The Diplomat The World in Motion
In This Issue Note from the Editor 5
People of UNSA 6
Maastrichtâ€™s best kept secrets 7 the Sphynx quarterff
11 Cross the border a poem
12 What can we learn from our past The Refugee Crisis put in historic perspective
15 Right Wing Populism in the Internet
18 The Driving Force of Terrorism Jakub Biernacki Layout Designer
The World in Motion
The Sweeping Tide of the Right 22
â€œI respect your horrible opinion!â€? 25
28 A historical step into an age of development
31 A World in motion a poem
32 Accelerated Time Does technology actually keep us from getting busier? 3
Note from the Editor 4
„Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it” When hearing this line years ago while watching ‘Ferris Bueller’s day off’, I did not really think about it too much. But the phrase stuck somehow in my head, and I found myself many times reciting it unintentionally.
big goal or destiny of course. It just means that life does not always move in the way we want it to, but you might still end up somewhere you like. And along that way, you might experience unexpected things, situations that make you feel emotions you have never felt before, moments that bring you to We live in a fast world. Everywhere you look your limits and times you would just like to pause there is movement, be it a bike racing by in typ- forever. ical Dutch manner, first year students moving to Maastricht and starting their studies, a person fi- But life cannot be paused forever. It constantly nally moving on from a former beloved one, or in moves along, and so do we. What you can do howa broader perspective refugees moving to Europe ever is pause for some minutes or maybe half an in their search for security. hour. Maybe by having a tea with a good friend, maybe by doing sports, and, maybe, also by readBefore leaving your house, you are supposed to ing this first printed edition of UNSA’s Diplomat know where you are headed. When starting your and giving yourself a break from life. studies, you should have a plan what you want to do later in your life. I hope that you will like this journal. And that you maybe at some moments in this fast life look back But do you really? Is it not actually more fun to just and remember a line that caught you like the line go and see where you are heading along the way? from the movie caught me. Enjoy reading! That does not mean that you should not have one
Alice Nesselrode chief editor
People of Diya Dilan
“If you could adopt one UN regulation, which one would that be?”
1st year BA European Law
Victoria Christmann Secretary of UNSA “A reform of the right to veto. This would help to United Nations to effectively pass resolutions and protect human rights, even if one of the P5 disagrees.”
Berivan Dilan & Elena Lunder Volunteer Networking “A resolution to eliminate all poverty, marginalisation discrimination and all other forms of oppression all over the world!”
Kathrin Retterath EuroMUN Fundraising “The UN should fund EuroMUN for the rest of eternity”
Aviel Sokolovsky Permanent Delegation “The Security Council should tackle the issue of the rent in Maastricht being too damn high!”
Mauro Callens EuroMUN Content “The introduction of the right to sleep as a basic human right”
Charlotte Rasche EuroMUN Marketing “A resolution on access to clean water that creates shared access to sustainable, clean, water and reduces tensions in many waterscarce regions”
Oliver Simonis Events “Reaffirming the principles and purposes of the UN, determined to combat the unprecedented threat of terrorism to international peace and security.”
Arnaud Sadzot Development Fundraising
Sara Profeti Passive member
“Create a cultural forum in which nations and languages do not define you anymore but just the idea of being a citizen of the world.”
“Education budgets should be regulated on an international level. Each school should receive an equal amount of public funds, each school matters.”
Lize de Potter 2nd year BA European Law
Maastricht’s best kept secrets: the Sphynx quarter Boschstraat, with the iconic Eiffelbuilding as its most distinguished feature.
You have been studying in Maastricht for at least a couple of months now, yet your regular hang-outs are located somewhere in between your faculty and the Vrijthof. Drinks at Basilica, sandwiches at the Student Service Centre or the library, French fries at Lucky Luke’s after a night out in the Platielstraat. When your high school friends or parents pay you a visit, you might make an effort, and take them across the river for a drink on the terrace of café Zuid. All of the aforementioned pastimes are nice. Nice and safe and comfortable. However, oh sweet summer children, there is a whole world outside of your Maastricht comfort zone, which you, for some dark and obscure reason, have not paid attention to. But fear not, for The Diplomat has your unadventurous backs. Under the rubric ‘Maastricht’s best kept secrets’, we will explore and introduce you to our beloved city’s hidden gems and upcoming hotspots.
