Tag Archives: European Eye on Radicalization

Will Biden Repeat Obama’s Mistakes on Iran?

Any hope that the American administration has of making a deal with Iran over Iran’s nuclear programme, appears—according to recent press coverage—to be on the edge of a razor. The European parties to negotiations are said to be rushing to save the diplomatic framework. It’s an awkward business. One party to the negotiations is Russia, against whom the democratic world now finds itself ranged after the invasion of Ukraine. The optimism of early March, when a deal was glimpsed, has now receded from view. Iranian demands include the delisting of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) as a terrorist organization; that now seems most unlikely. Extraneous demands like this, and the business of sanctioning Russia, clutter up negotiations. The Biden Administration, despite its desperation for a deal, seems so far unable to secure one—and hardly in a position of strength.

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On White Space

My collection of essays, White Space, appeared in November. It collects work from more than half a decade, largely writings on books. Among descriptions of novels and anthologies of poetry that I thought were worth remarking upon, there is much contemporary politics. And in this radicalising age, there is much there too on extremism of all kinds.

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We Are Bellingcat

Review — We are Bellingcat: Global Crime, Online Sleuths, and the Bold Future of News by Eliot Higgins

We are Bellingcat, by Eliot Higgins, describes the past decade in open-source intelligence. It charts the creation of Bellingcat, an “intelligence agency for the people”, which compiles open-source evidence to analyze war and government malfeasance, notably as perpetrated in Arab countries after the revolutions in 2011 and by the Russian state across the world.

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Prey

Review – Prey: Islam, Immigration and the Erosion of Women’s Rights by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Ayaan Hirsi Ali argues that Muslim immigration is diminishing women’s rights in Europe in a way that is measurable and sustained. She makes an empirical case for asylum seekers and recent immigrants perpetrating an out-of-proportion number of sexual crimes, and contributing to a de facto culture of seclusion in which – at least in some parts of the European continent – women venture outside less than their male peers and partake less in society.

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Radicalisation and Self-Education

In Sebastian Faulks’ novel Engleby, a significant scene occurs early on, during a university interview. Faulks’ protagonist, the titular character, is the interview candidate. Engleby is a prospective student of literature; a discerning one, to his own mind. And in the course of things, he is asked to make a comparison between the writing of T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence. Engleby, an abrasive, arrogant young man, does not believe there is much to compare. Continue reading

A New Right Victim Complex

It is always a little difficult, after a massacre, to return to discussing the mundane. Talking about the banal so soon after something wrenching seems somewhat brusque. Hence the need, perhaps, to discuss the global far-right in emotive, epochal, outsized terms after the mass shooting in Christchurch. It is a way to keep the emotional intensity high – a bid to retain hot-blooded feeling, and an attempt to avoid an insensitive and premature return to reality. Continue reading