A Poem: Good Morning Fortress Europe

By Rouba Mhaissen

My alarm woke me up
It’s 2017
Good morning Fortress Europe
Today is another day
I’ll get randomly checked
At an airport nearby.

Trying so hard to fix my turban
To hide my inherited racial and religious dysfunction:

Not too Muslim
Post-Modern from the sides
Not too Arab
Civilized color to say:
I studied at your universities
That taught me about rights
Exclusive to your peoples.

Not too Syrian
To have fitted on a boat
Not too Migrant
To be stealing your jobs
But silky enough
To have been made by dark hands
In your new-age slave factories

The reception rings: taxi here ma’am
And my bad hijab day
continues
I can’t fix it, goddammit!
It’s 6 am
Try again
And I heard the
Oppressed
Repressed
Depressed
Arab submissive woman in me say:

F* you, I’m Muslim.

As I wrap my hijab
Tight enough for a Syrian
Dark enough for a Muslim
Traditional enough for a barbaric Arab
Thick enough for your prejudices

And if one racist episode
If one Islamophobic feeling
Can turn my morning prayer to a curse
Don’t ask me why
Angry Muslim men
Raised in your systems
Isolated by your fears
Colonized by your whiteness
Liberated by your tax payers money
Flying with bombs over kites
Unemployed by your recessions
Guilty until proven innocent
by your silent-to-tyrants courts
Will turn your colorful
Open minded
Civilized
Modern fortress
Into a nightmare

This morning
And every morning.

Thank you Ma’am, I’ll be right down.

–Stockholm, Feb. 3, 2017.

Abuse Inquiry – Something Smells

goddard wig

Dame Lowell Goddard

Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale

Update on 30 September 2016. Yesterday the lead lawyer for the official British inquiry into historic child abuse was sacked, after protesting internally about changes to the workings of the inquiry. So we are recirculating a post we wrote last month. In hindsight, our post is too trusting of Dame Goddard, who now appears to have been trying to narrow the scope of the inquiry. But the general context we provide is still useful. Continue reading

Sexism Class Violence is now Anne Bonny Pirate

We have changed the name of our blog from Sexism Class Violence to Anne Bonny Pirate. We will still be writing about sexism, class, and violence, but the blog also celebrates resistance and love, and we want our title to reflect that.

Anne Bonny has been a symbol of resistance for a long time. Born in Ireland, raised in South Carolina, she became a pirate in the Bahamas between 1714 and 1720.  In the Bahamas in those years working class pirates ran their ships as radical democracies. They elected the captain and decided policy – one vote each. They shared the takings – one share each, and two for the captain. They were of all races and all nations. It was a world turned upside down, and the pirates became legends [See Markus Rediker, 2004, Villains of all Nations].

Anne Bonny was a legend of gender resistance too. She was born illegitimate and chose her own lovers. Like other women pirates, Bonny wore men’s clothes at work. Three centuries ago, and now, that cross dressing is part of her transgression, and her appeal.

We have also chosen our new title because  when Nancy was nine she wanted to be Anne Bonny, and Jonathan wrote his PhD on eighteenth century naval mutinies.

 

 

Thinking about Feminism and Islamophobia (3) The new grand alliance in the Middle East

Women defendants at a mass trial of supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood in Alexandria, Egypt, November 2013

Nancy Lindisfarne and Jonathan Neale explain the changing international alliances in Middle Eastern politics, and how this is connected to rising Islamophobia in Europe.

In most of Europe and North America now there is only one acceptable form of racism: prejudice against Muslims. This is recent. Until 1978 in most of Europe and North America Muslims were often discriminated against because they were Asian, or Arabs, or people of colour. But in the US, Britain and many other countries they were not singled out for their religion. Continue reading