• Books: Bury the Chains by Adam Hochschild, Endless War: Hidden Functions of the "war on terror" by David Keen, Capital Vol. 1, Tin Drum by Günter Grass, What is Islam? by Shahab Ahmed, Desiring Arabs by Joseph Massad, Spies, Soldiers and Statesmen by Hazem Kandil, La Condition Humaine by André Malraux, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, Imagined Community by Benedict Anderson, Culture and Imperialism by Edward Said, The Wretched of the Earth by Frantz Fanon, The Richness of Life by Stephen Jay Gould, Children of the Alley by Naguib Mahfouz, The Mass Psychology of Fascism by Wilhelm Reich, Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell, Noli me Tangere by José Rizal, Age of Extremes by Eric Hobsbawm, ذهنية التحريم لصادق جلال العظم, Karl Marx by Francis Wheen, وليمة لأعشاب البحر لحيدر حيدر, Candide by Voltaire, النزعات المادية في الفلسفة العربية الإسلامية لحسين مروة, Listen Little Man by Wilhelm Reich ..
  • Films: Alexanderplatz by Rainer Fassbinder, Clockwork Orange, Apocalypse Now, The Battle of Algiers, films by P. P. Passolini, Persepolis, Midnight Express, 1984, Papillion, Gangs of New York, Sophie Scholl, Life of Brian, Ivan the Terrble, Battleship Potemkine ...

Thursday, March 24, 2016

A headline on foreignpolicy.com

"THE ROTTEN HEART OF EUROPE: Belgium’s political dysfunction and economic marginalization of Muslim communities put us all in danger, FP’s Leela Jacinto writes."

What a surprise!

"But while Europe offered the sort of economic opportunities for which the 1960s generation of migrants was grateful, their children have been not so lucky. The economic downturn since the late 1970s saw the closure of Belgian coal mines and heavy industries, leaving areas of urban blight. Belgium’s national unemployment rate, hovering around 8 percent, climbs to more than 20 percent among the youth population. Among Belgians of Moroccan or Turkish origin, that figure can double to around 40 percent. Add high unemployment to the mix of poor policing, fuddled administration and services, and you have the perfect breeding grounds for marginalization and radicalization. Tiny Belgium today has the dubious distinction of being the country with the highest per capita numbers of nationals or residents who have traveled to the Islamic State-held Syria-Iraq badlands.

To be sure the bulk of Belgium’s Muslims want nothing to do with the Islamic State. But for those unemployed youths with few job opportunities and easy access to drugs and arms-dealing rackets, places like Molenbeek are a home away from home, where old, idealized codes of conduct from the rural heartlands their parents left behind can be transplanted to a cold, dreary Brussels hood."

Yet there are other factors which draw these people to engage in individual terrorism.

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With a few rare exceptions, "most governments [of the developing countries] have not been willing to act counter to neoliberal policy....