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Opinion: European identity crisis: Muslims are additional damage in the cultural wars of the continent | Instant News

HA Hellyer is a Cambridge University fellow, an undergraduate with the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a senior fellow at the Royal United Services Institute.

Last week, New Zealand commemorated the Christchurch massacre, in which politicians and civil society mourned the loss of their lives when a far-right terrorist killed dozens at a mosque on the island nation. But the rhetoric underlying terrorist atrocities is not far from mainstream politics as we think.

Recently, Switzerland chose to ban public face coverings, including the burka or niqab worn by Muslim women. The Swiss People’s Party has campaigned to support it with slogans such as “Stop Extremism” and “Stop Islamic Radicalism” – the latest moves on the continent of Europe that link visible Muslim religious practices to extremism. But it is more than that. As Walter Wobmann, chairman of the referendum committee and member of parliament for the Swiss People’s Party, said before the vote: “In Switzerland, our tradition is for you to show your face. It is a sign of our basic freedom … [facial coverings are] this symbol for extreme political Islam which has become increasingly prominent in Europe and has no place in Switzerland. “The move here is clear – Europe is under attack; the main perpetrators of the attack are Muslims; defense must be against them, by all means necessary.

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Mr Wobmann is not the only European politician to say so. “I think Islamo-lefts are eating away at our society as a whole, and universities are not immune and are part of our society,” French Minister of Higher Education Frédérique Vidal declared on February 14th. For a Valentine’s Day message, this hardly shows much of the warmth or hospitality of the minister – on the contrary, it is the latest letter in a fake “culture war” that has been raging in France for a long time. But this dangerous message goes beyond that too – and the consequences go far beyond France, and even the West.

The clear target of the minister’s message is part of the political left in France on the one hand, and part of the Muslim community on the other. Moreover, it is this particular “Islamo-left” alliance that is specifically named. And it is not the first time, either in France, or elsewhere in the West, that this “alliance” has been called. A typical complaint is that most of the left is not taking seriously enough the problem of extremism that exists among radical Islamists – both violent and nonviolent, out of naivety, lack of sophistication, or just pure cultural relativism. Such debates and discussions will, no doubt, continue in the media, academia and policy.

But that was not the target in the minister’s message. That’s a little smokescreen. The mainstream of French politics has shifted further and further towards populism, and that populist fight has led the current president, Emmanuel Macron, and his most threatening political opponent, Marine Le Pen, to continue to do what they have done – out-populist one another. . Mr. calculus. Macron seems to be better at explaining that he is more serious about threats to national security than Ms. Le Pen. Which, at first glance, hardly matters, except in the current French context, which translates into a focus on certain minority religious communities. Muslims are that community, which, it seems, across the political spectrum see little punishment in making trouble. And, conversely, the problematization of the Muslim community will result in increased populist support.

And yes – there are historical parallels in Europe, and they are not great parallels. Israeli political scientist at Bar-Ilan University, Amikam Nachmani, note: “The Jew, the European ‘other’ prototype, has now been largely replaced by the Muslim ‘other’. … The prejudice and discrimination that used to be aimed at European Jews is now aimed at European Muslims. “This is not a comfortable comparison to make – but it would be foolish to ignore it, especially when the call to” never again “on the continent is ignored. Ask the Bosnian Muslims.

Cultural wars are real on the continent, and Muslim communities often do only additional damage. As I have discussed elsewhere, Muslims are not very important in this discussion. They are useful foil. Mr Macron is not too worried about Muslims and Islam; him and his reign worried about Ms. Le Pen. The culture wars are not about Muslims themselves, and more about our own concerns, as Europeans and Westerners, about who and what we are. In France, that has turned into insecurity around what secularism means or not in the 21st century, but it also leads to broader issues related to the legacy of colonialism, as well as the larger cultural wars. It’s not even a left-right problem, it’s a search for meaning. And instead of engaging French Muslims as integral partners like other communities in that quest, they are outside the discussion. It doesn’t matter what they do.

But it’s not just about France either. On the other hand; there are other examples across the continent and in the wider West. We see it in terrorist attacks, like the ones in Norway and New Zealand. We see it in the mainstreaming of the radical right, within the Republican Party in the United States, who seem unable to hold the tide; but also in various center-right parties, just across the West. There’s a spectrum, to be sure – but it’s a spectrum to a single phenomenon. That’s why the New Zealand assassin sees Donald Trump as a laudable symbol.

And it even goes beyond the West. A recent attempted attack on a mosque in Singapore was carried out by a supporter of the same right-wing discourse; indeed, he did explicitly claim inspiration from the likes of the mass killings in New Zealand. We have transcended this notion of a small right-wing fringe – much more common than that – but we have also transcended geographical boundaries to the West itself. It’s global in a completely different way.

