As all self-respecting bloggers, this one is doing a round up of the last year as well. If we make a list of the most popular items this year, there is one absolute winner. Usually I don’t include my sunday overviews in this round up, but this year it has to be since it has more hits then the numbers 2 – 10 together. And somehow I do not think this has anything to do with the content, but you might want to have a look at it anyway: Featuring Sex, Arab Women and Orientalism. The first serious winner in the list is Nazima Shaikh’s interview with Pakistani star Veena Malik: My Pakistan is infamous for many reasons other than me. A third one that has been attracting many viewers was John Bowen’s interview with France24: Islam of France. The other one is reflection I wrote after the horrible attack on the Pakistani girl Malala who, in trying to stand up for the right to schooling for young girls in Pakistan, was attacked by a member of the Taliban: A Tale of Two Pakistani Girls: Malala & ‘Shakira’. Two posts are equal. One on sexual violence in the Netherlands and the other showcasing an issue of American Ethnologist on the Egyptian revolution.

Several older posts also rank high. Of course there is Islamizing Europe – Muslim Demographics (my one and only classic), a widely linked and copied post on the tradition and racism in the Netherlands: Jolly Black Servant and a contribution by Samuli Schielke from 2011: Egypt: After the Revolution.

The top posts in Dutch are varied as well. Number one is a post on the Innocence of Muslims: De Onschuld der Moslims – In Tien Vragen en Antwoorden I, featuring the main basic elements of the start of the controversy. A very simple post but widely covered probably because it was quite simple. Number two is a story about a Muslim scholar stating that people in Egypt are allowed in having sex with dead people. In that post I show that this is a hoax and what the function of that hoax is: Seks, Dood en Islam. The third one is about the gruesome death of a young girl in 1999 in a small Dutch village. At the time people were convinced that the perpetrator was an asylum seeker because the throat of the girl was cut (a rumour that proved to be wrong). When found out this year that the killer was ethnic Dutch from a nearby village there was a completely different debate. In this post, published previously in a Dutch newspaper, I outline how the debate in 1999 preceeded the debate on Islam and integration after 2001: Het spektakel Marianne Vaatstra: Een Nederlander snijdt geen keel door. As women are central in the debates among Muslims about Islam and among outsiders on Islam en muslims, I wrote a sharp counterblog against an Arab studies colleague who denounced Arab women as victims: De Zielige Arabische Vrouw.

This year I started to publish parts of my field notes on my blog. The most read post of that category is my impression of a national congres of Muslims: Een impressie van het Nationaal Islamcongres 2012: Een ‘imaan-boost’, a popular one is also on the Dutch face-veil debate (Gezichtssluiers in Debat) and my report on a summer camp on da’wa (proselytizing) which I attended for my research on Muslim activism: Mannen met een Missie: Fadel Soliman & Ben Kok. A guest post about the Dutch army on a training mission in Mali led to questions being asked in Parliament: Nederlandse leger & Flintlock – Trainen of vechten in de Sahel.

Working with guest authors was a blessing: thank you all for your great contributions. The next year I will continue this in particular with the Citizenship Carnival; a series of blogposts on the explicit and implicit rules of inclusion, exclusion and accommodation with regard to integration, Islam and migration. The first post in this series was a great piece by Nadia Fadil: What is Integration? The last post of this year will also be part of this series and is written by Paul Mepschen and Jan-Willem Duyvendak on sexual nationalisms. This post will appear on Sunday.

For now, for all my readers, guest authors and commenters: thank you all and see you back in a wonderful 2013!

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