Known for its industrial history, this neighbourhood is undeniably on the rise. Urban, cool, exciting and a tad rugged are adjectives that spring to mind. To find out more about what the future holds for the Sphynx quarter, The Diplomat sat down with the people of Belvédère, a municipality-owned company in charge of redesigning and rebuilding, de facto reinventing, the entire district. And they have some exciting developments in store. We could tell you that Belvédère is aiming at transforming the once obscure Sphynx into a social, cultural and recreational hub with a thriving night-life and music-, film- and fashion-industry. That it wants to add an extra dimension to Maastricht, in order to prevent the city from becoming an open-air museum dependent on tourism in the historical city centre. That it wants to combine innovation with the industrial character inherent to the district. Which is all nothing but the truth. Or we could simply grant you a sneak peek into the concrete plans for this promising neighbourhood. Naturally, we opted for the latter.
First up, the Sphynx quarter. We can almost feel your quizzical brainwaves emanating the following question: “where in the name of Maastricht’s very own Native American, is the Sphynx quarter?” The good news is, you have most probably already been there, for the Sphynx quarter’s centre happens to be the street that connects the Markt to the infamous Muziekgieterij, namely the
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.
Party event venue The unique characteristics of this round, silo-like industrial building are destined for undoubtedly legendary parties. Former gasometer Fashion district Events such as Fashionclash will find a new home here. Former industrial annexes Sphynx Sanitair 20 ha park, reconnecting the Hoge and Lage Fronten The Noorderbrug (=bridge) will be moved northward, creating an open space, namely the Lage (=Lower) Fronten. These are to be connected with the already existing Hoge (=Upper) Fronten or Frontenpark, lead ing to an over 20 ha oasis of green. Expanded Muziekgieterij Comprising concert venues with a combined capacity of 1450 people, the new Muziekgieterij will also contain recording studios. Former Timmerfabriek Cinema Lumière Movie theatre offering arthouse and international non-commercial films. Former Ketelhuis International Student Club Eat your heart out, Circumflex, Koko, et al. A new student club will hit the town. Loods 5 Home design store, capable of rivalling Ikea with its functional but highly aesthetical furniture. International Student Hotel New, fully equipped student rooms. Eiffelbuilding Cinema Pathé Movie theatre with a preference for the more commercial blockbusters. Office Belvédère Sky-bar Nipping from cocktails while enjoying a rumoured to be spectacular view of the city. Rooftop Eiffelbuilding
If everything goes according to plan, Belvédère aims at finalizing its bold reconstruction of Sphynx by 2018. Although that is relatively soon, the majority of us will sadly have graduated by then. We thus fully recommend already agreeing to have an annual meeting with your international friends after finishing your studies at the future sky-bar on top of the Eiffel-building. But until then, let us discuss what Sphynx has to offer right at this moment. Starting off with Pathé, the brand-new movie theatre in town. For the reason that we, of the Diplomat, happen to be recidivist over-achievers, we also went and had a talk with the cinema’s management, to find out all about possible student deals. For true film-fanatics, the Pathé Unlimited card is probably the most interesting offer. For €19 a month, Pathé offers unlimited access to all regular (meaning IMAX and 3D excluded) movies, plus 10% off food and beverages, and access to exclusive events, such as avant-premières, organized for card-holders only. Not such a die-hard, but a casual film-fan? Just show your university or college student-ID, and receive a €1 reduction. Pathé also plans on collaborating with the future Cinema Lumière extensively, in case you, just like we, were wondering whether two movie theatres located directly across from each other would not form naturally born rivalling enemies. If you are neither the waiting-for-Sphynx-to-be-finished, nor the movie-watching type, here’s an inexhaustible list of other nice spots in the neighbourhood, for which you are very welcome. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.
De Brandweer Good food and a cosy interior, this former fire station is a more than worthy alternative for your average library sandwich. Capucijnenstraat 21 Vers Healthy snacks, lunch, and smoothies! In case Soup Solo runs out of soup at noon again.Grote Gracht 31 Bureau Europa Exhibitions on architecture and design. Bring your student-ID and pay only €3 entrance instead of €5. Boschstraat 9 Frontenpark Enjoy the outdoors, in the soon to be doubled-in-size Frontenpark. Make sure to check out the relics of Maastricht’s seventeenth-century fortifications. ‘t Bassin Maastricht’s very own marina! Enjoy a drink in one of the many bars facing the little harbour, or just stroll around for a couple of minutes. Especially pleasant during summer time.
