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Our Chusma, Ourselves: On the Ghosts of Queerness Past

In the blog post entitled, “Our Chusma, Ourselves: On the Ghosts of Queerness Past,” Prof. Juana María Rodríguez reflects on the recent loss of performance studies giant, Jose Muñoz. Reflecting on how Muñoz electrified space and time, Rodríguez writes, The future queerness of José’s intellectual imagination has always been peopled with the still beating hearts of the ghosts of his chusma past, those far away from the limelight of the academic stages he graced so ungracefully. Carrying the memory of dreams deferred, and the promise of raucous outrage, he demanded a new formulation of time that could encompass both....

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How to Create Your Own Reproductive Justice Working Group

The phrase “reproductive justice” was coined in 1994 by a group of Black women attending a pro-choice conference.  They wanted a concept that merged reproductive rights activism in broader social justice struggles.  Since September 2012, the UC Berkeley Center on Reproductive Rights & Justice has hosted the CRG Reproductive Justice Working Group.  The group’s primary goal is to co-create an environment in which participants can deepen their understanding of reproductive justice and develop practical ideas for integrating reproductive justice into their research and practice. Last fall, the group published a guide for how to create your own reproductive justice working group!  In...

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Drones: The dark side of power

In a recent Al Jazeera op/ed, “Drones: The Dark Side of Power,” Dr. Hatem Bazian analyzes the politics of drone warfare in the on going US “war on terror.” Here’s an excerpt: In the science fiction universe of “Star Wars”, the Death Star is a moon-sized space station capable of destroying an entire planet with a powerful weapon. As the Galactic Empire’s ultimate weapon, it is used to destroy the home planet of Alderaan in “Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope” after Grand Moff Tarkin attempts to pressure Princess Leia to give up the location of the secret rebel base. She gives a false location, but Tarkin destroys Alderaan anyway. As an “ultimate weapon”, the fearsome capability of the Death Star is revealed and it continues to be used as a weapon of choice. In the real world of military strikes and the mounting losses of civilian lives in Arab and Muslim nations, in the United States’ war on terror one of the many weapons of choice are drones, which can be deployed anywhere in the world, and their effects are immediately devastating. It is the indiscriminate killing of so-called targets of interest without the mobilisation or loss of US troops on the ground. Added to this is the highly dubious tactic of “double taps“, whereby a second strike closely follows the first strike, as people gather to help the...

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On constitutions, Sharia and Muslim political thought

In the recent Al Jazeera op-ed, “On constitutions, Sharia and Muslim political thought,” Dr. Hatem Bazian considers the legacies and possiblities of creating an inclusive polity in Muslim-majority nation states in the aftermath of the Arab Spring.  Here’s an excerpt: In the Arab Spring’s aftermath, and the catastrophic divisions and violence in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia – not to forget ongoing debates in almost every Muslim majority country concerning citizenship, rights, responsibilities of citizens and the constitutional contestations in the modern nation state – Muslim political parties across the region are facing textual, interpretational and conceptual challenges. While public debates on TV and in the press across the region have simplistically focused on what aspects of Islamic law to be included, and whether the overarching objectives of Islamic Law should be the guiding principle, or to incorporate as many particulars as politically possible, if one has the power; the real challenge centres on the conceptualisation of a nation-state and how to constitute an inclusive polity. The larger debate in Muslim majority states with diverse religious and ethnic communities centres on defining the nature of citizenship. Who is a citizen, what rights do they have and what are the responsibilities of each in the modern nation-state? More critical at this juncture is whether a modern Islamic nation-state could be constituted with different classes of citizenship that are accorded unequal rights based on religious...

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Islamophobia in the Netherlands

Islamophobia in the Netherlands by Ineke van der Valk published by Amsterdam University Press Since 11 September 2001 – and especially since the murder of Theo van Gogh – Muslims and Islam have frequently been unfavourably portrayed at the heart of public debate. Manifestations of Islamophobia can be found on the Internet, in comments by the PVV, and in acts of violence committed against mosques. Dutch anti-discrimination policies are coming under pressure now that this ideology has forced its way to the centre of the political stage. How do negative connotations about Muslims come about? Where are the acts of violence taking place? Is the Netherlands the front line in the ‘clash of civilisations’, as has been claimed by politicians, opinion formers and others in the international arena? Or is it all about an exclusion mechanism? The author states that shifts in the political climate can only be fully understood if racism, ideology, and language are involved in the analysis. Her research for Islamophobia and Discrimination consisted of a study of relevant literature, an analysis of documents, and the gathering of data on the various methods people use to express their views.  Links for the free download of the English and French translations: English version: http://www.aup.nl/do.php?a=process_visitor_download&editorial_id=3629 version Francais: http://www.aup.nl/do.php?a=process_visitor_download&editorial_id=3630 Excerpt from the Introduction: On 22 July 2011, a Norwegian Islamophobic right-wing extremist1 carried out a massacre of young social democrats on the...

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