Closing the week 8 – Anthro, Islam, Evangelicals, The West, Dutch and Other Affairs

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Race, racism, anthropology #1: Mullings on “Interrogating Racism” | Savage Minds

The comments section from my last post about the Napoleon Chagnon controversy eventually led into a discussion about race, racism, and anthropology. If you read more about the debates surrounding Chagnon, it’s pretty clear that they bring up some important (and complex) issues about race, power, the academy–and anthropology’s place within all of this. Near the end of the comment thread, one of our readers mentioned an article that’s well worth reading (thanks, Kat): Interrogating Racism: Toward an Antiracist Anthropology, by Leith Mullings (Annual Review of Anthropology, 2005).

Nacirema Rituals – Horace Miner, “Body Ritual among the Nacirema”

I use Nacirema Rituals as a way to introduce anthropology, ideas of human similarity and difference, ethnocentrism, and cultural relativism. It corresponds to the material in the section on Human Nature and Anthropology. I’ve recently been rediscovering just how current these issues continue to be. Accounts of human beings as inherently warlike, only tamed by modern states and modern moral codes, have become newly popular and quite entrenched. See War, Peace, & Human Nature: Convergence of Evolution & Culture for a new book that will hopefully provide a counter-narrative.

Space and Culture › Book review: Henri Lefebvre on Space – Architecture, Urban Research, and the Production of theory

During this formative period, Lefebvre developed his concept of space as concrete (’lived’) abstraction, a concept which should critically surpass and dialectically overcome (aufheben) central state urban planning as well as dismantle notions of space and housing that are perceived by Postfordist or Keynesian capitalism as mere reified objects of consumption.

The ethics of openness: How informed is “informed consent”? | Ethnography Matters

Informed consent for these interviews hasn’t really been about forms anyway. It has been about relationships between people, and trust.

Public Islam
Anthro | Religion | Media: Muslim Prayer in AZ Senate

Muslim Prayer in AZ Senate

Chinese Muslim traders in Cairo | Exporting China’s Development to the World

This is clearly not an in-depth study, but to the extent that it is correct it is a reminder of the limited ability of transnational networks to erode the power of the national imaginary, in China perhaps more than elsewhere.

Rise of Islamic Converts Challenges France –

While the number of converts remains relatively small in France, yearly conversions to Islam have doubled in the past 25 years, experts say, presenting a growing challenge for France, where government and public attitudes toward Islam are awkward and sometimes hostile.

Adhan Allowed in Sweden – Europe – News –

In an unprecedented move in the Scandinavian country, Muslims in the Swedish capital have won the right to raise Adhan (call for prayers).

Muslims work for LGBT support and acceptance | GLAAD

Many Arab-Americans from conservative backgrounds struggle with coming out or supporting LGBT equality. In Dearborn, Michigan the population is 40% Arab and includes many first generation Americans. The Arab American News recently highlighted Chris Ramazzotti, one of very few gay Arab men who is willing to speak openly about his sexual orientation. Ramazzotti is the executive director of Al-Gamea, a group formed in 2006 to help young LGBT men and women in Dearborn’s Arab community.

A large number of the people associated with Al-Gamea are Muslim, though the group has also reached out to LGBT Chaldeans, a group of Iraqi Catholics who do not identify as Arab. Both Arab Muslims and Chaldeans have found refuge in Al-Gamea, which, in addition to providing community and events, has raised money to help those who have been disowned after coming out to their families.

Religion General
Book Culture and the Rise of Liberal Religion | Religion & Politics

The liberal approaches to religion found in James and Jones—intellectually engaged, psychologically oriented, and focused on personal experience—characterized large swaths of middle-class spiritual life by the middle of the twentieth century.

I argue that this popularization of religious liberalism happened largely in and through books. Jones’s understanding in Social Law that modern religion required modern books in order to reach “the wayfaring man” was prescient: books and book culture were integral to the rise of liberal religion in the twentieth century. In order to succeed at all, the liberal project of renovating religion in light of modern knowledge had to succeed in the marketplace of print. And, by and large, it did.

