No surprise here:
Arab leaders have concluded their annual summit by showing their support for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir who is wanted for war crimes.
The Arab League said it rejected the International Criminal Court's decision to issue a warrant for his arrest.
President Bashir had earlier spoken at the summit in Qatar, and won strong support from his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad. [...]
Earlier in the day, Syrian President Assad said those who had "committed massacres and atrocities in Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon" should be arrested first.
According to Iain Sinclair, "Hackney Wick, once home to more artists per square mile than any other part of Europe, is already gone in spirit, if not in actuality." It's now, as he mentions in the short film at that Guardian link, on the edge of the Olympic site. I headed down there today.
Here, where Eastway crosses the Lea Navigation, looking south, the Olympic site is on the left, and Hackney Wick's on the right.:
Miliants in northern Pakistan have triggered a medical emergency by refusing to allow health officials to conduct a polio vaccination campaign.
Taliban militants in the former tourist destination of Swat Valley have obstructed officials from vaccinating over 300,000 children.
Militants have seized control of most of Swat and its capital, Mingora, and have extended their rule since striking a peace deal with the government and army earlier this year.
“There is a real emergency there. It is urgent to go in and vaccinate children,” said Dr Nima Abid, the Polio Team leader from the World Health Organisation in Pakistan.
Extremist clerics have used mosque loudspeakers and illegal radio stations to spread the idea that the vaccinations cause infertility and are part of a US-sponsored anti-Muslim plot.
Dr Abid said that militants have not allowed polio vaccinations to take place at a critical time.
“Polio vaccination is effective in first three months of the year when virus transmission is lowest and so there is no interference with the vaccine virus,” said Dr Abid.
Militants had reportedly agreed to allow the vaccination program to take place as part of the peace agreements.
However, the militants had reneged on their word and despite assiduous efforts made by the increasingly irrelevant local administration, no vaccinations have taken place.
“It’s a US tool to cut the population of the Muslims. It is against Islam that you take a medicine before the disease”, said, Muslim Khan, Swat’s Taliban spokesman, speaking by telephone.
Kenan Malik takes apart the whole disastrous history of ethnic monitoring in the UK:
Two assumptions underlie the argument for ethnic monitoring: first, that ethnicity and culture are the most important labels we can place on people; and second, that there is a causal relationship between membership of such a group and disproportional outcomes between groups.
If Bangladeshis are overrepresented in poor housing or if African Caribbeans are underrepresented in higher education, it is viewed as a consequence of belonging to those particular groups. Neither assumption is valid. Minority groups are not homogenous but are as divided by issues of class, gender, age and so on, as the rest of the population. These factors often shape individuals’ lives far more than do race, ethnicity or culture.
Take, for instance, the question of educational attainment in Britain. We all know that Asians excel at school and that African Caribbeans perform worst. Except that they don’t. Pupils of Indian origin tend to do well, but the performance of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis is similar to that of African Caribbeans. Bottom of the class come white working-class boys.
Children of Bangladeshi and Pakistani origin used to be labelled “Asian”. Now they are more likely to be seen as “Muslim”. When they were Asians they were bracketed together with children of Indian origin, and the differences between the groups were largely ignored. Now that they are Muslims, the poor performance of Bangladeshis and Pakistanis has attracted attention, but is often put down to “Islamophobia”....
Ethnic monitoring does not just produce misleading data. The process of classification often creates the very problems it is supposed to solve. Local authorities have used ethnic categories not just as a means of collecting data but also as a way of distributing political power — by promoting certain “community leaders” – and of disbursing public funds through ethnically based projects. Once the allocation of power, resources and opportunities become linked to membership of particular groups, then people inevitably begin to identify themselves in terms of those ethnicities, and only those ethnicities.
Take Bradford. The majority of Muslims in the city come from the Mirpur area of Pakistan. But few identified themselves as Muslims – until the local council began rolling out its multicultural policies in the 1980s. Declaring that every community had “an equal right to maintain its own identity, culture, language, religion and customs”, the local authority looked to the mosques to act as the voice of the Muslim community and funded social projects along faith and ethnic lines. The council thereby helped create a Muslim identity that had barely existed before. By 1990 the city’s Mirpuri community boasted 18 mosques. Fourteen of them had been built in the previous decade, in the wake of the council’s multicultural policy. A community that had worn its faith lightly now became defined almost entirely by that faith.
National government has pursued a similar policy. Rather than appealing to Muslims as British citizens, with a variety of views and beliefs, politicians of all hues prefer to see them as people whose primary loyalty is to their faith and who can be engaged only by other Muslims. Should we be surprised then if, as a consequence, many Muslims come to see themselves as semi-detached Britons? Last week the government published Contest 2, its new anti-terrorism strategy. But it has still not understood the extent to which its own multicultural policies have helped fan the flames of Islamic radicalism.
Citizenship has no meaning if different classes of citizens are treated differently, whether through multicultural policies or through racism.
From the Times:
An anarchist professor who warned that bankers would be “hanging from lampposts” during next week’s G20 protests was tonight suspended by his university.
Chris Knight, a professor of anthropology at the University of East London, will be investigated over alleged misconduct after he appeared to incite violence.
Mr Knight, who is organising protests under the banner G20 Meltdown, told BBC Radio 4’s PM on Wednesday night: “We are going to be hanging a lot of people like Fred the Shred from lampposts on April Fool’s Day and I can only say let’s hope they are just effigies.
“To be honest, if he winds us up any more I’m afraid there will be real bankers hanging from lampposts and let’s hope that that doesn’t actually have to happen.”
The university initially distanced itself from Mr Knight’s remarks but did not take action against him.
