Europe

In December 2009, the city of Genoa authorised the building of a mosque on a piece of land provided by local authorities. On 23 January, the Northern League organised a referendum for consultation at the city level, and allegedly, 99 percent of the 5,300 voters voted against allowing the new mosque. On 27 April, the spokesperson of the local Islamic community resigned after receiving threats from local citizens. (More…)

“I need someone who speaks Farsi.” Early one day at the Humans4Humanity community centre on Lesbos, the voice of the centre’s Syrian cofounder Rafat echoed through the main lobby.

I poked my head out from the grocery store. “Ali can do it,” I said. (More…)

The right would like to confine Jew-hatred to the Muslim ghetto, counting on the self-satisfied post-war view that in German society the problem of anti-Semitism has, with a few extremist remnants here and there, been dealt with. (More…)

Thanks to global media, it is easy to feel like one knows the world. Few regions evoke such a deceptive feeling of being ‘known’ to the Western observer as the Middle East. But in reality, what do Europeans know about the region’s histories, cultures, and accents? To this German, they all look kind of the same. It wasn’t so long ago that I couldn’t tell Alawites from Alevis. (More…)

“Muslims are the enemy,” the cab driver told me. “My parents grew up in Iraq. They learned firsthand that their middle name is jihad.” “When did your parents make Aliyah,” I asked him. “In the 1950s, as kids,” he answered. (More…)

Theresa May backed Donald Trump’s Syrian airstrikes out of weakness, not strength. But this is nothing new. The need to project strength goes to the heart of UK foreign policy since the end of empire. This is one of the symptoms of our post-imperial malaise. (More…)

“The Holocaust is so popular we had to commemorate it twice,” my father quipped, as we attended a Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day) event in Jerusalem with relatives visiting from the United States. One of them stared at my father with a look of shock and horror. (More…)

What happens when love and Marxism are at odds? That seems a very 20th Century question, one that used to be asked often. A comrade sacrificing love for the greater cause of revolution is a theme that does not inspire – or delude, take your choice – as it did once. (More…)

David Cameron secured his 2015 victory with a swing of 0.8% – not even the 3% he mustered in 2010 – which means that the slight blue majority (a mere 331 seats) might only just hold for one more election. It could easily be lost in 2020. (More…)

It’s not every day you see a demonstration in Parliament Square against Jeremy Corbyn. Let alone a march where you can find Chuka Umunna, Lord Norman Tebbit and Ian Paisley, Jr. presenting a united front against the Labour leader. What could possibly bring together Blairites and Ulster unionists? (More…)

Our language is insufficient in all kinds of ways. Mental health is one of those areas where we run out of words so quickly. What I find so frustrating is the lack of understanding from others and the barrier it raises to any kind of progress. (More…)

LUBLIN – Poland’s premier makes claims about “Jewish perpetrators” in the Holocaust; my government loses its honour by enforcing a law which bans free speech on Polish involvement in the Shoah; misogyny, homophobia, anti-abortion and anti-refugee sentiment are rampant here. (More…)