Is WWE Supporting Wahhabism?

On April 27th 2018, the WWE will hold its Greatest Royal Rumble event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Pro wrestling fans and online magazines expressed their outrage towards the WWE for removing all matches featuring female wrestlers from the event. The WWE even went as far as removing female ring announcers from the event to avoid offending the Saudi government. Could trying to please this government be a form of support towards Wahhabism?

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Easter in Egypt: One Year Later

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Cartoon by Carlos Latuff depicting the unity between Christians and Muslims during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution

I remember last year’s reports on the church bombings in Egypt on Palm Sunday. When I heard the news, my blood curdled. I was reminded on Christmas of the harm Salafism causes when I read on Mada Masr about the church attack. I was filled with rage. I was afraid friends and family might have been hurt. It’s as if Islamist terrorist way of celebrating Christmas and Easter was to kill people and bomb churches. I was fed up of hearing from friends and relatives “Don’t worry: the martyrs are in a better place now,” “Heaven needed another angel,” and words from the Coptic Orthodox Pope such as “The Church needs martyrs.” I have no idea as to why heaven has such a great demand for Egyptians.

However, I remembered something else. In Egyptian newspapers and social media, there were mentions of Muslims leaving candles, message of condolences, and flowers in front of Saint George’s church and Saint-Mark’s cathedral after the Palm Sunday attack in 2017. Should this be surprising?

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Sunday, Bloody Palm Sunday

Note: This is an unreleased article about the terrorist attacks on Palm Sunday 2017 in Egypt. It was meant for newspapers.

Sunday, April 9th 2017. Palm Sunday. A bomb explodes in Mar Guirguis (Saint-George in Arabic) church in Tanta, a few kilometers away from Cairo, while another terrorist blows himself up as two police officers, a male and a female, deny him entry into Saint-Mark’s Coptic Cathedral in Alexandria. Same old story, business as usual, but what went on social media was a bit different. Why are these bombings somewhat usual and what is different? What are the terrorists’ motivations?

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An example of images shared on social media after the attack. It reads “Do not say ‘I am a Muslim and you are a Christian’ but ‘You are my brother, my blood and my friend’ “. Unknown author

Since 2010, Islamic terrorists bomb churches during the three biggest Christian feasts in Egypt: Christmas, Palm Sunday, and the biggest one of all, Easter. Only major incidents are reported because the minor ones have become so common that they have become routine. The reasons for attacking Saint-Mark’s Cathedral in Alexandria are quite clear.

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What do Neo-Nazis and Muslim Extremists Have in Common?

In her Ted Talks Video, Erin Marie Saltman compares neo-Nazi groups and Muslim extremists, and explains how social media can be used to combat them. Yes, that’s right: people join neo-Nazi and Muslim extremists groups for similar reasons! Their members are angry at the world for various reasons, long for utopia, and think the world rejects them for it.

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Japan’s Hidden Social Problems

On February 26th 2018, Professor Adrian Favell and Vincent Mirza kicked off their lecture “Japon : comment gérer et vivre dans une société post-croissance” (Japan: How to manage and live in a post-growth society) at the Université de Montréal with familiar images. Doraemon, Pikachu, Prime Minister

Shinzo Abe as Super Mario
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe dressed up as Super Mario makes an appearance during the closing ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics on Aug. 21, 2016. (Kyodo). Photo by Deohayer

Shinzo Abe announcing the Tokyo Olympics as Super Mario… This is part of the “Cool Japan” branding Japan wants to world to see. Behind the bright futuristic Tokyo lights, manga, anime lies the side of Japan the Japanese want to hide: failed modernity. Through postmodern art, Professor Favell showed the modernity artists reject: the one that fails to protect Japan from natural disasters, the one that empties the countryside, and the one that causes the youth to withdraw.

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My (Short) Twitter Conversation with Fit Finlay and Masakatsu Funaki

I’m a sucker for all things martial arts and pro wrestling. When I heard that one of my favourite wrestlers, David “Fit” Finlay was a shooter, I began searching the internet for matches in which I could see his catch wrestling wizardry and knowledge of the martial arts. One day, I came across a YouTube video in a language I never heard before (Welsh?) in which Finlay wrestled Masaharu Funaki in a promotion called Reslo. Could it be? Could this Masaharu Funaki who looked, dressed and wrestled like Masakatsu Funaki be THE Masakatsu Funaki? I had to find out.

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