by Maik Fielitz and Laura Lotte Laloire
Trouble on the far right has become troubling for Europe. Not only do right-wing motivated attacks occur regularly against Roma camps, ethnic minorities, LGBTQI people and Jewish institutions. At the same time, a xenophobic discourse on refugees has gained momentum in politics and society and further blurred the lines between far right agitation and mainstream politics. In order to classify these events adequately, far right activism should not just be regarded as a security issue that can be eliminated by force, but as a threat that threatens the foundations of open, democratic and pluralist societies. Hence, we should be aware that far right politics are neither a new nor an isolated phenomenon but often bank on existing cultures of (gender, competitive, nativist) domination in capitalist societies.
by Halina Gąsiorowska
In Poland, the long lasting culture war over gender roles and religion has been easily framed by the far right into Samuel Huntington’s concept of the “clash of civilizations”. A well-known juxtaposition used in right-wing propaganda: ‘civilization of life’ vs. ‘civilization of death’ in reference to anti-abortion and pro-choice movements respectively is now used to refer to Christians and Muslims. The role of Polish women and the right to abortion remain in the center of the conflict of modernity.
By Hakim Khatib
After five years of the Syrian war, we can recognize “four” conflicting parties on the ground – Assad, ISIS, rebel groups and the Kurds. Each one of these conflicting parties has regional and international backers, who ironically do not agree with each other about whom they are fighting for or against. The Syrian regime is backed by Iran, Russia, Hezbollah and Iraqi militias. ISIS is backed by the flood of global Jihadists from all over the world. Rebel groups are backed by Gulf States, Turkey, Jordan and the US. The Kurds are supported by the US. While in the media, we always say “the Syrian conflict, crisis or war”, I wonder what makes this war that much Syrian. It is rather a war on the land of Syria, in which more than 50% of Syria’s population have been displaced, over 220 thousand have been killed, and many more have been injured or imprisoned. According to Amnesty international, more than 12.8 million Syrian people are in “urgent need of humanitarian assistance”. In addition to this humanitarian catastrophe, most of the Syrian land and infrastructure have been destroyed. So what is that Syrian about the Syrian “war”?
Von Hazim Fouad
Teil XVIII unserer Serie
zum „Islamischen Staat“
The burning of the Jordan pilot Muath al-Kasasbeh created a worldwide outcry, which was noticeably vocal in the Islamic world. Not only were we able to see people taken to the streets, we could also witness an utter condemnation of this act by prominent religious institutions like al-Azhar. Moreover, even before this terrific event the so called Islamic State (IS) has been criticized on various occasions by prominent Muslim scholars. The common trope these statements share is that despite its name, IS does not represent “true Islam”. The most prominent document in this regard surely is the open letter, which was addressed to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed “caliph” of IS, signed by 174 prominent Muslim figures and spokespersons from all over the world and which has been translated into multiple languages. The Facebook group that formed around this letter has currently reached over 100.000 likes and has developed into a hub for people from all over the world, who oppose IS ideology from a Muslim perspective. Although there has been some media coverage mentioning the publication of the letter, its actual contents have not been discussed very much in detail so far. So what does the document actually say? Let’s have a closer look:
by Evgeniya Bakalova
“WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY, AND IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”. The slogan from George Orwell’s “1984” dystopia appears to capture the state of Russia’s 2014 official discourse quite accurately. This has not gone unnoticed by public and academic spectators in and outside Russia: while Bild magazine is counting Putin’s lies in his recent ARD interview, a Zeit article declares Russia itself to be a post-modern “lie”.
by Cornelius Friesendorf
Civilians are the main victims of the war in Eastern Ukraine. This tends to be glossed over in public debates over the war as well as the media coverage, which focuses on international diplomatic efforts to end the war and the role of leaders, in particular Vladimir Putin. But the people suffering the consequences of the war deserve more attention.
by Klaus Segbers
1. The factual annexation of the Crimea by Russian troops and Russia-oriented militias is unacceptable. The claim that there was harassment against Russian speaking people on Crimea, and that human rights have been violated, is laughable. There was no attempt by the Russian government to address these alleged incidents with the Ukrainian government, or European agencies. Russian military moves were and are a cold-blooded attempt to rewrite the history of 1954, and the European map. Western societies and governments shouldn’t leave any doubt about that. There cannot be business as usual with the Russian leadership for the time being.