taliban and islamism

A friend of mine, living in North Africa and a hajji himself, sent me a reaction.  The Taliban have learnt a few things, he wrote; they will now deceive more skilfully than before. They might grant some rights to women, should they be interested in the recognition of their Islamic emirate by the US – but I think they really don’t care. And make no mistake, the Taliban’s victory is a victory for the whole Islamist Muslim world, just like when they all stood behind Saddam Hussein when he bawled against the US. Every single fact that might humiliate the US or the Western world, is perceived as a victory. That’s the game Erdogan’s playing, and that the Taliban will be playing. In addition, next year it will be a hundred years since the fall of the last caliphate, the Ottoman empire. It’s hard to imagine a more symbolic restart.

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etnische studies

Hoe moeilijk kan het zijn onderwijs aan te bieden dat inhoudelijk recht doet aan de diversiteit van de leerlingen/studenten/scholieren voor wie het bedoeld is? Behoorlijk moeilijk, zo blijkt soms.


Hoe ingewikkeld deze dekolonisering van het onderwijs zelfs in de bakermat ervan ligt, blijkt uit recente verwikkelingen in California. Daar proberen namelijk allerlei verschillende belangengroepen, die alle menen een onderdrukte (etnische) minderheid te vertegenwoordigen, gezichtspunten van anderen uit het curriculum te verwijderen.

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In so many different languages people say AMEN to conclude a prayer or to confirm what has just been stated. ‘That’s how it will be, full stop, amen, finished!’ US Representative Emanuel Cleaver (Dem.) however has recently discovered a new connotation in this centuries old term: it is an offence against gender neutrality. Last Sunday,…

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A long goodbye

Jan Blommaert is saying farewell to life. And as far as his public life is concerned, he does so in the way people have got to know him: astute, critical and engaged in the world around him, but not without questioning his own position in it. Jan Blommaert has always been an inspiring researcher and…

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Police et pandémie

Amnesty International vient de publier un rapport de 39 pages sous le titre Police et pandémie – les mesures prises en Europe pour faire face à la pandémie de covid-19 ont donné lieu à des violations des droits humains. Dans l’introduction on lit : Le 11 mars 2020, l’Organisation mondiale de la santé (OMS) a qualifié…

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