Posts

Showing posts from January, 2016
Dripping blood from every pore—why Rhodes must fall Black Victims in a White Man's War
Holocaust Memorial Day: A Reading List Gabriel Ash : The most honest way people can celebrate Holocaust memorial day is by kicking down a Syrian refugee and stealing their wallet.
Income inequality linked to inequality of life span
الزنادقة" الذين قامت على أكتافئهم الحضارة الإسلامية"
The long hisory of Muslims and Christians killing people together How "little use terms such as 'Muslim' and 'Christian' are to describe the almost hopelessly complex web of shifting power-relations, feudal alliances, ethnic sympathies and historical grudges" that shaped much of European history.
الشرطة المصرية في 2015
That "bunch of migrants" — David Camerom Why are so many people dying in the Mediterranean?
New Texts Out Now: Haytham Bahoora, Writing the Dismembered Nation: The Aesthetics of Horror in Iraqi Narratives of War
Britain is at war with Yemen . A joke by Owen Jones:   "If the British people were fully aware of what was happening, Britain’s involvement would surely be unsustainable."
This “situations wanted” posting from the Times in 1939 is extraordinary ...
This Woman Just Explained Economics In A Nutshell. 
" The organizers of the #ausnahmslos campaign don’t deny that the scale and coordination of the assaults in Cologne were alarming. But they point out that sexual harassment is a far more common occurrence in Germany than is typically acknowledged, especially at traditional German events like Munich’s Oktoberfest and Cologne’s Karneval, where large crowds tend to gather under the influence of massive amounts of alcohol. A  2014 study  from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights found that one in three women in Germany has been the victim of physical or sexual violence (or both) since the age of 15. “If there’s anything we can gain from what happened in Cologne, it’s that we start openly talking about the issue of sexual violence against women, regardless of who the perpetrators are,” said Elke Ferner, the parliamentary state secretary at the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women, and Youth, who signed the #ausnahmslos campaign’s open letter .  “Wh
How the West Undermined Women’s Rights in the Arab World
I read The Richness of Life by Stephen J Gould about a year ago... It was a fascinating discovery. Now the late Richard Levins is enticing me to read his work. Is human behavior controlled by our genes? Richard Levins reviews ‘The Social Conquest of Earth ’
Immigration Scandals From April, any non-EU citizen earning below £35,000 after five years of work will be denied indefinite leave to remain. (A hint of how that might be enforced came on 17 January, when  Dr Paul Hamilton , an American Shakespeare scholar, discovered that his application for further leave to remain had been rejected when immigration officials arrested him at his home in Stratford-upon-Avon and sent him to Morton Hall immigration removal centre, where he remains today.)
London Students Refuse to Pay Rent and Demand 40% Cut
“Social media are a trap” The Polish-born sociologist  Zygmunt Bauman: " The question of identity has changed from being something you are born with to a task: you have to create your own community. But communities aren’t created, and you either have one or you don’t. What the social networks can create is a substitute. The difference between a community and a network is that you belong to a community, but a network belongs to you. You feel in control. You can add friends if you wish, you can delete them if you wish. You are in control of the important people to whom you relate. People feel a little better as a result, because loneliness, abandonment, is the great fear in our individualist age. But it’s so easy to add or remove friends on the internet that people fail to learn the real social skills, which you need when you go to the street, when you go to your workplace, where you find lots of people who you need to enter into sensible interaction with. Pope Francis, who is
"It's offensive to compare us to the Nazis"
Telling another teacher how to teach? It's a sin, says leading academic
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One of the many stories my British and American professors never told me at university The British Colonialists in "Australia"
The battle for neoliberal hegemony: an interview with Nancy Fraser
Donald Trump and the US economy
"The future of the Egyptian revolution" Jack Shenker is the author of the newly-released book The Egyptians .
