Police intimidation in Finland: the attack against Dr. Faith Mkwesha

Dr. Faith Mkwesha, Chief Executive Director and Founder of www.sahwira-africa.org, an anti-racist organization and partner of the Decolonial International Network, has been intimidated by the police in Finland. Her son, who is black was with his friend who is white, at the train station when the security service violently attacked her son. The Finnish friend took a video that Dr. Mkwesha shared on her own social media-  Facebook. Dr. Mkwesa started a campaign against the racist treatment of her son by police and security services on her own social media.

She was summoned  to appear before the police on Febraury 22 2021 for interrogation. She was accused of slunder of the police and security services. Mkwesha: “l see this as intimidation and harassment by the security and police to silence me as a mother and an active activist in Finland. I need support  to tell the police to stop that investigation on a victim of racism, racial violence and bullying. We call the Finnish government to stop racism, racial profiling and and protect immigrants, ant-black hate, racism to all people of colour and religions like Moslims.  Free speech and equality and human rights must be protected for all.”

The Decolonial International Network denounces the intimidation behavior of the police and security services. We call upon members of the Finnish parliament to defend freedom of speech. We will closely follow the proceedings against Dr. Mkwesha and will call for mobilization of democratic forces in Finland and internationally against repression of black people and their democratic rights.

Dr Mkwesha is seeking legal support to defend herself against these accusations. Help her with a donation: https://www.gofundme.com/f/solidarity-with-faith?member=9145618&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link_all&utm_source=customer

Sandew Hira

Decolonial International Foundation

Come for one of us, come for us all!: Anticolonialist Jews to G.W. Goldnadel

It has come to our attention that the French-Israeli lawyer, G.W. Goldnadel, has threatened to take the decolonial activist Houria Bouteldja to court for having written ‘it is not possible to be innocently Israeli’ in a text condemning antisemitism and discussing how it is produced and spread. Some interpreted this as fallacious and others incorrectly deemed it to be essentialising. From the vantage point of the anticolonial literary and political tradition, the application of this expression to Israelis has nothing to do with any ethnic or religious essence but is produced by collective social and power relations. As anticolonialist Jews of different nationalities, including Israeli, we agree with Bouteldja’s words which speak for us as it did for several generations of anticolonialists before us. It is because one cannot be innocently Israeli that Avraham Burg requested that the record of his Jewish nationality be effaced from the national registry of the State of Israel after the passage of the Nation-State Law.[1] It is because one cannot be innocently Israeli that brave Israeli citizens struggle against the colonial politics of the state and stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people. It is because no one can innocently accept the reality of colonialism that sixty young Israelis have just refused to serve in the occupying army.[2] It is because it is impossible to be innocently Israeli that the human rights organisation, B’Tselem, recently denounced Israel’s ‘regime of Jewish supremacy’ and Apartheid.[3] As the Tunisian Jewish writer Albert Memmi wrote, ‘the colonial reality is not a pure idea: it is an ensemble of real-life conditions. Refusing to see this means either physically surrendering to these conditions or fighting to transform them.’ The responsibility of Israelis in Palestine in the face of this colonial reality is obvious to the anticolonial activists there who bear witness to the fact that neither it nor the murderous identities it produces can be overlooked. Committed to freedom, this responsibility paves the way to the dignity that each human being aspires to. In a world drifting ever further into more authoritarian and inequitable rule, the fight for dignity comes at an increasingly higher cost. The rancid atmosphere that has been created powerfully penetrates a growing number of political schools and media organisations. The campaigns of intimidation and defamation such as those targeting Houria Bouteldja should be alarming to anyone worried about the retreat of democracy. The tactics of censuring an activist they wish to silence and of isolating and discrediting her, both within and beyond the public sphere, reminds us of those of our antisemitic oppressors. These are the methods of those brown-shirted forces of tragic years past. The onslaughts they wage in the media leave no one out, including members of the French Union of Jews for Peace, who they call ‘shameful Jews’ and who they try to have excluded from public debate. We French, Israeli, Belgian, US-American, British, Australian, and North African Jews, walking in the footsteps of the warriors of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, of the workers’ movement, of the European Resistance fighters, or of the struggle for anticolonial liberation reject these cabals who, in the name of defeating antisemitism, are in fact involved in obscuring its understanding as a form of racism. Instead they generate an antisemitic amalgamation of Jews and Israelis. It is because the decolonial movement takes the fight again antisemitism seriously, without disconnecting it from the anticolonial struggle, that it is denounced today by the biggest reactionaries in the French political sphere. But it is for this very reason that the decolonial movement is a part of our family and vice versa. We therefore demand that, if G.W. Goldnadel wish to pursue any legal proceedings against Houria Bouteldja that he come for us as well.