However after a day of discussions a spokesman said: “Professor Chris Knight has been suspended from his duties at the University of East London, pending investigation. In order not to prejudice this process we cannot make any further comment.”
For Rupa Huq at the Guardian's CiF, it just goes to show how intolerant universities have become:
I was with a colleague from the University of East London when I learned that the university's professor of psychology, Chris Knight, had been relieved of his responsibilities for publicly voicing anti-G20 sentiments. The news that the professor who predicted bankers hanging from lamp posts on Radio 4 was himself suspended for his actions flashed across my pal's Blackberry. While the specifics of the case are more tangled than might appear - the individual was in dispute with his paymasters about other matters – the incident is symptomatic of how university management culture has changed.
I'm not sure to what extent the incident is an indication of new and tighter restrictions on academic freedom. I don't have strong feelings about this one way or the other - Knight doesn't openly advocate violence, though he comes pretty close - but it's surely no surprise to see the university taking some action. And, in the circumstances, suspending him is nicely appropriate. It'd be good if these writers'd get their facts straight, though. Contra Huq, Chris Knight is a professor of anthropology, not psychology; and if he's an anarchist, as the Times claim, then he's certainly changed since he wrote his magnum opus, Blood Relations: Menstruation and the Origins of Culture.
Back then - 1991, though the paperback edition came out in 1995 - he was a self-styled revolutionary Marxist. Indeed his Marxism was central to the book, to such an extent that during my reading, at least at the start, I was tempted a few times to pack it in. I kept going because not only did he eschew any jargon, and refused to rely on fixed ideological positions, but his analysis was in fact unfailingly interesting and intelligent. He didn't, for instance, dismiss sociobiology out of hand. From the introduction:
Central to Blood Relations is the firm belief that sociobiology's achievements are to a modern Marxist analysis of sociality what the constructs of classical pre-Marxist political economy were to Marx himself. They are the corrosive acid which eats away at all illusions, all cosy assumptions about "the welfare of the community" or "the brotherhood of man", all unexamined prejudices about how "natural" it is for humans to co-operate with one another for the good of all. There is much that is useful in this.
And he acknowledged a debt to Elaine Morgan - her of the aquatic ape hypothesis:
I was fortunately able to discuss and correspond with Elaine Morgan over the past ten years, an experience which led me to realise with ever-increasing astonishment the precariousness of the prevailing savannah hypothesis of hominid origins. Close familiarity with the aquatic hypothesis as it developed helped to give evolutionary depth to my initial suspicion that tidal synchronicity may have been involved in both the biological and sociopolitical dimensions of cultural origins.
So I think in this case I'm prepared to, as it were, cut him some slack. Hanging bankers? The whole wunch, as far as I'm concerned.
On Al-Jazeera, Saudi cleric Khaled Al-Khlewi teaches Jew-hatred to the next generation (at MEMRI, so registration required):
Khaled Al-Khlewi: They have formed clandestine groups in Islamic societies, as well as internationally. Marxism was founded by Karl Marx the Jew. The Austrian journalist who preached the establishment of Israel, 50 years later – Theodor Herzl – was a Jew as well. Many U.S. Congressmen are Jews. Most of the media moguls are Jews. […]
Who can tell us the slogan that points to the geographic [aspirations] of the Jews? What is their slogan?
Well done! Come up here, my dear… Excellent! Come on up, this way. Come here, my dear, here, so we can see you.
Eight-year-old Omar comes to the stage
Khaled Al-Khlewi: Welcome, my dear. [kisses him] What’s your name?
Khaled Al-Khlewi: Omar? Allah Akbar. They hate Omar and are afraid of him. Omar what? What’s your dad’s name?
Khaled Al-Khlewi: And your mom’s name? [covers Omar’s mouth as he is about to say her name] No, don’t tell us mom’s name, there’s no need. Right? Well, dear, what is the slogan of the Jews? From the…
Omar: From the river to the Euphrates.
Khaled Al-Khlewi: From the Nile to the Euphrates. Let’s rephrase it: From the Euphrates to the Nile. Now let me complete it for you: And from the cedar to the palm tree. Okay. Who can tell me which countries this represents? From the Euphrates to the Nile – two countries. From the cedar to the palm tree – two countries. Four countries altogether. Who can explain this expression, by telling me what countries it refers to? Go ahead.
Iraq and Egypt. Well done. “From the Euphrates” means Iraq. “To the Nile” means Egypt. “From the cedar” – where’s that? Lebanon. “To the palm tree”? Saudi Arabia – because they believe that Al-Madina belongs to them, and that they should return to it.
The problem is not Gaza alone. They have broader aspirations. The Arab rulers and politicians must understand this problem. The Jews are motivated by religious considerations, not only by political, economic, or geographic considerations. They are motivated by their religion, and they want to achieve this.
What is your first name – Mahmoud, right? And your dad’s name? What’s your first name?
Khaled Al-Khlewi: How old are you, Omar?
Omar: Eight years old.
Khaled Al-Khlewi: Do you like the Jews?
Khaled Al-Khlewi: You hate them. Why do you hate them? What did the Jews do?
Omar: They wanted to kill the Prophet Muhammad.
Khaled Al-Khlewi: Well done. They wanted to kill the Prophet Muhammad. And what are they doing to our Muslim brothers now? They are killing them. When you curse them, what do you say? “Oh God…”?
Omar: Oh God, destroy the Jews.
Khaled Al-Khlewi: Well done. “And support…”?
Omar: The Muslims.
Khaled Al-Khlewi: The Muslims. Well done, my dear. Do you want to come with me to Saudi Arabia? I have a son like you, called Abdallah. You can play with him. Will you come with me? Will you give me this nice jacket you are wearing? Let me give you some water… May Allah protect you. I will give you this book and some water. Goodbye, my dear.