Xenophobia is stock-in-trade of Europe’s far right

by Rashmee

Posted on March 1, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Until very recently, the threat posed by white supremacists was underestimated in Germany and across much of the Western world. It speaks to the tension of the moment that, when a car was driven into a crowd of people at a carnival parade in the small German town of Volkmarsen, the first thought was of … Continue reading “Xenophobia is stock-in-trade of Europe’s far right”

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Here’s how to re-make our world. First, find that visionary leader…

by Rashmee

Posted on June 21, 2019


Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz recently diagnosed neoliberalism as a spectacular failure. The free-market agenda, of the past 40 years hasn’t worked, he said. Low taxes, deregulation, and cuts to social programmes haven’t been conducive to human wellbeing. It’s clear that something else is needed. What comes next, asked Professor Stiglitz. What indeed? Did the US … Continue reading “Here’s how to re-make our world. First, find that visionary leader…”

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Europe just got less predictable

by Rashmee

Posted on May 31, 2019 / First Post


The Centre-right and centre-left took a beating in the EU elections. What else is in store? Europe has voted for its shared 751-seat parliament and contrary to the hype, there was no European revolution. The far-right did not take charge. Euroscepticism did not triumph. In fact, voter turnout surged to a 20-year high and the 28-country … Continue reading “Europe just got less predictable”

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A legitimating moment for European bigotry?

by Rashmee

Posted on May 19, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Opinion polls indicate a surge in support for the far right ahead of the elections, which could make it the second largest force in the European Parliament with up to 35% of all seats. The legitimating moment for European bigotry occurred when Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban was received by US President Donald Trump at … Continue reading “A legitimating moment for European bigotry?”

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A clutch of crucial elections this month, not least in the three I’s

by Rashmee

Posted on April 10, 2019


Lots of elections are coming up. The three I’s – Israel, India and Indonesia. As well as Finland, Spain and Ukraine. April’s calendar is pretty crammed. First off was, Israel on April 9. It’s fair to say that ahead of the vote, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had the polling momentum. He also enjoyed the status … Continue reading “A clutch of crucial elections this month, not least in the three I’s”

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A tale of two protests

by Rashmee

Posted on December 20, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


What happened in Brussels and Budapest on December 18 was about immigration and its real or imagined consequences. The portents of events in Budapest should dismay everyone, including Hungary’s strongman Viktor Orban. In Brussels, 5,000 right-wing protesters took to the streets in protest of the government’s decision to sign the platitudinous, non-binding and wholly unenforceable … Continue reading “A tale of two protests”

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Concidisti populos nasum tuum. Brazil’s Bolsonaro spitefully cuts off his (& the poor’s) nose

by Rashmee

Posted on November 16, 2018


Is there anything more silly than Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro provoking Cuba to withdraw its 11,420 doctors from Brazil? Is there anything quite as callous? Those doctors work in some of Brazil’s poorest and most remote regions. They’re generally regarded as rather a good thing, being part of Cuba’s robust (and free to its citizens) … Continue reading “Concidisti populos nasum tuum. Brazil’s Bolsonaro spitefully cuts off his (& the poor’s) nose”

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Is Tarek al-Wazir a face of Germany?

by Rashmee

Posted on November 4, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


Could a single German regional election be a hopeful template for tomorrow? Perhaps. Consider this. Hesse, Germany’s most prosperous region, voted October 28 amid election posters emblazoned with “Tarek statt GroKo,” which translates as “Tarek instead of GroKo.” The GroKo reference was to Germany’s fractious, federal grand coalition made up of the traditional parties of … Continue reading “Is Tarek al-Wazir a face of Germany?”

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Message from Bavaria: Peak alt-right?

by Rashmee

Posted on October 21, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


If there’s a lesson from Germany’s regional election in Bavaria, it is about foolish choices in political fashion. If a centrist party appropriates the style of the far right, the new silhouette may end up looking absurd, false and opportunistic. That’s what happened October 14 with the Christian Social Union (CSU) in Bavaria. It tried … Continue reading “Message from Bavaria: Peak alt-right?”

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Like Sweden, Finland has its Muslim-bashing populists

by Rashmee

Posted on September 16, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


The rise of the far-right Sweden Democrats, who are hostile to Muslims and migrants, is mirrored in Finland, Sweden’s neighbour to the east. Finland, too, has an authentically populist political party with a nasty message for immigrants of non-European, non-Christian heritage. Like Swedes, Finns have elections on their minds. Finnish voters will go to the … Continue reading “Like Sweden, Finland has its Muslim-bashing populists”

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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