 

 

Gil Anidjar, professeur, Columbia University, New York / Etats-Unis

Simon Assoun, militant antiraciste, éducateur spécialisé / France

Ariella Azoulay, Professor of Modern Culture & Media and Comparative Literature / Etats-Unis

Rudi Barnet, metteur en scène, créateur de «Une Saison au Congo» de Aimé Césaire en 1967 et du festival “50ème Droits!” / Belgique

Haim Bresheeth, Professorial Research Associate, SOAS University of London / Israélien, Royaume-Uni

Rivkah Brown, Vashti Media, London / Royaume-Uni

James Cohen, professeur d’université, /France

Laurent Cohen, Ijan / Espagne

Liliane Cordova Kaczerginski, Ijan / Espagne

Jordy Cummings, lecturer and Trade Unionist,  York University / Canada

Sonia Fayman, UJFP / France

Caroline Gay, comédienne / France

Henri Goldman / Belgique

Jean-Guy Greilsamer, UJFP, issu d’une famille victime des nazis et de la collaboration / France

Ramon Grosfoguel, professeur d’université / Etats-Unis

Georges Gumpel, Militant anticolonialiste, Partie Civile au procès de Klaus Barbie / France

Gabriel Hagai, Rabbin / Israélien, France

Aaron Jaffe, Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Liberal Arts, The Juilliard School, New York / Etats-Unis

Sara Kershnar. Coordinatrice internationale de IJAN

David Landy, Trinity College Dublin / Irlande

Ronit Lentin, Trinity College Dublin (retired) / Israélienne, Irlande

Alana Lentin, universitaire / Australie

Zachary Levenson, Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of North Carolina / Etats-Unis

Les Levidow, Senior Research Fellow, Open University / Royaume-Uni

Daniel Levyne, UJFP / France

Yosefa Loshitzky, SOAS University of London / Israélien, Royaume-Uni

Joëlle Marelli, traductrice / France

Anat Matar

Jean-Claude Meyer, Juif alsacien et antisioniste, dont le père a été fusillé par les nazis le 14 juillet 1944 et dont la famille a été déportée et tuée à Auschwitz, UJFP / France

Nicholas Mirzoeff, Professor of Media, Culture and Communication, NYU / Etats-Unis

Dominique Natanson, animateur du site Mémoire Juive & Education / France

Atalia Omer, Senior Fellow, Religion, Conflict, and Peace Initiative at Harvard Divinity School / Etats-Unis

Charles Post, City University of New York / Etats-Unis

Ben Ratskoff, Editor-in-Chief of PROTOCOLS / Etats-Unis

Michael Richmond, Jewish writer, London / Royaume-Uni

Brant Rosen, Rabbin, Tzedek Chicago / Etats-Unis

Simona Sharoni 

Richard Silverstein, journalist, Tikun Olam / Etats-Unis

Santiago Slabodsky, Jewish Studies Professor / Argentina / Etats-Unis

Stephen Suffern, avocat aux barreaux de Paris et de New York / France

Marianne Van Leeuw-Koplewicz, éditrice / Belgique

Michel Warschawski, militant anticolonialiste / Israël

[1] Https://www.francepalestine.org/Un-descendant-de-l-aristocratie-sioniste-veut-quitter-le-peuple-juif-Israel-le

