• Facebook Lets Advertisers Exclude Users by Race [ProPublica, 28/10/16]


    Facebook’s system allows advertisers to exclude black, Hispanic, and other “ethnic affinities” from seeing ads.


    Imagine if, during the Jim Crow era, a newspaper offered advertisers the option of placing ads only in copies that went to white readers.

    That’s basically what Facebook is doing nowadays.

    The ubiquitous social network not only allows advertisers to target users by their interests or background, it also gives advertisers the ability to exclude specific groups it calls “Ethnic Affinities.” Ads that exclude people based on race, gender and other sensitive factors are prohibited by federal law in housing and employment.

    Here is a screenshot of an ad we purchased in Facebook’s housing categories via the company’s advertising portal:


    The ad we purchased was targeted to Facebook members who were house hunting and excluded anyone with an “affinity” for African-American, Asian-American or Hispanic people. (Here’s the ad itself.)

    When we showed Facebook’s racial exclusion options to a prominent civil rights lawyer John Relman, he gasped and said, “This is horrifying. This is massively illegal. This is about as blatant a violation of the federal Fair Housing Act as one can find.”

    #Facebook #racisme #publicité #réseaux_sociaux #dip

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  • « Anish Kapoor Gets Exclusive Rights to the World’s Darkest Pigment » (29-02-2016)



    Anish Kapoor now owns the exclusive rights to the world’s darkest material — a claim that, naturally, is pissing off other artists. The pigment is the very sexy Vantablack, known as the blackest black out there — much blacker than a panther swimming in a tarpit, the Ayam Cemami, or your wardrobe during your middle school goth phase. A substance developed by scientists at Surrey NanoSystems in 2014, Vantablack essentially absorbs all light — 99.965% of radiation, to be exact; even when painted on a textured and shiny surface such as aluminum, it creates an abyss free of creases that many have compared to a black hole.
    Vantablack (click to enlarge)

    Kapoor had announced his intentions to use the substance shortly after its creation, but he evidently felt he had to do more and claim it as his own, in the process barring others from using it. According to the Daily Mail, the artist Christian Furr — largely known for being the youngest artist to paint the Queen of England — had intended to use the pigment in a series of paintings and has expressed his outrage at being restricted to using less intense blacks.

    “I’ve never heard of an artist monopolizing a material,” Furr told the Daily Mail. “Using pure black in an artwork grounds it.

    “All the best artists have had a thing for pure black – Turner, Manet, Goya,” he said. “This black is like dynamite in the art world. We should be able to use it. It isn’t right that it belongs to one man.”

    #Anish_Kapoor #peinture #art #noir #Vantablack #pigment #propriété #brevet #dip

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  • « Citizen Philosophy Classes » [Utne Reader]

    Banned during military dictatorship, philosophy classes are now required for students in Brazilian high schools, in an effort to boost political participation.



    In 1971 the military dictatorship that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985 eliminated philosophy classes from high schools. Teachers, professors in departments of education, and political activists championed its return, while most academic philosophers were either indifferent or suspicious.

    The 2008 law—the world’s largest-scale attempt to bring philosophy into the public sphere—represents an experiment in democracy. Among teachers at least, many share Ribeiro’s hope that philosophy will provide a path to greater civic participation and equality. Can it do even more? Can it teach students to question and challenge the foundations of society itself?

    #Philosophie #Idées #Brésil #Démocratie #Enseignement #dip

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  • No Thanks: How Thanksgiving Narratives Erase the Genocide of Native Peoples (Truthout, 26-11-2015)

    Thanksgiving has nothing to do with Native American and Indigenous people. Its purpose is to serve the capitalism of empire.


    This mural, “Reconcile,” was produced by Gregg Deal in 2014 in Washington, DC. While offering commentary on the local professional football team, the mural also puts indigenous stereotype, identity and appropriation in a historical context. (Credit: Gregg Deal)

    Thanksgiving is a nationalist holiday defined by the rituals of making money and self indulgence. Nationalist traditions advance the idea of the freedom to be happy by erasing the consequences of imperial capitalism.

    Those traditions are certainly not about the “first Thanksgiving” in 1637. John Winthrop, governor of an English colony in what is now Massachusetts, held a feast in honor of a volunteer militia who had returned from their massacre of 700 men, women and children of the Pequot Nation. The federal holiday was established in 1863. By then, the mythic narrative had become the national truth: Pilgrims (Americans) gave thanks for surviving, thanks to the “Indians” who fed them and taught them how to grow corn.

    Nothing about the myth, of course, is about Native people, neither the genocide and enslavement - nor the survival - of the Pequot Nation or other Native nations in New England. Thanksgiving erases the genocide, sexual violence, land fraud and hate that defined early colonial histories and that continue to define US-Native relations. It distorts into a magically happy scene of an extended family dinner, including the “racial other,” a relationship that was and is actually based on slavery, poverty, war and rape. And it shames and belittles Native people who contest and contend the representations as wannabe politically correct, overly sensitive, “not enough” trying to grab onto the public spotlight for themselves.

