Colin Powell died on Monday at the age of 84. Born in New York City in 1937, he attended City College where he studied geology. Over the course of his high-ranking military and government career he formulated the Powell Doctrine and later became known for justifying the illegal Iraq War in 2003. In this interview, international relations scholar Richard Falk reflects on Powell’s life and the US reaction to his passing: including the relevance of identity politics, the question of moderation, his contribution to the horrors of Vietnam and Iraq, and US governmental hypocrisy in the wake of its January 2020 assassination of the comparable Iranian general, Qasem Soleimani.
Daniel Falcone: As the US media mourns the death of Colin Powell and regrets the passing of a “memorable and principled statesman,” can you comment on how the actual history competes with this memory and knowledge construction of this notable figure? Continue reading
I’ll Meet You There is Bilal’s third feature film after Josh and PHD film. Josh was released in Pakistan in 2012 at a time when Pakistani cinema was shakily climbing back up to its feet. We sat down with Bilal to find out more about the film and her experience as an independent filmmaker.
How did you come up with the idea of Bismil: I’ll Meet You There?
Bilal: Bismil: l’ll Meet You There is a story of inter-generational and international immigration conflict. It is a story of growth, it is also a story of what happens when we make choices to break ourselves from traditions. Continue reading
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Tagged cinema, feminism, film, independent film, Iram Parveen Bilal, Meet you there, pakistan
It was late one evening in 2017 when somewhere in the minds of Michael Fradley and his colleague Andrea Zerbini a light flickered on.
The two Oxford University archaeologists often found they worked better after hours, once the office had emptied and with no phone calls or emails to distract them.
Both specialists in the Middle East, the pair were two years into a project involving satellite imagery of Israel and the West Bank when they noticed something odd.
“From the start, we knew that there was a problem,” Dr Fradley said.
They were trying to access photos taken over Israel but noticed they were all blurry, and not high enough quality to make out any of the details on the ground they were looking for. Continue reading
At a time when many BJP state governments have passed or plan to pass so-called anti-conversion laws, his journey from Hinduism to Islam has given him a special insight in to the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment.
New Delhi: “I have hated Muslims most of my life and today I proudly call myself one,” says Siddharth, who assumed the name Shadab when he converted to Islam in 2012.
At a time when many BJP-ruled state governments have passed or plan to pass so-called anti-religious conversion laws, his journey from Hinduism to Islam has given him a special insight in to the rise in anti-Muslim sentiment.
He was a devoted Hindu who prayed at the temple every Tuesday and Saturday. He would offer obeisance to everything that the religion mandated, and recalls taking sweets to the temple to offer to the Gods. From to the Kshatriya caste, he says all festivals and traditions were celebrated in complete adherence to the Hindu customs prescribed by priests for their caste. Continue reading
What is the Muslim philosopher Averroes doing in the famous fresco “The School of Athens” of the Italian Renaissance painter Raphael? The painter brought together all thinkers and scientists that influenced the West. So, it’s no surprise that Plato and Aristotle are in the centre of this 16th century painting. More surprising is that two ‘Eastern’ persons are made part of the school: Zoroaster and Averroes. A similar surprise might occur to the readers of the Divina Commedia of Dante Alighieri. In this 14th century Renaissance masterpiece Dante gave his description of Heaven, Purgatory and Hell, with a special chapter on Limbo where good non-Christians were allowed to have a decent afterlife. In Limbo we not only find ancient Greeks and Romans, but also three Muslims: Averroes, Avicenna and Saladin.
The fact that two Renaissance masterpieces dealing with the fundaments of Western civilization are putting a Muslim in the centre of it, is odd to say the least. We learn that the Renaissance, Humanism and the Enlightenment were a purely European accomplishment. In this view, humanists like Petrarch would have found lost Greek and Roman manuscripts in old abbey libraries. This would have triggered the end of the Dark Middle Ages, the revaluation of men over the Church and critical thinking over dogmas. Continue reading
Australian special forces were allegedly involved in the murder of 39 Afghan civilians, in some cases executing prisoners to “blood” junior soldiers before inventing cover stories and planting weapons on corpses, a major report has found.
For more than four years, the Maj Gen Justice Paul Brereton has investigated allegations that a small group within the elite Special Air Services and commandos regiments killed and brutalised Afghan civilians, in some cases allegedly slitting throats, gloating about their actions, keeping kill counts, and photographing bodies with planted phones and weapons to justify their actions.
The findings of Brereton’s report, released on Thursday, are confronting and damning.
Brereton describes the special forces’ actions as “disgraceful and a profound betrayal” of the Australian Defence Force.
The report found Continue reading