[2] https://ujfp.org/nous-prenons-nos-responsabilitessoixante-jeunes-annoncent-leur-refus-de-servir-dans-larmee-israelienne/

[3] https://www.btselem.org/sites/default/files/publications/202101_this_is_apartheid_e ng.pdf

 

DIN ZOOM Webinar: Geetanjali Srikantan – Identifying and regulation religion in India

Dr. Srikantan published a study with the title: Identifying and regulation religion in India. Law, History and the Place of Worship (Cambridge University Press, 2020). She aims to rethink regulation of religion by building on the existing insights within post-colonial theory and religious studies through legal theory and legal history. According to her the impasse around the regulation of religion does not lie in the insufficiency of legal reasoning or the failure of the Indian secular state but has its roots in the methodologies and frameworks used by British colonial administrators in identifying and governing religion.

Srikantan will discuss her study with Sandew Hira from DIN on Sunday March 14 2021 from 14.00-15.00 Amsterdam time.

Register here:

ZOOM Webinar: Geetanjali Srikantan - Identifying and regulation religion in India
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Webinar C.K. Raju: Decolonisation, Islam, and science

Webinar C.K. Raju: Decolonisation, Islam, and science: Eliminating the anti-Islamic biases in mathematics and science: Monday February 15, 2021, 14.00-15.00 Amsterdam time.

How can you decolonize mathematics. What is the relationship between decolonizing math and Islam? Prof. C.K. Raju deals with these questions in a conversation with Sandew Hira, secretary of the Decolonial International Network Foundation.

Click here to download the PDF with more about the content of the Webinar.

Click here for the lastest article of Raju on the subject.

Click here to register for the webinar.

A decolonial view on the storming of Capitol Hill

Sandew Hira,
January 8, 2021[*]

Introduction

The storming of Capitol Hill, the seat of the US government, on January 6 2021 by Trump supporters is a historical event that tells us a lot about where we stand in world history. Many analysts focus on the unprecedented nature of the action and the role of Donald Trump in sabotaging the American democratic system. Van Jones, a CNN political commentator, explained one of the techniques of sabotage in his TED talk titled What if a US presidential candidate refuses to concede after an election?. If Trump would decide not to concede, this might open the door to violence, which is what happened on January 6 2021.

Two months earlier, Ramon Grosfoguel and I, spent two sessions in our decolonial dialogues (session 4 and session 5) to put the 2020 presidential elections in a historical perspective. This article builds on that analysis.

In the dominant media the storming of Capitol Hill is narrated as a crazy action of extremist followers of a lunatic president. I will argue that this event is not an incident but a rational expression of a process of the rise of an extreme right-wing political class in the USA in the context of the decline of USA as an imperial power that is willing to risk extreme violent means to stop this decline. That class is not only located in the Republican Party, but is also there in Democratic Party. The storming of Capitol Hill is just a prelude of worst things that will follow in the coming decades.

The rise of the US empire

The US empire took off after the war with Spain in 1898, whereby America got control over Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. It dealt the final blow to the Spanish empire. But much the world was still controlled by the old empires: England, France, the Netherlands, Portugal and Germany with England and France as the main protagonists. After World War II these states lost their power to the USA and became subservient to the new master of the universe.

The American empire developed an enormous economic power based initially on agriculture and industry but later more on technology. Its multinationals roamed the world for raw materials and minerals. America became the largest economy in the world. It had the highest income per capita. It had the best institutes for research and development.

With its economic power came its military and cultural power. The empire established 800 military basis across the globe. The military industrial complex in cooperation with the tech-companies built the most advanced weapons systems and infrastructure for intelligence services. They engaged in wars and military coup to crush popular resistance against imperialism and ensure the establishment of loyal regimes.

Its cultural elite in cooperation with the cultural infrastructure of media and educational institutions were successful in colonizing the mind. American textbooks are used in all westernized universities in the whole world.  American fast food and cultural icons (music, art) have become global food and global icons.

