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SACW - 18 Jan. 2012 | EU ban film on Afghan Custom / Pakistan: Democracy at risk / Remembering Manto / Bangladesh: Arrest for owning a Taslima Nasreen book / India: Damn hurt sentiment. Long live blasphemy! / Arab world: Rise of democracy or religious fundamentalism / Banned Books Mexican American Studies Curriculum

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  • Harsh Kapoor
    South Asia Citizens Wire - 18 January 2012 - No. 2730 ====================================== Contents: 1. Afghanistan: Crimes against women in the name of
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      South Asia Citizens Wire - 18 January 2012 - No. 2730

      ======================================
      Contents:

      1. Afghanistan: Crimes against women in the name of custom: Hypocrisy of European Union officials (NYT article)
      2. Pakistan: Concern for Pakistan democratic process, safety of human rights defenders
      3. India - Pakistan: Remembering Saadat Hasan Manto (1912-1955) (Tariq Ali)
      4. Border paranoia: Deepening the Pak-India divide (Pervez Hoodbhoy)
      5. Bangladesh: Statement by Rights activists against arrest for owning a book by Taslima Nasreen
      6. Sri Lanka: An appeal to the Tamil Community and its civil and political representatives
      7. India: Blocking Rushdie shameful (Editorial, Deccan Chronicle)
      8. India: University Culture and The Three Hundred Ramayanas controversy (Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar)
      9. India: In Defence of The Right To Know - Interview with K.N. Panikkar
      10. India: Church Fatwas in Meghalaya
      11. India: Damn hurt sentiment. Long live blasphemy! (Dilip Simeon)
      12. India: What is the Real Goal of the Anna Movement? (Rohini Hensman)
      13. India: Can Zakia Jafri take on India's powerful Narendra Modi and win? (Dionne Bunsha)
      14. India: Pakistani prisoners in J&K jails (Editorial, Kashmir Times)

      International:
      15. Europe: Democracy is at stake (Jurgen Habermas)
      16. Middle East And North Africa: Rise of democracy or religious fundamentalism (Prof. AC Bose)
      17. USA: Tucson schools bans books by Chicano and Native American authors (Brenda Norrell)
      + List of Banned Books Mexican American Studies Curriculum

      18. Announcements:
      (1) Retotalizing Fascism: Reading Arthur Rosenberg through Sartre’s Critique - Talk by Jairus Banaji (New Delhi, 18 January 2012)
      (2) Nature for Nationalism: Conservative Environment Politics in Contemporary India - Talk by Mukul Sharma (20 January 2012)
      (3) Art Curation Workshop Announcement (February 2012)

      =======================================
      1. AFGHANISTAN: CRIMES AGAINST WOMEN IN THE NAME OF CUSTOM: HYPOCRISY OF EUROPEAN UNION OFFICIALS
      =======================================
      After the film was completed, the European Union banned its release, effectively silencing the women who were willing to tell their stories.

      http://www.sacw.net/article2428.html

      =======================================
      2. PAKISTAN: CONCERN FOR PAKISTAN DEMOCRATIC PROCESS, SAFETY OF HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS
      =======================================
      http://www.sacw.net/article2483.html

      Online Petition
      Citizens and friends of Pakistan express concern for Pakistan democratic process, safety of human rights defenders

      Wednesday 4 January 2012

      [ Released to the media on Jan 5, 2012 ]

      We, the undersigned, express our grave concern that Pakistani human rights defenders are being threatened and intimidated for their stance in the ‘memogate’ case. We are also concerned at the danger this crisis poses to Pakistan’s democratic political process that had taken a step forward with the elections of 2008.

      No elected civilian government in Pakistan has yet completed its tenure and handed over power to the next government following democratic elections. If the current government manages to do this, it will be a first step in an ongoing process that is essential to Pakistan’s peace, progress and prosperity in the long run.

      Those under threat include former Ambassador of Pakistan to the US, Husain Haqqani, who returned to Pakistan and tendered his resignation in order to ensure a free and fair inquiry into the ‘memogate’ matter that he is accused of engineering.

      The so-called ‘memogate’ affair revolves around a letter that Amb Haqqani is accused of sending to then US Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mullen allegedly at the behest of Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari, seeking American help to prevent a military coup in Pakistan. Mansur Ijaz, an American businessman of Pakistani origin, delivered the note to former US National Security Advisor Gen. James Jones to pass on to Adml Mullen allegedly at Amb Haqqani’s behest. Amb Haqqani has denied writing any such memo at anyone’s behest or asking Ijaz to deliver it to anyone.

      Amb Haqqani has been barred from leaving the country, which is a denial of his fundamental right as a free citizen of Pakistan. Under threat both by the ‘religious’ extremists and the security agencies, he is currently a virtual prisoner confined for his own safety to the Prime Minister’s residence.

      Also facing threats is his lawyer, former Supreme Court Bar Association President, Asma Jahangir, who has termed the Supreme Court judgment of Dec 30, 2011 a “victory” for the security establishment that she alleges is behind the case.

      Amb Haqqani’s wife, Farahnaz Ispahani, a Member of Pakistan’s Parliament, also threatened, is currently in the US where she had come for medical checkups. Columnist Marvi Sirmed, who has written fearlessly against the ‘religious’ extremists and in support of Amb Haqqani, has also been receiving threats. This is essentially the case with anyone in Pakistan who counters or challenges the narrative of the ideological security state.

      Without going into merits of the case, obvious contradictions in the ‘evidence’, or political motivations behind it, it is evident that it is at the crux of a matter vital to Pakistan’s politics, that is, whether Pakistan is going to be run by a civilian elected government along the lines of a parliamentary democracy that ensures fundamental rights, or along the lines of a ideological narrative dictated by the security establishment that holds fundamental rights subservient to its interpretation of ‘national security’.

      Too many people in Pakistan have fallen to the ideological monster unleashed by the establishment pursuing a narrow, ideological interpretation of ‘national security’. It is time for a fundamental paradigm shift in Pakistan’s politics, to allow the nation to fulfill its potential as a progressive, forward looking South Asian nation at peace with its neighbours and the world. We urge the Pakistan government, judiciary and security establishment to play their constitutional roles, cooperate with each other and focus on re-establishing the rule of law and in order to make this possible.

      In the meantime, be aware that the world is watching to ensure that no harm comes to those who are taking a stand towards this end.

      =======================================
      3. INDIA - PAKISTAN: REMEMBERING SAADAT HASAN MANTO (1912-1955)
      by Tariq Ali
      =======================================
      [. . .]
      Manto was amongst the few who observed the bloodbaths of Partition with a detached eye. He had remained in Bombay in 1947, where he worked for the film industry, but was accused of favoring Muslims and was subjected to endless communal taunts, even from those who had hitherto imagined to be like him, but the secular core in many people did not survive the fire. Manto came to Lahore in 1948, but was never happy. He turned the tragedies he had witnessed or heard into great literature. He wrote of the common people, regardless of ethnic, religious or caste identities and he discovered contradictions and passions and irrationality in each of them. In his work we see how normally decent people can, in extreme conditions, commit the most appalling atrocities. ‘Cold Meat’ is one such story. In 1952 he wrote: “My heart is heavy with grief today. A strange listlessness has enveloped me. More than four years ago when I said farewell to my other home, Bombay, I experienced the same kind of sadness…”

      Years later he was still trying to come to grips with what had happened:

      “Still, what my mind could not resolve was the question: what country did we belong to now, India or Pakistan? And whose blood was it that was being so mercilessly shed every day? And the bones of the dead, stripped of the flesh of religion, were they being burned or buried? Now that we were free who was to be our subject? When we were not free, we used to dream about freedom. Now that freedom had come, how would we perceive our past state?

