Central and northern Nigeria exemplify what happens when a country abandons certain regions so completely, failing to provide adequate education, social services, development, employment, and transparent political culture: extreme results rise up. In Plateau, I have spent time with a Christian who makes and sells guns, a reflective twenty-two-year old man with melancholic eyes who once thought he would go to college and start his own business, until his hometown became an undeclared war zone.
…we need more Keith Ellisons in Congress. Not just because he’s a great progressive voice, supporting the president but challenging him strongly on his questionable austerity politics, but also because he’s a patriotic American who’s also a Muslim. He’s crucial right now. On “Meet the Press” David Gregory tried to pigeonhole Ellison a little: “You’re a Muslim—this concerns you on civil libertarian grounds and other areas.” Ellison shot back: “I’m an American,” Ellison replied. “And I’m concerned about national safety—public safety—just like everyone is.”
We have got to look at the roots of all of this because it exists across the whole [Asian] subcontinent and the Islamic world around the world. I think we also have to examine [America’s] use of drones [because] there are a lot of civilians who are innocently killed in a drone attack in Pakistan, in Afghanistan and in Iraq. And I can tell you having spent a lot of time over there, young people will come up to me on the streets and say, ‘We love America, but if you harm one hair on the head of my sister, I will fight you forever.’ And there is this enormous rage against what they see in that part of the world as a presumptuousness of the United States.
Tom Brokaw, on Meet The Press
Back in 1968, opponents of the Vietnam War were being marginalized in much the same way critics of today’s wars now are. But when such a revered voice as Cronkite took to television to declare the conflict an unwinnable “stalemate,” he helped create a tipping point whereby Americans began to reconsider their assumptions.
Qatar is a tiny country…with vast mineral resources (the world’s third largest reserves of natural gas) and big ideas about how this wealth can be used to create a place in the world. Rising out of the milky turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf, the cubistic pyramid form of the Museum of Islamic Art is just the tip of the iceberg of a truly dizzying array of cultural activity currently going in and around Doha…
art: El Seed with one of his panels
…she sets out to dissolve what she regards as false narratives. In this one, it’s the story of the “honour killing” as we know it from those shock headlines. The book calls to mind The Color Purple in the fierceness of its engagement with male violence and its determination to see its characters to a better place. But Shafak is closer to Isabel Allende in spirit, confidence and charm. Her portrayal of Muslim cultures, both traditional and globalising, is as hopeful as it is politically sophisticated.
In July 2009, when his presidency was only six months old, Barack Obama delivered a powerful speech at Cape Coast Castle in Ghana, the point from which millions of African slaves were shipped across the Atlantic. He called on African countries to end the tyranny of corruption that affects so many of their populations, and to build strong institutions that serve the people and hold leaders accountable. The speech seemed to extend the message of his much-discussed Cairo address a month earlier, in which he called for a new beginning for Muslim relations with the West, based on non-violence and mutual respect. Many thought that the policies of the new president, himself of Kenyan descent, would depart from those of the Bush administration, which provided a great deal of development aid to Africa, but paid scant attention to human rights. After more than four years in office, however, Obama has done little to advance the idealistic goals of his Ghana speech.
art: photo of Barack Obama after making speech to Ghanian Parliament at the International Conference Center in Accra, Ghana on July 11, 2009
The movie was shot in Sri Lanka, somewhat secretly, said Deepa Mehta, who has been the target of protests by Hindu fundamentalists. “[Rushdie’s] got the Muslims, and I’ve got the Hindus,” she [said] two years ago. Production was briefly interrupted because the Iranians protested, but was allowed to go ahead after the intervention of the Sri Lankan president. The filmmakers changed the title to “Winds of Change” for the remainder of the shoot.
more, about the premiere in India.
Was the nation divided between those in favor of the old regime and those in favor of the Islamists? Or was it the case that millions of young Egyptians who had taken to the streets to oppose Mubarak were voting “no” to Mubarak’s Shafik, rather than “yes” to Morsi? As the prominent newspaper editor Hassanein Heikal has said at dinner parties and on TV: “It was not that people knew what they wanted and were voting for it. They simply knew what they didn’t want, and they were voting against it.” Many of my own friends—who identify themselves as liberal, secular, “revolutionary”—voted against the possibility of a return to the life we had known.
art: Egyptian artists in Cairo
Mishra credits the ferment of Asian intellectualism around the turn of the last century, exemplified by the work of Liang Qichao in China, Jamal-al-Din al-Afghani in the Islamic world, and Rabindranath Tagore in India. Though these figures are not the thinkers and activists the West would come to know once Asia more forcefully announced itself, they served as intellectual, political, and sometimes spiritual godfathers to their better known successors.
Yesterday, during a cable news discussion of gun violence and the Newtown school shooting, I dared mention a taboo truism. During a conversation on MSNBC’s “Up With Chris Hayes,” I said that because most of the mass shootings in America come at the hands of white men, there would likely be political opposition to initiatives that propose to use those facts to profile the demographic group to which these killers belong. I suggested that’s the case because as opposed to people of color or, say, Muslims, white men as a subgroup are in such a privileged position in our society that they are the one group that our political system avoids demographically profiling or analytically aggregating in any real way. Indeed, unlike other demographic, white guys as a group are never thought to be an acceptable topic for any kind of critical discussion whatsoever, even when there is ample reason to open up such a discussion.