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Subjects Archives: Race

An Open Letter from the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies to President Barack Obama on the Occasion of His Cairo Speech to the “Blacks” of the Twenty-first Century

June 2, 2009 Mr. President, The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) hopes that your speech to the Arab and Muslim worlds will contain practical steps to uphold your administration’s stated intention to seriously deal with the problems that have inflamed resentment and fostered a sense of humiliation among peoples, individuals, and ethnic and […]

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The Many Faces of Humanitarianism

  Humanism and Human Rights Who or what is the ‘human’ of human rights and the ‘humanity’ of humanitarianism?  The question sounds naïve, silly even.  Yet, important philosophical and ontological questions are involved.  If rights are given to beings on account of their humanity, ‘human’ nature with its needs, characteristics and desires is the normative […]

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Jasad

Jasad, the Body Unveiled

  “Fetishism: the Key to Sensuality”; “Is Cannibalism a New Religion?”; “Syrian Lingerie”; “I Am Gay, Therefore I Do Not Exist.” . . .  With such a table of contents, Jasad (“body” in Arabic), a Lebanese, Arabic-language, cultural quarterly “specializing in the art, literature, and science of the body,” might be mistaken for an unidentified […]

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Help Israeli Human Rights Activist Ezra Nawi

“Nawi is not a typical rights activist.  A member of Ta’ayush Arab-Jewish Partnership he is a Jewish Israeli of Iraqi descent who speaks fluent Arabic.  He is a gay man in his fifties and a plumber by trade.  Perhaps because he himself comes from the margins, he empathises with others who have been marginalised — […]

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Re-visiting Race and Class in “The Age of Obama”

  Remarks delivered at the Thomas Foley Institute, Washington State University,, Pullman, Washington, April 18, 2009 Recently appointed Attorney General Eric Holder, whose parents hail from the Barbados, aroused instant ire when he remarked last February 18 that the U.S. remains a “nation of cowards” for not talking enough about things racial.  But is this […]

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Humanitarian Blues

  Conor Foley, The Thin Blue Line: How Humanitarianism Went to War, Verso, 2008. All is not well within the world of humanitarian aid organisations.  In his new book, The Thin Blue Line, Conor Foley, an experienced aid worker, discusses many of the problems associated with the burgeoning relationship between contemporary aid organisations and recent […]

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Israel Forcefully Condemned at UN Conference against Racism

  The president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, attended the conference to condemn the Israeli government’s brutal and repressive policy against the Palestinians.  The European delegates walked out when he called the government of Israel “racist,” but the Latin Americans stayed.  The United States and eight other countries boycotted the event. The Israeli government’s stance against […]

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Israel Railways Accused of Racism over Sacked Arab Guards

A decision by Israel’s state-owned railway company to sack 150 Arab workers because they have not served in the army has been denounced as “unlawful” and “racist” this week by Arab legal and workers’ rights groups. The new policy, which applies to guards at train crossing points, is being implemented even though the country’s Arab […]

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Békés: A Matter of Inheritance

  Sitting in the shadow of an elegant carbet, feeling the trade wind, Roger de Jaham, age 60, lets his Creole accent lilt, talking about the blow that he recently suffered: “For the first time in my life, a man whom I greeted told me: ‘I don’t shake the hand of a béké.”  The man […]

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Human Rights Watch Goes to War

  The Middle East has always been a difficult challenge for Western human rights organizations, particularly those seeking influence or funding in the United States.  The pressure to go soft on US allies is in some respects reminiscent of Washington’s special pleading for Latin American terror regimes in the 1970s and 1980s.  In the case […]

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Ahmadinejad, Stand Up for Human Rights!

“Our community is expanding: MRZine viewers have increased in number, as have the readers of our editions published outside the United States and in languages other than English.  We sense a sharp increase in interest in our perspective and its history.   Many in our community have made use of the MR archive we put […]

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On Racism and Coexistence in Acre

  The recent incidents in Acre appeared to be spontaneous acts of racism and a threat to the “coexistence” between Arabs and Jews in the city.  But that is only if we take seriously the idealist notion of “coexistence” that some said prevailed in Acre.  If not, we are left with a reality where two […]

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