Ritual slaughter in the Netherlands – From animal to ethical meat

The Dutch banned ritual slaughtering by Muslims and Jews. In a proposal heavily condemned by Muslim and Jewish organizations the Party of the Animals wanted a complete ban on dhabiha and shechita in cases where the animals were not stunned before the killing; the ritual slaughtering by Muslims and Jews. The ban will mostly effect orthodox Jews since all of the shechita slaughtering involves animal Continue Reading →

Wilders on Trial VII – The dissensus ritual

In this entry I give an overview of the events of the trial against extremist anti-islam nativist Geert Wilders. A court case can be seen as a ritual that can offer a temporary solution to a complex and difficult political situation and that should transform a tense situation (as was clearly the case with Fitna) to a more balanced situation. It seems however that the whole trial did not lead to ba Continue Reading →

Open Brief – Geen innovatie zonder wetenschap

Antropologisch onderzoek naar kannibalisme in Papoea Nieuw Guinea leidde bijvoorbeeld tot de ontdekking van de prionziektes (Nobelprijs 1976 en 1997), waartoe ook de gekkekoeienziekte behoort. En zo zijn er meer voorbeelden van fundamenteel onderzoek als de motor voor innovatie en ontwikkeling. Peter-Paul Verbeek, Appy Sluijs, Beatrice de Graaf (jonge academici van de KNAW) betogen in deze brief a Continue Reading →

Some first thoughts on Moroccan reforms and khitab

Last night Moroccan king Mohammed VI announced reforms and a constitutional referendum. This can be seen as the answer of the Moroccan establishment to the protests in Morocco. Will it be sufficient for the protesters? The ideas of the king sounded healthy and promising but isn't it more of the same...again? At the same time I'm also not that sure of the 'revolutionairy spirit' is so strong anymor Continue Reading →

Theologisch debat – Dialoog en geloof in actie

Het tijdschrift Theologisch Debat doet haar naam eer aan en heeft een debatsectie; ditmaal over interreligieuze dialoog. De opening wordt verzorgd door kersverse hoogleraar interreligieuze dialoog Marcel Poorthuis. Andere artikelen zijn van Gé Speelman (Een integere en respectvolle dialoog - Opmerkingen bij de Islamnota van de PKN), Bernhard Reitsma (Wat er achter de dialoog schuil gaat) en van u Continue Reading →

Haykel and Schmitz on Conflict in Yemen

Bernard Haykel and Charles Schmitz are two of the most renowned scholars working on Middle East, including Yemen. In this talk they both shed some light on the complex background of the Yemeni situation, local and international politics, Al Qaeda, president Saleh, tribal matters and so on. Listen and watch this crash course on Yemen. Continue Reading →

Saudi Arabia – Reform, Revolution and Hypocrisy

Madawi Al-Rasheed is Professor of Social Anthropology at King's College, London. Born in Saudi Arabia, she currently lives in London. Her research focuses on history, society, religion and politics in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Her recent publications include Politics in an Arabian Oasis, A History of Saudi Arabia, and Contesting the Saudi State. In an interview with The Real News she reflects on Continue Reading →