    #US #Thanksgiving #histoire #Amérindiens #colonialisme #génocide #capitalisme #consommation #dip

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  • « Il ne serait pas difficile de trouver une colonie appartenant à un Etat démocratique où la contrainte soit à bien des égards pire que dans le pire Etat totalitaire d’Europe. »

    Simone Weil (1909-1943), Les nouvelles données du problème colonial dans l’Empire français, 1938. Repris dans Œuvres, Gallimard, coll. “Quarto”, p. 419).


    #Simone_Weil #philosophie #idées #histoire #France #colonialisme #dip

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  • The magic circle: How income-security benefits are denied to the Palestinians of East Jerusalem (WAC-Maan, 23-11-2015)




    After 48 years of occupation, the Palestinians of East Jerusalem (EJ) face a humanitarian catastrophe. They number 307,600, of whom 229,300 live below the national poverty line. That is 76% of EJ residents (including 83.9% of the children). Moreover, their average income is 41.4% lower than the poverty line! This situation of deprivation and despair has contributed to the waves of violence that are sweeping over Jerusalem.

    According to the WAC-MAAN report, issued today in Hebrew, Arabic, and English, the EJ poor make up 13% of Israel’s poor, but they get only 2.7% of the NII’s income-security payments. In effect, they are deprived of a minimal economic safety net.

    #Israël #Palestiniens #Jérusalem-Est #pauvreté #inégalités #dip

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  • « Context-Free Coverage of Terror Helps Perpetuate Its Causes » (FAIR, 16/11/2015)

    “The outpouring of no-context, ahistorical sympathy after 9/11 helped pave the way for a violent reaction that killed in Iraq alone roughly 150 times as many people as died in Lower Manhattan that day — an opportunistic catastrophe that did more to mock than avenge those deaths. Coverage of the Paris attacks seems to be similarly skirting over political realities.”



    Just as the question of Al-Qaeda’s motives in 2001 provoked more self-congratulation than serious inquiry (Extra! Update, 10/01), coverage of Paris in 2015 tends to skirt over political realities. Thus the New York Times (11/13/15) could report: “A stunned and confused French capital was again left to wonder: Why us? Once again?” The obvious answer was alluded to obliquely by a soccer stadium spectator: “With all the strikes in Syria, we’re not safe anymore.”

    Readers were presumed to know this referred to the French bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria, which began in September, following aerial attacks against ISIS’s positions in Iraq that started last year (CNN, 9/27/15). Just last week, France joined in intensified strikes against ISIS-controlled oil fields in Syria (New York Times, 11/12/15). By last summer, Western airstrikes against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria had reportedly killed at least 459 civilians, including more than 100 children (Guardian, 8/3/15).

    #France #Proche-Orient #Irak #Syrie #OEI #médias #US #attentats #conflit #dip

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  • U.S. Special Forces Expand Training to Allies With Histories of Abuse

    (The Intercept, 9 septembre 2015)

    Since 9/11, Special Ops forces have expanded in almost every conceivable way — from budget to personnel to overseas missions. Many were conducted with security forces implicated in human rights violations.



    While the U.S. military is barred by law from providing aid to foreign security forces that violate human rights, JCETs [Joint Combined Exchange Training] have been repeatedly conducted in Colombia, Saudi Arabia, Chad and many other nations regularly cited for abuses by the Department of State. Under the so-called “Leahy Law,” a vetting process is meant to weed out foreign troops or units implicated in “gross human rights violations” — including extrajudicial killing, forced disappearances, and cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. But the State Department office responsible for the vetting process receives only a tiny fraction of funding compared to the projects it oversees, and a spokesperson noted that “State does not track cases in a way that is easily quantifiable.” SOCOM, for its part, was evasive about whether the military command was aware of individuals or units disqualified by Leahy vetting. “If you have questions about who has been barred, I recommend you contact the State Department,” SOCOM’s McGraw wrote in an email.

    Reports on the training of Special Operations forces, submitted to Congress and obtained through the Freedom of Information Act from the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative Affairs, show that the U.S.’s most elite troops trained in 77 foreign nations alongside nearly 25,000 foreign troops under the JCET program in just 2012 and 2013. Both the number of planned missions and foreign nations involved in JCETs are forecast to rise next year, according to a separate set of documents publicly available from the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller).