It was all realized in less than a century and it lasted for less than a century. Because in the last quarter of the 20th century the decline of the American empire had began. Compared to other empires that lasted for hundreds or thousands of years the American empire is one of the shortest living empires.

The decline of the American empire

The decline of the American empire is manifested on four terrains:

  1. The relative decline of its economic and cultural power compared to other countries in the world, the rise of the rest notably China. China is rapidly surpassing as the largest economy in the world. American media are not the only media in the world. There CNN-type of media in all parts of the world. Scientific knowledge is produced outside of the West.
  2. The absolute decline of its economic and cultural power. American technology is now lagging behind Chinese technology. The educational of level of American students has declined in terms of their math and reading scores.
  3. The decline of its military power. Different countries were able to defy American military power for a sustainable period of time. The empire suffered its first loss in its backyard with the Cuban Revolution of 1959. In 1975 the national liberation movement of Vietnam chased the American army out of their country. In 1979 the Islamic movement under the leadership of Khomeini brought down America’s biggest client state down. In Venezuela the Chavistas took and hold power since 1999.
  4. The decline within the country of white power. The total population of the USA will grow from 323 million in 2016 to 355 million in 2030 till 404 million in 2060. The share of non-Hispanic whites (the descendant fro the European colonial powers) will decline from 61% to 44% in 2060. Within forty years whites will become a demographic minority in the USA! The fastest growing group are the Hispanics. Their will increase from 18% in 2016 to 27% in 2060, which is larger than the share of African Americans (from 13% to 15%). The demographic changes bring social and political changes that result in a decline of white power in the US.

An empire in decline create a crazy world

What happens when an empire goes into decline? Basically there are two scenario’s:

  1. The ruling class accepts the decline and thus accepts the authority of the new power that replaces the empire.
  2. The ruling class refuses to accept the decline and ultimately uses all means necessary to ensure its hegemony, even the most crazy means than can endanger life on the planet.

We are living in the second scenario. The rise of Trump should not be seen as the rise of an individual with crazy intentions. It is the rise of a section of the ruling class, a fascist section, that is willing to go where nobody else dared to go.

Currently there are four regions in the world where the US empire is engaged in a struggle to maintain its hegemony:

  1. China with the Chinese South Sea Island, Hongkong and Taiwan as areas of confrontation.
  2. West Asia (the so called Middle East) with Iran, Syria, Yemen and Israel as areas of confrontation
  3. Eastern Europe with Russia and Ukraine as areas of confrontation.
  4. Latin America with Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia as areas of confrontation.

In all these area the US starts actions that set fires of confrontation. There is a logic behind these actions: if all regular means of control fail, then it is legitimate to use new means that were once beyond imagination. What goes for the struggle outside of the US, also goes for the struggle in the US. That section of the ruling class in the United States that has come to the conclusion that its hegemony cannot be maintained by regular means, is now prepared to take steps that defies common imagination.

They bring new elements into the confrontation. In Venezuela they used a new form of coup d’état. Guaido declare himself an unelected president and subsequently the US empire and it vassals acknowledge this man as president. This was unheard of. A ferocious economic boycott tries to bring down the elected government. The assets of the legitimate government were seized and brought under the control of the unelected president. In West Asia the US is provoking Iran to an all-out war by killing Iran’s most beloved general: Qasem Suleimani. The US wanted Iran to start an all-out war and hoped that the murder of Suleimani would achieve that. Given the status of Suleimani it seemed unthinkable that the US would ever try to actually assassinate him. And yet they did.

Inside the US Trump – as the most outspoken segment of the fascist section – is leading the struggle under the banner “Make America Great Again”. They took control of the Republican Party. In 2016 they succeeded in gaining state power. They set in motion a series of policies that linger on the border of all-out wars, but because of the war weariness in the American population they must be careful in how far they can go. In 2020 they lost control of the government and were prepared to go where no political force in the US dared to go: to bring the possibility of war, in this civil war, to the capital of the nation in order to regain control of state power.

