Showing posts with label Majoritarianism. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Majoritarianism. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

#MuslimBan: Trump justifies his anti-Muslim views and actions by the fact that his rhetoric won him “standing ovations”

    Tuesday, February 07, 2017   No comments
 
Throughout Donald Trump’s campaign and now into the first weeks of his presidency, critics suggested that he cool his incendiary rhetoric, that his words matter. His defenders responded that, as Corey Lewandowski said, he was being taken too “literally.” Some, like Vice President Pence, wrote it off to his “colorful style.” Trump himself recently explained that his rhetoric about Muslims is popular, winning him “standing ovations.”

No one apparently gave him anything like a Miranda warning: Anything he says can and will be used against him in a court of law.

And that’s exactly what’s happening now in the epic court battle over his travel ban, currently blocked by a temporary order set for argument Tuesday before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

The states of Washington and Minnesota, which sued to block Trump’s order, are citing the president’s inflammatory rhetoric as evidence that the government’s claims — it’s not a ban and not aimed at Muslims — are shams.

In court papers, Washington and Minnesota’s attorneys general have pulled out quotes from speeches, news conferences and interviews as evidence that an executive order the administration argues is neutral was really motivated by animus toward Muslims and a “desire to harm a particular group.” source

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The case for and against the Muslim Ban: the argument of the states of Washington and Minnesota



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The case for and against the Muslim Ban: Trump's lawyers argument




Monday, March 07, 2016

Early Medieval Muslim Graves in France: First Archaeological, Anthropological and Palaeogenomic Evidence

    Monday, March 07, 2016   No comments
On the outskirts of the ancient Roman city of Nimes in southern France, archaeologists have discovered the graves of three Muslim men that date back to the 8th century.

The finding, reported Wednesday in PLOS One, suggests the early medieval presence of Muslims north of the Pyrenees was more complicated, and perhaps more welcome, than previously thought.

The medieval history of Muslims in Spain and Portugal is well established, but information about the experience of Muslims in France during the same time period has been more difficult to find.

According to historical documents, around the year 719, Muslim troops from the Umayyad army crossed the eastern Pyrenees and occupied the region around Narbonne 530 miles south of modern-day Paris. But the occupation was short-lived. By 760, the Franks, who came from the north, took over the region known as Septimania.
Very little known is about these early invaders. Historians cannot say for sure whether they lived in garrisons or created more long-term establishments, or what cities they could be found in. They don't even know if the occupiers were Arabs, Berbers or converts.

And that's why the three Muslim graves that date back to this time period are so valuable.

"They could start to answer these questions," said Yves Gleize, who studies archaeo-anthropology at the University of Bordeaux and was the lead author on the study.


Abstract

The rapid Arab-Islamic conquest during the early Middle Ages led to major political and cultural changes in the Mediterranean world. Although the early medieval Muslim presence in the Iberian
Peninsula is now well documented, based in the evaluation of archeological and historical sources, the Muslim expansion in the area north of the Pyrenees has only been documented so far through textual sources or rare archaeological data. Our study provides the first archaeo-anthropological testimony of the Muslim establishment in South of France through the multidisciplinary analysis of three graves excavated at Nimes. First, we argue in favor of burials that followed Islamic rites and then note the presence of a community practicing Muslim traditions in Nimes. Second, the radiometric dates obtained from all three human skeletons (between the 7th and the 9th centuries AD) echo historical sources documenting an early Muslim presence in southern Gaul (i.e., the first half of 8th century AD). Finally, palaeogenomic analyses conducted on the human remains provide arguments in favor of a North African ancestry of the three individuals, at least considering the paternal lineages. Given all of these data, we propose that the skeletons from the Nimes burials belonged to Berbers integrated into the Umayyad army during the Arab expansion in North Africa. Our discovery not only discusses the first anthropological and genetic data concerning the Muslim occupation of the Visigothic territory of Septimania but also highlights the complexity of the relationship between the two communities during this period.

Source

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Majoritarianism-driven democracy and the rise of authoritarianism in Turkey

    Sunday, March 06, 2016   No comments
Turkey has become a rogue state - and even Erdogan must face up to the fact

Under the AKP government, in power since 2002, Turkey risks not only being regarded as a rogue state but its president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also risks being branded as a rogue president. Erdogan -  who is already known to meddle with the rule of law, the size of families, young people’s sex lives, smoking, drinking alcohol, art and architecture - has this time excelled himself.

The Turkish Constitutional Court ruled that to hold two journalists in pre-trial detention for 92 days because of their coverage of a covert shipment of weapons to Syrian insurgents was a violation of their rights, and also of their freedom of expression and of the freedom of the press.