    #US #Forces_spéciales #armée #coopération_militaire #droits_humains #dictatures #régimes_autoritaires #dip

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  • Listen: Palestinians deserve right to return, says British MP Jeremy Corbyn | The Electronic Intifada (9 août 2015)



    “The three areas of Palestine that have got to be addressed are: one, settlements and occupation of the West Bank; two, the siege of Gaza and three, the issue of now fourth-generation refugees living in camps in Lebanon and some still in Syria. They deserve their rights too, they deserve their right to return home,” Corbyn said.

    #Jeremy_Corbyn #Palestine #réfugiés #Droit_au_retour #dip

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  • « The Banlieue Battleground: Designing the French Suburbs for Police/Military Interventions » (The Funambulist, septembre 2015)



    The police has a strong sense of space. Like the army, it deploys itself in it, it controls it, it appropriates it. There is therefore no doubt that its participation in the design of entire neighborhoods like the Banlieues triggers effectively drastic changes in the organization of bodies in space. Yet, we should refrain from seeing such a participation as a corruption of the noble discipline we assume architecture to be. On the contrary, I would to argue, that when the police and the architect becomes one and only entity, it is the very essence of architecture that is accomplished: its violent inherent characteristics find their full-use and its ability to subsequently control the bodies it hosts is optimal. In the case of the Banlieues, it also sanctify the absolute separation of the police/architect and its inhabitants. The necessary antagonism that results from this separation is also what feeds it, since it creates and fuel the delinquency and criminality — something admittedly difficult to describe beyond the mythical narratives that characterize them on a daily basis — against which it claims to be organized. Only the dissolution of this rhetorical and political antagonism, which materializes, among other things, through the withdrawal of the police from any territorial organization can claim to “solve problems,” and actively destroy the segregationist agency of space in French cities.

    #France #banlieues #police #armée #contrôle #urbanisme #architecture #répression #dip

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  • Tunisie : Sihem Bensedrine et Azyz Amami, premiers à tomber sous le coup de la loi antiterroriste - JeuneAfrique.com

    Lors d’un débat organisé par l’Instance vérité et dignité, le blogueur Azyz Amami s’est exprimé à propos du projet de réconciliation économique et financière. Pendant sa prise de parole, le ton est monté et l’activiste a déclaré devant son audience : « Les citoyens ont bien dit que cette loi ne passera pas, même s’il faut pour cela brûler le Parlement » et la vidéo de son intervention a été par la suite diffusée sur les réseaux sociaux.

    Les propos ont été jugés violents par quelques députés du parti Nidaa Tounes qui ont décidé de porter plainte, non seulement contre Azyz Amami, mais également contre Sihem Bensedrine, la présidente de l’instance pour ne pas avoir réagi. Nizar Ayed, l’avocat des députés accuse le blogueur d’avoir menacé de brûler le Parlement mais également de faire l’apologie de Daesh.

    Azyz Amami est connu pour avoir pris position contre la censure de Ben Ali et pour son rôle lors de la révolution de 2011. En mai 2014, il avait été arrêté pour consommation de cannabis avant d’être libéré quelques jours plus tard suite à un non lieu. Son arrestation avait poussé à différents rassemblements devant le palais de justice et le blogueur avait dénoncé une affaire montée de toute pièce.

    Controverse autour de Bensedrine

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  • « The Economist, Suez and Sisi’s cynical PR campaign » (Al-Araby, 13 août)

    The Economist’s ’special edition’ pressing the Suez Canal expansion as Egypt’s “gift to the world” cannot cover up the violence upon which Sisi’s rule operates, writes Heather McRobie.



    Amid much official fanfare and widespread cynicism from a variety of independent voices, Egypt unveiled its expansion of the Suez Canal last week, with President Sisi giving a speech that aligned the endeavour - and, implicitly, his regime - with the “gifts” that Egypt has offered the world over the past 7,000 years.

    Leaving aside the debate of whether the canal expansion was really the large-scale project Egypt most urgently needed to undertake at this time, Sisi certainly harnessed the event to present a Pharonic-like spectacle that tried to conceptually entwine Egypt’s past and future glories with the phony glory of his regime.

    #EgyptRejoices - does it really?

    Many found the overblown symbolism embarrassing at best, and distasteful at worst — considering the vast infrastructure problems, poverty and unemployment rates that Egypt continues to face.

    The celebratory hashtag for the event, #EgyptRejoices, triggered a counter-campaign highlighting the pressing issues of unemployment, poverty, illiteracy and sexual harassment.

    It was therefore surprising to many Egypt-watchers to see an edition of The Economist circulating on social media, with a front cover that positioned the Suez Canal — reworked as the Pharonic Key of Life — next to a smiling image of Sisi, headlined “Egypt’s gift to the world”.

    The Egyptian government later denied that it had paid for the cover, but a flimsy disclaimer at the bottom of the cover that “no endorsement is implied” by The Economist did little to wash away the bad taste at witnessing Sisi’s PR spectacle in action.