The storming of Capitol Hill was an outcome of the logic of ultimate confrontation. It backfired for the fascist section of the ruling class, because it failed in its objection. But the logic is still there and the processes that have created this logic are still working.

That is why I predict that the storming of Capitol Hill is a prelude of things to come that we cannot image now. For the coming years maybe things might calm down under the presidency of Biden. It will create the illusion that normalcy has been regained. But watch the underlying processes at work in the decline of the US empire. Then you will not be surprised if events unfold which we would not dare to image.

[*] Sandew Hira is secretary of the DIN Foundation. This article is based on the last chapter of his forthcoming book: Decolonizing The Mind.

Webinar Genocide Memorial Day 2021 Netherlands: Famine as an instrument of genocide

Decolonial International Netwerk and International Institute for Scientific Research in The Netherlands are organizing a webinar on the famines in India during colonialism in the context of Genocide Memorial Day on January 17th.

In her lecture Dr. Mehta will give a short chronology of famines that took place during colonial period and then focus on 1943 famine. She will show some photographs and paintings and play music related to 1943 famine. And most importantly she will talk about people’s response to the famine in terms of famous Tebhaga movement in Bengal.

The webinar is organized in the context of Genocide Memorial Day (GMD). This day is a day to remember “man’s inhumanity to man”. GMD was started in 2010 by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, founding member of the Decolonial International Network, as an annual tradition to commemorate the Zionist attack on Gaza in 2008. Some 1,400 Palestinians, mainly citizens, were killed without any intervention by governments. GMD aims to create awareness about the factors leading up to genocide and what we can do to prevent them.

Speaker: Jaya Mehta
Host: Sandew Hira
Sunday January 17, 2021, from 14.00-15.00 Amsterdam/Paris time

Registration: https://din.today/202101-2

Jaya Mehta

Dr. Jaya Mehta is a senior economist who has been working since 2009, in Joshi-Adhikari Institute of Social Studies. It is a research institute based in New Delhi.
She has been a senior fellow at the Institute of Human Development, New Delhi, Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi and Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla. Before that she worked as a Reader in Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics, Pune. Dr. Jaya Mehta is a founder member of Alternative Economic Survey Group and has been contributing regularly to its annual numbers.
She has been engaged in studying the agrarian crisis in Indian economy, poverty measurement, women’s issues and theory and praxis of socialist systems. In the year 2009, she coordinated a primary survey on marginal farmers across 8 states of the country, delineating their production and marketing pattern.
Eight volumes were prepared presenting the agrarian scene in the country. After that she has conducted a study on collective farming by women in the state of Kerala. The book related to this study is with the publishers.
She also made a study on working class movement in pre- and post-independent India. Recently, she edited a book, ‘The Russian Revolution and Indian Freedom Struggle” to commemorate 100 years of Russian revolution. She also wrote a booklet on ‘Revolutionary potential of women workers in agriculture’ in 2019 on the occasion of 100 years of death anniversary of Rosa Luxemburg.
She has directed plays and made a few documentaries on various topics related to working class and oppressed groups.

French intelligentsia and Little Tom Thumb: the questionable ethics of the ‘100’ French academics

A response to the Open Letter from ‘100’ French Scholars, which singled out the author for special mention.

Houria Bouteldja

France is no longer a light among nations.

Sartre, Beauvoir, Foucault, Deleuze or Bourdieu are from another era. As for the ultra-white elites who offer themselves as their replacements, they increasingly deserve the name ‘Pale’, as given by the Native Americans to their torturers. Their radiance, now reduced to the dim halo of waning lanterns at a funfair, impresses no one outside their cliques and courtesans. As Rokhaya Diallo noted recently, ‘thanks to the great marketing of a few white intellectuals, “the birthplace of Enlightenment” is sold as an example of peaceful coexistence devoid of all racial tension.’

