The third wave of bloodshed in France is not really about Islam but lone wolf criminality

by Rashmee

Posted on October 30, 2020


11 Mar 2004  Spain Madrid train bombings 193 killed, 2,050 injured[69] Al-Qaeda 7 Jul 2005  UK 2005 London bombings 56 killed, (inc. 4 perps.), 784 injured[70] Al-Qaeda 7–9 Jan 2015  France January 2015 Île-de-France attacks 20 killed (inc. 3 perps.), 22 injured[73] Al-Qaeda 13 Nov 2015  France November 2015 Paris attacks 138 killed (inc. 7 perps.), 413 injured[75][76] Islamic State 22 … Continue reading “The third wave of bloodshed in France is not really about Islam but lone wolf criminality”

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From America to Saudi Arabia, textual sacralisation induces a unique fervour

by Rashmee

Posted on October 25, 2020


  Just how sacralised has the American constitution become? Very. It would not be inaccurate to say it has become a secular religion, inspiring the same sort of fervour as a revealed religious text such as the Quran. In fact, exactly that sort of fervour, a righteous rage over the defence of something that’s considered … Continue reading “From America to Saudi Arabia, textual sacralisation induces a unique fervour”

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Like Trump, the 7th century Byzantine Empire invoked God

by Rashmee

Posted on October 9, 2020


Somewhat like Donald Trump, who was recently moved to discern the hand of God in Covid-19 therapeutic treatments, the seventh century Byzantine Empire constantly invoked God. Harried by the Arabs from across their shared border, the Byzantines were intensely conscious of the force of divine intercession. This started before the Arab invasions. In the first … Continue reading “Like Trump, the 7th century Byzantine Empire invoked God”

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Donald Trump is doing God. Today’s America is quite like 7th century Byzantium

by Rashmee

Posted on October 8, 2020


On October 7, President Donald Trump said his coronavirus infection was a “blessing from God”, presumably because it enableth him to bring the world news of an unproven antibody cocktail being developed by the drug maker Regeneron. Mr Trump has already released his videotaped musings on Covid-19 therapeutic treatments, describing them as akin to “miracles … Continue reading “Donald Trump is doing God. Today’s America is quite like 7th century Byzantium”

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Back to the culture wars then

by Rashmee

Posted on September 14, 2020


The gains from the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement were many. It proved to be a great investment for the Arabs. Not only did they create a vibrant environment of intellectual enquiry, they were able to use their very appetite for Hellenic knowledge as a cultural cudgel against their rivals next door, the Christian Byzantines. Interestingly, Muslim … Continue reading “Back to the culture wars then”

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What was the logic of the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 13, 2020


Why did the second Abbasid Caliph Al Mansur (r.754-775) initiate the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement? He was no scholar but there was a very particular reason to lay claim to the fruits of Hellenic thinking. Al Mansur had an interest in astrology and may have been keen to form a dynastic ideology. This was to be … Continue reading “What was the logic of the Greek-to-Arabic translation movement?”

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The Greek-to-Arabic translation movement: no expense spared

by Rashmee

Posted on September 12, 2020


The 200-year-old Greek-to-Arabic translation movement begun by the Abbasid Caliph Al Mansur (r.754-775) has no equivalent in world history. Never before and never since has one culture tried to import the knowledge of another in so sustained a manner as the Arabs did with Hellenic thought. It was an expensive business too, creating its own … Continue reading “The Greek-to-Arabic translation movement: no expense spared”

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Culture wars and cultural gaps: the Hellenic equation

by Rashmee

Posted on September 11, 2020


The culture wars between the Muslims and the Byzantines had decided effects. Often, they left the Byzantines feeling small and with the sense that they were late-starters. Consider this interesting story recounted by British archaeologist and academic of Late Antiquity Judith Herrin. The Byzantines were trying to brush up on their knowledge of math and … Continue reading “Culture wars and cultural gaps: the Hellenic equation”

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Don’t despair over the culture wars. They’re benign compared to 8th and 9th centuries

by Rashmee

Posted on September 10, 2020


Not too long ago, British sociologist Frank Furedi wrote a piece on the culture wars in the US and UK. He asserted that the culture war was historically “set in motion in Western societies by a powerful impulse to detach the present from the past, which emerged at the turn of the 20th century”. He … Continue reading “Don’t despair over the culture wars. They’re benign compared to 8th and 9th centuries”

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Why Muslim opinion started to tend towards aniconism

by Rashmee

Posted on September 7, 2020


The tendency towards aniconism and the erasure of the secular-religious distinction is a bit of a conundrum. Some scholars posit that it was part of a trend from before the rise of Islam. Indeed, even in the 6th century, before the coming of Islam, there was already starting to be a drift away from representational … Continue reading “Why Muslim opinion started to tend towards aniconism”

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