This week's editor

Mariam Ali

Mariam Ali is Associate Editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Relocation of Tel Afar Turkmen to Najaf

The relocation of Tel Afar's Turkmen will provide them with immediate safety, but may have long-term consequences both for them as an ethnic group and for Iraqi demographics.

On Roma murders in Hungary

Why did the police not take the investigation seriously at first? Why did the political elite need six victims to admit that these people were murdered because of their Roma identity, to acknowledge the neo-Nazi terrorist nature of their acts?

‘Tit for tat’ extremism and the rise of far right anti-Muslim movements in the UK

Visibly Muslim females were the subject of anti-Muslim hate and elderly Muslim men and women going about their daily business have also been subjected to fear, intimidation and abuse.

News credibility in an age of stakeholder media

Are reporters mere adjuncts of power and spies? That is how ISIS treated the martyred journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. To this day, the failure of the American news industry to expose the Bush administration’s WMD myths before the invasion of Iraq is thrown in our faces.

How polar extremisms fuel and support each other

Groups hold similar roots of discontent, such as poverty, discrimination and the sense of values under threat, but manifest these sentiments in an array of diverse extremist ideologies with highly varied targeted ‘Others’.

The challenge of conspiracy theories – how to enhance critical thinking against the critical thinkers?

Conspiracy theories are extremely helpful for leaders provoking violent conflicts. They simplify the world, victimise the ingroup, diabolise the enemy, and give justification for violence.

To fight extremism we need more Islamisms, not less

As with most other societies that have forced Islamism underground, today’s British fighters in Iraq and Syria were in all likelihood unconvinced by the quietism of Britain’s religious scholars.

Beyond hate: a call to explore the emotions of anti-minority protest

Activists’ initial involvement with the EDL was often associated with feelings of anger and outrage, but also with feelings of excitement and with feelings of possibility. 

Islamists without a book

Most doctrines, political or religious, are embodied in sacred texts that act as guide and inspiration to their followers. Modern Islamists are significantly different.

In defence of liberalism 1: on historical critiques

Were more on the Left capable of reading liberal philosophy without foaming at the mouth, they’d realise that – actually – it’s perfectly possible to argue their case within the fundamentals of liberalism.

Overlooked and underrated: women in right-wing extremist groups in Germany

Right-wing extremism continues to be perceived by mainstream media and statutory organizations as a predominantly “male problem” since the stereotypical view regards white women as non-violent, peaceful, loving and caring individuals. This is highly misleading. 

Far-right violence in Greece: an effective response

More democracy and power to the people is a good starting point. Democracy is not weak or defenseless in Greece and freedom of thought and ideology are the essence of democracy.

Rehabilitating perpetrators of violent extremism and hate crime: the importance of gender-based approaches and the limits of online interventions

Counter-messaging and counter-arguing is invaluable for the resilience of our societies, but often does not have the intended impact on the target group, since arguing only strengthens their radicalisation. So what should we do?

‘An Honourable Woman’: an argument in two parts on how to judge a political drama

Diane Langford is angered by a BBC2 drama that purports to reflect the political realities in the Arab/Israeli conflict, yet in its “even-handedness” inescapably misrepresents the issues. But perhaps we are being told: don’t take all this plot stuff too seriously – I am writing drama, not history or current affairs. 

The new wave of counter-terrorism

The FREE Initiative aims to prevent and counter far-right extremism across Europe by creating a platform for individual activists, organisations, government officials and others to learn from one another.

The twilight of neoliberalism: can popular struggles create new worlds from below?

If the ideologists of neoliberalism want to present it as the natural order of humanity, a more sober historical assessment points out that it has lasted about as long as Keynesianism did before it – a few decades.

Introducing this week’s theme: Confronting Europe’s problem with far-right violence

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This week's guest theme addresses a violent issue which has often been overlooked in Europe. Far-right extremism is often relegated to a second tier security threat due to the tendency to see these groups as irrelevant to inquiries into national security and terrorism. But we should be wary of this.

Beyond armistice: women searching for an enduring peace

Women peace activists meeting in Zurich in 1919 understood the capitalist system of profit and privilege as a root cause of war. Women said it then, and say it now, as they tackle the perennial question facing all peace-seekers: what policies can assure a peace that will endure?

Film review: the architecture of violence

The Architecture of Violence, part of AJE's Rebel Architecture series, explores the use of architecture as a central component of the Israeli occupation of Palestine, focusing on the work of Eyal Weizman.

'Hasbara': an exercise in the impossible

Israel has constructed a systematic policy of propaganda, 'hasbara', that depends on its citizens - the extension and 'mouthpiece' of the state - to act as its voice. But this rationalisation of Israeli policy rests on shaky foundations.

Israel's security after Gaza

Israel's military forces have embraced new tactics, weaponry and a network-centric strategy. But the latest conflict in Gaza leaves the country's security problems as intractable as ever.

Will Turkey’s centre-left dare to reform itself?

The problem is that the Republican People's Party (Turkey's centre-left main political party) remains torn between the supporters of a European-style social democracy and those of a die-hard Kemalism. 

Turkish-Kurdish peace: has the hour come?

Could Kurdish voices become part of the political mainstream in Turkey; and could the PKK have its status as “terrorist” removed? 

Iraqi refugees from Mosul seek a home away from home

Nikita Malik

Christian families who have the means have managed to escape the Islamic State in Mosul for Jordan, which has provided a transit point, but where to next for Iraqi Christians?

“Expressing concern”: India’s balancing act on Gaza

India has moderated its position on the Israel-Palestine conflict over time, exchanging statements of condemnation for those “expressing concern”. But behind India’s strategic balancing act there also lies a precise domestic calculus.

Quakers urge recognition of Palestine

A statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict made by Quakers in Britain at their Yearly Meeting in Bath, 8 August 2014.

Time to celebrate?

While many, the international community included, will breath a sigh of relief that the hostilities that have plagued Gaza for the last 50 days have finally ended another battle has just begun.

In praise of family existentialism

Two enraged, thrilling epics of the everyday make the reader the equivalent of the algorithm, seeking patterns amidst the mess, but accepting that there's no causal grand theory. A review.

A new kind of freedom born in terror

The revolution which has been taking place across Rojava (literally, ‘Western Kurdistan’), where three cantons were set up in January this year, has a grassroots democratic model.

Authoritarianism on the rise: the War on Drugs and Mexican democracy

With no end in sight for the War on Drugs, the Mexican government will only further restrict civil liberties and endow the military with unchecked powers. The collapse of liberal democratic values heralds yet another age of authoritarianism.

Challenging the refugee 'burden'

Refugees are often labeled a 'burden' by their host countries. This label is inaccurate and misleading. We must bring to light the benefits of refugees to their host communities.

Collective memory, collective trauma, collective hatred

Trauma runs through the narratives of both Israelis and Palestinians in the form of the Holocaust and the Nakba. But in order to rationalize their moral superiority, both sides actively deny the other’s suffering.

The Governorate of Homs: the Islamic State’s new fiefdom?

The Islamic State (IS), has been able to assert its dominance over wide areas of Iraq and Syria. The Province of Homs is particularly interesting, because the IS is expanding there, but has been unable to establish its authority over all rebel forces. 

The World Bank in the OPT

The World Bank’s relationship to occupied Palestine is an unusual one, and one that has not been particularly effective in terms of its stated goals. This is partly due to limitations of its mandate and of the ‘development for peace’ paradigm.

Dishonourable tv fiction: ‘The Honourable Woman’, BBC 2

The risible notion of balance, a smokescreen for privileging the Zionist narrative, has been taken to extremes in the BBC’s treatment.

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