Last updated: 8 December 2021

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A recipe for mashing civilisations

December 2021 – The migratory history of foodstuffs and cuisines reveals that our dinner tables, like our societies, are both melting pots and salad bowls of ingredients from many different civilisations.

Can the new heroes of net zero save the climate?

December 2021 – From countries and corporations to fossil fuel producers and steakhouses, almost everyone is pledging to reach net-zero emissions. But meeting these promises would require a Planet B to offset Planet A. We need other solutions.

The thin green line

October 2021 – The environmental movement has scored remarkable recent successes, but the situation for the climate and nature remains fragile and vulnerable. Overcoming the damaging inertia of business as usual requires the thin green line of activists to be reinforced by the swelling ranks of concerned citizens.

Arab atheists: A demonised minority

October 2021 – Atheists are widely misunderstood by many Arabs and Muslims. There are those who believe us to be Satanists or that we have no moral compass and are debauch degenerates. But understanding and sympathy are growing.

Gaza’s endless catch-22s

August 2021 – Israel will not lift its blockade of Gaza until Hamas is removed from power, but Hamas will not fall so long as there is a blockade. This is just one of the many tragic, circular paradoxes in which Gaza is entrapped.

Remembering Jewish Arabists and Arab Jews

June 2021 – In these polarised times, the social, political and cultural influence and fluid identities of Arab Jews and Jewish Arabists is largely forgotten when it should be commemorated and celebrated.

Sacrificing Gaza’s children

May 2021 – Gaza’s traumatised children are paying the heaviest price for the endless wars raining down on them. Israel, Hamas and the international community have all failed them.

How not to make Europe great again

May 2021 – A new alliance of Italian, Polish and Hungarian far-right parties promises a renaissance that will make Europe great and Christian again. The trouble is the original Renaissance was not Christian, and Europe has never been better.

Overcoming the hidden environmental costs of solar energy

April 2021 – Our efforts to harness the sun’s energy to power our future may require up to 5% of the territories of some countries, a new simulation finds. This could have significant direct and indirect environmental side effects, including habitat loss and deforestation. But there are ways to avoid this.

Lessons in religious intolerance

April 2021 – Using offensive images of Muhammad in the context of a lesson on blasphemy is entirely justifiable pedagogically, intellectually and morally. Conservative Muslims protesting against it are attempting to shut down free inquiry and undermining pluralism.

Denmark’s white ghetto mindset

April 2021 – The concentration of immigrants in certain poor neighbourhoods in Denmark is far more a sign of the ghetto mentality of the majority than that of minorities.

Combating racism is a race against time

April 2021 – The European Union has committed itself to dispelling the spectre of racial prejudice. But with the resurgence of racism and discrimination across Europe, combating it requires urgent action, not just noble words.

The rise of Republican rage

March 2021 – The Republicans have become the party of anger and grievance. Their rage is amplified by the conservative media and gun rights associations. This is bad news for society.

How not to fight extremist in America

March 2021 – A sudden lurch from ignoring or underplaying the threat of right-wing extremism in America to treating white crusaders like jihadis and QAnon like al-Qaeda will set off the insurgency timebomb rather than defuse it.

White extinction and the mythical menace of multiculturalism

March 2021 – Despite the paranoid conspiracy theories and fear-mongering of the extreme right, cultural diversity is a beautiful and wondrous thing.

Egypt’s other revolution

February 2021 – A decade after Egyptians rose up against Hosni Mubarak, the counterrevolution appears victorious in the political domain. However, under the radar, a social revolution is in motion.

The heroes fighting online hate speech

February 2021 – Donald Trump’s latest impeachment throws a spotlight on the politics of grievance, the role of social media and the dangers of hate speech spilling over into real life. Fortunately, the pushback has started.

Image: Ramy Raoof

Egypt’s suicidal state

February 2021 – Events following the fall of Hosni Mubarak reveal that the Egyptian regime is on the path to self-destruction.

The downfall of Donald Trump

January 2021 – There was a certain poetic justice to Donald Trump’s undoing. I’d even call it Shakespearean.

Source: Wikipedia

How to kill a revolution

January 2021 – Unable to extinguish the ideas awakened by the revolution, the Egyptian military has focused its efforts on violently and brutally crushing almost every form of open dissent. This is an extremely dangerous and reckless game.

Ancient Egypt: A pyramid scheme that worked

January 2021 – Spanning some three millennia of recorded history, Ancient Egyptians built a state to last. What was behind this success and what can we learn from it? Quite a few surprising lessons, in fact.

Max Headroom

On the high-tech path to destruction

November 2020 – Rather than humans becoming enslaved by robots, machines have become the new slave or serf class, with devastating consequences for society and the environment. We desperately need a more humane and sustainable approach to automation.

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