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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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 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.
Editor’s note: This story about Canadian multiculturalism was originally a single 3,600 word article meant for a British magazine. I decided to turn it into a mini-series. It tells the story of Peter, a Lebanese-Canadian youth and his experience of Canadian multiculturalism. He meets different people through his life who influence his thoughts. Although this tale contains many true elements and anecdotes, it is a work of fiction. Read part 1 here, 2 here, and part 3 here
When I was still in CEGEP, some eight years ago, I used to work in a call centre. Those who worked
there were either students who needed a part-time job, recent immigrants whose experience in their home country was deemed inadequate just because it wasn’t Canadian experience, and strange characters you wished you’d never known. Most of the time, I sat with a group of Brazilians, a Senegalese youth named Didier, and a Pakistani Muslim woman named Saeeda. There were very few French-Canadians and Anglo-Canadians. One of the supervisors, a male French-Canadian student, once walked into the office and said after having looked at all the employees “Holy Shit! I’m the only white person in this room!” Because of my