By Rashad Ali
Since the 7/7 terrorist attacks in London, it has been commonplace to hear it argued that the “root cause” of terrorism is Western foreign policy: and specifically, the interventions in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Radicalisation is not monocausal. Ideological, personal and psychological factors all have a role to play in the process. But if we are to note the occasions where grievances related to Western military action have been used by Islamist demagogues, we should also acknowledge Western refusal to intervene as a recruiting sergeant for terrorism.
Think of the Bosnian and Kosovo tragedies. Think also about the current situation in Syria.
My political development began during the horrors that followed the dissolution of Yugoslavia. We watched the genocide in Bosnia unfold, on TV, before our eyes. It was this experience that led so many of my peers from radicalisation to political violence and Islamist extremism.
Continue reading “Bosnia, Kosovo, Syria: Western Inaction and Radicalisation”
By Mathew Foresta
The far-right is as active as ever on social media and host companies have been gallingly slow to respond. This negligence reveals their complicity.
“I would say probably YouTube has been the least responsive in terms of getting rid of the stuff,” said journalist David Neiwert, author of “Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump.” He singled out the comments sections as particularly troublesome.
Other experts pointed out certain users of the video sharing site as being especially problematic.
“Why in the world is Red Ice TV still on YouTube,“ said Air Force veteran Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Executive Director of the anti-racist group One People’s Project.
The Sweden based Red Ice is operated by the married team of Henrik Palmgren and Lana Lokteff. The racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic, and fascistic operation currently boasts over 334 thousand subscribers on the site. It evolved from its beginning as a peddler of conspiracy nonsense to the major platform for bigotry it is today. So major in fact that that Congressman Steve King retweeted Lokteff in September 2018.
Continue reading “How Social Media Companies Enable the Far Right”
Editor’s note: An edited version of this was published by the Times Literary Supplement. (Photo: Anna Pantelia)
By Muhammad Idrees Ahmad
The only surviving example of William Shakespeare’s handwriting is preserved at the British Library in the manuscript of the play The Book of Sir Thomas More. Shakespeare’s contribution to the co-authored play is a speech by deputy sheriff Thomas More addressed to a mob rioting against immigrants. He appeals to mob’s empathy by inviting them to imagine themselves in the shoes of the “strangers”, exiled from home.
What country, by the nature of your error,
Should give you harbour? Go you to France or Flanders,
To any German province, Spain or Portugal,
Nay, anywhere that not adheres to England,
Why, you must needs be strangers, would you be pleas’d
To find a nation of such barbarous temper
That breaking out in hideous violence
Would not afford you an abode on earth.
Whet their detested knives against your throats,
Spurn you like dogs, and like as if that God
Owed not nor made not you, not that the elements
Were not all appropriate to your comforts,
But charter’d unto them? What would you think
To be us’d thus? This is the strangers’ case
And this your mountainish inhumanity.
Over four centuries later, empathy for the stranger remains an uncertain virtue. Since 2015, when the media elevated refugees to the status of a “crisis”, their influx has sharply declined (from a peak of over 221,000 in 2015 to less than 11,000 in 2018). However this reduction has yet to be acknowledged in the fevered registers of Europe’s political discourse. Immigration—or, rather, its perception—is roiling an entire continent, empowering the right and seducing even left-wing populists into xenophobia. The consequences have been catastrophic, in political, economic, and human terms.
Continue reading “The Strangers’ Case”
Full lecture of Professor of University of Manchester Oliver Richmond, in front of School of Politics, in Prishtina.
The Global South Unit for Mediation (GSUM) has the pleasure to present the interview with Prof. Oliver Richmond, Research Professor in International Relations, Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manchester. In his interview, Richmond discusses the limitations and possibilities of transformation in traditional approaches on peacebuilding, as well as the role of institutions in the Global South, like GSUM, in the promotion of change. The interview was conducted during the third edition of the GSUM Winter School, organized in July 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, in which Oliver Richmond participated giving the course “Approaches to Peacebuilding”.
In this inaugural lecture, Professor Roger Mac Ginty focuses on the conflict avoiding and reconciliation practices used in everyday life in deeply divided societies. Offering an alternative to the emphasis on top-down interventions by professional conflict resolution ‘experts’, Professor Mac Ginty considers how everyday peace skills can help prevent a divided society from tipping over into civil war. This lecture was delivered on 23rd October, 2013.
The move reflects both the social conservatism of the Nicaraguan government and its desire for relief from U.S. sanctions.
Amid thousands decked out in the red-and-black bandanas of a ruling party that once espoused the virtues of Marx and Lenin, a towering, evangelical gringo — the head of a weekly bible study at Donald Trump’s White House — took centerstage. Ralph Drollinger, a professional basketball player turned pastor, donning a suit in the muggy capital of Nicaragua, then sermonized on what it means to be “a Christian nation.”
The target of this July 19 mission trip was not the poor in this country of some 6 million, but the country’s ruling class: a U.S.-sanctioned government that invited him down to celebrate 40 years since the overthrow of a U.S.-backed dictator, following a popular uprising last year that nearly toppled it too.
“In the United States of America, we have found amongst our political leaders that it is essential they have a Bible teacher in their midst,” Drollinger said, his remarks airing on state-controlled TV. “And we are so blessed, Mr. President and Mrs. Vice President, about the opportunity that you see to do the same here in Managua.”
Continue reading “Daniel Ortega Recruits the Head of Donald Trump’s Bible Study”