    It is worth noting that The Economist has previously published articles critical of Sisi’s polity - from the detention and suppression of journalists to the targeting of Egyptian NGOs. But giving its front page to an advertorial that positions Sisi’s regime as both legitimate and “business friendly” — to use Sisi’s language at the Sharm el Sheikh international business conference last year — sent a much stronger message.

    The Economist’s decision to print this special edition cover further enables Sisi to stand on the world stage as the leader of a legitimate regime, and encourages other countries to form economic and political alliances with “the man who restored order to the country”.

    Having said that, it is particularly ironic that a magazine with as much international clout as The Economist would allow Sisi to use it for his own rehabilitative PR campaign, given that one of the sections of society most targeted by the Egyptian government has been the one The Economist belongs to: journalists and media outlets.

    In the face of a growing online backlash at The Economist’s role in Sisi’s New Suez spectacle, defenders argued that the cover was not produced for sale, and wouldn’t be gracing global newsstands, but was rather produced solely for distribution at the Suez expansion opening ceremony.

    Such a defence, however, contains within it a very revealing aspect of the psyche of Sisi’s establishment: the Pharonic vanity of commissioning a front cover of a globally respected newspaper solely as adornment to a grand ceremony.

    #Egypte #canal_de_Suez #dictature #répression #Al-Sissi #relations_publiques #The_Economist #dip

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  • L’armée israélienne pourra s’entrainer librement en Grèce (Mondafrique, 24 juillet)

    Pendant que son premier ministre, Alexis Tsipras, ferraillait avec Angela Merkel, Panos Kammenos, le patron de la Défense, signait un accord de coopération avec Israël.



    Pendant que son premier ministre ferraillait avec Angela Merkel, Panos Kammenos, le patron de la Défense, signait un accord de coopération avec Israël. Kammenos, ministre des armées, est au sein de gouvernement le représentant de la minorité d’appoint qui a permis à Tsipras de gouverner le pays. Kammenos est le dirigeant d’ANEL, le petit parti souverainiste des « Grecs indépendants ». Le ministre de la Défense grecque vient de se rendre en Israël où il a signé un document SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) avec son équivalent Moshé Yaalon.

    Dans le sillage américain

    Selon ce « traité », les forces israéliennes pourront s’entrainer en Grèce et vice versa. Cet accord a vraiment un caractère exceptionnel puisque seuls les Etats-Unis ont signé un tel échange avec Israël. Yaalon a salué chaleureusement la collaboration entre la Grèce et son pays : « Nous apprécions grandement la coopération sécuritaire qui se traduit par l’entraînement de nos soldats et officiers sur le territoire grec. Nos États partagent des intérêts communs, car ils doivent faire face aux conséquences de l’accord signé la semaine dernière entre les grandes puissances et l’Iran. ».

    Absolument pas pris de court Panos Kammenos a répliqué avec le même enthousiasme : « Le peuple grec est très proche du peuple d’Israël. Concernant notre coopération militaire, nos relations sont excellentes, nous continuerons à les entretenir et poursuivrons les entraînements communs. Le terrorisme et le djihad ne frappent pas que le Proche Orient, mais également les Balkans et l’Europe. C’est la guerre. Nous étions également très proches d’Israël pour tout ce qui est relatif au programme de missiles de l’Iran. Nous nous trouvons à la portée de ces missiles. Si un missile iranien se dirige vers la mer Méditerranée, cela peut signifier la fin de tous les pays de la région. »

    Cf. aussi : « Israel, Greece sign status of forces agreement » (Jerusalem Post, 19 juillet - http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/Israel-Greece-sign-status-of-forces-agreement-409492)

    #Israël #Grèce #coopération_militaire #armée #IOF #dip

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  • « Aiding & Abetting? The limits of humanitarian aid in the Occupied Palestinian Territories » (MSF, blog, 21 juillet)

    Par Jason Cone, directeur général de Médecins sans frontières - Etats-Unis



    For the past 15 years, our programs in the West Bank and Gaza have focused mainly on mental health — but my colleagues at times feel like they can only give patients a thicker coat of psychological armor against the daily trauma of their lives.

    These patients are parents of teenagers being held in Israeli or Palestinian prisons, children with one or both parents in detention, families on the frontlines of settler-Palestinian violence or intra-Palestinian violence, and those affected by nighttime IDF search operations or other military actions.

    What our staff sees, day in and day out, are the medical consequences of the occupation. But while we can treat some of our patient’s symptoms, we can’t alter the underlying causes of their suffering. And as the suffering has become normalized, we have been questioning the wisdom of our presence. This is the humanitarian’s dilemma: how to alleviate the suffering of a population while not enabling the powers at the root of the pain. (...)

    MSF teams in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and other war zones around the world are always reflecting on their actions with an eye toward ensuring aid does not do more harm than good. For now, we will continue stitching up the physical and psychological wounds of Palestinians, knowing that another war with Israel may not be far off, and that a great many people already need assistance right now.