Sound like an expert with these phrases about Middle East politics
Asylum seekers made to wear coloured wristbands in Cardiff
Our Wound Is Not So Recent Prominent French philosopher Alain Badiou, in his new book about the terrorist attacks of November 13 in Paris, recalls the pressing need of offering the world’s youth, who are highly frustrated by capitalism that does not honour its promises, an ideological alternative. He tries to shed light upon the enigmatic death impulse that drives the jihadists to kill people indiscriminately. It is popularly argued that a type of radicalisation, which builds upon the social and religi ous causes, yields unprecedented violence. Badiou, however, sees these attacks through different lenses; for him, they are symptomatic carnages of our time where there is no limit to global capitalism.  Released on January 11 by Fayard.
‘I was terribly wrong’ - writers look back at the Arab spring five years on
The People's Scientist See also the New York Times review of The Dialectical Biologist
The  Era of Predatory Bureaucratization – An Interview with David Graeber  " In England, it is fascinating to analyse the strategies of the different political parties. Britain got rid of the industrial apparatus and is now trying to kill the university system, so what is going to be left to export? For now, it’s all based on finance and real estate. Why? Why is it that every rich person in the world wants to own a house in London? There are many other beautiful European cities. What’s the appeal? I realised two things: first, you can get everything you could, possibly want, in England, thanks to a docile and subservient working class. I had a friend whose job was to deliver lobsters at any time of the night. Secondly, and most importantly: if you come from Bahrein, Russia or Hong Kong, something could still go wrong, there could still be social unrest. Not in England, it is perceived: the historical defeat of the English working class is Great Britain’s main export product.&q
تونس من رئيس الجمهورية الى آخر صحفي برتبة مخبر "يساندون التحركات السلمية ويدينون الاعتداء على الأملاك الخاصة والعامة".....لا شيء جديد في هذا، فهذا ما كان قد قاله بن علي ذات جانفي 2011، وبرهان بسيس ذات ديسمبر 2010 وبشرى بالحاج حميدة ومختار الطريفي ذات 13 جانفي 2011...لا شيء جديد حقا.... الجديد أن النعرة الأخلاقية المدافعة عن الملكية الخاصة (وليست هناك ملكية خاصة إلا ملكية طبقة البورجوازيين، فالبقية لا يملكون سوى أوهام الملكية) قد تسربت لأكثر الأنصار السابقين للحراك الثوري وأكثرهم ح ماسة لاستعادة المسار الثوري. فكأنما هؤلاء قد استبطنوا الماتراكاج الاعلامي بحيث لا تخلو مساندتهم، هم أيضا، للحراك الانتفاضي الحالي من لازمة "التنديد بالمندسين واللصوص والارهابيين"، بحجة أن أعمال النهب ضد المغازات الكبيرة أو حرق مقرات البوليس "تشوه الحراك أمام الرأي العام". وما هو هذا الرأي العام؟ الرأي العام، أصدقائي، ليس سوى القيم والأفكار العمومية والأخلاق...التي يكرسها النظام الاجتماعي السائد. وإذا كان هناك تمرد حقيقي ضد النظام فهو بالضرورة تمرد ضد هذا الرأي العام
Lebanon and beyond:  Meet Haifa Wehbe, Lebanon’s Foremost Conceptual Art Group 
55 years ago, the CIA murdered Patrice Lumumba, Congolese revolutionary leader
A Corner of Europe Frozen in Time
Tunisia Cinéma Amilcar: movies and resistance
"Britain has been cozying up to Russian money for years, and a dead spy isn’t going to change that." "The present era has been defined by globalization, financial globalization above all, and true to form, Britain has positioned itself in recent years as the global capital for capital. The city of London has become a  hub  for the world’s money, clean and dirty; London property is now the  investment  of choice for the world’s leading plutocrats and kleptocrats. Dean Acheson’s 1962 quip that Britain has lost an empire and not found a role is pretty but untrue — the role is evident in the glass skyscrapers and condo buildings now planted across the capital city." Initially, the British government "blocked all efforts for a public inquiry, seemingly for fear of jeopardizing its trade ties with Russia." "Foreign Secretary William Hague preemptively submitted a public interest immunity certificate, a move designed to keep the government’s classifie
'I chose the colour of peace': the asylum seeker who repainted his red front door
"We were walking through Neukölln, a former West Berlin neighborhood and longtime immigrant enclave... Today, people from  more than 160 countries  call Neukölln home, andjournalists and politicians take Uzun’s tours to better understand one of Berlin’s most diverse neighborhoods. This is where Uzun takes her tour groups. Here, she tells them how the Rixdorf quarter of Neukölln has actually been home to immigrants for centuries: In the 18th century, King Friedrich invited Bohemian Protestants to help settle the land here, even freeing them from taxes and exempting them from military service. “They were allowed to keep their language,” said Uzun, pointing out a street sign still in Czech. “It took them 140 years to really integrate.” Today, more than 40 percent of the neighborhood’s 325,000 residents have an immigrant background, which Germany defines as either being from a different country or having foreign parents or grandparents; about a quarter of the residents don’t ha
A liberal analysis. Some good arguments though. ISIS: The 'Islamic State' between Orientalism and the Interiority of MENA’s Intellectuals
تونس: خارطة الإحتجاجات: بعد القصرين، 16 ولاية تنتفض
Brothers in barbarity. US Response to Saudi Wars & Human Rights Violations? $49 Bn. in new Arms Sale
What happened in Cologne?
