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www.uea.ac.uk/dev new Internationalist MAY Issue 422
When designer Alan Hughes first pitched the cover that you now see on the front of this edition, I went, ‘Oh no…’ This kind of image is often used as a shorthand to pose questions of integration and identity.
So up I got on my high horse, lecturing anyone who would listen about such essentialism. I felt uncomfortable that this woman was being reduced to her burkha, at the conflict of values suggested (‘Islam and the West’ – two grand monoliths!), at the singling out, yet again, of supposed Muslim identities when problems of cultural interaction are deeper and wider. There’s a debate on women’s clothing and choice raging in our Letters page at the moment and this seemed like an unhappy reflection of that, too.
For me, identity and beliefs are about choice, taking on board the things to which I feel an affinity. But when the media goes into overdrive over ‘home-grown terror’ and ‘culture clashes’, I wonder about all those people identified immediately as being members of one group or another, and the limitations of such identity. Choice and reasoning seem to jump right out the window.
But others in the NI co-operative felt differently. They felt the image went to the heart of people’s concerns about culturally diverse societies, concerns to which they might find some answers in the edition you hold in your hands. The provocation of the
image, if such it was, could be answered by the nuance of the text.
One more tricky decision was how to convey the issues surrounding faith schools. It would have been easy to run yet another piece analyzing and attacking their place in secular democracies. But I hadn’t really heard much from people who had been to such schools and when I interviewed Laura McAllister, she put up a robust defence. Whether I agreed with her was not the point; her personal experience animated the discussion.
Getting to know the ‘Other’ is essential to making cultural diversity work to social advantage. Our Special Feature this month highlights peace initiatives among our most iconic ‘Others’ – Israelis and Palestinians. Despite everything that is stacked against them, civilians are picking up the common thread of their shared humanity. In the end that’s what it ought to be about.
Dinyar Godrej for the New Internationalist Co-operative
R E u T E R S
M u h a M M a d
B a z u k
4 Into the vortex of identity With Dinyar Godrej, whose personal
journey as an immigrant reveals some of the faultlines of multiculturalism, making the case for looking beneath the smokescreen of ‘culture clash’.
8 to craft a new society A divided society needs new answers
and new identities, argues Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.
10 No room for bigots
Canadian multiculturalism is in rude health and has licked the kinds of problems that crop up in other countries. Haroon Siddiqui explains how.
13 ‘What’s my
identity?’ Are faith schools divisive? Not according to a former student.
14 Ripping up the
rainbow Shoma Chaudhury on the hate mongers intent on tearing up the very idea of India.
SuNiL MaLhOTRa / REuTERS
18 Another side of paradise
Class or culture – which has caused Mauritius the most upset? Lindsey
Collen looks back.
20 Hanging together
Strategies for social cohesion.
i M a G E S
G E T T y
a F P
W E S T
i a M
i L L
21 sPeCIAl FeAtuRe
Peace offerings Members of citizens’ groups for peace that attempt to bridge the Israeli-Palestinian divide talk with Hadani Ditmars about why working together brings its own rewards.
RegulAR FeAtuRes 2 Letters
Much ado about women’s clothing; appalling language choices; a new green economics. PLUS: Letter from Cairo – Maria Golia discovers that Mother’s Day isn’t just for mothers. 25 Currents
A wave of strikes hits the French Caribbean; heavy-handed policing in Canada; and why the Islamic Republic of Iran’s 30th anniversary is a sombre milestone for gays. 27 Only Planet
Gort and Klaatu are visited by a ratty delegation. 28 Big Bad World
A corporate piñata, by Polyp. PLUS: NI Prize Crossword. 29 Making Waves
Bolivian feminist Saturnina Quispe Choque talks to Nadia Hausfather. 30 Mixed Media
The first Iraqi film about the USled invasion; Marianne Faithfull is still going strong; and a miraculous book of Zimbabwean short stories. 32 Southern Exposure
A Bangladeshi boy is inspired by a French footballer in Shahadat Parvez’s photograph. 33 Worldbeaters
NATO is shrouded in military secrecy, but what we do know is bad enough. 34 Essay – Timor-Leste; don't
forget Catherine Scott and Jo Barrett call on the international community to honour its obligations. 36 Country Profile: South Korea
Cover photograph: Philip Wolmuth (reportdigital.co.uk) Magazine design: Alan Hughes. All monetary values are expressed in US dollars unless otherwise noted.