    This is our role, one constantly questioned by our medical teams on the ground, who are always struggling to see the invisible line between complicity with the occupation and a refusal not to ignore its consequences. Ultimately, though, our humanitarian action has been consistently justified as a response to the needs of Palestinians trapped by this endless war.

    As has been the case for the past 15 years, our presence is our protest in the face of an occupation that has taken on a near-permanent character. While there is no shortage of suffering in Gaza and the West Bank, an international acceptance of the unacceptable is now the deadliest form of the occupation for Palestinians—with no end in sight.

    #Palestine #Cisjordanie #Gaza #Israël #occupation #MSF #aide_humanitaire #ONG #dip

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  • « ISIS Transforming Into Functioning State That Uses Terror as Tool », NYT, 22 juillet (titre initial : « Building on brutal origins, ISIS learns to govern », International NYT , 11-12 juillet)

    The Islamic State is gaining a capacity to govern. But while the group still relies on brutality, its shift may have the West rethinking a military-first strategy.


    An Islamic State member gave a soccer ball to a boy at a public event in Syria, in a photograph released by a militant website.

    The Islamic State uses terror to force obedience and frighten enemies. It has seized territory, destroyed antiquities, slaughtered minorities, forced women into sexual slavery and turned children into killers.

    But its officials are apparently resistant to bribes, and in that way, at least, it has outdone the corrupt Syrian and Iraqi governments it routed, residents and experts say.

    “You can travel from Raqqa to Mosul, and no one will dare to stop you even if you carry $1 million,” said Bilal, who lives in Raqqa, the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria, and, out of fear, insisted on being identified only by his first name. “No one would dare to take even one dollar.”

    The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, ISIL and Daesh, initially functioned solely as a terrorist organization, if one more coldblooded even than Al Qaeda. Then it went on to seize land.

    But increasingly, as it holds that territory and builds a capacity to govern, the group is transforming into a functioning state that uses extreme violence — terror — as a tool.

    That distinction is proving to be more than a matter of perspective for those who live under the Islamic State, which has provided relative stability in a region troubled by war and chaos while filling a vacuum left by failing and corrupt governments that also employed violence — arrest, torture and detention.

    While no one is predicting that the Islamic State will become the steward of an accountable, functioning state anytime soon, the group is putting in place the kinds of measures associated with governing: issuing identification cards for residents, promulgating fishing guidelines to preserve stocks, requiring that cars carry tool kits for emergencies. That transition may demand that the West rethink its military-first approach to combating the group.

    “I think that there is no question that the way to look at it is as a revolutionary state-building organization,” said Stephen M. Walt, a professor of international affairs at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. He is one of a small but growing group of experts who are challenging the conventional wisdom about the Islamic State: that its evil ensures its eventual destruction.

    #OEI #Proche-Orient #Syrie #Irak #Etats-Unis #state_building #djihadisme #fondamentalisme #dip

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  • Excellentissime :-)

    « BHL recalé au bac de philosophie pour avoir réécrit Machiavel »


    Le botulisme — le recours aux références imaginaires — est une maladie chronique dont souffre Bernard-Henri Lévy. Dans la nuit du 20 au 21 juillet, elle l’a de nouveau frappé, cette fois sur Twitter, avec cette déclaration, sans flagornerie aucune, à l’attention de Manuel Valls :


    Entre une « brosse à reluire » et un philosophe, aucune confusion n’est possible, bien qu’on puisse se risquer à les comparer : le cirage est à la brosse à reluire ce que la référence est au philosophe. Parvenu ici au sommet de la déférente rebellitude, BHL a donc puisé dans son stock de citations approximatives… et découvert que pour Machiavel la loyauté serait « la vertu la plus rare – celle des princes », et celle de Manuel Valls… qui se serait sans doute passé de ce compliment perfide.

    En effet, de lointains souvenirs de lycée nous ont laissé penser que, selon Machiavel, la loyauté peut passer pour une vertu, mais que la véritable vertu consiste à ne pas en faire un usage inconsidéré. Et, vérification faite, nous ne trompions pas.

    #BHL #Machiavel #philo #politique #Manuel_Valls #dip

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  • Why Jihadists Write Poetry (“The New Yorker”, 8 juin)

    ISIS’s videos of beheadings are for foreign viewers. The movement talks to itself in verse.



    ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other Islamist movements produce a huge amount of verse. The vast majority of it circulates online, in a clandestine network of social-media accounts, mirror sites, and proxies, which appear and disappear with bewildering speed, thanks to surveillance and hacking. On militant Web sites, poetry-discussion forums feature couplets on current events, competitions among duelling poets, who try to outdo one another in virtuosic feats, and downloadable collections with scholarly accoutrements. (“The Blaze of Truth” includes footnotes that explain tricky syntax and unusual rhyme schemes).