Empire state of mind – why do so many people think colonialism was a good thing?
Avec Thomas Piketty, pas de danger pour le capital au XXIe siècle
Is Tunisia on the brink of another uprising يوميات الانتفاضة عن منظمة العمل الشيوعي تونس ـــــــــــــــــــ - القصرين : تواصل اعتصام أصحاب الشهائد المعطلين عن العمل بمقر الولاية ، تجدد الاحتجاجات بالقصرين المدينة و تواصل المواجهات في مفترق حي النور و حي الزهور أساسا. كر و فر بين المحتجين و بين وحدات التدخل التي تجابههم بالغاز المسيل للدموع و خراطيم المياه الساخنة.  - تالة : تجدد المواجهات بين المحتجين و البوليس صبيحة اليوم 20 جانفي ثم انسحاب كلي لوحدات تدخل الشرطة و الحرس من المعتمدية و الجيش يتدخل لحماية المؤسسات. الاحتجاجات تعم الولاية بأغلب معتمدياتها : سبيبة و فريانة (و تلابت ) و الماجل بالعباس و فوسانة و حرق العجلات المطاطية بكافة الطرق الرئيسية. - قفصة : غلق الطريق و احتجاز شاحنات نقل الفسفاط في بلخير و القطار.  - المزونة : الأهالي يحتجون و المعتمد ينسحب من مقر عمله.  - المكناسي : الاحتجاجات المطالبة بالشغل تعم المعتمدية و مواجهات مع قوات الحرس - زغوان : المحتجون يغلقون الطريق الرئيسية رقم 3. - الفحص : محتجون يطالبون بإسقاط الحكومة.  - تونس العاصمة
A response to an Ellen Meiksins Wood article in Jacobin Ellen Meiksins Wood: The Separation of the  Economic and the Political in Capitalism
How a Medieval Muslim thinker invented Sociology History is "the record of human society, or world civilization; of the changes that take place in the nature of that society...; of revolutions and uprisings by one set of people against another, with the resulting kingdoms and states with their various ranks; of the different activities and occupations of men, whether for gaining their livelihood or in various sciences and crafts; and in general, of all the transformations that society undergoes by its very nature.." Ibn Khaldoun, a 14th-century Arab historian
Isn't it Europe that is overpopulated, rather than Africa? A better picture here: Europe and Population Decline The Refugee Crisis in Europe
British People are Proud of Colonialism and the British Empire, poll finds See also " Interrogation under torture was widespread . Many of the men were anally raped, using knives, broken bottles, rifle barrels, snakes and scorpions. A favourite technique was to hold a man upside down, his head in a bucket of water, while sand was rammed into his rectum with a stick. Women were gang-raped by the guards. People were mauled by dogs and electrocuted. The British devised a special tool which they used for first crushing and then ripping off testicles. They used pliers to mutilate women's breasts. They cut off inmates' ears and fingers and gouged out their eyes. They dragged people behind Land Rovers until their bodies disintegrated. Men were rolled up in barbed wire and kicked around the compound." The British Empire in the Middle East (From a book launch I recorded in 2006 and broadcast on Resonance FM radion) 5 of the worst atrocities carried out by th
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Capitalist "democracy" The 62 billionaires and the truth about inequality A note by Michael Roberts This is what Oxfam say in a footnote in their report: “The total wealth of the top 1% in 2015 was $125 trillion, approximately $1.7m for each of the 72 million people in the top 1%. The total wealth of the bottom 90% was $31 trillion, approximately $5,000 for each of the 648 million people in this group. Oxfam calculation based on Credit Suisse (2015) ‘Global Wealth Databook 2015’. http://publications.credit-suisse.com/tasks/render/file/index.cfm?fileid=C26E3824-E868-56E0- CCA04D4BB9B9ADD5″ This is clearly wrong. It should be 6.48bn not 648m, I think.