We trust we managed to inspire you to go on more adventures, to explore the very much alive city of Maastricht that we all love to pieces, hopefully starting with the Sphynx quarter. Until next time!
The line is fine It breaks Yet they hold on With all that it takes Dragged across their own ground No mercy to be found For life They run To survive The bombs The guns
Cross the border Angelle Stamper
Sharp cries Split the silence While fragile eyes Feed on violence Innocence buried Beneath debris Ashes aired Across the sea
2nd year MA Medicine
Souls still tactile Start the exile Get washed ashore Cleansed from war Pillow cotton On ocean bottom Rest your head Flee the dread Fingertips scraped On wired fence The other side
Collects pockets of hands While rockets on lands Are defining new order Where only blood will cross the border
Joost Veth 2nd year MA Economics and Financial Research
What can we learn from our past? The Refugee Crisis put in historic perspective Right now, Europe faces â€˜the biggest refugee crisis the world has ever seenâ€™. Estimates say that more than 750,000 migrants were detected at the EUâ€™s borders between January and November 2015. Many Europeans fear that these refugees will cause big problems and frictions in Europe. Others say it might bring opportunities along. I did some research, and found that big migration problems happened throughout history, with varying consequences. In this article, I am looking at several of these situations. I hope these situations can teach us about our own world. The first migration I investigate, happened in the 8th and 7th century before Christ. Around 800 BC, the archaic period started in Greece. During this period, the Greek poleis (city-states) started to emerge, which consisted of small communities in distinct valleys and islands. In this setting, the first democracy of the world could arise: Athens. However, overpopulation became a growing problem. As a solution, many Greeks emigrated. They founded new colonies in the area around the Black Sea, Southern Italy and even the south of France and East Spain. Cities such as Neapolis (Napoli), Nicaea (Nice) and Massilia (Marseille) are still known in our time. These colonists brought along their culture and knowledge to these new areas, helping the region to evolve their own civilisations. An example of a positive effect of migration. The next great civilisation in the Mediterranean was the Roman Empire. Starting as a little nation in Middle Italy in the 8th century BC, it became an immense empire, ranging from Egypt to England. The empire could remain stable for a relatively long period, because the Romans did not repress the local people, but absorbed them into their own empire. They got rights and privileges, and also took over many habits from the Romans. This helped these local nations to develop themselves. It worked well for several centuries, but then a threat came from the East: The Huns. This tribe from the Russian steppes was feared by the Germanic nations in Northern and Eastern Europe, and when the Huns started to intrude their lands, they fled immediately to the Roman Empire. Arriving there, they started fights and plunders, causing the empire to collapse, thereby bringing Europe into the dark Middle Ages.
rope. With the arrival of Protestantism, big groups of people had to move abroad to be able to practice their faith without being persecuted. A country that specifically benefitted from this mass migration was the Netherlands. Because there was a relatively open minded attitude towards different religions, it was an appealing choice for many rich and well educated people. The knowledge and expertise they brought along, helped leading the Netherlands into the century that is known here as ‘The Golden Age’, a time with incredible prosperity for such a small country. You see, sometimes an open mind towards refugees can have great benefits!
Halfway through these Middle ages, in 1095, the Byzantine emperor sent the request of an army to pope Urban to help the Byzantines to fight against Islam, but the pope made it a bigger thing. He declared a holy war to regain Jerusalem for the Christians, because “Deus vult” (it’s Gods will). A holy war against another religion, in name of God. Where have we heard that before? In the following centuries, four different crusades were undertaken, with varying success. During these centuries, the areas in Turkey and the Middle East were alternating between Christian and Muslim authority. This ended when the Turks took over the last city, Constantinople in the fifteenth century, leading the last descendants of the crusades to escape to Italy. Interesting fact: these refugees brought along some old Greek transcripts. These transcripts caused an enormous boost of culture and knowledge in Italy, contributing to a new period in history. You might know it: The Renaissance.
Other evolvements with big consequences were the great exploration journeys, the most famous one by Christopher Columbus, who ‘discovered’ America in 1492. The expansion of Portugal and Spain, following this discovery, brought great prosperity to these two countries. And the local people? Well, most of them got eradicated. During the centuries that followed, many fortune hunters left their home countries to search for
During this renaissance, a new movement split the population in many parts of Eu
better lives oversees. In the most favourable situation, locals were governed by these newcomers, in the worst case they became captives and later on slaves. Yes, we Europeans were very humble...