    Analysts have generally ignored these texts, as if poetry were a colorful but ultimately distracting by-product of jihad. But this is a mistake. It is impossible to understand jihadism—its objectives, its appeal for new recruits, and its durability—without examining its culture. This culture finds expression in a number of forms, including anthems and documentary videos, but poetry is its heart. And, unlike the videos of beheadings and burnings, which are made primarily for foreign consumption, poetry provides a window onto the movement talking to itself. It is in verse that militants most clearly articulate the fantasy life of jihad.

    #OEI #Al-Qaida #djihadistes #poésie #culture #Internet #Proche-Orient #dip

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  • Edward Said’s Son, Wadie Said, Changing Terrorism Prosecutions

    Law professor Wadie Said, in a new book, delves into the ways unwarranted terrorism cases have eroded the rule of law.



    “I really absorbed from my father the idea of standing up for people who were persecuted or otherwise down-and-out, and wanted to apply that lesson in a different way, hence my initial decision to become a public defender,” Said says in an interview. “I was fortunate enough to start my career working on a high-profile prosecution like that with political overtones, and I came to the belief that it is always important to try and get the client’s message across, especially given how the overwhelming official hostility towards anyone with the status of terrorism defendant can subvert the legal process.”

    The judicial fearmongering is perhaps best encapsulated by a 2013 appellate ruling in the case of Tarek Mehanna, a Boston-area man convicted of material support for terrorism. Mehanna was not actually accused of planning any violent act. The terrorism charges were instead based primarily on an accusation that he had translated ideological materials from Arabic to English and posted them online.

    In his ruling upholding Mehanna’s 17-year sentence, Judge Bruce Selya wrote, with considerable rhetorical excess, “Terrorism is the modern-day equivalent of the bubonic plague: it is an existential threat,” and he added that terrorism defendants, even ostensibly non-violent ones like Mehanna, should expect the posture of the courts toward them “will be fierce.”

    Wadie Said’s critical view of these sorts of cases was shaped by his father’s scholarship, as well as his own legal studies. “My father’s books obviously had a deep impact on me, as I learned how negative stereotypes affecting whole regions, cultures, languages and religious practices of anyone who could be considered part of the Muslim world could be very overwhelming,” Said says. “Once these stereotypes migrated to the realm of criminal prosecution, I felt I should try my best to counteract and dispel them in the legal field, particularly in cases where the government wanted to put people in prison for non-violent political activism, charity and other forms of solidarity with oppressed people around the globe.”

    Said has written a new book, Crimes of Terror: The Legal and Political Implications of Federal Terrorism Prosecutions, which argues that “the mentality that we are in a nebulous and continuous war on terror” has led to overzealous and unwarranted terrorism prosecutions, while eroding key aspects of the rule of law. “The excesses of the past, including the use of agents provocateurs, racial profiling and mass infiltration by informants, have all been quietly revived under the banner of fighting this ill-defined threat,” Said told The Intercept.

    Since 9/11, the U.S. government has pursued extraordinary legal (as well as extralegal) efforts to combat terrorism, and in doing so has expanded the “terrorist” label far beyond its previous connotations. Said argues that measures taken by the courts have created an effective “terrorist exception” to previously existing legal standards. Crimes of Terror examines the way in which this exception has altered normal law enforcement and judicial practices at every stage of the legal cycle, from initial investigation and evidence gathering, to trial, and finally to sentencing and incarceration.

    #Wadie_Said #Edward_Said #terrorisme #justice #US #Proche-Orient #Palestine #Hamas #Israël #dip

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  • Souleymane Bachir Diagne : « La transmission de la philosophie antique fut aussi une affaire africaine »

    La pensée africaine a longtemps été niée par la philosophie européenne. Pourtant, les échanges commerciaux et intellectuels transsahariens ont permis la transmission des connaissances grecques et latines antiques. Lors d’une conférence au Festival Philosophia à Saint-Emilion, le 30 mai dernier, le philosophe Souleymane Bachir Diagne a rappelé le rôle de centres culturels comme Tombouctou au Mali dans l’histoire de la philosophie.



    Peut-on parler de philosophie africaine en singulier ?

    Au singulier, « philosophie africaine » possède un aspect très général et essentialiste qui ne convient pas. Quand on pense à la philosophie africaine, on cherche le prolongement de l’entreprise ethnologique d’approche d’une société sans écriture. Pourtant, le cas de Tombouctou indique bien qu’il y a une tradition écrite. « Philosophies en Afrique » signifie aussi l’enseignement de textes de logique aristotélicienne à Tombouctou ou à Djenné, également au Mali. Je ne suis pas totalement hostile à l’expression de philosophies africaines, à condition qu’on l’utilise au pluriel. Il existe plusieurs aspects de l’histoire intellectuelle sur le continent africain. Les traditions d’érudition écrite en font partie. La Translatio studii, c’est-à-dire le transfert de la philosophie antique, n’est pas simplement une affaire européenne. Elle a aussi été une affaire africaine.

