What’s foreign and Arab about Italy’s Eurovision entry?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 7, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


There is an element of farce about the bigotry on display at the highest levels of the Italian government with respect to a song by a half-Egyptian, half-Sardinian man named Alessandro Mahmoud. Mahmoud’s song “Soldi” (“Money”) won the Sanremo Music Festival contest in February. In its 68 years, Sanremo has launched the careers of some … Continue reading “What’s foreign and Arab about Italy’s Eurovision entry?”

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The Christmas story is told in the Quran

by Rashmee

Posted on December 24, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Far-right parties in the West often portray Islam as at war with Christianity. What gets lost in the white noise is a key fact: Jesus is an important figure for Muslims, too. The Quran explicitly makes mention of Jesus, one of 26 prophets named in the Muslim holy book. A Quranic passage referring to the … Continue reading “The Christmas story is told in the Quran”

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From spiritual harmony to the women’s movement, new narratives will emerge in 2018

by Rashmee

Posted on December 26, 2017 / The National


“Last year’s words belong to last year’s language,” wrote TS Eliot in the final poem of the set called Four Quartets. “And next year’s words await another voice.” The new year will, as it always does, bring out other voices. But will they be heard over the loud, angry cries of 2017? Is 2018 going … Continue reading “From spiritual harmony to the women’s movement, new narratives will emerge in 2018”

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Greece deals judiciously with Western Thrace sharia law, a relic of the Ottoman empire

by Rashmee

Posted on December 4, 2017


It’s been nearly three weeks since the prime minister of Greece announced his government was going to do away with an extraordinary bit of imperial baggage – sharia law – that governs Western Thrace on the land border with Turkey. This state of affairs is a hangover from the Ottoman empire, as The Economist recently … Continue reading “Greece deals judiciously with Western Thrace sharia law, a relic of the Ottoman empire”

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Trump’s Twitter guru rails at both migrants and Western-born children of migrants

by Rashmee

Posted on December 1, 2017


Now that the gloves are mostly off, why don’t Donald Trump, Ann Coulter and others like them just say it? ** The West is meant to be white ** The West is meant to be Christian ** Go “home” everyone who isn’t at least one, but preferably both On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on … Continue reading “Trump’s Twitter guru rails at both migrants and Western-born children of migrants”

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France might fear terrorism but why does it regard the burqini with trepidation?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 22, 2017


There’s terrorism and then there’s the burqini. Which does the French voter fear more? Does he/she conflate the two in the manner favoured by the far-right Front Nationale candidate Marine Le Pen? Back when the first all-candidate French presidential debate was held, there was all that talk about the burqini. As the BBC’s story put it … Continue reading “France might fear terrorism but why does it regard the burqini with trepidation?”

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Islam and Manuel Valls’ cultural battle for the heart and soul of France

by Rashmee

Posted on January 28, 2017


France’s Socialist Party presidential primary is tomorrow (Sunday, January 22) and it’s worth considering the effect of Europe’s perceived Islamification on one of its formerly leading contenders. I suppose Manuel Valls doesn’t matter much anymore, but still, this is fascinating. Back in the summer, the former French Prime Minister expressed an uncompromising view of Islam … Continue reading “Islam and Manuel Valls’ cultural battle for the heart and soul of France”

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Italy starts giving 18-year-olds free money: Counter-terrorism and the culture wars

by Rashmee

Posted on September 14, 2016


I kid you not. From tomorrow, September 15, the Italian government will give 575,000 young people who turn 18 this year €500 each. Just like that. They won’t see it as bank notes, of course, but it still comes to just under $600 or £428.28 per head. Quartz has calculated that the free money will … Continue reading “Italy starts giving 18-year-olds free money: Counter-terrorism and the culture wars”

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France vs France. Two views of burqini debate and what it might mean for the republic

by Rashmee

Posted on August 30, 2016


Dominique Moisi, a professor at L’Institut d’études politiques de Paris and senior adviser at the French Institute for International Affairs describes the support he has noticed among his fellow citizens for the burkini ban. “I myself was on a French beach recently – one where the burkini has not been officially banned – and watched … Continue reading “France vs France. Two views of burqini debate and what it might mean for the republic”

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Why did France stick with the hijab ban but found the one on burqinis hard-going?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 27, 2016


  You don’t have to be a lawyer to wonder why France made such a fuss about the headscarf (hijab) in public spaces 12 years ago but has thrown in the (beach towel) about the burqini ban. On Friday, its highest administrative court, the Conseil d’État, overturned the ban in one town in the south … Continue reading “Why did France stick with the hijab ban but found the one on burqinis hard-going?”

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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