Therefore, in a strange version of events that only they subscribe to – and which in many ways sums up their entire world view – a significant number among the intelligentsia in France is completely perplexed by the dismay expressed by international onlookers. Faced with the view from outside France, where there is little understanding of their devotion to the myth of French republicanism, and where secularist fundamentalism or the obsession with the veil are met with puzzlement, these French intellectuals insist that foreigners ‘do not understand our values.’ Anyone who dares utter the words ‘race’, ‘whiteness’, or ‘Islamophobia’ is accused of doing the work either of the extreme right or of Jihadists. And if one persists and goes on to mention racial discrimination or social Apartheid, the accusation is none other than treason to universalism!

The right of reply of which they availed themselves in openDemocracy in response to the Open Letter signed by many scholars justifiably worried by the appearance of a form of French McCarthyism within French academia, is a perfect illustration of this attitude. The crudeness of this attempt to save face before an English-speaking public, which understands perfectly the extent to which France’s reputation has been sullied by lies and myths, is obvious to all. I could ignore the sophistry involved in its recalling the existence of other forms of slavery in order to deny the specificity of the transatlantic slave trade or of the colonialism which inaugurated western racism. I can also skip over the minimisation of far right-wing violence under the pretext that it causes few deaths when we are aware that this violence is often ignored by police and other institutions. And I can even let pass the term Islamogauchisme (Islamic-leftism), used by neo-conservatives to dismiss any critique of Islamophobia, and which reminds us of the slur of ‘Jewish-Bolshevism’. In sum, I don’t wish to get bogged down in the extreme poverty and fallaciousness of the letter’s argumentation which stands in for real thinking. Instead, I will address its defamatory nature which targets me as a decolonial activist. This is not because my case deserves the particular attention of the English-speaking public, who doubtless have bigger fish to fry, but because it is representative of the way in which dissent to the gospel of republicanism is treated in the land of Charlie Hebdo and freedom of speech.

It is representative of the way in which dissent to the gospel of republicanism is treated in the land of Charlie Hebdo and freedom of speech.

Habituated to the complacency of the French mainstream media which writes them infinite blank cheques to speak with impunity (French media only allows a tiny number from among the privileged class a right to reply), the ‘100’ signatories of the response hope to be able to drag me through the mud in the foreign press as they do regularly in the pages of French newspapers such as LibérationLe Monde or Canard enchainé.[1] They write,

‘The “Parti des Indigènes de la République” is a case in point, standing as the main “islamist-gauchiste” movement in France. The former spokesperson of the movement, Hourija Boutelja (sic)., even endorsed Mohamed Merah, the 2012 jihadist killer: ‘Mohamed Merah is me and I am him. We are of the same origin and of the same condition. We are post-colonial subjects. I say tonight that I am a ‘fundamental’ Muslim’. We remind the signatories of the letter that Merah killed not only French military men of Muslim ancestry but also Jewish children in a school in Toulouse.’

If anyone was reading this without having any knowledge of the context, they would be justified in thinking that someone as damaging as myself should rightfully be behind bars, especially if they had read the terrifying profile of me published a few days earlier by two eminent French intellectuals in Libération. In fact, Alain Policar and Alain Renault, doctors of political science and philosophy respectively, wishing to be reassuring, explained to a public terrified by the spectre of decolonial thought, that it should not fear the impact of my ideas on the university because everyone knows well that ‘the effect of the racist, antisemitic and homophobic theses of Houria Bouteldja amounts to no more than zero.’

I assure you that I have no intention of throwing myself at your feet and begging you to believe that I am neither an admirer of Jihadism nor a patented antisemite, as our keyboard inquisitors would have it. This is firstly because it would be humiliating, second because it is an illusory exercise (what does my word count for?), and finally because I prefer to trust your intelligence rather than your noble sentiments. I also will not make any attempt to clear my name. I will simply provide a few signposts that, like the breadcrumbs sprinkled by Little Tom Thumb, will direct you, not to me and to who I really am, but to them and to who they really are.

