veelpleger met meer dan vijf feiten op zijn kerfstok. Dat blijkt uit een nieuwe studie die is gepubliceerd in het jongste nummer van het Tijdschrift voor Ciminologie. Tot verrassing van de auteurs blijken ook Marokkaanse meisjes drie keer zo veel criminele feiten te plegen als Nederlandse dames. En veelplegers zijn gemiddeld niét gewelddadiger dan personen die maar eens af en toe een feit plegen. Uit een ander onderzoek in hetzelfde nummer van TVC blijkt dan weer dat asielmigranten meer criminele feiten plegen dat autochtonen of gewone migranten. Een evaluatie van beide studies én de vraag of deze studie kan veralgemeend worden naar België. Niet dus.
Duitsland wil een telefoonnummer en een website instellen voor mensen die onder de invloed van fundamentalistische moslims zijn gekomen, maar dit niet meer willen. Het Duitse ministerie van Binnenlandse Zaken hoopt zo te voorkomen dat jonge moslims zich keren tot de radicale islam.
Sherris Alam had een interessant gesprek in de trein met Eric Lucassen (nr 12 PVV). Hieronder staat de brief die Sherris aan Eric schreef, met daaronder een reactie van Eric.
Ramzi Alioui schreef mij ‘the day after’ een ontroerende brief over wat de opmars van de PVV met hem doet. Wat moet ik doen om gemotiveerd te blijven, vraagt hij. Mijn antwoord is, breng een beweging op gang van goedwillende Marokkanen die zich distantiëren van kwelgeesten en radicalen. Laat massaal en publiekelijk zien dat wij houden van Nederland en bijdragen aan deze samenleving.
De moslims beweren steeds opnieuw, dat er geen racisme zou voorkomen in de islam, daar zouden alle mensen gelijk zijn. Ze gaan zelfs zover om te beweren, dat het racisme een product van de blanke man zou zijn. Waarom echter kopen Arabieren bij voorkeur zwarte slaven?
De hoofddoek is een symbool van onderdrukking, zeggen critici. Een hoofddoek wel of niet dragen is een bewuste keuze, stellen jonge moslima’s daartegenover. Verslaggever Rob Pietersen interviewde zussen die elk een eigen, andere keuze maakten.
Zie bijvoorbeeld haar laatste column, een schokkend relaas over de mensonterende toestanden in een provinciaal ziekenhuis, waar de artsen bij de zoon van een ernstig zieke vrouw drammerig op euthanasie aandringen. Het gaat om een ‘dierbare’, blijkt uit Marbes verhaal, maar dat weerhoudt de stamgasten er niet van hun wekelijkse haatritueel op te voeren
Wethouder Hette Zijlstra gaat een onderzoeksvoorstel schrijven over de eventuele komst van een joodse en een islamitische begraafplaats in Weesp. Ook zal hij een onderzoek laten doen naar de wenselijkheid van een crematorium in Weesp. De onderzoeksopdracht zal in de volgende commissievergadering besproken kunnen worden.
In Marokko waren Anne Frank en haar beroemde dagboek tot nu toe nauwelijks bekend. Bovendien zien veel Marokkanen verhalen over de holocaust als joodse propaganda. Toch maakt een reizende tentoonstelling over Anne veel los.
‘Anne Frank: een geschiedenis van vandaag’ heet de tentoonstelling in de stad Fez.
‘De autochtone Nederlander maakt zich zorgen om de integratieproblemen, maar doet er weinig aan.’ Dit zei Sadik Harchaoui, directeur van FORUM, instituut voor multiculturele vraagstukken, gisteren tijdens het interviewcollege ‘De Nederlander nu – hetzelfde en toch steeds weer anders’ georganiseerd door de Universitei Utrecht.
Nederlandse moslims moeten actief proberen hun eigen imago te verbeteren. Bovendien zouden ze minder passief moeten zijn en duidelijker voor hun eigen belang moeten opkomen. Dat zegt kolonel Ali Eddaoudi, die een jaar geleden, samen met een Nederlandse collega van Turkse afkomst, werd aangesteld als eerste islamitische geestelijke verzorger bij Defensie.