What to make of a migrant who doesn’t learn her new country’s language properly?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 25, 2018


Here’s a woman who came into a western country, worked, got naturalized, married, bore a child, and 22 years later, still speaks halting English, with a strong foreign accent. What’s her name? Magda? Maha? Mina? Mehbooba? Marium? Madeeha? Mallika? Actually, it’s Melania. Mrs Trump. The US First Lady. Had a Magda, Maha, Mina, Mehbooba, Marium … Continue reading “What to make of a migrant who doesn’t learn her new country’s language properly?”

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With John Bolton, Trump administration’s competence matches its malevolence

by Rashmee

Posted on March 24, 2018


  In January 2017, Benjamin Wittes, editor of Lawfare blog, created a memorable word template for the new Trump administration. Its malevolence, he wrote, is mitigated only by its incompetence. Mr Wittes was writing in the context of President Trump’s Executive Order on visas and refugees. It had been unveiled brashly, but with a decided … Continue reading “With John Bolton, Trump administration’s competence matches its malevolence”

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In Galileo’s Padua, ‘fake news’ flourishes just as his heresy charges once did

by Rashmee

Posted on March 3, 2018


If they think of Padua at all most people would remember Galileo Galilei. The Italian heliocentrist was a lecturer at the University of Padua. But Padua featured in “fake news” stories that circulated in Italy ahead of the March 4 general election. One of the stories featured a nine-year-old Muslim girl in Padua who was … Continue reading “In Galileo’s Padua, ‘fake news’ flourishes just as his heresy charges once did”

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Is Trump’s travel ban 3.0 not about Muslims anymore?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 1, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Technically, it’s no longer possible to call US President Donald Trump’s new list of travel-restricted countries a “Muslim ban.” North Korea and Venezuela, two of the eight names on Trump’s week-old proclamation, are non-Muslim. Muslim-majority Sudan has been dropped from the list. Iraqi nationals are no longer banned outright from entering the United States but … Continue reading “Is Trump’s travel ban 3.0 not about Muslims anymore?”

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Who, on this list, has Donald Trump failed to insult?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 28, 2017


Axios has a great listing. Which of the following groups has President Donald Trump not offended or attacked either as a candidate or in office? ** Women ** Establishment Republicans ** Journalists (“sick people … thieves and crooks”) ** Pollsters ** NFL players ** NBA players ** Gold Star parents ** POWs (Senator John McCain) ** The … Continue reading “Who, on this list, has Donald Trump failed to insult?”

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The Rohingyas are the new Palestinians, says Foreign Policy. Is that true for US Muslims?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 27, 2017


Last week, I asked ‘Are the Rohingyas the New Palestinians?’ This week, Foreign Policy says they are. Definitively. The piece, by Dr Craig Considine of the Sociology Department at Rice University, notes that the plight of the Rohingya is a rare moment of global unity for Muslim countries. Dr Considine is writing a book titled … Continue reading “The Rohingyas are the new Palestinians, says Foreign Policy. Is that true for US Muslims?”

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Could Rohingya crisis set off faith-based conflicts in South Asia? That’s what Bimal Ghosh fears

by Rashmee

Posted on September 19, 2017


Only the short-sighted or the credulous would be persuaded by Aung San Suu Kyi’s extraordinary response to the Rohingya exodus from Myanmar. Ms Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s State Counselor and de facto leader, said on Tuesday, that her country “does not fear international scrutiny”. She added that her democratically elected government was yet to find out … Continue reading “Could Rohingya crisis set off faith-based conflicts in South Asia? That’s what Bimal Ghosh fears”

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Are the Rohingyas the new Palestinians?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 17, 2017 / The Arab Weekly


Are the Rohingyas the new Palestin­ians? They share the following descriptors: The disinherited, the dispossessed and the damned. And the world has begun to use the same adjectives for both groups. For example, UN Secretary- General Antonio Guterres this week called the Rohingyas’ plight a “tragedy.” In August, he described the Palestinian situation as “tragic.” … Continue reading “Are the Rohingyas the new Palestinians?”

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Trump administration’s newest travel ban: not on people per se but their laptops!

by Rashmee

Posted on March 22, 2017


This blog was written within an hour of the news breaking on Tue, March 21. In substance though, many of the issues raised remain just as valid and the questions continue to puzzle the experts Imagine you’re an American journalist based in Abu Dhabi and you’re flying home at the weekend. Before you get on … Continue reading “Trump administration’s newest travel ban: not on people per se but their laptops!”

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Belgium’s idea of the Islamicate world laid bare at one of its most important museums

by Rashmee

Posted on February 27, 2017


At the Cinquantenaire Museum in Brussels, one of Europe’s largest, there is a beautiful if dispiriting exhibition of the treasures from the Islamicate world. The term Islamicate, of course, refers to regions in which Muslims live, often in a dominant way. Islamicate does not, however, specifically mean anything to do with Islam, the religion. Anyway, … Continue reading “Belgium’s idea of the Islamicate world laid bare at one of its most important museums”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, UK and US