      “The question was: were we really free? Both Hindus and Muslims were being massacred. Why were they being massacred? There were different answers to the question; the Indian answer, the Pakistani answer, the British answer. Every question had an answer, but when you tried to unravel the truth, you were left groping.

      “Everyone seemed to be regressing. Only death and carnage seemed to be proceeding ahead. A terrible chapter of blood and tears was being added to history, a chapter without precedent.

      “India was free. Pakistan was free from the moment of its birth, but in both states, man’s enslavement continued: by prejudice, by religious fanaticism, by savagery.”
      FULL TEXT AT: http://www.sacw.net/article2505.html

      =======================================
      4. BORDER PARANOIA: DEEPENING THE PAK-INDIA DIVIDE
      by Pervez Hoodbhoy
      =======================================

      Six years ago while on a speaking tour of nearly 25 schools, colleges and universities across India, I discovered that only a handful of students had ever seen a living, breathing Pakistani. None had heard an academic from across the border speak. A 12-year-old school student, who obviously did not know Hindi and Urdu were similar, wondered aloud how a real Pakistani could be speaking their language. For these puzzled students, Pakistanis are alien people belonging to an adversary country, not next-door neighbours.

      The numerous misconceptions and misunderstandings I encountered must be still greater today. With pre-1947 family links slowly withering away, the two countries are travelling on separate economic and cultural trajectories. As travel barriers become ever higher, their respective populations are becoming progressively more unfamiliar and estranged from the other.

      This is by deliberate design. Not long ago, Indian scientists and professionals participated in conferences in Islamabad, cricket matches drew large numbers into either country and schools occasionally sent their students over to the other side. But now tourist and visitor traffic is a trickle. Both South Asian states share the responsibility.

      Visas are the obvious control instruments. In principle, technology and ease of travel should have made things easier. Not so. While applying for an Indian visa that would enable me to speak at a conference in Delhi, I was initially pleased to see that I could now apply online instead of the older, cumbersome procedure. But as it turned out, there is a special form for Pakistanis that demands excruciating, irrelevant minutiae. One’s first instinct is to give up on a hopeless task. A technically poor web portal design adds to the frustration.

      Why the special treatment for Pakistanis? The Indian establishment says it fears terrorism. But while reasonable caution is understandable, one would have hoped for a sense of proportion and a more reasoned approach. The overwhelming majority of Pakistanis who apply are the aged and the infirm, professors and doctors, businessmen and professionals and the occasional tourist. Armed terrorists from Pakistan have indeed crossed borders. But they have gone by boat, crawled under fences and climbed difficult mountains. To penetrate airports or checkpoints and cross multiple hurdles is not the terrorist route.

      But let’s say that you still somehow put together an application. Thereafter, you must present yourself at the Indian high commission. For this, you must somehow obtain permission to enter Islamabad’s “Red Zone”, the highly fortified diplomatic enclave which houses foreign embassies. Getting past the first security checkpoint, bristling with machine guns placed behind concrete barriers, is no easy task. But as I recently discovered, the ordeal will have just begun.

      As I attempted to enter the Indian high commission building’s visa section, a swarm of Pakistani intelligence agents surrounded me. Their body language was intimidating, their manner offensive. As with other visa applicants, question followed question. They demanded my personal identification, phone numbers, family details, what was to be discussed in the conference that I was to attend, invitation letters and proof of correspondence. All this while sneering at my patriotism.

      Halfway through this interrogation, I lost patience. If I was spying for India, why on earth would I come for a visa interview? But these uncouth men were executing a political agenda and not open to reason. In their frozen mindset – and that of their masters – India was Pakistan’s enemy number one.

      Faced with unexpected resistance, the underlings called their superior. Expectedly, he supported his men who, he said, were defending the safety and security of Pakistan. I found his argument unacceptable. What did Pakistan’s national security have to do with harassing visa applicants?

      An argument became inevitable. He and his men were unmoved by the fact that their spy institution had spectacularly failed to gather intelligence necessary for protecting the life and property of Pakistani citizens. In fact, it had lost three of its regional headquarters to attacks by religious terrorists and suicide bombers. Home-grown terrorists have killed many more Pakistani soldiers and citizens than were lost in Pak-India wars since 1947.

      My admission into the building was refused, a violation of my rights as a Pakistani citizen as well as of international law. They won, I lost. They had achieved their goal of keeping a Pakistani from visiting India. The gulf between the countries grew just a tad wider.

      I do not know how it is from the Indian side. Are the requirements for a visa just as dauntingly obtuse? Do RAW (India’s Research and Analysis Wing) agents harass and insult those Indians applying to the Pakistan high commission in Delhi for a visa? Let the angry Indian speak up from his side of the wall, as I have from mine.

      (Pervez Hoodbhoy teaches physics in Lahore and Islamabad. This article was published earlier in Communalism Combat, November 2011.)

      =======================================
      5. BANGLADESH: STATEMENT BY RIGHTS ACTIVISTS AGAINST ARREST FOR OWNING A BOOK BY TASLIMA NASREEN
      =======================================
      Source: siawi.org

      Press release by prominent women human rights defenders from Bangladesh

      12 January, 2012

      Press Release

      We, the undersigned strongly protest the arrest of Mr. Yunus Ali, the Head Teacher of KC Technical and Business Management College of Pirojpur, on 4 January, 2012. Mr. Ali was arrested or having allegedly kept a copy of writer Taslima Nasreen’s novel "Lajja" ("Shame") in the college library. This arrest is a clear breach of the right to freedom of speech and shows the presence of a broad range of communal and generally reactionary forces in our society.

      We believe that the banning of books clearly violates the right to freedom of thought and expression, which constitutes one of the essential foundations of a democratic and pluralistic society during the information age of the 21st century and is enshrined in the Constitution of Bangladesh. Dissenting ideas and opinions should be faced through a healthy debate, not censorship and arrest. A state’s weakness, intolerance and imprudence are revealed when a literary work is banned in this manner. Only a tolerant, secular and democratic atmosphere will ensure maximum participation of everyone in public life, enrich our culture and maintain the spirit of the liberation war. On this basis, we demand that all charges against Head Teacher Mr. Yunus Ali be immediately dropped.

