Mothers wearing headscarves ′blocked′ from entering nursery school in Corsica | News | DW.COM | 06.09.2016 “Brave”, err, dumb Corsicans display bigotry as if it’s OK.

Two Muslim mothers wearing headscarves have been prevented by two other parents from entering a nursery school on the French island of Corsica. The incident comes amid simmering intercommunal tensions in France.

Source: Mothers wearing headscarves ′blocked′ from entering nursery school in Corsica | News | DW.COM | 06.09.2016

Air Force, Running Low on Drone Pilots, Turns to Contractors in Terror Fight – The New York Times – Using mercenaries is just so wrong – Remember the Hessians? 

Over the next two years, the Pentagon plans to add six more operated by contractors, the officials said. The number and identities of contractors working on the drone flights are considered classified information, the Air Force said. But Pentagon officials said there at least several hundred contractors, many of them former drone or fighter pilots who are making double or triple their military salaries.

“This is opening up a whole new can of worms — we have seen problems with security contractors on the battlefield since 9/11, and there’s been an improvement in oversight in that area, but that came after a decade of problems,” said Laura A. Dickinson, a law professor at George Washington University, who has written extensively about the United States’ use of military contractors. “With drones, this is a new area where we already do not have a lot of transparency and with contractors operating drones there’s no clearly defined regime of oversight and accountability.”

Source: Air Force, Running Low on Drone Pilots, Turns to Contractors in Terror Fight – The New York Times

Labour Party Is Poised to Back Jeremy Corbyn Again, Even if Britain Isn’t – The New York Times

Mr. Corbyn has said he “hopes Labour M.P.s will recognize the outcome of this election and not walk away.” More likely, they will hope for an early election in which the Corbyn-led party is badly defeated but they somehow survive, resulting in his resignation. But having seized the party machinery, Mr. Corbyn seems unlikely to give it up, even in defeat.In his view, and that of his followers, he is building a socialist movement for the future, and he and his followers regard the centrists, in the words of the former Labour legislator Chris Williamson, as Conservative “sleeper” agents at war not with Mr. Corbyn but with the members of the party themselves.

Source: Labour Party Is Poised to Back Jeremy Corbyn Again, Even if Britain Isn’t – The New York Times

Essentializing Islam will not stop Islamophobia

Spot on!

Nervana

Niqab Photo 2

( A woman wearing Niqab in France- Via AFP)

The cynical glee with which the Western media publicly flaunts — and generalizes — the practice of Islamic customs has become a disturbing pattern. The Hijab, Nigab, and Burkini have now become synonymous with Muslims, a perception that not just narrows the much more diverse reality of Muslims in Western countries, but reinforces a dangerous perception that all Muslims are a homogenous community; that they are all conservative; that all of them are Hijabi, Niqabi, or pro-Burkini. Such media misrepresentation is a dangerous farce that will only encourage Islamophobia, not defeat it, in non-Muslim societies.

The toxic debate about the Burkini ban on some French beaches was painful to watch — a zero-sum narrative on an empty stage that served only to deepen the divide between supporters and opponents of the ban.

Meanwhile, as the simmering outrage over France’s Burkini ban…

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Essentializing Islam will not stop Islamophobia | Nervana

Muslims’ attitudes towards divisive trends have also been disturbing. In fact, Muslims are divided between those who immediately adopt a reflexive defensive attitude in justifying practices such as wearing the Niqab, even if they do not agree with it on a personal level. On the other hand, other Muslims quietly agree with the bans on the Niqab and Burkini, but refrain from saying it loudly for fear of looking as if they are betraying their community.As a result, slowly, but surely, Islam has been essentialized into a religion that is at best benignly conservative, and at worse, rigidly radical. Both the red and blue camp are using the Hijab, Niqab, and Burkini as weapons in their battles, enforcing consciously or sub-consciously the narrative of political Islam, which wrongly portrays itself as the most authentic model of Islam. Yes, the ban on the Burkini has been suspended, but it has left behind an unhealed and divided landscape.That is neither healthy for the Western world nor for the Muslim communities in the West. In fact, it is profoundly disturbing.It is indeed great to see Hijabi Muslim women celebrated for their achievements, and Burkini-wearing Muslims defended against an unjust ban, but we should also accept the right of others, including many Muslims, to voice disdain about the Niqab or Burkini. Freedom of expression goes both ways. Expecting that conservative Islam will be loved and embraced by all native Europeans is simply naïve; forcing respect for regressive Islamic patterns on traditional Western communities can be perceived as provocative.Moreover, while defending freedom, it is crucial not to be an advocate of illiberal multiculturalism, in which Islamist Muslims can demand respect and understanding for their conservative, often illiberal attitudes, while non-Muslims’ illiberalism is damned as sick and unacceptable. It is infantilizing and reductive to portray Muslims as a collective bunch of victims who need more protection and less scrutiny. The notion that Islam is exceptional, and not necessarily liberal, has gained a sympathetic ear from the same people who were outraged at France for its illiberal ban on the Burkini. This hypocritical notion is not just untrue, it will ignite more resentment and anger among many non-Muslims.The Western world needs a centrist approach to its Muslim communities that acknowledges and highlights their diversity, maintains the rights of conservative Muslims, and addresses the fears (even irrational ones) of local communities. The best way to fight Islamophobia is to show sympathy for local anxieties, celebrate and support Islamic diversity, and encourage liberal Muslims’ voices. Reductive emotional outrage, however, will never be part of the solution.

Source: Essentializing Islam will not stop Islamophobia | Nervana