– Breadcrumb 1: in France, apology for terrorism is a crime. However, the speech I gave during a meeting a few days after the mass killing in Toulouse titled ‘Mohamed Merah and I’ did not lead to any legal case being taken against me (despite my detractors’ thirst for one). Those who truncate the text and cite only the first part – ‘Mohamed Merah is me’ – without mentioning the second – ‘Mohamed Merah is not me’ – are thugs who do not deserve the label of an intellectual.

– Breadcrumb 2: In 2015, the Licra, a pro-Israel ‘antiracist’ organisation, mounted a legal complaint against me for ‘incitement to racial hatred’ (antisemitism) due to a text I wrote on philosemitism in which I accused the state of disguising its new modes of antisemitism. The response of the Attorney General, not one known for his ‘Islamogauchiste’ tendencies, was to draft the following opinion: ‘There is no justification for a legal pursuit as the offence does not appear to be sufficiently well-founded, the investigation not having led to the gathering of sufficient evidence.’

– Breadcrumb 3: Many well-known people who identify as Jewish, who obviously have no time for Nazis, have no hesitation in lending me their unconditional support because we have a shared analysis of colonialism, be it that of Israel or elsewhere.

– Breadcrumb 4: In France I am published by La Fabrique, in the US by Semiotexte(e) and in Spain Akal, all of which are antiracist, anti-fascist and progressive publishing houses.

– Breadcrumb 5: The preface to my book Whites, Jews and Us: Towards a Politics of Revolutionary Love was written by Harvard University Professor Cornell West while the preface to the Spanish version is by the Berkeley Professor Ramon Grosfoguel.

– Breadcrumb 6: Our events, demonstrations, and meetings in France are sponsored by renowned personalities including Angela Davis, Mumia Abu Jamal and Tariq Ali.

I could continue adding factual accolades of this kind, but it would be presumptuous to do so. Nevertheless, even if this trail of breadcrumbs does nothing to prove my innocence, it might plant some seeds of doubt about the basis for the accusations against me and about the questionable ethics of those who spread them. It is not that my detractors are unaware of these facts. They knowingly lie, distort and manipulate them. I was going to write ‘with impunity’ but this right of response means that this time they have drawn a blank, thanks to the international media. I could also shame those who defame me by remarking that when I call myself a ‘fundamental Muslim’, I am not referring to any form of religious fundamentalism but to Aimé Césaire who, in refusing to renege on his negritude, famously declared himself a ‘fundamental Negro’. I will stop here because the shame I feel on their behalf is turning into pity and it would take away from what I intend to be a more incisive conclusion.

Indeed, I advise my detractors to take a leaf out of my book. Why not paraphrase the text that they say incriminates me – ‘Mohamed Merah and I’ – and write their own: ‘White Supremacists and Us’. Part 1 could be titled ‘white supremacists are us’ in which they analyse their belonging to whiteness and their connection to state racism. Part 2: ‘white supremacists are not us’ where they explain how to break with the nationalist and imperialist logic they call ‘universalism’ by firstly making an attempt at humility and secondly, proposing a roadmap for abolishing race and creating the conditions for unifying the working class. But this is only fantasy. How could I ever imagine them being counselled by decolonial activists, evolving in their thinking, or going against the grain? To be sure, Little Tom Thumb has helped us uncover who they really are, but unfortunately, he does not have the power to turn lead into gold.

This article was translated into English by Alana Lentin.

[1] These newspapers consistently refuse me the right of reply even though I am continually defamed in them:

http://indigenes-republique.fr/droit-de-reponse-refuse-canard-enchaine/

http://indigenes-republique.fr/droit-de-reponse-dhouria-bouteldja-refuse-par-le-journal-le-monde/

Webinar: The attacks on civil, human and political rights for Muslims in Europe

Din Webinar Sunday December 13th
18.00-20.15 Paris time, 17.00-19.15 UK time,

Background

In 2011 the British government introduced the Prevent Policy that aims to prevent young people to get attracted to radical ideologies, especially radical Islam. The instruments of the government is surveillance  of Muslim youth in schools, universities, mosques and the health system and repression (arrest, interrogation, imprisonment).