      Signed by:
      1. Sultana Kamal, Executive Director, Ain O Salish Kendro
      2. Hameeda Hossain, Chairperson, Human Rights Activist
      3. Khushi Kabir, Coordinator, Nijera Kori
      4. M. Zafar Iqbal, Shahjalal University of Science and Technology
      5. Anu Mohammad, Jahangirnagar University
      6. Gitiara Nasreen, Dhaka University
      7. Sonia Amin, Dhaka University
      8. Ferdousi Priyobhashini, Human Rights Activist
      9. Sara Hossain, Advocate, Supreme Court
      10. Dina Siddiqi, Hunter College, New York
      11. Meghna Guhathakurta, Research Initiatives Bangladesh
      12. Bina D’ Costa, The Graduate Institute, Geneva
      13. Shapan Adnan, Independent Scholar
      14. Zakir Kibria, Solidarity Workshop
      15. Faustina Pereira, Advocate, Supreme Court
      16. Robaet Ferdous, Dhaka University
      17. Asif Saleh
      18. Jyoti Rahman, Editor, Drishtipat Writers’ Collective
      19. Sultana Begum, Human Rights Activist
      20. Khodeja Sultana, Human Rights Activist

      =======================================
      6. SRI LANKA: AN APPEAL TO THE TAMIL COMMUNITY AND ITS CIVIL AND POLITICAL REPRESENTATIVES
      =======================================

      The Island, Colombo
      5 January 2012

      Since the end of the war in May 2009, it has become important for all ethnic communities of Sri Lanka to re-examine and re-evaluate their past. It is through this process of self-reflection that some of the major issues that confront state and civil society today can be meaningfully reconceived and reconfigured for the future.

      While the war has drawn to a decisive close, the ethnic conflict is far from over and demands solutions short- and long-term. The quest for a viable political solution from a majoritarian state is a primary concern for the Tamil community today.

      Continued insecurity in the face of militarisation is an urgent matter. Armed militancy and a political culture of violence have further eroded into the democratic fabric of society. Resettlement and rehabilitation remain unresolved problems. Distribution of land, access to state and social networks, language parity, devolution of power, inter-ethnic reconciliation and the continued presence of gender, class and caste stratifications are a part of the political landscape today.

      It is in this regard we raise the question of the eviction of the Northern Muslims 21 years ago. In October 1990, the LTTE evicted roughly 80,000 Muslims from the north in the wake of increasing hostilities and armed conflict in the north and east. The LTTE, which was militarily dominant in the north at that time and controlled large swathes of territory, ordered an entire community to leave the province in two days. In the Jaffna peninsula they were given just two hours’ notice. Subsequent to the eviction, several attempts were made by institutional mechanisms to facilitate the return of the communities to their original lands. During the Ceasefire Agreement (CFA), there were renewed attempts, particularly through the Secretariat for Immediate Humanitarian and Rehabilitation Needs (SIHRN), to negotiate the return of the Muslims with the Sri Lankan state and the LTTE.
      [. . .]
      FULL TEXT AT: http://www.sacw.net/article2485.html

      =======================================
      7. INDIA: BLOCKING RUSHDIE SHAMEFUL
      =======================================
      Deccan Chronicle, January 18, 2012

      Editorial

      By objecting to Salman Rushdie’s participation in the Jaipur Literature Festival, the Darul Uloom of Deoband has not covered itself in glory. That the country’s premier body of Islamic learning has seen it fit to get involved in petty sectarian matters is shameful and shocking. Salman Rushdie has been coming to India regularly for many years, and as a “Person of Indian Origin” doesn’t even need a visa. Indeed, he attended the same festival once earlier without any trouble whatsoever. Yet the Darul Uloom chose to rake up a needless controversy, which was inevitably picked up by obscure busybodies in Rajasthan claiming to speak on behalf of Muslims. That appears to have given an excuse to the Rajasthan government to invoke fears of a possible law and order situation and try to “persuade” the festival’s organisers to withdraw the invitation to Mr Rushdie. While the organisers claim the invitation remains open, Mr Rushdie’s participation now looks doubtful. The Ashok Gehlot government’s craven attitude is, of course, fairly typical of administrations everywhere. West Bengal’s former CPM government had also quickly buckled under pressure when some Muslims objected to Taslima Nasreen’s presence, and asked her to leave Kolkata. Such an attitude goes against the democratic and secular letter and spirit.

      =======================================
      8. INDIA: UNIVERSITY CULTURE AND THE THREE HUNDRED RAMAYANAS CONTROVERSY
      by Sumit Sarkar, Tanika Sarkar
      =======================================

      Biblio: A Review of Books, November - December 2011

      Vice chancellors and scholars
      Questions of Rule, Authority and Freedom

      by Sumit Sarkar and Tanika Sarkar

      Delhi University has a Vice Chancellor who does not believe in the rights, abilities and the moral authority of teachers and scholars to do their job as they see fit. What has made this crystal clear to the world – and we do mean the world literally – is his most recent decision. With the support of a largely quiescent Academic Council (though elected teachers’ representatives did object strongly) he chose to drop an essay by AK Ramanujan, one of the most respected scholars of Indian cultural traditions, from an undergraduate course. The essay was selected for the concurrent course syllabus by postgraduate teachers of History in the University. They thought it was especially suitable for students of this course who, otherwise, do not study History. The essay, "Three Hundred Ramayanas : Five Examples and Three thoughts on Translation", takes up a universally known Hindu epic, surveys its immensely varied representations over time in India and abroad. It is written in a mode that is at once scholarly and imaginative, admirably accessible and captivating for students at this level.

      This expectedly provoked, in 2008, some Akhil Bhartiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) clamour against a department that is known for its liberal and secular values. When the controversy first flared up, the department was chaired by a Muslim faculty member who received thousands of abusive text messages. Students and teachers of the Department, on the other hand, protested against the ABVP in peaceful and democratic ways, but in huge numbers and with a most impressive demonstration of student-teacher solidarity. The ABVP took matters to the High Court which dismissed their case. It then appealed to the Supreme Court which asked the University to report on its decision. The Vice Chancellor could have decided to end the matter there, following the High Court example, but he chose to attend to the ABVP respectfully. The essay was sent for review to a committee of experts. One would have thought that the Department of History constituted a committee of experts in itself but that was not so according to the Vice Chancellor. The committee sent an overwhelming endorsement for retaining the essay on the syllabus. Of the three appointed members of the committee, two sent resounding yeas while the third vacillated and raised mild objections without, however, suggesting an outright rejection. Again, without any consultation with the History Department – the only relevant authority on the matter within the university – the Vice Chancellor decided to ignore the second rung of expert opinion. In a recent Academic Committee meeting which did not include subject experts, the essay was dropped unceremoniously from the syllabus by the VC-in –Academic Council. It seems that the Vice Chancellor – a non historian himself – has unilaterally decided to replace it with two other essays on ancient India, again without referring them to the History faculty. We all know that interdisciplinarity is the buzz word these days. Does that mean non disciplinarity altogether, the entitlement of a mathematician like the Vice Chancellor to waive the opinion of historians on history ?