    Comment s’est opérée cette Translatio studii ?

    Il y a d’abord eu une Translatio studii du monde grec et romain au monde arabo-musulman. Celui-ci a développé un certain nombre de centres intellectuels. Plusieurs pratiques disciplinaires se sont répandues. Tombouctou était un point d’aboutissement des voies caravanières et des routes transsahariennes. L’idée même d’un isolement physique et intellectuel de l’Ouest africain est une idée fausse. Il faut le rappeler : le Sahara n’est pas un mur. Au contraire : cet espace a toujours été traversé de tous les côtés par des populations, des biens, des idées, des manuscrits... En regardant ainsi, on voit très bien la continuité spatiale entre une Afrique de l’Ouest dite subsaharienne et une Afrique du Nord elle-même en connexion avec le sud de l’Espagne, le Soudan, l’Égypte et la Péninsule arabique.

    Après l’indépendance, de nombreux régimes africains autoritaires se sont servis de cette expression de « philosophie africaine » pour renforcer un pouvoir holistique, à visée globale.

    Il est intéressant d’observer les usages politiques de cette expression. Les pouvoirs africains ont créé de toute pièce l’idée que la philosophie africaine, expression de la culture africaine, mettait davantage l’accent sur la collectivité et les droits qui lui appartiennent. Le collectif devait être représenté par un parti unique, dirigé par un chef, tel un patriarche, dont on ne questionne pas les directions ni le pouvoir. Cette notion de philosophie africaine a été utilisée par les régimes les plus autoritaires et les plus despotiques, pour justifier que le collectif soit tout et que l’individu ne soit rien. Les dissensions étaient considérées comme un crime contre un consensus qu’on estimait être la marque des cultures africaines.

    #Afrique #Mali #Tombouctou #Translatio_studii #Antiquité_classique #philosophie #pensée #savoirs #culture #histoire #dip

    http://seenthis.net/messages/389105 via Zalama

  • Will Israel invade West Bank? (Al-Monitor, 9 juillet)

    Israeli-Palestinian relations are back to square one as Israel recently threatened to invade and occupy the West Bank.



    « The current field situation in the West Bank is proof of the quasi-absolute security control imposed by the Israeli army. The latter breaks into any camp or village whenever it pleases through coordination with Palestinian security services, and it arrests wanted people by conducting night raids, the most recent of which took place June 1 in different West Bank areas, including Bethlehem, Nablus and Hebron. According to a May report by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, the Israeli army has 361 mobile checkpoints in the streets of the West Bank, and 96 fixed checkpoints inside the West Bank. (...)

    In April 2015, the Israeli army sent the elite Golani Brigade to the West Bank, after a three-year absence, in response to armed attacks against Israeli settlers; the army did not mention the duration of the brigade’s stay in the West Bank. (...)

    Wassef Erekat, a retired major general from the Palestinian Authority, told Al-Monitor, “The recent Israeli military measures reflect aggressive Israeli intentions aiming at a new escalation in the West Bank, because the Golani Brigade’s job is to face armies and military operations, and not to confront unarmed civilians.” (...)

    The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, published in 2011 a survey showing the geographic spread of the Israeli army camps in the West Bank. According to the survey, the Israeli camps are set up in east, west, north and south West Bank, which makes the possibility of Israel invading it again a probable option for the army. Al-Monitor obtained an internal security document from the Palestinian Authority prepared by unknown parties in recent weeks, but still not published in the media as it was only circulated to a limited extent between Palestinian officers in the West Bank. The document read, “The question that preoccupied Palestinian decision-makers is not about the possibility of Israel implementing its threats to invade the West Bank or not. The question is when will the invasion take place, which region would it reach and how long will it last?” »

    #Palestine #Cisjordanie #Israël #occupation #Autorité_palestinienne #coordination_sécuritaire #Wassef_Erekat #dip

    http://seenthis.net/messages/389099 via Zalama

  • Facebook Rainbow Profile Photos: The Latest Big Data Experiment?

    The social network learns more about its users than they might realize.



    Scholars and activists have debated the effectiveness of profile-image campaigns since at least 2009, when Twitter users turned their profiles green, joined Facebook groups, and changed their location setting to Tehran in support of Iranian protesters. Experts downplayed the importance of such actions; Global Voices Iran editor Fred Petrossian argued that talk of a Twitter revolution “reveals more about Western fantasies for new media than the reality in Iran.” Evgeny Morozov, who was a Yahoo fellow at the time, called it “slacktivism,” a “harmless activism” that “wasn’t very productive.”