The face of African slavery in Qajar Iran – in pictures
Just 62 people now own the same wealth as half the world's population, research finds
95 % of Brit Expats Sent Back to UK for Failing Language Test
Egypt's Hidden History of Dissent
"Has Cameron forgotten that it was his government which cut funding for English classes in 2011? So why the U-turn? On the one hand his latest statement on Muslim women learning English is a blatant threat: 'if you don't improve your fluency, that could affect your ability to stay in the UK ', or again that women on spousal visas could be deported if they failed to learn English by the tim e that visa ran out. At the same time, while he claims 'white-saviour' fashion to be protecting women from the effects of 'Muslim patriarchy' he is imposing the vicious patriarchy of the British state to threaten them with deportation for not learning English as a result of this same 'Muslim patriarchy'. These are the Tories' well-known 'British values'. The new rules (which Cameron justifies using incorrect figures) will cause enormous trauma and insecurity for newly married women who arrive in this country and also for older women who find it di
The diverse origins of Britain's Muslims
Egypt: Five years after the uprising " We shouldn’t reduce 11 February 2011 to a coup. It wasn’t a revolution, but it wasn’t just a coup either. It was a popular rising that lost the initiative because it had no positive agenda or demand. ‘Bread, freedom, social justice’ aren’t political demands, just aspirations and slogans. A social movement might have made these slogans into demands by pressuring the government to take specific steps. But a movement that wants these desiderata provided by government and, at the same time, wants the government to clear off has a coherence problem. The only demand that mattered politically was ‘Mubarak, irhal!’ The army commanders captured the initiative by co-opting that demand to make it work for them. Almost certainly they did so because it had been their own undeclared objective for some time." Hugh Roberts, LRB. Read full article here
Egypt: a background. The 2011 coup — sponsors, coaches and players
I too remember very well the moment when my dad woke me up that night to see the images of the bombing on TV. I too still feel anger and hatred towards that barbarism of the "said democracies" as Antoon put it.  I feel more anger now when I remember and read about what followed: the sanctions, the invasion and occupation, the civil war, ISIS, the indifference and complicity, the hypocrisy and denial... An interview with the Iraqi novelist Sinan Antoon Sinan Antoon and the Gulf War: 25 Years Later "Watching one’s country and hometown get destroyed sears one’s soul and psyche forever. Those years showed me how barbarism was at the heart of our modern world. Not the barbarism of dictatorship, the barbarism of western liberal democracies, delivered through remote-control and watched comfortably by the citizens of said democracies."
"Yes Israel Is Executing Palestinians Without Trial" "In 2016 one doesn't have to be Adolf Eichmann to be executed in Israel — it's enough to be a teenage Palestinian girl with scissors [or a boy/man with a stone or a knife]. We should call it like it is: Israel executes people without trial nearly everyday. Any other description is a lie...." Gideon Levy, Haaretz , 17 January 2016.