      The implications of his decision are momentous for all universities of the country. It is a part of an ongoing process of broad and violent changes in university culture and values which, together with the immediate issue, belong to a larger and urgent narrative about freedom of thinking.
      [. . .]
      FULL TEXT AT: http://www.sacw.net/article2496.html

      ======================================
      9. INDIA: IN DEFENCE OF THE RIGHT TO KNOW
      Interview with K.N. Panikkar
      ======================================
      The Hindu, November 23, 2011

      A student's right to read Ramanujan's essay on the Ramayana should be inviolable, says historian K.N. Panikkar. Educational institutions are being besieged by bigots bent on imposing their views on the curriculum.

      FULL TEXT HERE: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/interview/article2650780.ece

      ======================================
      10. INDIA: CHURCH FATWAS IN MEGHALAYA
      ======================================

      Church groups in Meghalaya want followers to pray, and not play music on Sunday. From politics to the arts, religious leaders want to control all spheres of public life. But people are fighting back equally hard.

      http://www.sacw.net/article2391.html

      ======================================
      9. INDIA: DAMN HURT SENTIMENT. LONG LIVE BLASPHEMY!
      by Dilip Simeon
      ======================================
      http://dilipsimeon.blogspot.com/2012/01/communalism-feeds-on-itself.html

      Excerpt from a post on Dilip Simeon's Blog

      COMMUNALISM FEEDS ON ITSELF
      [. . .]
      NB: The Indian governing elite's mode of dealing with communalism should by now be clear: it refuses to implement the rule of law in matters of violence, intimidation, life and death, but is willing to make symbolic concessions that feed the communalists' appetite for 'hurt sentiments'. Thus in Gopalgarh, Rajasthan, the administration failed to protect citizens in September 2011 in an incident that cost nine lives: http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2604598.ece
      Now as if in mock recompense, the same adminstration panders to rank communalists in their drummed up fury against Rushdie. (Interested commentators might also investigate the current Union Law Minister's position on this controversy when it erupted in 1988, and his stance on the hounding of Jamia's then Pro-VC Mushirul Hasan because of his opposition to the ban on Satanic Verses). Our government panders to every type of hooliganism, and trusts us to seek refuge in symbols.
      Here's some information that makes my point: Until 1984, official (GOI) representations of Bhagat Singh were in popular iconic form, clean shaven with moustache hat, and revolver. Then Operation Blue Star (to clear the Golden Temple of terrorists) and the events of October-November 1984 took place. Indira Gandhi was assassinated, and thousands of Sikh citizens of Delhi were brutally murdered. The criminal justice system failed to work.
      On 23 March 1985, GOI advertisements reminding us of the greatness of the man showed Bhagat Singh wearing a turban & beard, along with Sukhdev and Rajguru wearing some version of Nehru cap. (The change was too obvious not to notice). At the time Delhi police were refusing to register FIR's on dozens of cases of killings of Sikhs in India's capital and the High Court had refused to entertain PUDR's plea that it order the police to perform their functions.
      But on March 23, our babus, instead of implementing our Constitution, suddenly discovered that Bhagat Singh was a Sikh! It was so nice of them to remember. Now of course, we are all in the know as to the link between secular justice and iconography..
      This institutionalised hypocrisy cuts across political divisions, is rooted in the state structure rather than in parties, and is common (in various permutations & combinations) to all political leadership. Indian secularism has been reduced to a mutual back-scratching game of communalists - you tolerate my bullshit, I tolerate yours. The central point: of strict implementation of law and criminal justice, of preventing violence and intimidation in the name of hurt sentiment, is avoided by everyone. This cycle of intimidation will continue until public opinion is able to insist upon the fair and even-handed administration of criminal justice.

      Is the Inquisition dead? For those who need reminding that it's still with us, here's the epitaph on the tomb of Cardinal Saint Roberto Bellarmino, Cardinal-Inquisitor who tried Galileo for heresy in 1633: "With force I have subdued the brains of the proud"

      Damn hurt sentiment. Long live blasphemy!
      Dilip

      Also see:
      http://www.firstpost.com/politics/muslim-politics-and-rushdie-why-2012-is-not-1988-178331.html
      http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/jaipur/Salman-Rushdie-persuaded-to-stay-away-from-Jaipur-Literature-Festival/articleshow/11517786.cms

      =====================================
      12. INDIA: WHAT IS THE REAL GOAL OF THE ANNA MOVEMENT?
      by Rohini Hensman
      =====================================

      (7 November 2011 - sacw.net)
      Many people including members of Team Anna have expressed reservations about the way in which their campaign has been developing, and some have even resigned. This raises questions about the real aim of the leadership around Anna. Is it really what it is proclaimed to be?

      http://www.sacw.net/article2373.html

      ======================================
      13. CAN ZAKIA JAFRI TAKE ON INDIA'S POWERFUL NARENDRA MODI AND WIN?
      by Dionne Bunsha
      ======================================
      The Guardian, 22 November 2011

      Following Ahsan Jafri's death at the hands of a mob, his widow's fight for justice is now a fight for all India's hate crime victims

      When the mob swarmed around his housing colony in Ahmedabad on 28 February 2002, the former Indian MP Ahsan Jafri made more than 100 phone calls, desperately pleading for help, over his neighbours' fearful cries and the mob's chants for blood. Eyewitnesses allege that Jafri called the local police station, imploring them to protect his neighbourhood from the threat that was closing in on them. The accusation is that the police stood on the sidelines and watched.

      Neighbours crammed into Jafri's home seeking refuge. Little did they know he was the main target. In the late afternoon, when Jafri ventured out, begging the attackers to stop, they burned him alive. About 69 people were killed in the attack on the housing colony. Women were gang raped. Not even young children were spared. The Gulbarg Society massacre was part of a wave of violence against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002.

      For almost 10 years, Jafri's wife, Zakia, has been fighting for justice. The frail, ailing 72-year-old has taken on one of India's most powerful politicians, Narendra Modi, the chief minister of India's most prosperous state, Gujarat. Modi aspires to be the Hindu rightwing BJP's candidate for prime minister in next year's elections. He is the darling of Indian industry, commended by Ratan Tata and Mukesh Ambani, the country's richest billionaires, and Amitabh Bachchan, Bollywood's biggest star. But critics allege that Modi stood by during a spate of violence that left more than 1,000 people dead. In Gujarat, the perception is that bringing a case against the influential is almost impossible.

      Yet, India is shining. It is considered the world's largest democracy, a rising economic force. Its ugly record on communal violence is swept under the rug. Hate crimes are not normally associated with India. But thousands like Zakia have suffered, and their voices remain unheard, and the powerful leaders who allegedly abetted the crimes remain unscathed. Modi has consistently denied the accusations of his role in Gujarat's pogrom and has condemned the violence.

      Years of struggle through a labyrinth of police stations and courts to file a case of alleged criminal conspiracy in the Gujarat violence against Modi and 61 other state officials has left Zakia back where she started.

