Germany has been “overrun by Arabs, Sinti and Roma” states an email reportedly written by the AfD’s Alice Weidel. If real, the email could sully Weidel’s image as her far-right party’s more moderate voice.
“I didn’t want to stay at home and do nothing. I wanted to at least protest,” she told the Guardian by phone from Isfahan. “I printed a banner, which the guards confiscated from me in the most brutal manner.” A picture taken outside the stadium shows her face painted with an Iranian flag, as she holds up a placard that reads: “I, too, want a seat at Azadi – let women in.” Azadi means freedom in Farsi.AdvertisementShiva Nazar-Ahari, a prominent women’s rights campaigner previously imprisoned for her activism, said around 20 women had protested outside the stadium. She said she had bought two tickets earlier in the week, each priced at 15,000 rials (around £3).“We were hopeful that they would let us in. We queued up for two hours. They said they needed to check if they could let us in, and at times we thought they were going to do so, and we saw Syrian female fans passing through without a problem, and then they said: ‘No, you can’t enter,’” she said by phone. “It was a very bitter experience. I was close to tears – never before have I felt so defeated and humiliated.”Tuesday’s game ended 2-2, keeping Syrian hopes alive for reaching the World Cup finals in Russia next year.Iran, which has already secured its place in the finals, is a staunch supporter of Bashar al-Assad’s regime. One user on social media joked: “The guards will struggle to decide which team to support.”
Here I am, writing my story for you, still living in Paris. I’m not saying it’s the best place for a woman to live, however it’s somewhat better than Istanbul. I have to admit that it took me a lot of time to understand that the Turkey I knew was just an illusion. I was privileged, as I was raised in a middle class family who provided me with a proper education and were not particularly religious. Most importantly, even though I did rebel a lot during my adolescent years in order to live my life the way I wanted to, at the end of the day, I could. And I was not murdered for it! That was a big privilege. I had no idea that it even was a privilege.Now, I follow what’s happening in Turkey for women, and as a feminist, and as a former activist, my heart breaks into a million pieces. Every other day I read about a woman being attacked on the street because of the way she’s dressed. The last one I read was from my home city: two women were sexually harassed on the street. They asked the policemen who were standing at the corner for help. And what did the police do? They physically attacked the women, saying that they deserved to be harassed because of the way they were dressed. What’s next? Whipping women in public because the way they are dressed is not modest enough? I’ve been saying this for a very long time, but it feels scary to write about it publicly; I think a compulsory hijab law in Turkey is not very far away.
The Fatwa Kiosks are not a harmless bit of nonsense. They are a manifestation of a deeper problem behind Egypt’s recent stagnation and social divisions. There is the widely held belief that religion, appropriately defined, is the solution to many, if not most, ills. The evidence for that belief is scant, and most of it points to the opposite. In his time in Parliament, former President Morsi, thundered against corruption and when running for president claimed that it can all be cured by appointing the pious to office. During his short term the men of his party came ready to grab with both fists in a time-honored, but hardly religious, attitude of “my turn now”. Preachers long urged women to cover up in order not to excite men’s passions. But a woman walking the hot streets of Cairo in the summer of 1967 in a flimsy sun dress could do so unmolested. Today her granddaughter, fully sealed in flowing garments, will all too often run a gauntlet of sexual harassment.
In 19teens – dime novels are ruining our children. 1920s – Talkies and radio are ruining our kids. 1940s – juke boxes, photobooth selfies, swing are ruining our kids. 400 BC This modern “writing” on paper is ruining our kids.
US psychologist Jean Twenge, who has claimed that social media is having a malign affect on the young, answers critics who accuse her of crying wolf
“An authoritarian party, Jaroslaw Kaczynski’s ‘Law and Justice’ has shaken hands with fundamentalist Catholicism,” the theologian and former Jesuit priest Stanislaw Obirek commented as early as last year, in an interview with the German state broadcaster MDR. The church, he said, had become a political player.Although the chair of the Polish Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Stanislaw Gadecki, supported Pope Francis, the majority of the Polish clergy were conservative and openly urged people to vote PiS, Obirek said. The theologian’s assessment was that “it was only through the submissiveness of all political parties towards the church that we ended up with the political situation we have in Poland today.”
The recipe is universal. Find a wound common to many, someone to blame for it and a good story to tell. Mix it all together. Tell the wounded you know how they feel. That you found the bad guys. Label them: the minorities, the politicians, the businessmen. Cartoon them. As vermin, evil masterminds, flavourless hipsters, you name it. Then paint yourself as the saviour. Capture their imagination. Forget about policies and plans, just enrapture them with a good story. One that starts in anger and ends in vengeance. A vengeance they can participate in.That’s how it becomes a movement. There’s something soothing in all that anger. Though full of hatred, it promises redemption. Populism can’t cure your suffering, but it can do something almost as good—better in some ways: it can build a satisfying narrative around it. A fictionalized account of your misery. A promise to make sense of your hurt. It is them. It’s been them all along.For all those who listen, Populism is built on the irresistible allure of simplicity. The narcotic of the simple answer to an intractable question. The problem is now made simple. The problem is you.
The report claims: “Saudi Arabia has, since the 1960s, sponsored a multimillion dollar effort to export Wahhabi Islam across the Islamic world, including to Muslim communities in the west.“In the UK, this funding has primarily taken the form of endowments to mosques and Islamic educational institutions, which have in turn played host to extremist preachers and the distribution of extremist literature. Influence has also been exerted through the training of British Muslim religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, as well as the use of Saudi textbooks in a number of the UK’s independent Islamic schools.”It adds: “A number of Britain’s most serious Islamist hate preachers sit within the Salafi-Wahhabi ideology and are linked to extremism sponsored from overseas, either by having studied in Saudi Arabia as part of scholarship programmes, or by having been provided with extreme literature and material within the UK itself.”Advertisement
The candidate is of course now president of the United States, who calls the media “the enemy of the American people.”This is not a small development in the long history of shocking Trumpisms.AdvertisementYou don’t need to take the Guardian’s word for it. Here’s the opinion of William McRaven, the former special ops commander and architect of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden: “This sentiment may be the greatest threat to democracy in my lifetime,” he told journalism students at the University of Texas earlier this year.Yes, journalists are important. So important that the founding fathers cited the freedom of the press in the first amendment to the constitution. At the start of the Bill of Rights, it’s sandwiched between the freedom of religion and the right to petition the government.Journalism is so important that the Massachusetts constitution says this: “The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained in this commonwealth.”
This time, the killer—a lone man in a suicide bomb vest—struck at a concert by pop idol Ariana Grande, a tiny singer with an enormous, powerful voice whose fans like to wear pink kitten-eared headbands to match hers. Grande, whose journey from child star to pop artist has sometimes threatened to derail like fellow Disney veteran Britney Spears, has emerged lately as a gracious, multitalented star, adored by tween and teen girls and their mothers, the boys brave enough to admit they love her too, and young gay men.This is who the bomber decided to kill.In targeting children, what happened in Manchester gets at the very heart of terrorism. Because what is more terrifying than the thought of sending your child out into the world—into a joyous space created for her—and never seeing her alive again? We try to raise our children to be brave, but what happens to our own courage when we think about the possibility of sudden, irrevocable danger?