The white jihadist peril is with us

by Rashmee

Posted on August 17, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


White nationalism is seen to be validated by the rhetoric of powerful politicians, not least the US president, Hungary’s prime minister and Italy’s deputy prime minister. After the thwarted gun attack August 10 on a mosque in Norway, an American cartoon from a few days earlier seems acutely perceptive and seriously unfunny. “Can you step … Continue reading “The white jihadist peril is with us”

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Is ever closer European union unwittingly making populism more popular?

by Rashmee

Posted on August 2, 2019


It’s not always possible to agree with Yanis Varoufakis, a former finance minister of Greece. In early 2015, Mr Varoufakis’s combative stance towards the European Union (and leather jacket) seemed to symbolise Athens’ defiant mood towards Europe-wide fiscal discipline. Even so, there is some reason to pay attention to Mr Varoufakis’s words and opinions in … Continue reading “Is ever closer European union unwittingly making populism more popular?”

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Does migration herald the demise of the liberal idea?

by Rashmee

Posted on July 7, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Everywhere, the inoffensive liberal message is portrayed as a mortal threat to the greater common good. A German ship’s female captain was briefly detained in Italy for docking in an Italian port with a boat carrying migrants rescued off Zawiya, Libya. Was the captain a dangerous liberal? Was she pursuing an obsolete ideology that places … Continue reading “Does migration herald the demise of the liberal idea?”

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Is the son-of-the-soil theory to now extend to music? And food?

by Rashmee

Posted on April 15, 2019


There was an element of farce about the bigotry recently 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. I’ve written about this in the paper, but for those who missed it, here’s a brief re-cap. Mr Mahmoud’s song ‘Money’, won … Continue reading “Is the son-of-the-soil theory to now extend to music? And food?”

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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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China brings its Belt and Road Initiative to Italy, paving the way for the Xin World Order

by Rashmee

Posted on March 26, 2019 / The National


As the US turns in on itself, China is increasingly enthusiastic about engaging with and investing in the wider world Once upon a time, the port city of Trieste represented a solution of sorts for territorial disputes between countries. Young Indians, for instance, learnt in political science classes about it as a possible model for Kashmir. … Continue reading “China brings its Belt and Road Initiative to Italy, paving the way for the Xin World Order”

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Anti-vaxxism can kill us all

by Rashmee

Posted on September 24, 2018


Smallpox has been eradicated by vaccines, saving approximately five million lives annually but try telling that to Italy’s macho government. The anti-establishment Five Star Movement and its coalition partner, the League, plans to undo Italy’s vaccine law, which makes it mandatory for children to be vaccinated. Already, as schools reopen, the government has allowed children … Continue reading “Anti-vaxxism can kill us all”

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Ever noticed how democracy is described as if it equals justice and virtue?

by Rashmee

Posted on September 22, 2018


  The other day a prominent columnist for an American newspaper bewailed “our current democratic travails” and urged that we “be stubborn about the sacredness of truth.” By travails, he meant the usual: ** “illiberal democracy” in Poland and Hungary. ** America’s Louis IV or the I-am-the-state presidency of Donald Trump. ** Bigots winning elections … Continue reading “Ever noticed how democracy is described as if it equals justice and virtue?”

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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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Italy has fewer migrants now but hateful Trumpian echoes resound

by Rashmee

Posted on February 11, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


By every calculation, Italy’s election in early March will settle nothing. The country may or may not end up with a government straight off after the vote. It could be the populist Five Star Movement or a centre-right coalition composed of the Forza Italia, the Northern League and the Brothers of Italy. However, having a … Continue reading “Italy has fewer migrants now but hateful Trumpian echoes resound”

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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