The Great Greek Bank Robbery ... and financial terrorism
Poland " There are two confronting Polands of roughly equal strength. One, including the PiS supporters, finds its base in eastern Poland among small, pious farmers and working-class families who have lost jobs and income through the change from a state economy to an often ruthless neoliberalism. The other Poland, usually better educated and better off, is desperate to preserve what it sees as the historic achievement of 1989: the first reasonably stable and prosperous liberal democracy in Polish history. In western Europe, onlookers hear snatches of Law and Justice rhetoric and conclude that the party can be dismissed as “fascist”. It is not. It stands for an old-fashioned authoritarian nationalism, invoking traditional Catholic values (imprudently, some in the Catholic hierarchy lend PiS support). And, strangely for westerners, this frantically rightwing party is also the party of what remains of the welfare state, standing up for those millions for whom the transition to c
The Far Right Comes to Sweden " Today, 55 percent of Swedes  say  immigration is the most important issue; the environment ranks a distant second at 13 percent. This in a country where until just a few years ago no issue could compete with education, health care, or jobs. Swedish politics is now trapped in a vicious circle. The larger the Sweden Democrats grows, the larger immigration looms in the public’s mind, and vice versa. Three of the four parties that make up the center-right parliamentary bloc have concluded that they can stem the leakage of voters to the Sweden Democrats by taking positions that resemble the new party’s, and now vie to outpace one another in a race to the authoritarian side. The Sweden Democrats actively cultivate the counter-jihadist conspiracy theory that Europe is facing an invasion of Muslim immigrants, who in time will destroy the welfare state and Swedish culture. Muslim immigration, party leader  Jimmie Åkesson  once said, is “our greatest
Statues Quo
Percent change in U.S. real wages by income percentile, 2007-2014
The End of Progressive Hegemony and the Regressive Turn in Latin America: The End of a Cycle?
" The former  Spitting Image  writer  John O’Farrell  says he adheres to the time-honoured maxim that the comic should always be “punching up”, not down. Laughing at the weak is never funny, and there is nobody weaker than a dead child washed up on a beach. As for the second rule, O’Farrell recalls David Attenborough’s advice to the Monty Python team: “Use shock sparingly.” And perhaps there is a third. If you’re aiming a lethal arrow, be sure to shoot straight at the target. Because if you miss, you might not hurt your enemy: you might just help him instead." Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian , 15 January 2016
What Tolstoy’s ‘War and Peace’ can teach us
Hadi al-`Alawi, Scion of the Two Civilizations
Palestinian poet and artist Ashraf Fayadh sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia As usual the Western powers will turn a blind eye on this. Not only because the Saudi Kingdom is their close friend, but because they themselves are major abusers of "human rights".
Has Belgium created 'a system of apartheid'?
Racism: the achilles heel of middle class liberalism " I sure as hell would not be able to sleep soundly if I thought my fate rested upon the European liberal middle classes." See also this analysis  The Red Flag and the Tricolore
The so-called 'revolution' that was applauded by the Western regimes and media including the Guardian, helped divert and domesticate the uprisings by supporting the forces which maintain the socio-economic status quo by limiting it to political rights, which themselves have been weak (cases of torture and other types of repression have been reported). And to add insult to injury, a Nobel Prize was given to some of the forces.
Will China Pull Down the World?
An open letter to Charlie Hebdo What if Aylan Kurdi Did Grow up in France
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Funding, Capitalism and NGOs
NGOs: In the service of imperialism
36 Brilliant Paintings about the World
Nine truths about terrorism that nobody wants to hear. "Occasional terrorist attacks in the West are virtually inevitable, and odds are, we’ll see more attacks in the coming decades, not fewer. If we want to reduce the long-term risk of terrorism — and reduce its ability to twist Western societies into unrecognizable caricatures of themselves — we need to stop viewing terrorism as shocking and aberrational, and instead recognize it as an ongoing problem to be managed, rather than “defeated.” Politicians don’t like to say any of this. But we’re not politicians, so let’s look at 10 painful truths." It is a very good piece . You need a free registration to reead it though. Note : state terrorism, the major type of terrorism (by Western and non-western states), is ignored in the piece above. Also, Hamas and Hizb Alla are considered "terrorist" organisations.
