Category Archives: News

Support Bruxelles Panthères against racist attacks

A socialist mayor from a small Walloon town (Lessines) filed a complaint against Nordine Saïdi, a founding member of Bruxelles Panthères, a Belgian political antiracist organization which is part of the DIN – Decolonial International Network.

What is the complaint about? It is actually about an e-mail sent by BP to the mayor and his town council back in September 2018 that was requesting that the local authorities take all the necessary actions to remove the BLACK FACE part of their traditional annual carnival which take place in “Les Deux Acres”, a part of the previously mentioned town, Lessines. The local authorities considered and still consider today that this racist show known as “the Negro parade” is a harmless folklore that has no racist roots.

Long story short, even if they keep denying the racist character of their party, the letter sent by Nordine Saïdi and BP had the positive effect to push the carnival organisation committee to cancel the traditional racist “Negro parade”.

Nevertheless, if they surprisingly cancelled that part of their show, they also filed a complaint against the e-mail’s author.

Following the work that we accomplished against Belgium BlackFace traditional practice, some politicians, as the socialist Bourgmestre of Lessines in the present case , are trying to put an end to our denunciation of racism by having a politically use of the Justice.

We are calling on you to support us, to pay the lawyer fees by making a donation via Paypal : https://paypal.me/pools/c/8lEEZW69Zk

Houria Boutledja: analysis of race, class, gender and sexuality

Houria Bouteldja, Member of the Parti des Indigènes de la République (PIR) and a founding member of DIN, has published an article in which she provides a decolonial analysi of the relationship between, race, class, gender and sexuality.

She argues that progressive, neoliberal morality, dependent on a linear vision of history stripped of any form of political materialism, only serves to resolve the contradictions of class, gender, and sexuality among whites, to reinforce their unity at the expense of non-whites.

Zionist Attack on Genocide Memorial Day

In 2010 Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), a founding member of the Decolonial International Network organized the first Genocide Memorial Day. It is a day focused on remembering man’s inhumanity to man. It takes place on the third Sunday of January each year. For the GMD project, the act of remembrance is not limited by the background of either the victims or the perpetrators of any of the genocides.  It aims to raise awareness of genocide in order for new generations to understand the causes and recognise the warning signs of such atrocities.

IHRC has developed education material that can be used by teachers who want to educated students on genocide. There is a list of twenty genocides committed during the last centuries. It includes the Nazi Holocaust and the Zionist assault on Gaza. There is a lesson plan for the age group 10-12 years specifically on remembering the Holocaust. It comes with an instruction manual for teachers.

The material has been used in some schools in the UK. The Zionist news website The Jewish Chronicle has published an article that distorts the nature of the educational material, because the suffering of the Palestinians are included in the slides. It now calls upon the UK government to stop the distribution of the material.

DIN has endorsed a letter to IC protesting this move. Below is the text of the letter. If you want to support this protest by signing the letter, send an email to gmd@ihrc.org.

 

Open Letter to the Jewish Cronicle

We, the undersigned, are writing to condemn in the strongest possible terms your article dated 22 January 2020 headlined “Government pledges to act over teaching material that compares Gaza to the Holocaust”.

We attach the three resources you specifically attack here, here and here.

The article is slanted, misleading, unfactual, racist and Islamophobic. In fact it so greatly distorts the actual situation that it is hard to see the piece as anything other than the lowest kind of gutter journalism.

By misrepresenting and undermining Genocide Memorial Day, the article also displays a staggering level of insensitiveness, effectively belittling the suffering of millions of victims of genocides past and present including and especially the victims of the Holocaust, whom you treat as a political football.  It is deeply offensive to all those who have worked on and supported GMD including the Jewish participants in the project, including those who are Holocaust survivors or children or close relatives of survivors.

As usual it appears the cause of your ire is IHRC’s support for justice and equality for Palestinians, but more particularly the GMD project’s listing of other genocides and genocidal acts before and after the Holocaust. 

The Jewish Chronicle is free to support Israel in whatever it does, including its violations of international law.  However your abuse of Holocaust memorialisation and teaching in this way to attack an organisation and a project which specifically works on genocide awareness and prevention, is a new low.

We await some sort of editorial leadership offering in the very least an apology and retraction of the article. 

 

 

Decolonizing ecology

On December 16, 2019 Islamic Human Rights Commission organizes an event titled “Decolonizing ecology”. Professor Ramón Grosfoguel, a leading decolonial scholar, and Sandew Hira, the co-director of the Decolonial International Network, will discuss how issues of decoloniality need to be considered in conversations and activism around climate change.

