Europe
The Syriza Effect

The Syriza Effect

It’s being called an earthquake. It’s being heralded by right-wing parties as a revolutionary mandate. And, in typically American terms, it’s being read as a ‘protest’ vote, that will evaporate when it comes time to return to national politics. However, there’s no arguing that the European Union elections, which took place May 22nd-26th, profoundly shook Europe’s political elites. More»

Juma Calling

Juma Calling

When I was a child, my mother used to blow on me gently after namaz. It was a folk custom meant to cleanse me of her transgressions, and protect me from the djinn. I did my Juma prayers at Berlin’s Türk Sehitlik mosque seeking that same type of maternal protection. More»

Fear of a Populist Europe

Fear of a Populist Europe

For weeks, the European press has been citing polls indicating that populist, anti-immigrant parties are poised to make major gains in EU parliamentary elections starting May 22nd. If the predictions turn out to be true, the far-right expects to take approximately 15 per cent of seats in Parliament. This is almost double their showing in the 2009 elections, and includes parties ranging from UKIP to Golden Dawn. More»

The UKIP Muslim

The UKIP Muslim

UKIP Daily contributor Byron Sanford has written a revealing article called “Moderate Muslims Must Vote for UKIP.” Admittedly, I knew it would be offensive from the outset. After all, Sanford wrote a piece a few weeks ago that called halal Subway sandwiches “an affront to the common man.”  More»

Hassled by Neo-Nazis

Hassled by Neo-Nazis

I was harassed by neo-Nazis in Görlitzer Park. It was the night before an NPD rally in Berlin, and I was in the center of a large group of suburbanites who were dancing to techno, and looking at me strangely. More»

Bundestag and Knesset

Bundestag and Knesset

On a visit to Israel in 2008, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke before the Knesset. “The historical responsibility for Israel’s security is part of Germany’s raison d’être,” she said. During her most recent visit, in February, on which she was accompanied by nearly her entire cabinet, Merkel was awarded Israel’s highest civilian honor for “standing by Israel” and fighting against anti-Semitism and racism. More»

Rise of Javid

Rise of Javid

David Cameron’s Tories have become enamored with the British-Pakistani banker Sajid Javid. The danger of this cannot be understated. Unlike Cameron’s other token efforts, like Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Javid actually has a chance of being successful. More»

Austerity Rising

Austerity Rising

The broad European response to the economic downturn of the last few years has been various programmes of economic austerity: reductions of national expenditure through intense budget cuts. History shows that this is a risky tactic. Policies like this played an important role in aiding the Nazis’ rise to power at the end of the Weimar Republic More»

Treatises of Fascism

Treatises of Fascism

If we are to maintain our vigilance in the face of the possibility of the return of fascism, it is important to understand some of the structural causes that facilitated its and allowed it to gain such a hold of the populations in continental Europe.  One of these is philosophical, and another is simply how it spreads as an ideology. More»

Putin's Wager

Putin’s Wager

Since the invasion of Crimea, Putin’s popularity has soared. The results of the Crimean referendum were obviously welcomed in Russia. Putin gave a speech the next day, proclaiming that the languages of Russians, Ukrainians, and Crimean Tatars, would now be recognised. These events have been interpreted in the West as an illegitimate annexation.  More»

Framing Putin

Framing Putin

Seeking rationality in punditry on foreign policy is a fool’s errand in the best of times. Bombastic statements and ideological polemics are the rule of the field. But when the United States and European Union are facing off against Russia, it is worthwhile to demand some clarity and, yes, even honesty. These have been in short supply on both sides. More»

Tatar State of Mind

Tatar State of Mind

“Oh that? It is complicated, you know?” Cemal Bey was not talking about his çibörek, which is cause enough for savory surprise. Customers in his small restaurant in Çanakkale can expect a treatise on the food if he opens his mouth. Of course, there is more to Tatar culture than çibörek. We discussed the referendum in his homeland of Crimea. More»