This is excellent! "Our Wound is Not So Recent"   (pdf) Or "Notre Mal Vient de Plus Loin"
Towards a Radical Critique of Eurocentrism: An Interview with Alexander Anievas and Kerem Nisancioglu
In Turkey, the State Doesn't Talk — It Only Shoots
Meet The 80 People Who Are As Rich As Half The World

“Islam” and Liberalism

Joseph Messad: Islam in Liberalism
The Question of Sectarianism in Middle East Politics Over the centuries there have been many variations and mutations in the ‘orthodox’ as well as the sectarian formations, and the divisions only broke into conflicts when they were politicised into struggles for power or resources. For the most part, various Shi`ite sects lived quietly under Sunni rule, and were, mostly, left alone. Like elsewhere in the pre-modern world, communities were, typically, isolated in separate localities, except in the main cities  where they often occupied different quarters. Politicisation came with social conflicts, rebellions and geopolitical confrontations
U.S. Dropped 23,144 Bombs on Muslim-Majority Countries in 2015
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David Bowie David Bowie and Eric Clapton Bowie performed in Zionist Israel in 1996
Very interesting. Therapy Wars: The Revenge of Freud
Iraqi Birth Defects Worse than Hiroshima
Steven Pinker is Wrong about Violence and War A new orthodoxy, led by Pinker, holds that war and violence in the developed world are declining. The stats are misleading, argues Gray – and the idea of moral progress is wishful thinking and plain wrong.
The culturalization of social antagonisms. Cologne, September 2014-January 2016 Anti-Muslim Racism from Above and From Below
Mobs and Counter-Mobs:   Pitfalls, Prejudice and the Cologne Sexual Assaults "The events in Cologne were perpetrated by a sexist criminal mob -- and have triggered the rise of racist digital mob in response. The incident has shown that much of the public doesn't care much about sexual violence, unless it comes from foreigners."
England:  Housing crisis hits 1960s levels as tenants battle to cope, says Shelter
The Closed Mind of Richard Dawkins
American Presidential Candidates Are Now Openly Promising to Commit War Crimes
The Ministry of Nostalgia Or Keep Calm and Carry On – the sinister message behind the slogan that seduced the nation " The power of Keep Calm and Carry On comes from a yearning for an actual or imaginary English patrician attitude of stiff upper lips and muddling through. This is, however, something that largely survives only in the popular imagination, in a country devoted to services and consumption, where elections are decided on the basis of house-price value, and given to sudden, mawkish outpourings of sentiment. The poster isn’t just a case of the return of the repressed, it is rather the return of repression itself. It is a nostalgia for the state of being repressed – solid, stoic, public spirited, as opposed to the depoliticised, hysterical and privatised reality of Britain over the last 30 years."
Decades After Atrocities During US-Backed Dirty Wars, Nations Take Promising Legal Steps
Syria: The people are on their knees...
Under this Goverment Jesus Would Have Been Done for Extremism
Where Were the Post-Hebdo Free Speech Crusaders as France Spent the Last Year Crushing Free Speech? "A full year later, it’s still common to hear supporters of western militarism falsely accuse portions of “the left” of having sanctioned or justified the attack on Charlie Hebdo  solely  on the ground that they refused to cheer for the content of Hebdo’s ideas."
" Mainstream media and politicians are in any case stoking pre-existing anti-Muslim racism and further strengthening the smear campaign against refugees: the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia, Hannelore Kraft, has stated that criminal, foreign offenders must be deported. And on the broadcasting network Sat1’s breakfast show, we hear the demand to “defend our values, way of life and beliefs” against “Muslim men”. Meanwhile, the relative silence about the vastly numerous male bystanders in the crowd speaks volumes, as does that as well as over a hundred police officers present at the scene who did nothing to intervene in order to protect the women victims , despite the fact that there was even an undercover policewoman among them, is speaking volumes."
تونس: سيرة المهمشين يرويها رجال القصر
Workers Jailed for Protesting Illegal Termination at Philip Morris Pakistan
The Protests in Lebanon
Workers taste bitter repression at International Flavors & Fragrances in Turkey!
Monsoon Revolution
A long read Inside Syria's Death Machine See also Syria:  The Hunger Wars