No evidence pandemic is boosting xenophobia in Europe

by Rashmee

Posted on March 29, 2020 / The Arab Weekly


Post-coronavirus, both the left and the right may be increasingly in sync, albeit for different reasons. One might have thought the coronavirus pandemic would have been an instant and massive boost to xenophobia in Europe and this would be particularly true of Italy. For it is in Italy that the pandemic has taken its greatest … Continue reading “No evidence pandemic is boosting xenophobia in Europe”

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Europe does battle again with the demons of migration

by Rashmee

Posted on October 6, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


Direct investment in countries that produce the most migrants is a strategically smart idea. A new migration plan soon goes before EU ministers. It’s already been agreed to in principle by Finland, France, Germany, Italy and Malta, all of which said they would automatically accept an equitable share of migrants rescued at sea. German Interior … Continue reading “Europe does battle again with the demons of migration”

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Brexit could be solved using a political solution that’s made in Italy

by Rashmee

Posted on September 16, 2019


Sometimes, it takes guts and imagination to do a hard thing. That’s the takeaway from a suggestion recently put forward on how to stop Brexit, itself a deeply contentious issue, and by some accounts, one that is no longer desirable or viable. All that some of the more moderate anti-Brexiteers now want is a deal … Continue reading “Brexit could be solved using a political solution that’s made in Italy”

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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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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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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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With EU divided, Britain won’t need to ‘exit’

by Rashmee

Posted on March 16, 2019 / First Post


Before the Brexit referendum there was Viktor Orban. In 2014, two years before Britain voted narrowly to leave the European Union (EU), the Hungarian leader was pledging to turn his country into an “illiberal” democracy. In effect, Orban’s Hungary was exiting the EU in spirit, by fiat and without a referendum. As Brexit day, originally … Continue reading “With EU divided, Britain won’t need to ‘exit’”

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What South Korea’s reaction to Yemeni refugees really tells us

by Rashmee

Posted on July 13, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


It has taken less than a thousand refugees fleeing Yemen’s grinding three-year-old war for prosperous, seemingly globalised South Korea to revert to fiercely xenophobic notions of a country built upon “ethnic homogeneity” and “pure blood.” South Korea’s newly visible animus to Muslims and Arabs comes at an interesting point in the global conversation about uninvited … Continue reading “What South Korea’s reaction to Yemeni refugees really tells us”

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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