Hindus escaping Pakistan for India, and Muslims going from India to Pakistan. A â€˜least badâ€™ solution. Vietnam had even bigger problems. After the French left, a war started that no-one could have foreseen would become so big. The Americans fought an impossible war against the communistic guerrillas from Vietnam, supported by China and the Soviet Union. Thousands of Vietnamese tried to escape their country in small boats (sounds familiar?). Due to the uncontrolled way this happened, many neighbouring countries raised objections against these refugees, sometimes simply sending them back. The drowning Vietnamese caused a lot of indignation in the west, and eventually the crisis was solved by international agreements, in which the neighbouring countries agreed to take care of the refugees provided that Western countries would help take care of them in the long run. Many of these refugees ended up in the United States, Canada and Australia. A good example of international coordination in a refugee crisis situation.
A little jump in history leads us to the 20th century. The First World War started as a war between the Allies (the British Empire, France and the Russian Empire) and the Central Powers of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. As Germany realised that a war on two fronts would be very demanding, they developed a plan to quickly conqueror France. This involved going through neutral Belgium. But Belgium did not surrender easily. Instead of a quick breakthrough to Paris, the war became a lasting trench war. To flee this horrible war, over a million (!) Belgians moved to the Netherlands. This is considerable to a population of about 6 million Dutch people. The Dutch did the best they could to take care of these refugees, but more than a million people turned out to be too many, so many returned to Belgium within a couple of months (though, throughout the war over a 100,000 Belgians could stay, as long as they behaved of course). The Second World War brought along the biggest genocide of human history: Approximately 6 million Jews were killed during this Holocaust. Already in the years before the Second World War, many Jews tried to flee to England and America. Among them probably the most famous scientist in the world: Albert Einstein. These usually highly-educated Jews constituted a positive effect to the economy in America, and many of them built up great careers there. When the war was over, independence wars caused a lot of unrest in Asia. In India, after the country became independent, a civil war almost arose between Muslims and Hindus. The only way to prevent this, was splitting the country in a Hindustan part (India) and an Islamic part (Pakistan). There was a lot of violence between both folks, and inhabitants that decided to stay in India or Pakistan despite their different religion, were often murdered. This led to enormous streams of refugees, both
Right Wing Populism in the Internet Age Christian Kramer
1st year MA Globalization and Development
ing migration, especially from Muslim countries, now also discontent with the German mainstream media was added as a prominent reason to protest. The slogan “Lügenpresse” (lying press) became, next to “Wir sind das Volk” (We are the people) the most heard chant on these protests. But it did not stop at that. Protestors interviewed by a German public broadcaster were worried about a vast variety of issues. Whereas some are afraid of getting Ebola from refugees, others demand direct democracy. Some demand to end the sanctions against Russia, while other hold up posters depicting Angela Merkel wearing a hijab. Then again, there were people protesting against radio license fees, a disintegrated political elite, gun export and last but not least the United State. With the rising variety of concerns it became harder and harder to make sense of what this protest should signify. This development raises many questions. This article is concerned with two of them. First where are those people coming from all of a sudden? And second what is this actually all about?
About one year ago, in October 2014, Dresden residents could observe a small group of people holding German flags following a banner saying “No religious wars on German territory” and “Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West”, in short, PEGIDA. When questioned one of the initiators Lutz Bachmann replied that the protest was directed against a recent street fight in Hamburg between Kurds and Muslim fundamentalist as well as the parliamentary debate in Germany on whether or not to equip the Kurdish forces in Syria with weapons or not. Little did he, or anyone else for that matter, know what was to come in the following months. The movement grew rapidly. Every Monday hundreds of new followers joined the so-called evening strolls. After the assasination of the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo by fundamentalist terrorists the peak of movement was reached: 35.000 people marched through the city of Dresden to show their discontent. But symmetrically to the number of participants, the range of concerns voiced also rose drastically. To the fears of the impacts of ris-
Marginalisation of right-wing populism and the extension of the public sphere In other European countries right-wing populist parties were able to establish themselves. In Germany, however, it was remarkable that there were rarely public figures like Marine Le Pen or Geert Wilders spreading xenophobia, anti-establishment slogans and easy solutions to complex problems. To a certain extent that can be explained by looking at the history of the country. Due to its Nazi past it is very hard for politicians on the right fringes of the political sphere to establish themselves. Defeat the beginnings is the mantra of most media, politicians and citizen. It should never be possible to repeat the atrocities committed during the Third Reich. Thus the access options of right-wing populists into the political discourse are much more limited than in other European countries. The media does not support them and crossing the line from free speech to hate speech happens much faster than in most other countries. At the same time, however, the discontent of the so-called concerned citizens is as present in Germany as anywhere in Europe and therefore a fertile ground for right-wing agitation exists. The ongoing refugee crisis, fear of terrorist attacks as well as the perceived lack of representation the will of the people are not only French or Dutch problems, but also very much German ones.