The new evangelicals « The Immanent Frame

With a lead essay by Marcia Pally, this exchange calls attention to the growing group of evangelicals who have “left the right,” and features brief responses from a range of voices, including participants in this emerging field of “new evangelicals” and longtime observers of these trends. The exchange as a whole complements an earlier discussion and sheds light on the historical sources and political implications of these profound transformations in the social engagements of “new evangelicals” at home and around the world. At the same time, the authors debate whether the “robust political polyphony” of contemporary evangelicalism is really so “new” at all, or whether it should instead be seen as a return to its roots as a diverse global movement.

‘The West’
Is Europe Western? | Kyoto Journal

I like the words “German” and “European” better than “Western” because they force me to think more concretely. The term “Western” on the other hand contains an insidious concept. It tries to wrap up an ideology in a geographic packaging: whoever is in favor of democracy, freedom and individualism is considered Western in their orientation. And, if that person originates from the geographic west then they belong to their own tradition. If not, they have left their own tradition. They may well be modern but they are not completely themselves.

Liberal Paradoxes :: Anthropolaris

A recent article posed in the NYT – In Furor Over Cartoon, Murdoch Apologizes for ‘Grotesque’ Drawing – sheds some light on media politics. As if we needed to be reminded how untouchable Israel (and any critique of its policies) really is…

Erik Raschke: A Dutch Dissonance – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics

Cognitive dissonance is hardly a Dutch phenomenon, but it is more than shocking to see that a highly educated populace, so proud of their history can, at the same time, be so blind to history. As the German ambassador to the Netherlands, Otto von der Gablentz, once commented, “Germany has not forgotten the lessons from its past. The Netherlands, by contrast, seems blinded by the myth of its own innocence.”

Mattea Kramer & Chris Hellman: “Homeland Security” – Guernica / A Magazine of Art & Politics

Perhaps the strangest part of homeland security operations may be this: there is no agreed-upon definition for just what homeland security is.

Masculinizing the Feminine (or how to use pinterest for visual analysis) | Material World

Masculinizing the Feminine: is a pinterest page maintained by Sociological Images.

Each image links to products marketed specifically for men, that explicitly move away from the feminine (I like Blo-job, bronzing powder for men). Many of the images are linked to discussion and detail on the blog…thanks for this resource! Best way to use pinterest…

Gopk: Cultural fundamentalism. A step forward

“cultural fundamentalism/essentialism does not reify culture, but it is in reality about relationships between cultures as understood and bounded, internally homogeneous, integrated and exclusive sets of values, behavior and meanings which are thought to be inevitably threatened by foreigners who by definition have a different culture” (V. Stolcke, “Comment on Ralph Grillo, ‘Cultural Essentialism and Cultural Anxiety'”, Anthropological Theory, 3(2):175-77.

Egypt’s Music of Protest | Middle East Research and Information Project

one might argue that the edgiest and most explosive music is now being produced by Egypt’s working-class youth. It ingeniously combines advanced technologies with “from-the-hood” beats. It is unafraid to tackle subjects heretofore ignored or downplayed in polite venues. Mahragan promises to be “really tough” for the state or cultural elites to appropriate or contain.

Learning About Salafism | Tasneem Project Review

As part of my long-running exploration of Islam/Muslims, I’ve started to investigate Salafism — from the outside. In the past, I’ve dabbled in [quietest] Salafism as a participant. Amghar (2007) suggest Salafism’s attraction rests with the fact it “expresses a rebellion in which religion symbolises an affirmation of the self in opposition to the dominant values in society.” He may be right. I still don’t hold the dominant values of this society in very high regard. The world I’ve come to know over the last 30 years has consistently disappointed. Worse still, it takes an effort of will not to get dragged into the shameless mire. Outside of puritanical and conservative faith, I’ve never known anyone who maintains absolute integrity in respect of her/his own values, and that includes myself. I’ve always thought people could do better, in the right company. The problem is Salafis are dodgy company. Some of their ideas and values are total shite, even if the Salafis I’ve known are utterly convinced they’ve found the home of human perfection.

