It’s worth reading why the half-Indian Marina Wheeler, Boris’s ex-wife, worries about Modi’s ‘New India’

by Rashmee

Posted on November 20, 2020


Marina Wheeler, barrister, former wife of Britain’s prime minister and the mother of four of Boris Johnson’s children, began a recent opinion piece with a reference to her Sikh mother. Dip Singh was displaced from Pakistan in 1947, Ms Wheeler noted. While writing a book about her mother’s forced journey to India, “the fathers of … Continue reading “It’s worth reading why the half-Indian Marina Wheeler, Boris’s ex-wife, worries about Modi’s ‘New India’”

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Early Muslims’ attitude to art and creative expression

by Rashmee

Posted on September 4, 2020


  In the beginning, there was art. Lots of it, in fact, in the secular space. Consider this. Within 30 years of Prophet Muhammad’s death in 632, there was abundant art for the secular space. The palaces and bathhouses of the Umayyads, the first Muslim dynasty (661-750), were rich with exuberant figural art. Three Umayyad … Continue reading “Early Muslims’ attitude to art and creative expression”

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Eid under lockdown: Art for the interminable now, the pandemic era

by Rashmee

Posted on May 25, 2020


  The painting made its way around the locked-down world’s usual, no-touch channels of communication. There was Twitter, of course, but also WhatsApp, where people forwarded a picture of the painting to each other as an Eid greeting. It seemed to capture the moment. Of nearly two billion Muslims in the world, it is only … Continue reading “Eid under lockdown: Art for the interminable now, the pandemic era”

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Dutch law on burqas reveals more than was intended

by Rashmee

Posted on August 2, 2019


The Netherlands is in a dither about burqas, niqabs and other face coverings. It’s banned them but doesn’t want to enforce the prohibition because there isn’t really a problem per se. Of the Netherlands’ 17 million people, only about 150 to 400 women wear burqas and niqabs, according to Annelies Moors, a professor of sociology … Continue reading “Dutch law on burqas reveals more than was intended”

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Corporate West embraces Ramadan but culturally it’s a work in progress

by Rashmee

Posted on May 5, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


A popular Washington restaurant signs on to a campaign to stay open longer or start serving meals two hours before dawn during Ramadan. British supermarkets run dozens of special Ramadan offers, not least Humza meat samosas and Haribo halal soft jelly bears. Ramadan chocolate calendars are for sale in the United States and the United … Continue reading “Corporate West embraces Ramadan but culturally it’s a work in progress”

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White nationalism is a global problem

by Rashmee

Posted on March 25, 2019 / The Arab Weekly


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the world’s response to the terrorist attack on two Christchurch mosques should not be “in terms of boundaries… I would make that a global call.” She is right. Ethno-nationalist terrorism is as global a problem as jihadism. Militant white nationalism and militant Islamism affect people across the planet — just … Continue reading “White nationalism is a global problem”

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Trump turns hate words into icons

by Rashmee

Posted on October 28, 2018 / The Arab Weekly


US President Donald Trump and his administration are playing an insidious word association game with the American people days before the midterm elections. “Criminals and unknown Middle Easterners,” Trump said of a migrant caravan heading towards the United States’ southern border. “Terrorists or suspected terrorists… Middle East region,” repeated US Vice-President Mike Pence when discussing … Continue reading “Trump turns hate words into icons”

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What to make of a migrant who doesn’t learn her new country’s language properly?

by Rashmee

Posted on June 25, 2018


Here’s a woman who came into a western country, worked, got naturalized, married, bore a child, and 22 years later, still speaks halting English, with a strong foreign accent. What’s her name? Magda? Maha? Mina? Mehbooba? Marium? Madeeha? Mallika? Actually, it’s Melania. Mrs Trump. The US First Lady. Had a Magda, Maha, Mina, Mehbooba, Marium … Continue reading “What to make of a migrant who doesn’t learn her new country’s language properly?”

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With John Bolton, Trump administration’s competence matches its malevolence

by Rashmee

Posted on March 24, 2018


  In January 2017, Benjamin Wittes, editor of Lawfare blog, created a memorable word template for the new Trump administration. Its malevolence, he wrote, is mitigated only by its incompetence. Mr Wittes was writing in the context of President Trump’s Executive Order on visas and refugees. It had been unveiled brashly, but with a decided … Continue reading “With John Bolton, Trump administration’s competence matches its malevolence”

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