Death and Multiculturalism: Islamophobia in Ontario and the Untranslatability of Mourning

The first news reports were hard to process; too horrible to be believed. Through tweets and texts and news alerts on the morning of Monday June 7, we learned that a Muslim family had been murdered on a residential street in the small city of London, Ontario. They had been out for a walk on the previous evening and had been targeted by a young white man. The police were calling it a hate crime. Five people had been attacked. Only the youngest child survived.

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An Alliance of Nationalism and Feminism: The Case of the Swiss Burqa Ban

An alliance between feminism and nationalism may seem unlikely to some. Usually, nationalists are not particularly concerned with women’s rights or gender equality and feminists would be opposed to nationalist positions. However, feminists and nationalists were both complicit in the recent vote in favour of the Swiss “burqa ban”. This alliance entails a blurring of right-wing and left-wing positions and has to be seen as a sign pointing to the erosion of fundamental conditions of liberal democracy.

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Palestine and the Question of Islam

Israeli aggression in Sheikh Jarrah has cast the occupied East Jerusalem neighborhood into the international spotlight. Videos celebrating Palestinian resistance tactics, capturing the horrors of airstrikes in Gaza, and detailing intrusions upon Masjid al-Aqsa have since proliferated across social media. These scenes have reignited long-standing contestations over how to narrate Palestinian dispossession and struggle. One such debate orbits around an ambiguous question: “Is Palestine an Islamic issue?”

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Pakistan’s Elite Betraying the People of Bangladesh Again

The cancellation of the LUMS conference in Pakistan, which was supposed to bring to the fore the war of 1971, is a case of Pakistan’s elite betraying the people of Bangladesh. The conference sought to mark 50 years of Bangladesh’s independence from Pakistan before it was cancelled, presumably, under the direction of Pakistan’s powerful military. Meanwhile, at least 17 Bangladeshis died at the hands of government security forces while protesting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s recent visit to Bangladesh, held under the pretext of celebrating the golden jubilee of Bangladesh’s independence.

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Is Radicalisation Colour Blind?

After white nationalists, inspired by former President Donald Trump, stormed the U.S. Capitol on 6th January 2021, it has become fashionable in liberal circles to denounce this insurrection as ‘domestic terrorism’ and compare it with foreign terrorism, inspired by groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (ISIS). From a distance, the comparisons might seem obvious: political violence, agonistic ideologies, false realities, heroism, alienation and social media addiction. These comparisons have sparked a demand in the United States to criminalise ‘domestic terrorism’ as it does with foreign terrorism and escalate controversial Obama-Biden counterterrorism programs under the new Biden-Harris administration.

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Islamophobia, Racism and Muslimness: The Work of Definitions*

Measures of social inequality, crime surveys, polling data, reports on media bias, all consistently show that Muslims face obstacles which limit their ability to fully participate in society as equals. For too many Muslims, Islamophobia is unnamed but experienced. Its effect ranges from everyday slow burning micro-aggressions to eruptions of violence and murder; its scope extends from classrooms and workplaces to neighbourhoods and state frontiers, from print and social media to the public square. Muslims find themselves framed by Islamophobia in the form of questions around national security, social cohesion, freedom of speech, gender inequality, and cultural belonging. All this, we know already.

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