The situation emerging from that is a growing number of people, who do not feel represented in the public sphere. But where did they go to vent their anger? The answer can be found when looking into the recent development in the way people communicate these days. The internet has become one of the most used tools to share information. It is one of the easiest ways for everyday persons to reach a large audience without being part of the media or politics. Social media, it can be said, has revolutionized the way communication functions these days. It has made access a lot easier to the platforms where one can voice ones concerns. Although most of these concerns voiced are about private matters (cats, holidays, babies etc.) platforms like Twitter, Facebook or Youtube also provide people to talk politics. The Arab Spring has shown how powerful these tools can be to influence the public discourse. What I am trying to show here is that a flattening of access options to enter public sphere has happened. Nowadays you donÂ´t have to be a journalist or politician to tell the public what you think is of public interest. Andy Warhols utopian message â€œIn the future everybody will be world famousâ€? is becoming reality. Only that it is rather 15 seconds or 140 characters.
Flattened access and fragmented opinion forming Although the flattening o access has had positive impacts there are still always to side of a coin. As much as people have different interests also the outcome of such developments differ. The confusing variety of opinions present at the PEGIDA demonstrations is an example of the problematic nature of the new ways of communication, since they show what happens when people are feeling excluded from the traditional public sphere: They start trusting stuff they read on the internet. This is problematic for two reasons. First everyone can write anything he or she wants online. There is no one checking the quality or truth content of the claims. Second people only see what they choose to see. Let´s take for example the case of a fake message on a right-wing page on Facebook. Someone claimed recently that with the increase of refugees in a German small town led to more crime and sexual harassment of the local female population. The article use made up statistics and a seemingly objective tone. Although there was a clear intention to agitate against refugees it was still taken for granted and shared thousands of times by those who share this opinion. People with marginalized opinions use the internet to spread factually wrong information in order to heat the debate about the refugee crisis and to relate their obscure opinions to it. It has to be
only one person claiming that refugees bring Ebola and the next thing you know thousands believe it, because they want to believe it. In the case of Pegida this brought in thousands of conspiracy theorists as well as confused, “worried” individuals who all bring in their opinions and “facts” about the issue. Another example for this process is the claim of the Pegida leadership that Christmas markets will be abolished in Germany in order not to offend Muslims. Although this was obviously not the case in following protests people started singing Christmas carols and holding up crosses. What we learn from this is that the internet provides space in which large aggregates of opinions and information can be spread, without having to be verified as true. Those who are marginalized in the classical discourse enter this sphere in order to lead the debate the establishment does not accept. These people isolate themselves so much from the mainstream that the their political opinion forming takes place solely on the internet. Due to the lack of hierarchies online a large variety of issues is addressed. Pegida, it can be said, is the physical manifestation of this fragment opinion forming processes.
The Driving Force of Terrorism Johannes Schroeten 2nd year BA European Studies
The world is so full of possibilities that dogmatism is simply indecent.
