fear-eyes

Now you see me, now you don’t

When you look straight towards me What does your mind think you see Averting your gaze in buried fear Or do you prolong a brooding stare Am I exotic and dangerous together Or an alluring but sinister aggressor Am I a threat to your familiar ways Do you dread your looming days Am I not…

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Follow the money to understand Daesh

I am trying to get my head around understanding the geopolitics of the current crisis in ‪Syria. As always, it is a good idea to follow the money. In this case, we are talking about gas pipelines from the east to the west. Who wants more control of them? The ‪EU, ‎US, Saudi Arabia and ‪Turkey, where the latter…

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Remembering to Forget

So many nations across the world have chequered histories. Their foundations rest on the annihilation of indigenous peoples eliminated supposedly because they were uncivilised or backward. In the course of time, as the new communities arrived and settled, they created a nation in their own image. Rather than there being a commemoration and remembrance of…

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The Paris Attacks Explained

There is considerable emotionality and concern over the tragic events in Paris, but how can we explain the issue? The events in Paris on the night of Friday 13 will go down in history as one of the most horrific acts of organised violence in the country. Eight terrorists in six separate attacks unleashed a wave of terror…

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A Massacre in Paris

With at least 127 dead in Paris, serious questions will be raised, but where will the answers be found? There is blood on the streets of Paris. A city under siege. A nation gripped in panic. At the time of writing, at least 127 people have been murdered by terrorists in six separate incidences of…

Dowtown Starkville

The Road to Mississippi

When one thinks of the Deep South in the US, certain images and thoughts immediately arise in the minds of the many. Virginia is where the first slave ships docked. For hundreds of years, many millions of Africans were brutally taken from their homes, shipped across the Atlantic, and ended up as slave labour to help build…

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Turkey Can No Longer Ignore the Kurds

The latest elections in Turkey resulted in a majority for the AKP, but what will happen to the “Kurdish issue”? It has been a deadly summer in Turkey. Three suicide bomb attacks in less than six months have killed over 130 people, wounding hundreds more. Many of the victims were Kurdish in origin. Ironically, specifically…

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Erdogan’s winning hand

No one in their right minds could have predicted the election outcome in Turkey on 1 November. The pollsters got it wrong again. There may or may not have been a kind of fraudulent victory, but Erdogan’s gamble worked. His party is back with an overall majority, and his own future as the president with…

circa 1965:  British Conservative politician and Ulster Unionist Enoch Powell (1912 - 1998) attends a Conservative Party Conference.  (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)

On Racism

There are some who find it difficult to utter the ‘R’ word. Racism is a concept that has completely disappeared from the popular vernacular in relation to understanding differences in society. Greater concern is often placed on notions of values, or concerns in relation to certain community norms that are seen as antithetical to Britishness.…

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Top Ten in Turkey

There are many astonishing facets to life in Turkey. From its history to its culture, from its cuisine to the hospitality of its people. But there are all sorts of other dynamics of a vast society that can only be gleaned from living and working in the country. Having had a chance to reside in…

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A Question of Free Speech

The recent shootings in Texas raise to the fore the question of freedom of speech, the freedom to offend, the issues of tolerance and coexistence in society, and the need to find a balance between these competing interests. One of the problems of the debate is the polarity of opinion, as they emerge in light…

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Conflict and peace in the Middle East

Introduction The ideals of diversity, difference, the notion of a mosaic society, are all amiable, but in reality these terms mean nothing without equality, without which there is no peace. As soon as one tribe regards itself more prized than the other, it is the beginning of every conflict. This experience is as old as…

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Garland Shooting – some immediate thoughts

Garland, Texas, was the site of the shooting of two gunmen who opened fire at a ‘draw the Prophet Muhammad cartoon’ event this morning. Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and Geertz Wilder, all key figures in the anti-Islam movement, were attending. It was hosted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. The two gunmen whose identities have…

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The 2015 General Election Campaign That Never Was

The UK General Election is but a few weeks away. It is one of the most closely run elections in living memory, but the conclusions are all too clear. The changing nature of the electorate, the configuration of political ideologies that converge on the centre, a disaffected population who distrust their politicians, a media machinery…

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An open letter to my embattled Muslim professional colleagues in Britain

Dear Friends I am hearing from friends and colleagues in Britain that they are suffering the relentless strain of engaging in anti-racism and scholarly activities in fighting bigotry towards Muslims. It seems that the situation in Britain is certainly quite severe. It is totally understandable that so many academics, activists and politically-engaged people feel a…

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