Sexism Fatigue: When Seth MacFarlane Is a Complete Ass and You Don’t Even Notice

A strange thing happened on Sunday night when I watched Seth MacFarlane joke that Zero Dark Thirty is a movie about how bitches be naggin’, and listened to him croon about how lovely Jodie Foster’s naked boobs looked mid-simulated-gang-rape. I felt…nothing. Just nothing. Nothing beyond exhaustion and an extreme desire for wine, anyway. I wasn’t happy about it, but compared to what I was expecting from MacFarlane, it was a yawn. Compared to the sheer volume of hate and misogyny I filter every day for my job, it was a sneeze.

Anthropologist rightfully denounces militarization

Marshall Sahlins, a leading American anthropologist, resigned last week from the National Academy of Sciences. This may come as a shock to the scientific community and even to students at NYU. Anyone taking an introductory course to anthropology at NYU, for example, is bound to encounter several readings of Sahlins’s work. Among his more influential works are “Historical Metaphors and Mythical Realities,” a case study of the murder of Captain Cook in Hawaii and how it was the result of underlying social factors. Normally, when a scientist or scholar resigns from such a prestigious position, one assumes that he probably committed an irrevocable and egregious error that forever taints his credibility as an academic. However, our assumptions sometimes deceive us. If we explore the reasoning and motivations behind Sahlins’s resignation, we may arrive at deeper insights into the issues at play.

New Media in Africa and the Global Public Sphere | African Futures

There is a tendency to fetishize the relationship between social media and the likelihood of protest. While the uses of mobile phones to spread information and coordinate actions were widespread in some protests and disturbances in Sub-Saharan African countries; take the cases of Mozambique and Mali (here and here) for example. Separately, research on Zambia’s recent election concludes that the impacts of online crisis monitoring and information tools during elections—like Ushahidi—may be overstated. New research about Twitter use suggests few elites (described as “African business and political leaders”) have joined the continent’s Twittersphere. However, not all evidence is negligible pointing instead to the emergence of a connected public on the continent, including some political and policy elites.

Syria’s civil war: The country formerly known as Syria | The Economist

“MY COUNTRY is being destroyed,” sobs Ahmad, a student from the eastern city of Deir ez-Zor who joined the protests when they began in March 2011. “The regime is killing us, many of the opposition fighters are becoming criminals and the world is watching it like a film.” He is worried that onlookers may think this is normal, seeing that Syria lies in the centre of a region which is no stranger to wars and strife. Syria, with its chemical weapons, alliance with Iran, shrinking government and spreading militias, has become the confluence where all that is worrying about the Middle East comes together.

Oscar loves a white savior –

If a movie features white people rescuing people of color from their plight, odds are high an Oscar will follow

Moskee-internaten onder toezicht – NOS Nieuws

Moskee-internaten komen onder toezicht te staan. Dat heeft minister Asscher met een aantal gemeentebesturen afgesproken, schrijft hij in een brief aan de Tweede Kamer (.pdf).

‘Arabische homokroeg is onmisbaar voor Arabische homoseksuelen’ – Vonk – VK

Bij het nieuws dat de Arabische homokroeg Habibi Ana in Amsterdam moet sluiten, schieten de Marokaans-Nederlandse Laila Ezzeroili herinneringen te binnen aan de wilde jaren waarin zij zelf als opstandig meisje een thuis vond tussen de moslimnichten.

Jongerenwerker geeft vrouw geen hand: ontslag

Een 25-jarige islamitische jongerenwerker uit Veenendaal is door een welzijnsinstelling in Veenendaal ontslagen omdat hij weigerde vrouwen een hand te geven. De man, actief in het buurtwerk, werd in september op non-actief gezet na klachten van onder meer de woningcorporatie.

16/2/2013 | Interview with Haitham al-Haddad | Rotterdam, the Netherlands – YouTube

Interview with Haitham al-Haddad | Rotterdam, the Netherlands

Waarom Lodewijk Asscher geen bankiers vangt | ThePostOnline

Onze minister van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid probeert existentiële angst over moderniteit te bestrijden met een papiertje. Het participatiecontract moet ervoor zorgen dat migranten zich meer gaan gedragen zoals wij. Asscher kan eisen stellen aan nieuwkomers en die eisen zijn erg zichtbaar voor alle burgers. Kijk eens, er wordt iets gedaan!