When the Turkish secular daily Cumhuriyet last May published video footage of trucks belonging to the Turkish intelligence organisation MIT and their contents, Erdogan vowed that those responsible for the story would “pay a heavy price” and filed a lawsuit against them.The two journalists were released (they will still stand trial for charges that include espionage and seeking to overthrow the government), but Erdogan stated he would neither abide by, nor respect, the Constitutional Court’s ruling.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Ring brings ancient Viking, Islamic civilizations closer together

    Tuesday, March 17, 2015   No comments
More than a century after its discovery in a ninth century woman’s grave, an engraved ring has revealed evidence of close contacts between Viking Age Scandinavians and the Islamic world.

Excavators of a Viking trading center in Sweden called Birka recovered the silver ring in the late 1800s. Until now, it was thought that it featured a violet amethyst engraved with Arabic-looking characters. But closer inspection with a scanning electron microscope revealed that the presumed amethyst is colored glass (an exotic material at the time), say biophysicist Sebastian Wärmländer of Stockholm University and his colleagues.


An inscription on the glass inset reads either “for Allah” or “to Allah” in an ancient Arabic script, the researchers report February 23 in Scanning.

Scandinavians traded for fancy glass objects from Egypt and Mesopotamia as early as 3,400 years ago (SN: 1/24/15, p. 8). Thus, seagoing Scandinavians could have acquired glass items from Islamic traders in the same part of the world more than 2,000 years later rather than waiting for such desirable pieces to move north through trade networks.


Friday, January 23, 2015

France has seen almost as many anti-Muslim acts since the Paris attacks earlier this month as in all of 2014

    Friday, January 23, 2015   No comments
France has seen almost as many anti-Muslim acts since the Paris attacks earlier this month as in all of 2014, a French Muslim body says. The figures could be higher as they do not include incidents recorded in Paris.

 There were 128 anti-Muslim actions or threats between 7-20 January in France - not including the densely populated Paris region - compared to 133 in all of last year, including Paris, according to an internal study released on Friday by the French Council of the Muslim Religion.

Police in Paris are yet to release their own figures.

The 128 anti-Muslim incidents are made up of 33 acts against mosques, and 95 threats reported to authorities, the Council said. According to its own figures, the incidents in 2014 represented a drop of 41 percent from 2013.


January 7 was the day brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, who have been linked to al Qaeda, burst into the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine, killing 12. They were themselves killed days later by French security forces following a siege. A third gunman, Amedy Coulibaly, killed a policewoman and four hostages in a Jewish kocher supermarket in Paris, himself also killed later on in a police raid.

In total, the days of attacks left 20 people dead, including the three gunman.


read more >>

Thursday, January 15, 2015

French President Francois Hollande: "Muslims are the first victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism and intolerance"

    Thursday, January 15, 2015   No comments
French President Francois Hollande has vowed that his country will protect all religions, saying that Muslims are the main victims of fanaticism.

Speaking at the Arab World Institute, he said Islam was compatible with democracy and thanked Arabs for their solidarity over terrorism in Paris.

There are also funerals taking place for Charlie Hebdo columnist Elsa Cayat and Franck Brinsolaro, a policeman assigned to guard Charlie Hebdo editor Stephane Charbonnier.

Speaking on Thursday morning, Mr Hollande said the French were united in the face of terror.

"French Muslims have the same rights as all other French," he said. "We have the obligation to protect them. "Anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic acts have to be condemned and punished."


Mr Hollande said that radical Islam had fed off contradictions, poverty, inequality and conflict, and that "it is Muslims who are the first victims of fanaticism, fundamentalism and intolerance".


France has deployed thousands of troops and police to boost security in the wake of last week's attacks. There have been retaliatory attacks against Muslim sites around France.

Charlie Hebdo published a new edition on Wednesday, with an image on the cover showing the Prophet Muhammad weeping while holding a sign saying "I am Charlie", and below the headline "All is forgiven".

Mr Hollande declared Charlie Hebdo magazine "reborn" after the magazine sold out in hours.

'Big hug'

But some Muslims were angered by the edition and Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu condemned it on Thursday as an "open provocation".

"Freedom of the press does not mean freedom to insult," said Mr Davutoglu, who on Sunday attended a Paris march in memory of the victims of last week's attacks.
 

read more >>

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Swedish rallies in support of Muslims draw thousands after mosques attacks

    Thursday, January 08, 2015   No comments

Thousands of people have rallied across Sweden expressing solidarity and support for Muslims after three attacks on mosques in just one week, which left five people injured. The participants had the slogan “Do not touch my mosque.”



Journalist estimates put the number of people taking part in the nationwide protest at around 3,000.

read more >>

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Britain must work with regimes that have abused human rights, says William Hague

    Thursday, February 14, 2013   No comments

Britain must be prepared to share intelligence with foreign governments that could prevent a terrorist attack in this country or abroad even if those countries have questionable human rights records, the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, said today.

Speaking in the wake of last month’s terrorist attacks at a gas instillation in Algeria, Mr Hague said the Government will step up efforts to support the legal, criminal and human rights systems across North Africa.

Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute, he warned at the same that Britain faces a “stark choice” over whether to share intelligence with countries that could prevent a terrorist attack even if we do not have full confidence that the investigation and prosecution of the individuals involved would be in accordance with Western human rights law.“In many cases, we are able to obtain credible assurances from our foreign partners that give us the safeguards we need and the confidence that we can share information,” Mr Hague said.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Tribute to Islam, Earthen but Transcendent

    Wednesday, April 18, 2012   No comments

By HOLLAND COTTER
DJENNÉ, Mali — As in so much of the Islamic world, “insha’Allah” — “if God wills it” — is how people punctuate conversations in this predominantly Muslim West African country. If you speak of starting a project, or taking a trip, or trying to pay a debt, the outcome is always understood to be conditional.

Recently Malians have had to trust heaven more than usual. The year’s millet crop arrived too early and much too thin. In late fall and winter there were attacks on Europeans by a Qaeda affiliate. The military overthrow of the government in Bamako, the nation’s capital, left one of Africa’s poorest nations shut off from the world. Meanwhile Tuareg rebels and Islamist forces have seized the northern half of the country, including Timbuktu.

Tourism, so vital to the economy, has been reduced to a trickle, though West Africa has never attracted the kind of monument-hungry crowds that flood into Egypt. Most travelers who come here are in search of “black” Africa — the Africa of so-called tribal art — and many are only dimly aware of the extraordinary vitality of Islamic culture, old and new, below the Sahara.


Sunday, December 04, 2011

The last crusade

    Sunday, December 04, 2011   No comments

by Kenan Malik
In the warped mind of Anders Breivik, his murderous rampages in Oslo and Utoya earlier this year were the first shots in a war in defence of Christian Europe. Not a religious war but a cultural one, to defend what Breivik called Europe's "cultural, social, identity and moral platform". Few but the most psychopathic can have any sympathy for Breivik's homicidal frenzy. Yet the idea that Christianity provides the foundations of Western civilisation, and of its political ideals and ethical values, and that Christian Europe is under threat, from Islam on the one side and "cultural Marxists" on the other, finds a widespread hearing. The erosion of Christianity, in this narrative, will lead inevitably to the erosion of Western civilisation and to the end of modern, liberal democracy.
The claims about the "Muslim takeover" of Europe, while widely held, have also been robustly challenged. The idea of Christianity as the cultural and moral foundation of Western civilisation is, however, accepted as almost self-evident – and not just by believers. The late Oriana Fallaci, the Italian writer who perhaps more than most promoted the notion of "Eurabia", described herself as a "Christian atheist", insisting that only Christianity provided Europe with a cultural and intellectual bulwark against Islam. The British historian Niall Ferguson calls himself "an incurable atheist" and yet is alarmed by the decline of Christianity which undermines "any religious resistance" to radical Islam. Melanie Phillips, a non-believing Jew, argues in her book The World Turned Upside Down that "Christianity is under direct and unremitting cultural assault from those who want to destroy the bedrock values of Western civilisation."
Christianity has certainly been the crucible within which the intellectual and political cultures of Western Europe have developed over the past two millennia. But the claim that Christianity embodies the "bedrock values of Western civilisation" and that the weakening of Christianity inevitably means the weakening of liberal democratic values greatly simplifies both the history of Christianity and the roots of modern democratic values – not to mention underplays the tensions that often exist between "Christian" and "liberal" values.
Christianity may have forged a distinct ethical tradition, but its key ideas, like those of most religions, were borrowed from the cultures out of which it developed. Early Christianity was a fusion of Ancient Greek thought and Judaism. Few of what are often thought of as uniquely Christian ideas are in fact so.
Take, for instance, the Sermon on the Mount, perhaps the most influential of all Christian ethical discourses. The moral landscape that Jesus sketched out in the sermon was already familiar. The Golden Rule – "do unto others as you would have others do unto you" – has a long history, an idea hinted at in Babylonian and Egyptian religious codes, before fully flowering in Greek and Judaic writing (having independently appeared in Confucianism too). The insistence on virtue as a good in itself, the resolve to turn the other cheek, the call to treat strangers as brothers, the claim that correct belief is at least as important as virtuous action – all were already important themes in the Greek Stoic tradition.
Conversely, perhaps the most profound contribution of Christianity to the Western tradition is also its most pernicious: the idea of Original Sin, the belief that all humans are tainted by Adam and Eve's disobedience of God in eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. It was a doctrine that led to a bleak view of human nature; in the Christian tradition it is impossible for humans to do good on their own account, because the Fall has degraded both their moral capacity and their willpower.
The story of Adam and Eve was, of course, originally a Jewish fable. But Jews read that story differently to Christians. In Judaism, as in Islam, Adam and Eve's transgression creates a sin against their own souls, but does not condemn humanity as a whole. Adam and Eve were as children in the Garden of Eden. Having eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, they had to take responsibility for themselves, their decisions and their behaviour. In Judaism, this is seen not as a "fall" but as a "gift" – the gift of free will.
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