      On 12 September this year, the supreme court verdict sent Zakia's case back to Gujarat's district court. Before passing the verdict, the supreme court had appointed a special investigation team to look into the charges against Modi and the 61 others. After the team submitted its report, the court asked an amicus curiae (a legal expert appointed to assist the court) to make an independent assessment of it. Last month, the amicus curiae's report was leaked to the Indian media. The report allegedly states that there is enough evidence to file charges against the chief minister and several state officials. This gives Zakia and Citizens for Justice and Peace, a human rights group that is co-petitioner in Zakia's case, a glimmer of hope. But will the district court act on it?

      Recently, the Gujarat police arrested Sanjiv Bhatt, a senior police officer who testified against Modi, giving evidence of Modi's role in the riots of 2002. Recently, he said he had attended a meeting of senior police officers a day before the Gulbarg attacks began. He attested that the chief minister told them to let the mobs vent their anger. The Gujarat police arrested Bhatt on charges that he forced a junior officer to make a false testimony against Modi. Though out on bail, he still fears he may be killed.

      Communal violence is often used as a political tool in India. The BJP, the largest opposition party in India, whose Hindutva ideologues drew inspiration from fascist beliefs , according to scholars such as Christophe Jaffrelot and Marzia Casolari. The BJP and its many fraternal organisations together form the Sangh Parivar (pdf) (Family of Associations), a brotherhood that keeps Hindutva alive and kicking in India today. Gandhi's assassin, Nathuram Godse, was allegedly an activist for the Sangh Parivar. Besides the Gujarat pogrom, the Sangh has allegedly had a hand in several communal massacres, including the demolition of the historic Babri Masjid and the violence that followed across India in 1992-93.

      Some of the ruling Congress party leaders were allegedly complicit in the anti-Sikh pogrom that followed the assassination of the former prime minister Indira Gandhi in 1984. Though hundreds of cases are pending in court, none of the politicians who were in power when the deaths occurred have been held to account. Should the frail yet crusading Zakia hope for anything different? Will India ever own up to its violent record on hate crimes? For Jafri and other victims, there's no one left to call, no more doors left to knock on.

      © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved.

      ======================================
      14. INDIA: PAKISTANI PRISONERS IN J&K JAILS
      Editorial, Kashmir Times
      ======================================
      Kashmir Times, 15 November 2011

      Editorial

      Languishing in jails

      PAKISTANI PRISONERS IN J&K JAILS NEED TO BE RELEASED WITHOUT ANY DELAY

      250 Pakistani prisoners are languishing without trials in Jammu jails alone. The actual number of prisoners may be far higher and though it is now evident that some of them have been here for over four decades, it is still not clear whether they are prisoners of war from 1965 or 1971, a fact that is officially negated by the Indian government. Many of the Pakistanis barricaded behind the highly fortified walls of the jails would eventually turn out to be innocent persons who inadvertently crossed over, and majority may only be held for petty crimes and nothing serious. Yet, they continued to comprise a section that has been totally forgotten about both by the Indian and the Pakistani governments. The case of Indian prisoners caught and jailed in Pakistan is also similar. But despite several rounds of bilateral negotiations, no serious effort has been made in the last few years to bring out on the table a mechanism for immediate exchange of such prisoners, providing them the much needed consular access and isolating the stray crossers and making immediate arrangements for their return without having them wait long years in prisons with not even a postal access to their homes. These jailed prisoners do not only complain of illegal detention, injustice in their case often doubles up with maltreatment, stemming primarily misplaced nationalistic and religious bias.
      Though both New Delhi and Islamabad principally stand committed to the cause of the prisoners, the issue has not yet been prioritized and it is unlikely that despite the previous few gestural such advances or the present cross border trade bonhomie will translate into something more meaningful without any consistent effort to go beyond the simple economics of trade. It is in the light of such hopelessness that the recent Supreme Court remarks on the case of over 250 Pakistani prisoners languishing in Jammu jails becomes significant. These remarks have helped raise the issue of Pakistani prisoners held in India, either without any charge or trial or still imprisoned after having served their time, even multiple life terms. It is hoped that the apex court's directive to Indian government does not fall on deaf ears and New Delhi makes an earnest effort to submit a detailed report soon to help determine the exact number of Pakistani prisoners across the country and their details. A similar effort on the other side is equally desirable.
      What imbues hope is the fact that just a week prior to this news, the Lahore High Court had directed the Foreign Ministry to expedite repatriation of foreigner prisoners all over Pakistan. The court gave this directive while addressing the petition seeking release of two Indian prisoners held in Kot Lakhpat Jail. These developments should bring some respite to families of the prisoners who have been knocking on doors for justice for years, even decades. Some months ago, Pakistan infused a fresh lease of life into the issue of these prisoners by granting pardon to an Indian spy Gopal Das, jailed in Pakistan for 23 years. It is high time the generosity is reciprocated with several waiting in the list, prominent being the case of the ageing Pakistani microbiology professor, Dr Khaleel Chisty, who has already spent two decades in Indian jails. But beyond these goodwill piecemeal exchanges, it is more important to set a mechanism rolling and pave way for a regular process of exchanging lists and prisoners, without the cumbersome delays.


      INTERNATIONAL
      ======================================
      15. JURGEN HABERMAS: DEMOCRACY IS AT STAKE
      ======================================
      LE MONDE

      PARIS

      27 October 2011

      The Eurozone crisis has raised calls for greater political integration of the EU. However, sociologist Jurgen Habermas argues that the tactics adopted by European leaders have sidelined what should be their main priority: the well-being of citizens, established within a democratic framework. Excerpts.

      Jurgen Habermas

      In the short term, the crisis will require careful attention from Europe's political actors. But above and beyond this effort, they should not neglect the problem of fundamental weaknesses in the structure of the monetary union that can only be resolved by the development of an adequate political union: the EU does not have the necessary remit to harmonise national economies, which are marked by drastic divergences in their capacity to compete.

      The "pact for Europe" that has recently been reinforced has only served to aggravate a long-standing problem: non-binding agreements in the circle of government leaders are either ineffective or anti-democratic, and it is for this reason that they should be replaced by common decisions taken in a clearly defined institutional framework.

      The German federal government has become the catalyst for the increasing dissolution of solidarity in Europe, because it has spent too long ignoring the single constructive issue that Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has laconically described as the issue of "More Europe".

      All of the governments concerned have found that they are unable to deal with a dilemma posed by the need to address the imperatives of major banks and rating agencies and their fear of a loss of legitimacy that will deprive them of the support of their frustrated populations. And the scatterbrained incrementalism of their response is a testament to their lack of a wider perspective.

      The financial crisis that has been ongoing since 2008 has stalled the mechanism for the funding of states that relies on payment by future generations; and while we await a solution to this problem, it appears unlikely that austerity packages that are difficult to implement on the level of internal politics can be reconciled with the maintenance of an acceptable level of state services.

      Given the weight of these problems, we should expect that politicians would be willing, without delay and without imposing conditions, to put their European cards on the table so as to rapidly raise awareness among the population of the relationship between the short-term costs and the real usefulness of the European project, that is to say from a historical perspective.

      Democratic rights as citizens of the EU

      But instead of adopting this strategy, they have flirted with a populism that they themselves have nourished by casting a veil over a complex and unpopular issue. On the threshold of the economic and political unification of Europe, politics has decided to hold its breath and refrain from sticking its neck out.

