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Showing posts from November, 2015

Le Golfe contrôle (JMD quoted in Liberation)

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Le Golfe contrôlePar — 26 novembre 2015 à 19:36 Jeudi 26 novembre 2015. Vue du circuit Yas Marina d'Abu Dhabi.Luca Bruno. AP

Breeding intolerance: Turkish soccer fans disrespect Islamic State victims

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By James M. Dorsey
Turkish fans twice in two months disrupted moments of silence for victims of Islamic State attacks in Ankara and Paris in a demonstration of the kind of intolerance bred by religiously-cloaked authoritarianism in countries like Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
The fans demonstrative empathy with the Islamic State by shouting Allahu Akbar, God is Great, during moments of silence at the beginning of two soccer matches represented more than simple identification with the jihadist group or evidence of a substantial support base in Turkey. It signalled a shift in attitudes among some segments of Turkish society as a result of 12 years of rule by one of modern Turkey’s most important leaders that increasingly has been infused with notions of ‘us’ and ‘them.’
In Turkey, them is often Kurds, who account for up to 20 percent of the population. Kurds were prominent among the victims in Ankara in October and an earlier IS attack in July in south-eastern Turkish town of Suruc. The Su…

Soccer is Politics (JMD in The American Interest)

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Published on: November 21, 2015
THE BEAUTIFUL GAME Soccer is Politics

JAMES M. DORSEY
Why Egypt’s repressive regime considers soccer fans one of its biggest threats. A hmed (not his real name) is an Egyptian soccer fan —and a fugitive. He has been expelled from university, convicted twice in absentia, and sentenced to two long terms in prison. He moves around Cairo in a protective crouch, speaks in a low voice to avoid being overheard, and looks furtively over his shoulder as he organizes flash protests against the government of General-turned-President Abdel Fattah al Sisi.
Ahmed is a leader of a militant soccer fan group called Ultras Nahdawy (“ultra” is a term for a hardcore soccer fan first used in Italy). Like other such groups, it is constantly in danger of being banned by the Sisi government under new, sweeping