Uiteindelijk haalt het allemaal niets uit.

Asscher’s participatiecontract betuttelt migranten | ThePostOnline

Voor de duidelijkheid: het is goed en belangrijk om de problemen die er zijn aan te pakken en ze niet te ontkennen. Het kabinet onderkent die problemen, blijkens de nota en de brief aan de kamer, vrij volledig. Maar het is nog veel beter om de zin te scheiden van de onzin. Wie zich aan de wet houdt, een eigen inkomen genereert, en verder zonder problemen functioneert in onze samenleving heeft geen participatiecontract nodig. Nederlands spreken is voor heel veel dingen handig, maar als het ook probleemloos zonder kan, dan moeten we daar vooral niet moeilijk over doen.

Integratie is een pragmatisch probleem, geen ideologisch vraagstuk.

Integratie: is Lodewijk Asscher een ‘vluggertje’? | ThePostOnline

En dan wordt het zorgelijk. Want, wanneer Asscher wil dat nieuwkomers zich aan onze wetten en regels houden heeft hij natuurlijk volkomen gelijk. Maar daar hebben we de politie voor. Echter, als hij voorstelt dat mensen deze waarden moeten internaliseren, ze moeten onderschrijven, voelen en geloven, dan wordt het eng. Ik ken niemand die de manier waarop hij in het leven staat heeft laten vastleggen in een contract, laat staan iemand die de manier waarop hij in het leven staat, wijzigde door het tekenen van een contract. Want hoe gaat hij de vordering van migranten bijhouden? Met een gedachtenpolitie? Die krijgt het druk dan!

‘Asschers participatiecontract is een discriminatoir en paternalistisch heropvoedingsprogramma’ – Henk van Houtum – VK

Eindelijk was de economie – en niet die volledig uit de hand gelopen discussie over identiteit en multiculturaliteit – weer inzet van de politiek ideologische strijd en toen kwam daar minister Asscher met zijn integratiebrief, schrijft Henk van Houtum. ‘Dat levert een waarden-en normen exercitie op die veel verder gaat dan Balkenende ooit durfde te dromen.’

Weg met de integratie-industrie! | ThePostOnline

Mijn vader heeft mij opgevoed met de centrale boodschap dat werken edel is, dat het brood het lekkerst smaakt als het zelf is verdiend. Maar hij was gewend geraakt aan die uitkering, passief geworden, in zichzelf gekeerd, verloor de Nederlandse taal, hij isoleerde zich en ging een djellaba dragen.

Dat is het beeld dat ik voor ogen heb als ik zeg dat de welzijnssector niet verheft, maar hospitaliseert. Ik durf te zeggen dat ik midden in de samenleving sta, juist doordat ik nooit en te nimmer met Welzijn van doen heb gehad. Het is het verheffingsideaal dat mij ontwikkeld heeft, niet de welzijnssector.

‘Asscher mag het niet bij woorden laten’ – Nausicaa Marbe – VK

Asscher heeft iets gedaan wat geen eerdere vicepremier aandurfde: ernstige integratieproblemen duidelijk vanuit de culturele onaangepastheid en de onwil bij de betreffende migrantengroepen verklaren, en daar oplossingen zoeken. Dat betoogt Volkskrant-columnist Nausicaa Marbe.

‘Typisch Nederlandse’ kerk-staat-verhoudingen zijn achterhaald – Sociale Vraagstukken – TROUW

Overheden worstelen meer dan ooit met de vraag hoe zij met religieuze groeperingen om moeten gaan. Voldoet het zogenaamde ‘Nederlandse model’ van kerk-staat verhoudingen nog wel als richtsnoer? In de praktijk van alledag voert pragmatisme de boventoon en klinkt seculiere kritiek steeds luider.

PhotoQ – Columns – Top die foto!

Sommige problemen zijn lastig te illustreren met foto’s. Allochtonenproblematiek is daar één van. Zo heb ik al eens eerder geschreven over de stereotype foto’s die daarvoor gebruikt worden (zie verwijzingen onder dit artikel). Maar al een tijd ben ik gefascineerd door één foto die voor allerlei nieuwsberichten wordt gebruikt.

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