      Why the paralysis? It has been prompted by a perspective that remains bogged down in the 19th century which privileges the reponse of the demos: there is no European people, and that is why a political union worthy of the name will necessarily be built on sand. I would like to propose an alternative to this interpretation: sustained political fragmentation in the world and in Europe is in contradiction to the systemic growth of a global multi-cultural society, and an insurmountable obstacle to any progress in the development better relationships between state powers and social powers in judicial and constitutional civilisation.

      The fact that the EU has to date been advanced and monopolised by political elites has resulted in a dangerous assymmetry - between the democratic participation of peoples in the benefits their governments "obtain" for themselves in the faraway arena of Brussels, and the indifference, or even the absence of participation on the part of the citizens of the EU, with regard to the decisions of their Parliament in Strasbourg.

      This observation does not justify the attribution of a more substantial role to "peoples". Right-wing populism is alone in its continued projection of national subjectivities that are closed to each other and an effective obstacle to any project that traverses national borders.

      As national populations become aware of the degree to which EU decisions exert an influence on their daily lives, and as this awareness is relayed by the media, they will also become aware of their interest in exercising their democratic rights as citizens of the EU.

      Economic and social convergence

      This factor has been made tangible by the euro crisis. At the same time, the crisis has forced the European Council to take decisions that will exert an uneven weight on national budgets.

      Since 8 May, 2009, it has crossed a new threshold with its decisions on bailouts and possible debt restructuring, as well as with its declarations of intention with regard to harmonisation in all fields relating to competition (economic, fiscal, labour, and social and cultural policies).

      The crossing of this threshold has raised issues concerning the fair distribution of burdens and responsibilities. In line with this development, the citizens of member states, who are forced to contend with changes that result from the transferring of burdens across national borders, will want to exercise a democratic influence, in their role of citizens of the EU, on what their government leaders negotiate or decide in a space that is a legal grey area.

      But this has not happened. Instead we have seen governments indulge in dilatory tactics, and a largely populist rejection of all aspects of the European project on the part of populations. This self-destructive behaviour has been prompted by the fact that political elites and the media have been reluctant to acknowledge the impact of the constitutional project on the current situation.

      Under pressure from the financial markets, the conviction that a significant economic aspect of the constitutional project was overlooked when the euro was introduced has now been accepted. The EU can only stand up to financial speculation if it obtains the necessary political remit that will enable it to guarantee economic and social convergence in the heart of Europe - that is to say in Eurozone countries.

      Sharing of burdens and responsibilities

      All of those involved are aware that such a degree of "reinforced cooperation" is not possible within the framework of existing treaties. The consequence of common "economic government", and it is one that appeals to the German government, is that the central requirement for competitiveness in all of the countries of the European Union will go beyond economic and financial policies that inform national budgets, but will that it will also, and here we are striking at the heart of the matter, relativise the budgetary prerogative of national parliaments.

      If we are to avoid the flagrant flouting of current legislation, this overdue reform will only be made possible by a transfer of some level of political remit from member states to the EU. However, Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy have agreed a compromise between German economic liberalism and French statism that flies in the face of these considerations.

      If my impression is correct, they are seeking to replace the executive federalism implied in the Lisbon Treaty with an intergovernmental domination of the European Council that is contrary to the terms of the treaty - a regime that would allow for the projection of market imperatives onto national budgets without any specific democratic legitimation.

      In so doing, heads of government are transforming the European project into its opposite: the first democratically legalised supranational community will be transformed into an effective arrangement that results in non-transparent post-democratic domination. The alternative to this outcome is the aggressive continuation of the drive for a democratically legalised EU. And with this in mind, it should be noted that a solidarity of citizens in Europe can only develop in the absence of a consolidation of social inequalities between rich and poor nations.

      The European Union must guarantee what the fundamental law of the German Federal Republic describes (article 106, paragraph 2) as "the homogeneity of living conditions". This "homogeneity" only refers to social conditions that are deemed to be fair in terms of the sharing of burdens and responsibilities: it does not imply an end to cultural difference. Political integration based on social well-being is necessary to protect the national plurality and cultural wealth of the "Old Europe" biotope from the increasing standardisation implied by globalisation.

      This article is an excerpt from an essay by Jurgen Habermas entitled "On Europe's Constitution - An Essay", Suhrkamp, 2011, and to published in English by Polity This text is based on extracts from a lecture that was presented by Jurgen Habermas at Paris-Descartes University (12, rue de l'Ecole-de-Medecine, 75006 Paris) on 10 November, within the framework of a colloquium organised by the PHIL'POL (philosophy, epistemology and politics) directed by philosopher Yves Charles Zarka.

      =====================================
      16. MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA: RISE OF DEMOCRACY OR RELIGIOUS FUNDAMENTALISM
      by Prof. AC Bose
      =====================================

