All entries by this author

Lila Abu-Lughod on ‘Western’ Feminism *

Sep 2nd, 2006 | Filed by

Images of veiled women make it hard to think about the Muslim world without thinking about women.… Read the rest

It was all taken away from me

Sep 2nd, 2006 1:27 am | By

Johann Hari talks to the stand-up comic Shazia Mirza.

Shazia used to be a teacher in Tower Hamlets, where I live, and she would see Muslim girls rebelling against the chafing medieval codes of their fathers every day…Come 3.30 they put the hijab back on and they’re carted off to the mosque to rote-learn the Koran for three hours. They would come in the next day exhausted, having not done their homework, and they would say, ‘My parents say the Koran comes before homework.’” Shazia understands this better than most: her parents are, she says, “fanatics.” She was forbidden to leave the house throughout her teenage years except to go to school. “I’m a woman, and I couldn’t stand

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While the truth is putting its boots on

Sep 2nd, 2006 1:24 am | By

Eric Alterman looks at what happens when people don’t think truth matters.

It’s a truism that once an accusation is leveled, it’s impossible to erase entirely from the public memory. This is doubly true when it comes to the deceased, and doubly dangerous in our political world, in which debate is driven by cable news networks that show little interest in quaint questions involving what’s actually true…Given the fact that most casual news consumers cannot be expected to sift through competing claims of evidence and the like, the media’s disregard for traditional standards of verification is one of the right wing’s most potent weapons.

Alterman cites a story (originally based on a mistake) that I F Stone was a Soviet … Read the rest


Sep 1st, 2006 8:39 pm | By

Further update on Birmingham museum story. A commenter pointed out the statement by Artists Circle. It seems fairly reasonable, actually. Debatable, but reasonable – not a mere taboo-invocation or shut up woman incident.

The individual was concerned by an image entitled: ‘Waiting’ which showed a couple of male bystanders looking at a partially dressed woman lying on the ground. The information available regarding the picture read along the lines of ‘This photograph was taken at the bus point.’ There was no other contextual information accompanying the photograph[,] which caused further concern.

The museum also mentioned the lack of contextual information in its email to Andy Gilmour. Miah said in the Guardian article, however:

The partially dressed figure

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Johann Hari Talks to Shazia Mirza *

Sep 1st, 2006 | Filed by

‘I’m a woman, and I couldn’t stand the repression. I wanted to go swimming, do ballet, ride horses, tell jokes.’… Read the rest

Former Aide Notes Bush’s Lack of Curiosity *

Sep 1st, 2006 | Filed by

Bush’s information-processing abilities are under discussion.… Read the rest

Once a Lie is Out There, It Stays *

Sep 1st, 2006 | Filed by

Major media keep recirculating them; corrections are ignored.… Read the rest

At Al-Ahram: a Special Section on Mahfouz *

Sep 1st, 2006 | Filed by

Egypt has lost a towering figure in the world of literature.… Read the rest

New Rules on Homeopathic Claims in Effect in UK *

Sep 1st, 2006 | Filed by

Homoeopathic treatments will be able to list on labels what conditions they are supposed to treat. … Read the rest

Droning Bore on Little Atoms [download mp3] *

Sep 1st, 2006 | Filed by

Tedious windbag interviewed September 1.… Read the rest

That Book

Sep 1st, 2006 1:12 am | By


Dan at Muscular Liberals cites Why Truth.

Considering the response of some to what can only only be described as Hezbollah propaganda dressed up as reporting called to mind a passage in Ophelia Benson and Jeremy Stangroom’s “Why Truth Matters”, a great book I read whilst on my travels a couple of weeks ago.

Well – that’s pleasing, because I suppose that was the idea. That generally is the idea in books of the ‘let’s all try to think just a little bit carefully’ variety: the hope is that things will link up that way, so that the abundant examples of propaganda dressed up as reporting the world is blessed with will seem not like bizarre one-offs but … Read the rest

If you don’t like anything, just say

Sep 1st, 2006 1:09 am | By

Another museum caves.

A Bangladeshi-British photographer is complaining that her work has been censored by the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. A documentary work made in Bangladesh by Syra Miah and shown as part of the museum’s Art and Islam exhibitions was removed because it contained an image of a semi-naked woman.

Update: See these comments at Mediawatchwatch for more. A reader wrote to the museum, and the museum replied with a different take. It explains the decision, which sounds less loopy than the Guardian account did, and adds “The gallery discussed the matter with Syra Miah, and the photograph was
removed on 18 July with her full agreement. Our understanding following
these discussions was that Syra Miah said … Read the rest


Sep 1st, 2006 12:00 am | By

The Archive

The Interrogations ArchiveRead the rest

Emdad Rahman on the Real Tablighi Jamaat *

Aug 31st, 2006 | Filed by

It’s not political, not exclusive, not secretive, he says.… Read the rest

Photographer Not Pleased at Museum Censorship *

Aug 31st, 2006 | Filed by

Museum said it acted on a complaint from a member of Muslim arts group Artists Circle. … Read the rest

Concerns Over Forced Confession Cloud Release *

Aug 31st, 2006 | Filed by

News tempered by reports of supposed confession made to national media upon release.… Read the rest

Iranian Dissidents Don’t Want US Help *

Aug 31st, 2006 | Filed by

Iranian anger at US government dates back to overthrow of Mossadegh.… Read the rest

Globe and Mail on the Accusations *

Aug 31st, 2006 | Filed by

Part of the case against Jahanbegloo is his Woodrow Wilson fellowship, notes Mohamad Tavakoli.… Read the rest

Canadian Minister Welcomes Jahanbegloo Release *

Aug 31st, 2006 | Filed by

Canada made repeated concerted efforts to obtain consular access to Jahanbegloo.… Read the rest

Ramin Jahanbegloo is Out of Prison *

Aug 31st, 2006 | Filed by

Released on bail, perhaps to face trial on unknown charges.… Read the rest