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There are many similarities between white supremacist groups and extremist Islamists. But two things are not the same in the slightest. First, we pay far greater attention to Islamist extremists, even though white supremacy poses a more pronounced and growing threat to the fabric of our society. And second, white supremacy is being mainstreamed in a way that extremist Islamism never did or could.

No, of course, the French Minister of Higher Education is a white supremacist. But one cannot easily separate this kind of talk from the discourse of “Eurarabia” – a conspiracy theory about Muslim plans to take over Europe – that has been developing on the continent for years. As we examine right-wing mainstreaming in the coming years, we need to do it with a sense of urgency, as the threat continues to increase.

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Christian Allaire’s new book, The Power of Style, takes fashion as a form of storytelling | Instant News

Author Christian Allaire pictured on the Nipissing First Nation reservation in northern Ontario. He wears a shirt with a ribbon that reflects his family’s Ojibwe roots through its color and placement.

Sara Lecappelain / The Globe and Mail

The first word in Christian Allaire’s book is aanin, which means hello, or welcome, to Ojibway. Force of ForceThe underlying ethos, that everyone is welcome, is expressed through a dynamic visual mix of profiles, tutorials, fashion history, DIY projects and interviews with various international talents who use fashion as a tool for activism, diversity, inclusiveness and empowerment.

For Allaire, who grew up on a Nipissing First Nation reservation near Sturgeon Falls, Ontario, and now works as an American Vogue style and fashion writer, it’s important to encourage people to see fashion through a cultural lens. “That’s the main reason ‘why’ I created this book – because I wish I had something like this,” he said. Even though Allaire is a fashion-obsessed teenager, “I never even thought of fashion as a place to express where you are from or who you are.”

Allaire started her career while studying at Ryerson University in Toronto. Interns at Flare and Interview magazine resulted in a fashion editor position at Footwear News in New York. Finally, the weekends are spent freelancing Vogue.com helped her land her current role, a rhythm in which she regularly covers Indigenous artists and artists.

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Force of Force may not center on Allaire’s personal style journey, but she sets the tone for the book by sharing it. “It’s important to introduce myself and introduce my culture to people,” he said. The first chapter relates the process of a mother and aunt making ribbon shirts in honor of their ancestors. After describing how apparel is imbued with personal and cultural significance, he profiled Indigenous designers, including Luiseño and Shoshone-Bannock artists Jamie Okuma, who created contemporary interpretations of ribbon work.

He found many book subjects through social media and gave them the opportunity to tell their stories. In her experience, “people want that connection” and the personal, connected narrative resonates more than ever today.

The book’s approach democratizes fashion by giving everyone a voice and incorporating elements of the fashion industry that are rarely included in discussions of designer clothing. A chapter on cosplay, for example, features a live story of young women who defy the strict rules that often require cosplayers to be the same body type and gender as the characters they portray. Subject Allaire is also immersed in simple style, acne positivity, and high-heeled men.

Fashion is a form of storytelling, he said. “The choices you make when you get dressed in the morning can really tell people about you. And I didn’t understand when I was young. “Allaire encourages readers of all ages to consider how style can express their own story and think about it for a greater purpose.” I hope people open their eyes and see how fashion can be more. “

The Power of Style, $ 19.95, in bookstores and on line on April 27th.

Look out for the full March issue of Style Advisor on Friday, 12 March.


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Must-have fashion trends for spring 2021 | Instant News

As fashion adapts to a more casual and discreet world, the must-have list for spring 2021 isn’t all that obvious. Here are our favorites for anything in the future.


Few shoes share as much fashion opinion as thong sandals. The late nineties favorite is often mistaken for a glorified flip-flop but this version of spring is more refined, playing with heights, like the platform style by Jacquemus; or proportions, like the pillow example at Stella McCartney. One of the most wearable examples is by ATP Atelier, which combines a thick white strap and a contrasting black platform. When the cold (and local lockdowns) die down, swipe on and go – straight to the nearest nail salon for the fresh pedicure we’ve been waiting for.

ATP sandal, $ 420 at Gravity Pope (gravitypope.com).

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After a year of sweating, it’s hard to imagine showing any skin. Luckily, designers are taking baby steps to showcase it all by adding a sleek cut to a simple silhouette. The asymmetrical draping and fabric loops on Christopher Esber’s dress looked effortless while exposing a bit of the belly. Dion Lee’s creative use of knots and fabric ties creates an artsy peek-a-boo effect. A small cut off the shoulders of this little black dress from COS added subtle appeal to the timeless piece.

Knitted wrap dress, $ 190 at COS (cosstores.com).