In France Muslim leaders are required to sign a declaration that states that Islam is a religion and not a political movement. Muslim parent who complain about Islamophobic caricatures that are show to their children in the classroom are committing a criminal offence and can be deported from the country. Publishing images of police violence will be a criminal offence.

Austria want to ban political Islam by law. People convicted for violating this law could be imprisoned for life of if they are released earlier they could be subjected to electronic surveillance after being released. Associations and mosques that are suspected of adhering to political Islam will be shut down. A central register of imams will be created.

All across Europe there are increased attacks on the civil and human rights of Muslims by governments and are indications of the rise of police states in Europe. This puts important questions on the agenda:

There are two sets of questions we will deal with in the webinar:

Bloc 1: political Islam

  1. What is political Islam?
  2. Who is defining it?
  3. Is it a single monolithic idea or a plurality of views?
  4. Is attacking political Islam a means of shutting down dissenting voices among Muslims?
  5. What is the meaning of political Islam in comparison with political actions based on other ideologies such as Christianity, Judaism, Liberalism, Socialism?
  6. How do Islamic sources articulate political actions of Muslims compared to the sources of other ideologies?

Bloc 2: civil rights, human rights and the rise of fascism in Europe per country

  1. What is the role of zionism in the depoliticisation of Muslims?
  2. How is anti-semitism used by national and EU governments to silence Muslims and their organisations?
  3. What is the relationship between civil liberties such as freedom of speech and political rights of Muslims in Europe?
  4. How will the repression of civil liberties and human rights in Europe effect the position of Muslims and non-Muslims?
  5. How can we fight the rise of the police state in Europe?

 

Video’s to watch

 

In the past few years affiliates of DIN have organized Islamophobia conferences in December. Because of the Covid-19 crisis physical meetings are not possible. Instead DIN will organize a webinar on December 13th from 17.00-19.15 UK time, 18.00-20.15 Paris/Amsterdam time.

The webinar consists of:

  1. Short contributions
  2. Discussions
  3. Panel discussions

Hosts: Sandew Hira and Narges Mobaleghi

Links:

The program of the webinar is as follows:

  • Bloc 1: Hakimeh Saghaye-Biria and Mohamed Al-Asi
  • Bloc 2: Abed Choudry  (on UK), Massoud Shadjareh (on Austria), Houria Bouteldja (on France), Sheher Khan (on Netherlands) and Amanj Aziz (on Sweden

 

Islamophobia in France

In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in France French newspaper Le Monde published a manifesto on November 2 2020 signed by over 100 French academics which denounced decolonial thought in the French academia. They rally behind Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French Minister of National Education, and calls upon him to create a body responsible for directly reporting cases of violations of republican principles and academic freedom, and developing a guide to appropriate responses. This is direct call for censorship in the French universities.

Decolonial and Islamic scholars and activists wrote a letter to the French nation analyzing the latest Islamophobic policy of the French government and calling for exchanges of views to prevent the interreligious, ethnic and racial confrontations.

Click here for the text of the letter.

Alana Lentin and Gavan Titley took the initiative to write an open letter signed by major international scholars. Click here for the text of that letter.

Decolonial Dialogues by Ramon Grosfoguel and Sandew Hira

Ramon Grosfoguel and Sandew Hira, two theoreticians and board members of the Decolonial International Network Foundation engage in weekly decolonial dialogues to develop a coherent decolonial theoretical framework. The dialogues are recorded and placed on the YouTube Channel of DIN.

The first episode deals with the factor behind the rise of the decolonial movement: https://youtu.be/_4sY112-dKE

The second episode deals with knowledge production. What is knowledge and how is it produced from a decolonial view: https://youtu.be/NJkKUIMxCSA

The third episode deals with political theory and practice in Latin America: https://youtu.be/zO0HbSSUIH0