    Among other critiques, Morozov voiced two important questions in a larger debate over the value of collective action online. First, he argued that social-media solidarity has an unknown effect toward political change, perhaps even siphoning energy away from more effective action. Secondly, Morozov downplayed the cost and risk of that participation. But unlike Westerners showing solidarity for Iranians on Twitter, gender equality in the U.S. involves changes in social relations alongside political changes. Changing one’s profile image in support of marriage equality in America carries immediate risks and costs, from “a quarrel with one’s otherwise-thinking friends—to the life-threatening,” as State and Adamic explain in their research.

    #Facebook #technologie #études_comportementales #Internet #slacktivism #réseaux_sociaux #panurgisme #Evgeny_Morozov #dip

    http://seenthis.net/messages/385752 via Zalama

  • « La leçon de démocratie d’Alexis Tsipras : un référendum le 5 juillet »



    On l’avait dit proche de la capitulation, prêt à se soumettre à un nouveau memorandum humiliant imposé par le quarteron déchaîné des créanciers et de la Troïka réunis. Ce soir, vendredi 27 juin 2015, le premier ministre grec, Alexis Tsipras, vient d’apporter un démenti cinglant à ses détracteurs : le 5 juillet 2015, le peuple grec décidera lui-même par référendum la réponse qu’il entend donner à ses oppresseurs : la soumission ou la rupture. Quelle que soit cette réponse, Alexis Tsipras vient de donner une magistrale leçon de démocratie à ceux qui la bafouent au nom d’intérêts privés qui n’osent plus dire leur nom.

    « La Grèce est et restera une partie de l’Europe, mais l’Europe n’est rien sans la démocratie » (Alexis Tsipras, 26 juin 2015).

    #Grèce #Europe #UE #troïka

    http://seenthis.net/messages/384993 via Zalama

  • Piqûre de rappel adressée par l’occupé à l’occupant.

    « Palestinian kills Israeli settler, wounds another in West Bank » (Falastin News Palestine فلسطين)

    An Israeli settler was killed and another wounded after a Palestinian opened fire on them near the illegal settlement of Dolev in the West Bank district of Ramallah Friday, the Israeli occupation army said.



    Cf. Résolution 2621 des Nations unies (12.10.1970 ) : «  [L’ONU affirme] le droit inhérent des peuples coloniaux de lutter par tous les moyens nécessaires contre les puissances coloniales qui répriment leur aspiration à la liberté et à l’indépendance. » Cette légitimation du droit à la résistance est confortée par l’article 1er §4 du premier protocole additionnel de Genève du 08.06.1977, aux termes duquel, parmi les conflits armés internationaux, figurent ceux « dans lesquels les peuples luttent contre la domination coloniale et l’occupation étrangère [...] dans l’exercice du droit des peuples à disposer d’eux-mêmes… »

    #Palestine #Cisjordanie #Israël #colonisation #occupation #dip

    http://seenthis.net/messages/382731 via Zalama

  • Pendant ce temps-là, à Jénine....

    « IOF storms different towns of Jenin » (17 mai) ; « IOF storms Jenin towns, attacks citizens in Yabud (18 mai)


    JENIN (PIC) 17 May — The Israeli occupation forces (IOF) at dawn Sunday raided homes in the towns of Jaba, Sanur, Meithalun and al-Jadida, south of Jenin city. Local sources told the Palestinian Information Center (PIC) that dozens of Israeli soldiers stormed Sanur town at four o’clock in the morning and handed 39-year-old Iyad Aisa a summons for interrogation from the Shin Bet. During the campaign in the town, the invading troops ransacked the house of Fawzi Habaiba, 40, interrogated him and occupied the rooftops of some homes before leaving the area. The IOF also patrolled several neighborhoods and erected barriers for long hours in the nearby towns of Jaba‘, Meithalun and al-Jadida, with no reported arrests.


    #Palestine #Israël #Cisjordanie #Jénine #occupation #dip

    http://seenthis.net/messages/371766 via Zalama

  • Vlan !

    « Palestinians and the dilemmas of solidarity »



    Whereas many of those who go on these visits are sincere and genuine in their support of the Palestinians, there is a worry that this amounts to no more or less than solidarity tourism for which western do-gooders have been known throughout the 20th century — from their tours of the Soviet Union in the 1920s to tours and sugar-harvesting in Cuba in the 1960s, and more so with coffee harvesting and house-building in Nicaragua in the 1980s — none of which had any real or lasting impact beyond the symbolic. While it is true that by witnessing the horrors of the occupation, visitors can and do write and agitate against Israeli policies with more authority, it remains of concern when this constitutes the maximal limit of their solidarity.

    #Palestine #dip

    http://seenthis.net/messages/370627 via Zalama