      Kashmir Times, 8 November 2011

      Democracy in the true sense of the term is opposed to religious fanaticism or, for that matter, fanaticism in any form. It does not mean majority rule either, which often turns out to be more oppressive than any autocracy. Democracy means maximum of freedom for all, within certain necessary self-imposed limits, and rule by the majority reflecting the interests equally of all. Yet, unfortunately enough, advent of democracy after the fall of any long dictatorial rule is usually followed by an upsurge of religious fanaticism that brings religion-based a parts to power negating the very spirit of democracy for which most of the rebels had shed blood.
      The reasons are twofold. First, during any dictatorship, when normal political activity is banned, certain amount of relaxation is granted to religious parties to meet the deep-seated demand of the majority halfway. For example, Nasser on coming to power banned the Moslem Brotherhood in 1954. But, during the rule of his successors, Anwar Sadat and then Husni Mubarak, restrictions on them were partly relaxed in the 70's and 80's.
      Even when not officially permitted certain religious groups often maintain their secret network of fanatics who later form the core group of any political party when democratic freedom is allowed. But, when democracy follows an armed uprising there is usually no organized secular political party to reach out to the newly enrolled voters and to effectively conduct an election campaign.
      Naturally power in emerging democracies usually passes into the hands of religious groups who do not believe in the essentials of democracy. Yet, this is what is going to happen in the Arab world where the optimists hoped that the so-called Jasmine Revolution sweeping large parts of it would usher in an era of genuine democracy.
      In the election held in Tunisia, in the last week of October, it is the Ennahda party, basically one of radical Islamists, has polled the largest number of votes in spite of the fact that Tunisia, because of its close promixity to the West through Italy, has the most liberal society in the Moslem world. It achieved freedom from Freach rule in 1956, and its first president Habib Bourgiba once referred to the hijab as an 'odious rag'. The Tunisia was the first country in the Muslim world after Turkey to ban bigamy and triple talaq in practice. Yet, now a party of radical Muslims are likely to come to power.
      Of course, however, It is fondly hoped that since Tunisian economy depends largely on European tourists, and the Ennahda party is largely funded by Western business houses, and will be to seek support of some small secular parties to form a majority it will in practice avoid an Islamic course. But, these compulsions may not be there for long. Any way, like the proverbial leaf in a wind, the experience of the most liberal Tunisia suggests which way political developments usually take place following the fall of along dictatorships.
      Egypt is the second country in the Arab world to follow the present revolutionary path, albeit without violence that later engulfed Lybia. Egypt because of its population, geographic location across the Suex Canal, and her civilisational tradition-- she is the proud possessor of Al Azhar, world's oldest functioning university established in 970 A.D-- is treated like the heartland of the Arab world. She has an established liberal tradition further reinforced since Nasser's ban on the Moslem Brotherhood in 1954. Yet, in the immediate aftermath of Husni Mubarrack's ouster, EL Baradia (a coptic Christian), undoubtedly the best-known Egyptian today, was denied by a howling mob even his right to file his nomination paper.
      This was the first pointer of the direction in which the wind is blowing. There have been a few attacks on churches and clashes between Muslims and Christians (who constitute 10% of the country's population) which have a already tarred the bright face of Egypt's non-violent transformation into a democracy. It is expected by all psephologists that the freedom and Justice Party (the public face of the Moslem Brotherhood) will poll around 40% of votes to emerge as the largest single party.
      Of course, they will have to depend on other parties, and have declared that their members are committed to 'a comprehensive vision' for the welfare of their second Republic. That mellows the fear of fundamentalism, but the danger signal is there for all to see. Their electoral slogan is," Islam is the solution."
      What has happened and is happening in Lybia next door is still more depressing. It was not a democratic upsurge as painted by the Western media. Lybia is a state created by Italy when they occupied this region in 1911. But it lacks any form of demographic unity. The tributes of Lybia are broadly grouped into the Bani Hilal of the eastern half known as Cyrenaica, and the Bani Selam of the western half known as Tripolatania, One has never welcomed the rule but the other. So, what now happend was a Westeren-provoked and supported Bani Hilal revolt against the Bani Selam domination under Col. Gaddafi.
      The latter's major fault was that, like Saddam in Iraq, he was unwisely reluctant to oblige the Western oil corporations by reducing the price of the crude. So, he had to be replaced, and his opponents had to be honored with the badge of fighters for democracy. Mahmoud Jibni, a U.S-educated economist, was elected the chairman of the Traditional National Council. But, now he has resigned, allegedly, because of earning the displeasure of their most important military leader, Abdel Hakim Baljah, for criticizing Islamic fundamentalism.
      Another tribal military leader, Ismail Salabi has declared," It is a people's revolution, and all the people are Muslims, Islamists," Even when foreign aid was pouring in most tribal leaders proclaimed," No foreign intervention-- Lybias can do in alone." It is believed that an Islamic organization, Etilaf, is pulling all the relevant strings, and they are already taking of basing the constitution on the sharia, and to impose strict Islamic codes of conduct, like banning cinema, theatre and works of art showing human forms.
      The next target of Western intervention in the name of democracy and human rights is going to be Syria. Their the Alwai Shias, a minority, are in power and enjoy its perks. The Sunni majority now seek to replace them with western support. What in the process is likely to emerge is some form of Hamas or Hezbollah like group of religious fanatics to replace the equally dictatorial Baathists.
      However, the most unfortunate part of these happenings is that the U.S and her Western allies are extending their hand of friendship towards these religious parties on the threshold of power in the name of being "in touch with all the political forces."
      Their interest lies in having pliant regimes in power in oil-rich countries, no matter what its may mean to the local population, Particularly their women and minorities. The U.S has continually backed the House of Saud although for decades it is known to be the patron of the most fanatical Wahabi variety of violent Islamic every where in the Muslim world. And, with Western help such Islamic parties may now come to power in many Arab states, in the garb of democrats.

      =====================================
      17. USA: TUCSON SCHOOLS BANS BOOKS BY CHICANO AND NATIVE AMERICAN AUTHORS
      by Brenda Norrell
      =====================================

      http://narcosphere.narconews.com/notebook/brenda-norrell/2012/01/tucson-schools-bans-books-chicano-and-native-american-authors

      The Narcosphere January 14, 2012

      Tucson schools bans books by Chicano and Native American authors

      By Brenda Norrell

      TUCSON -- Outrage was the response to the news that Tucson schools has banned books, including "Rethinking Columbus," with an essay by award-winning Pueblo author Leslie Marmon Silko, who lives in Tucson, and works by Buffy Sainte Marie, Winona LaDuke, Leonard Peltier and Rigoberta Menchu.

      The decision to ban Chicano and Native American books follows the 4 to 1 vote on Tuesday by the Tucson Unified School District board to succumb to the State of Arizona, and forbid Mexican American Studies, rather than fight the state decision.

      Students said the banned books were seized from their classrooms and out of their hands, after Tucson schools banned Mexican American Studies, including a book of photos of Mexico. Crying, students said it was like Nazi Germany, and they were unable to sleep since it happened.

      The banned book, "Rethinking Columbus," includes work by many Native Americans, as Debbie Reese reports, the book includes:

      Suzan Shown Harjo's "We Have No Reason to Celebrate"
      Buffy Sainte-Marie's "My Country, 'Tis of Thy People You're Dying"
      Joseph Bruchac's "A Friend of the Indians"
      Cornel Pewewardy's "A Barbie-Doll Pocahontas"
      N. Scott Momaday's "The Delight Song of Tsoai-Talee"
      Michael Dorris's "Why I'm Not Thankful for Thanksgiving"
      Leslie Marmon's "Ceremony"
      Wendy Rose's "Three Thousand Dollar Death Song"
      Winona LaDuke's "To the Women of the World: Our Future, Our Responsibility"
      The now banned reading list of the Tucson schools' Mexican American Studies includes two books by Native American author Sherman Alexie and a book of poetry by O'odham poet Ofelia Zepeda.

      Jeff Biggers writes in Salon:

      The list of removed books includes the 20-year-old textbook “Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years,” which features an essay by Tucson author Leslie Silko. Recipient of a Native Writers’ Circle of the Americas Lifetime Achievement Award and a MacArthur Foundation genius grant, Silko has been an outspoken supporter of the ethnic studies program.

      Biggers said Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest," was also banned during the meeting this week. Administrators told Mexican-American studies teachers to stay away from any class units where “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes."

      Other banned books include “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by famed Brazilian educator Paulo Freire and “Occupied America: A History of Chicanos” by Rodolfo Acuña, two books often singled out by Arizona state superintendent of public instruction John Huppenthal, who campaigned in 2010 on the promise to “stop la raza.” Huppenthal, who once lectured state educators that he based his own school principles for children on corporate management schemes of the Fortune 500, compared Mexican-American studies to Hitler Jugend indoctrination last fall.
      http://www.salon.com/2012/01/13/whos_afraid_of_the_tempest/singleton/

      Bill Bigelow, co-author of Rethinking Columbus, writes:

      Imagine our surprise.
      Rethinking Schools learned today that for the first time in its more-than-20-year history, our book Rethinking Columbus was banned by a school district: Tucson, Arizona ...