You may have seen structured handbag variations at your local vintage store or in your grandmother’s wardrobe. This season, there will also be limitless choices in architectural shapes and sizes wherever you shop. On the designer side, Prada’s new Cleo bag takes a simpler approach through a sleek silhouette. Staud’s crescent moon and triangular bag were so sturdy they stood on their own. The mango shoulder bag is so easy to mix and match that the cost per outfit will likely be a penny by the end of summer.

Handbag, $ 59.99 on Mango (mango.com).


As far as accessory trends go, jewelry development has moved more slowly than bags and shoes. This season’s change sees the metal hoops, bracelets and rings that have caught our eye for so long receiving texture treatments. The metal hammer appears as an oversized organic form in Acne, while in Chloé, the silver cuff looks like a liquid sculpture. Michelle Ross’s handmade brass cuffs are undoubtedly cutting-edge, but will be a unique piece on your sleeve for years to come.

Michelle Ross brass cuffs, $ 340 thru mnross.com.


Re-creating a do-it-yourself look at designer prices is nothing new, but a spring patchwork menswear is a new look for being crafty. Sustainability is a big part of this trend as designers work to find ways to reuse archival textiles from previous seasons. Etro showcases its bohemian style with a patchwork jacket accented with hand-sewn embroidery. Greg Lauren is no stranger to upcycling, using a torn cloth to adorn one leg of a pair of army trousers. The Stussy cut is a muted interpretation of a put together look that can be used for your favorite jean jacket.

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Sturdy patchwork cotton jacket, $ 216 to mrporter.com.


When most of the corporate world works from home, how do you sell suits to men? In the case of Miuccia Prada, you put off anything frivolous and focus on the sharp classic cuts that make it a long-term investment. Celine takes a similar approach with striped gray and black numbers, while Jil Sander’s oversized blazer and custom coat feature a longer silhouette and wider collar that’s striking in its simplicity.

Suit, price upon request at Prada (prada.com).


Interest in men’s jewelery is increasing. The revival of 1970s-inspired menswear is partly responsible, as have celebrities like Harry Styles and A $ AP Rocky who have embraced themselves covering themselves in knick-knacks. For those looking to experiment, investing in a small ring collection is a good place to start. David Yurman creates a unique bracelet with braided details, a matte finish, and geometric shapes that work well together. The same goes for the clean lines on the Mejuri, which look just as sharp on their own when layered.

Mejuri black onyx seal ring, $ 725 to mejuri.com.


The desert boot is a classic footwear invented by new generations who realize how easy it is to incorporate a versatile style into their wardrobe. There are lots of fancier versions, but the Clarks Original is the undisputed standard for this silhouette. In addition to the classic chukka, the label pairs the skate-inspired Palm Angels brand on a pair of shoes that feature the “P” and “A” logos on the toes of each shoe. Tod’s keeps it classic with thinner soles and a sandy suede color, while the Camper model has a more functional feel.

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Clarks Originals boots, $ 280 on Ssense (ssense.com).


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The year of the pandemic journey: in 2020 we left by staying close to home | Instant News

A trip to Kingston allowed us to reexamine the history of Canada. EricFerguson / iStockPhoto / Getty Images When planes stopped flying in March, the feeling that the world was closed hit particularly hard in my home office. I was on a 24 hour flight to Atlanta with my son at the time, a trip we had been looking forward to for months. Suddenly, it was impossible. And then, like a row of very sad dominoes, the whole travel industry started to crumble. Airlines have gone from overbooking flights to empty airports. Hotel occupancy rates have gone from near full to single digits. People have lost their way of life and their livelihood and have replaced optimism with fear. My own mantra, as a travel writer for 18 years, “Go Now!” is no longer applied. I preached from that same pulpit on the importance of not only “saving for a rainy day,” but also making the most of sunny days. When the forecast turned to gray skies for the foreseeable future, it was hard to know what to say. I’ve seen any trip that takes you away from home become difficult, then dangerous, then irresponsible. But something else also happened. The story continues under the advertising The beautiful days have literally returned. With the summer weather and a drop in COVID-19 numbers at the right time, the world opened up very slightly and “Go Now!” was back on the table, but with a caveat: we also had to “close”. I snuck my family of four through that slightly open window and ran with it. Our first trip was simply a drive; we never got out of the car but explored new neighborhoods, got ice cream cones driving and came home renewed. Manitoulin Island was an ideal destination for an RV trip. Ravi Natarajan / iStockPhoto / Getty Images We wanted more, and slowly we took it further. First, a few nights for a road trip to Chatham, Ontario where, with masks and from a distance, we explored black history, learning the history of the city as the terminus of the railroad. underground during slavery and how black communities developed here fell under segregationist laws. Taking tours – through nearby Buxton and possibly to the historic Uncle Tom’s Cabin site – offered moments of gratitude, respect and understanding. Then a few more nights with an RV trip to the beaches, parks and native lands of Manitoulin Island and surrounding areas. Visit Prince Edward County to appreciate the vineyards and farmland. A few days in Kingston to reexamine the history of Canada and go kayaking in the Thousand Islands. Our time outdoors has grown. We walked, biked more, and celebrated the freedom of our outdoor spaces – hiking trails and neighborhood trails and local parks – with renewed appreciation. Along the way, we also discovered what many of our fellow Canadians have been up to: our backyards are someone else’s dream destination. Spaces close to home offer as many exploration opportunities as those we dream of in distant lands. When the world opens up again, there are dozens of places I want to visit. But this year I have learned a valuable lesson. Traveling isn’t about distance, it’s about seeing the world – and this opportunity starts right outside your front door. Stay up to date with the weekly Sightseer newsletter. Register today. .