Click here for more information.

The struggle against Blackface in the Netherlands

The annual Sinterklaas Festival in the Netherands has become a testing ground for the status of ethnic minorities and their attempts to influence what it means to be Dutch. The festival is based on a legend that every December, St. Nicholas travels to the Netherlands from Spain with an army of helpers or “Black Petes”, clownish and acrobatic figures dressed in Moorish page suits. to reward or punish children. In recent years people of colour have pushed back against the racist, colonial vestige with encouraging results.

In the journal The Long View Sandew Hira made an analysis of the movement against Blackface in The Netherlands. He goes into the history of the Sinterklaas festival with the character of Black Pete, the social forces behind the anti-Black Pete movement and the question of strategy and tactics of the anti-racist movement.

The Long View is a quarterly magazine published by Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) in London.

Arzu Merali and Faisal Bodi (eds.): The New Colonialism: the American Model of Human Rights

In February 2018 the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) in London held a conference titled: The New Colonialism: The American Model of Human Rights. The nine contributions from scholar-activists looking at how human rights as theory and practice are now published in a book.

As a human rights research, campaign and advocacy organisation NGO working for over 20 years from its base in the UK, IHRC has had to negotiate the dilemma of dealing with not only institutionalised racism in local, national, regional and international organisations and regimes, but a Eurocentric discourse of rights and justice referencing largely the Enlightenment but compounded with the idea that this lingua franca of rights, though deemed universally applicable, is both the sole provenance of the ‘West’ and at the same time is immutable and unquestionable.  The papers presented problematize perceptions of the US as anything other than a violent and rapacious colonial power. Arguably this is the grassroots perception of the US around the world, and even within its own borders there are significant numbers who eschew the self-perception of the country as a leader in freedom and democracy. They speak of the civil rights and indigenous rights movements whose very existence exposes these claims as fictitious.

The book is launched on January 20, 2020 in London. Click here for information about the launch. Click here for order information. ISBN 978-1-909853-04-1

Enrollment fo decolonial summer schools has started

Dialogo Global, member of the Decolonial International Network (DIN), has started the enrollment for her annual decolonial Summer Schools in Granada and Barcelona.

The Summer School on Critical Muslim Studies: Decolonial Struggles and Liberation Theologies is from June 15 – June 19, 2020 in Granada, Spain.

The Summer School on Decolonizing knowledge and power: postcolonial studies, decolonial horizons is from July 13 – July 17 in Barcelona, Spain.

Critical Muslim Studies is inspired by a need for opening up a space for intellectually rigorous and socially committed explorations between decolonial thinking and studies of Muslims, Islam and the Islamicate. Critical Muslim Studies does not take Islam as only a spiritual tradition, or a civilization, but also as a possibility of a decolonial epistemic perspective that suggests contributions and responses to the problems facing humankind today. It offers an opportunity to interpret and understand Muslim phenomena in ways that does not reproduce Eurocentrism, Islamophobia or takfiri exclusivism.

The international Summer School, “Decolonizing Knowledge and Power,” is an undertaking that aims at enlarging the scope of the conversation (analysis and investigation) of the hidden agenda of modernity (that is, coloniality) in the sphere of knowledge and higher education.

See the video on the Granada Summer School

Indigenous Holocaust Memorial: Genocide Memorial Day

Our brothers and sisters of The Decolonial Thought Community in Mexico have taken up the concept of Genocide Memorial Day that is promoted by DIN. On October 12, 1492 Columbus the Criminal opened the doors of hell for the Indigenous people of the America. On October 12 they organize an event to commemorate the Indigenous Holocaust.

The Indigenous Holocaust Memorial is an event that seeks to show a dissent, a disagreement with the narratives of submission that justify colonialism. Almost two centuries after the national liberation struggles and the end of the colonial administrations, these discourses still stand and sometimes, without any dispute. For that reason, it is important for us to disrupt this continuity, not only because of objective rigour but above all because we start from an ethico-critical position.

Already in 1992, when the 500th anniversary of the misnamed “discovery” of America or “encounter” of two worlds was being celebrated, there was an intense intellectual debate about the pertinence of the word “encounter” because it concealed the violence behind the colonization process (which led to the elimination of approximately 60% of the Mesoamerican population during the 16th century) and the asymmetry of power between the components of the supposed hybrid or “mestizo” culture.