      As I mentioned to Biggers when we spoke, the last time a book of mine was outlawed was during the state of emergency in apartheid South Africa in 1986, when the regime there banned the curriculum I’d written, Strangers in Their Own Country, likely because it included excerpts from a speech by then-imprisoned Nelson Mandela. Confronting massive opposition at home and abroad, the white minority government feared for its life in 1986. It’s worth asking what the school authorities in Arizona fear today.
      http://rethinkingschoolsblog.wordpress.com/2012/01/13/rethinking-columbus-banned-in-tucson

      Roberto Rodriguez, professor at University of Arizona, is also among the nation's top Chicano and Latino authors on the Mexican American Studies reading list. Rodriguez' column about this week's school board decision, posted at Censored News, is titled: "Tucson school officials caught on tape 'urinating' on Mexican students."http://drcintli.blogspot.com/

      Rodriguez responded to Narco New about the ban on Sunday.

      "The attacks in Arizona are mind-boggling. To ban the teaching of a discipline is draconian in and of itself. However, there is also now a banned books list that accompanies the ban. I believe 2 of my books are on the list, which includes: Justice: A Question of Race and The X in La Raza. Two others may also be on the list," Rodriguez said.

      "That in itself is jarring, but we need to remember the proper context. This is not simply a book-banning; according to Tom Horne, the former state schools' superintendent who designed HB 2281, this is part of a civilizational war. He determined that Mexican American Studies is not based on Greco-Roman knowledge and thus, lies outside of Western Civilization.

      "In a sense, he is correct. The philosophical foundation for MAS is a maiz-based philosophy that is both, thousands of years old and Indigenous to this continent. What has just happened is akin to an Auto de Fe -- akin to the 1562 book-burning of Maya books in 1562 at Mani, Yucatan. At TUSD, the list of banned books will total perhaps 50 books, including artwork and posters.

      "For us here in Tucson, this is not over. If anything, the banning of books will let the world know precisely what kind of mindset is operating here; in that previous era, this would be referred to as a reduccion (cultural genocide) of all things Indigenous. In this era, it can too also be see as a reduccion."

      The reading list includes world acclaimed Chicano and Latino authors, along with Native American authors. The list includes books by Corky Gonzales, along with Sandra Cisneros’ “The House on Mango Street;” Jimmy Santiago Baca’s “Black Mesa Poems,“ and L.A. Urreas’ “The Devil’s Highway.“ The authors include Henry David Thoreau and the popular book “Like Water for Chocolate.”

      On the reading list are Native American author Sherman Alexie's books, “Ten Little Indians,“ and “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven.“ O’odham poet and professor Ofelia Zepeda’s “Ocean Power, Poems from the Desert” is also on the list.
      DA Morales writes in Three Sonorans, at Tucson Citizen, about the role of state schools chief John Huppenthal. "Big Brother Huppenthal has taken his TEA Party vows to take back Arizona… take it back a few centuries with official book bans that include Shakespeare!"

      http://tucsoncitizen.com/three-sonorans/2012/01/13/did-you-know-even-shakespeare-got-banned-from-tusd-with-mas-ruling/

      Updates at www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com

      ==========

      BANNED MEXICAN AMERICAN STUDIES READING LIST Curriculum
      Audit of the Mexican American Studies Department,
      Tucson Unified School District, May 2, 2011.
      http://www.bsnorrell.blogspot.com/

      High School Course Texts and Reading Lists Table 20: American Government/Social Justice Education Project 1,
      2 - Texts and Reading Lists

      Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (1998), by B. Bigelow and B. Peterson

      The Latino Condition: A Critical Reader (1998), by R. Delgado and J. Stefancic

      Critical Race Theory: An Introduction (2001), by R. Delgado and J. Stefancic

      Pedagogy of the Oppressed (2000), by P. Freire

      United States Government: Democracy in Action (2007), by R. C. Remy

      Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History (2006), by F. A. Rosales

      Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology (1990), by H. Zinn

      Table 21: American History/Mexican American Perspectives, 1, 2 - Texts and Reading Lists

      Occupied America: A History of Chicanos (2004), by R.
      Acuna

      The Anaya Reader (1995), by R. Anaya

      The American Vision (2008), by J. Appleby et el.

      Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years (1998), by B. Bigelow and B. Peterson

      Drink Cultura: Chicanismo (1992), by J. A. Burciaga

      Message to Aztlan: Selected Writings (1997), by C. Jiminez

      De Colores Means All of Us: Latina Views Multi-Colored Century (1998), by E. S. Martinez

      500 Anos Del Pueblo Chicano/500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures (1990), by E. S. Martinez

      Codex Tamuanchan: On Becoming Human (1998), by R. Rodriguez

      The X in La Raza II (1996), by R. Rodriguez

      Dictionary of Latino Civil Rights History (2006), by F. A. Rosales

      A People's History of the United States: 1492 to Present (2003), by H. Zinn

      Course: English/Latino Literature 7, 8

      Ten Little Indians (2004), by S. Alexie

      The Fire Next Time (1990), by J. Baldwin

      Loverboys (2008), by A. Castillo

      Women Hollering Creek (1992), by S. Cisneros

      Mexican WhiteBoy (2008), by M. de la Pena

      Drown (1997), by J. Diaz

      Woodcuts of Women (2000), by D. Gilb

      At the Afro-Asian Conference in Algeria (1965), by E. Guevara

      Color Lines: "Does Anti-War Have to Be Anti-Racist Too?" (2003), by E. Martinez

      Culture Clash: Life, Death and Revolutionary Comedy (1998), by R. Montoya et al.

      Let Their Spirits Dance (2003) by S. Pope Duarte

      Two Badges: The Lives of Mona Ruiz (1997), by M. Ruiz

      The Tempest (1994), by W. Shakespeare

      A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America (1993), by R. Takaki

      The Devil's Highway (2004), by L. A. Urrea

      Puro Teatro: A Latino Anthology (1999), by A. Sandoval- Sanchez & N. Saporta Sternbach

      Twelve Impossible Things before Breakfast: Stories (1997), by J. Yolen

      Voices of a People's History of the United States (2004), by H. Zinn

      Course: English/Latino Literature 5, 6

      Live from Death Row (1996), by J. Abu-Jamal

      The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven (1994), by S. Alexie

      Zorro (2005), by I. Allende

      Borderlands La Frontera: The New Mestiza (1999), by G. Anzaldua

      A Place to Stand (2002), by J. S. Baca

      C-Train and Thirteen Mexicans (2002), by J. S. Baca

      Healing Earthquakes: Poems (2001), by J. S. Baca

      Immigrants in Our Own Land and Selected Early Poems (1990), by J. S. Baca

      Black Mesa Poems (1989), by J. S. Baca

      Martin & Mediations on the South Valley (1987), by J. S. Baca

      The Manufactured Crisis: Myths, Fraud, and the Attack on America's Public Schools (19950, by D. C. Berliner and B. J. Biddle

      Drink Cultura: Chicanismo (1992), by J. A Burciaga

      Red Hot S
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