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Opinion: WHO travel message clashes with realities on the ground | Instant News

Near empty waiting areas at flight gates are pictured at Vancouver International Airport on June 9, 2020. JONATHAN HAYWARD / The Canadian Press Since the beginning of June, the BC Center for Disease Control has added 31 aircraft – five of those announced just in the last week – to its COVID-19 public display list. This means that each of those planes included at least one passenger carrying the novel coronavirus – and that anyone on those flights, and anyone who has come into contact with them, may have been exposed to them. It does not take unprecedented imagination to infer that if it is happening in British Columbia, it is happening elsewhere. Despite all the preventative measures put in place by the airlines to avoid such a scenario – the questions officers ask passengers about their health, the use of heat guns, the insistence that everyone wear masks – it there is no way to make air travel completely safe. in these times COVID-19. If you travel, you fly with the risk of being exposed to a disease that could kill you, as well as the risk of passing it on to those around you. These bulletins from the BC Center for Disease Control are a useful and responsible public health initiative, even if the airline industry must hate them. This industry is undergoing a cataclysmic business downturn, and the last thing it needs is the kind of rotten publicity these notices bring. Worse yet, it all comes against a backdrop of growing concern that the virus has found a second wind. According to a Monday tally compiled by Reuters, at least 37 countries around the world reported a record increase in single-day COVID-19 cases over the previous week. And that was almost double the number the week before. Story continues under publicity The outbreak isn’t just happening in the places you’d expect – the United States, Brazil, India – but in countries that have done a reasonable job of keeping the virus at bay . These include Australia, Japan, Germany, Hong Kong, and Spain, to name a few. This new wave of cases prompted some of these countries to apply new restrictions. Vietnam has locked up the more than one million residents of the popular resort town of Da Nang. Hong Kong has banned gatherings of more than two people. Australia has reinstated tough restrictions in parts of the country. The increase in cases in Spain has prompted Britain to issue an order that all travelers from that country must be quarantined for two weeks upon entering the country. Norway and France have also issued new travel advisories, just weeks after Europe promoted reopening tourism. And of course, Canada’s border with the United States remains closed to all travel except essential travel – although it appears that many Americans spend their vacations here every day. And yet, the World Health Organization continues to suggest that travel bans are not a viable long-term option. Mike Ryan, head of emergency programs at WHO, recently said it would be impossible to maintain these border closures in the long term. “Economies must open, people must work, trade must resume,” he said. “Continuing to keep international borders sealed is not necessarily a sustainable strategy for the global economy.” Given the WHO’s track record in this pandemic, it’s tempting to suggest that they might just want to have their say on this matter. But it’s hard to ignore the conflict in WHO’s messages and what is happening on the ground. I’m not sure how a country that is experiencing a new wave of cases can simply open its arms to travelers from other countries, especially countries that are hotbeds of the virus. It would be asking for a catastrophe. A majority of Canadians support keeping border measures in place with the United States for the foreseeable future, probably for this reason alone. The story continues under the advertisement Although I have immense sympathy for Mr. Ryan’s position – that the world economies are suffering and trade must resume – he must resume on reasonable terms (i.e. safe). Otherwise, you risk creating the kind of chaos we are seeing in the United States, where states that did not have the virus under control have ditched their restrictions and are now paying the deadly price. There are many countries that just won’t let this happen, regardless of what the WHO has to say. Unfortunately, we are here for the long haul. We are dealing with a monster that will not be easily defeated. When it does, the toll it will have taken on the world will be staggering. It’s just the sad ugly reality. And there is no escape from it. Keep your opinions specific and informed. Receive the Opinion newsletter. Register today. .

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