In our state, Tlaxcala, the issue is even more complex. We are heirs of a people, altepetl, that successfully resisted the expansionism of the triple alliance led by the Mexicas (Aztecs), and that did not miss the opportunity to establish an alliance with the European conquerors to free itself from such domination, which would undoubtedly brought some benefits after the fall of Aztec empire. However, this alliance was neither a peaceful process nor an easy consensus. There were, throughout all the process, tensions, such as the initial confrontations with the Spanish of which the Otomí people can give full faith; but in addition, there were those who disagreed with this alliance, perhaps the most symbolic example is Xīcohténcatl the young captain who was executed because of his dissent.

No one can judge the attempt of liberation of a people. However, afterwards, the Tlaxcala people joined the colonizing project of the Westerners and was a relative complice in the violence that it implied. It would take some time to understand that somehow, our people had participated in the construction of their new chains of oppression and material-cultural destruction, that is, the modern regimes of domination (Patriarchy/Racism/Capitalism) that appear in the context of the colonial encounter and will soon take on a global vocation shaping the modern world system.

For us, this event means the testimony of the presence of a critical ethos of Tlaxcala and an awareness that starts by denouncing the violence of human beings against human beings as well as a commitment to contribute to the destruction of the regimes of modern global domination. We therefore join in solidarity in the series of events called by the Decolonial  International Network(DIN) as: “Genocide Memorial Day”.

The meeting will be attended by Ahmed Uddin from the Islamic Human Rights Commission, a founding memberorganisation of DIN and initiator of the GMD.

 

The Decolonial Thought Community

 

 

Musical documentary The Uprising

Pravini Baboeram is an artist and activist of DIN in The Netherlands. She is creating art to contribute to social change. As an independent artist she has set up her own label Pravini Productions, that has produced 5 albums, 6 singles and 5 international tours. She is co-founder of action committee Holi is not a Houseparty, a campaign against cultural appropriation of the Hindu spring festival Holi, and initiator of the Anti-racism Voting Guide. In addition, she led the campaign Tetary Must Rise, a crowdfunding campaign for the replacement of the statue of colonizer Barnet Lyon by the Hindustani warrior of resistance Janey Tetary. Pravini also set up Indian History Month to celebrate stories and contributions of people from the Indian diaspora.

Now she produced a documentary about the social struggle in Europe.

The documentary is based on the album The Uprising, also written and produced by Pravini. The nine songs from the album act as a common thread in the film. In these songs, Pravini connects the fight against Blackface, the struggle for the recognition of colonial crimes committed by the Netherlands in Indonesia, the liberation movement for Palestine and the struggle in the political field for an inclusive society. The Uprising thus offers a unique view of the fight against racism in Europe through the eyes of people of color.

More info about The Uprising is available at: www.pravinimusic.com

View the trailer here: https://vimeo.com/329425921

The Uprising premiered in Pakhuis de Zwijger earlier this year and since then has been screened in various places within the Netherlands and abroad: Filmhuis Den Haag (The Hague, NL), Hiphophuis (Rotterdam, NL), Seminar on Reparations for Slavery and Colonization (Caracas , Venezuela), UCLA (Los Angeles, USA), UC Berkeley (Berkeley, USA), Centro Cultural de la Raza (San Diego, USA), Museum of African Diaspora (Smithsonian Affiliate, San Francisco, USA) and IWPS Convergence (Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, USA).

It has been selected for the international film festival DocuDonna, which takes place from October 25th until October 27th in Massa Marittima, Italy. The film festival focuses on female filmmakers and social justice issues.

In October Pravini will tour the UK, where various educational institutions and social organizations will screen the film. Afterwards she will continue her journey to Italy, where she will participate in the DocuDonna film festival for a screening of The Uprising.

The Uprising can also be seen in various places in the fall:

  • September 13th, 2019 in Studio / K, Amsterdam (NL)
  • September 23rd, 2019 at The Lighthouse Festival (The Hague University of Applied Sciences) in The Hague (NL)
  • October 14th, 2019 at Utrecht University (NL)
  • October 19th, 2019 at Islamic Human Rights Commission in London (UK)
  • October 21th, 2019 at the University of Sussex (UK)
  • October 22nd, 2019 at the University of Sunderland (UK)
  • October 23rd, 2019 at Impact Hub in Birmingham (UK)
  • October 26th, 2019 at DocuDonna film festival in Massa Marittima (Italy)
  • October 28th, 2019 at John Cabot University in Rome (Italy)
  • December 6th, 2019 at Hasselt University (Belgium)