Once again, after the attacks in Paris and Beirut, do we ask ourselves: where does this irrational behaviour come from? What creates so much hatred and drives people to kill fellow human beings who are unknown to them? Terrorism is the most influential movement of our time. It has caused reactions from sheer despair to war declarations. Its actions are unpredictable, the victims randomly chosen. Terrorism has shaped the last two decades, perhaps even more than the digital revolution. Terrorism is a constant shadow in our lives. Its motives evolve from various backgrounds and ideologies. Nationalists, right and left extremists, religious fanatics and racists, they all use terrorism to gather attention for their cause, to create fear among the societies they despise. Before trying to answer this question, it is worth to have a short look at the history of terrorism. There have always been movements which pressed for their interest through assassinations. However, the modern sense of the word terrorism emerged with the great changes of the industrial revolution. Nationalists and separatists as well as socially motivated attacks struck societies throughout the 19th and early 20th century. The most popular act of terror was probably the assassination of the Austrian-Hungarian successor Franz Ferdinand, triggering the First World War. Between the two great wars, and even more so in the aftermath of the Second World War, terrorist attacks became a driving force in shaping foreign and security policy. The IRA in Great Britain, the ETA in Spain, the RAF in Germany and many movements in the post-colonial countries threatened whole societies and laid the basics for terrorism as we know it today. However, throughout the 60s, 70s and 80s, when all those movements’ actions were at their peak, the great conflict of east and west remained the dominant, all-encompassing force. Only with the breakdown of the Soviet Union did terrorism gain the impact it has preserved until today. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the United States declared the ‘war on terror’ and together with their allies invaded Afghanistan and later on Iraq, where the key actors were suspected. From today’s perspective, without great success, since more attacks have followed every day, mainly in Baghdad and Kabul. But also London, Madrid,
Mumbai and just a few weeks ago Paris and Beirut were struck by terrible attacks, despite strict security measures. In the years 2006 until 2014, nearly 150.000 people died in terror attacks worldwide. With terrorist groups such as ISIS and Boko Haram at hand, this number is likely to heavily increase in the next few years. It is the encounter with the unpredictable which has restructured our day-today life in the last decade. The encounter with thorough controls at airports, arrests without judicial backing, surveillance and prejudices or suspicion against the strange. No doubt, radical Islamic extremism has been the strongest among the terrorist forces. But also nationalist and Christian extremists like Anders Breivik are terrorists. This raises one question: What drives a terrorist? What do all these fanatics have in common? Nowadays, it seems easy to blame religion and in particular Islam as the problem behind terrorism. Not only after the Attacks in Paris did people ask the question whether Islam promotes violence. This is a very sensitive issue and there is no single, correct answer. But there is one thing for sure: Not all faithful can be stigmatised as terrorists. There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. Indonesia, the largest Muslim country, hardly experiences any religious violence. I believe that Islam, or rather the theological basis of Islam, namely the Quran does not promote more or less violence than the Bible or The Capital by Marx. It depends rather on how the follower of an ideology (be it political, social or religious in nature) interprets this basis.
or football. It was, is and always will be impossible for human beings to live without any kind of ideological faith. Even in our western societies, ideologies collide every day. Political parties promote their political ambitions and eventually their ideology. On the 1st of May, leftists throw stones and light up cars to show their despise for market liberalism and capitalism. Right extremist protests are, hopefully, outnumbered by citizens who believe in democracy and human rights. Having said that, I can only derive one answer from this: The core problem of ideologies leading to violence and ultimately to terrorism is dogmatism. It is the irrational conviction that exclusively oneâ€™s own world view and way of life is the right one. All other ways of life are considered wrong and therefore have to be combated and eventually destroyed. The fiercest believers in this notion have started wars and committed genocides.
If religion as a foundation of faith is not the core problem, one could argue that it is the belief in an ideology in general. But everyone is part of an ideology. Everyone believes in something, be it money, success, destiny, vegetarianism
In examining dogmatism, democracies pose a perfect paradox. In its concept, a democracy is not dogmatic at all, as it grants even those a voice which oppose it in the strongest possible manor. At the same time however, a democracy is based on a dogmatic set of core values which have to be recognised by every member of a democracy. Those values cannot be modified or even replaced, they are detached and above the ideological conflicts in societies. It is this tolerance of different ideologies which makes a democracy more vulnerable than any other, autocratic society. Opposing ideologies can spread more easily, since it is hard to tell when an opinion becomes a threat to the core values thus identifying the moment when it is appropriate to ban an ideology for the greater good of the society. Security measures such as the Patriot Act are considered as an infringement of exactly these core values. It is always a balancing act between granting freedom and prohibiting opinions for the sake of the democratic society, perfectly summarized by Benjamin Franklin: “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
What to conclude from this? A dogmatic and radicalised ideology cannot be destroyed through acts of war. The ‘war on terror’ proved that. In fact, the number of deaths in terrorist and in particular Islamic terrorist attacks have drastically surged after 9/11. It seems as if military action drives even more people into the arms of extremists. The solution might be to embrace those who are not dogmatic. Those who can accept other world views beside their own. Cooperation with these people, of whom there are many, would cut the support for the extremists. Dogmatism can only be contained if the tolerant prevail. Paris, and especially the reactions afterwards have shown that the radicals are only a tiny minority. We should respond to the terrorists with enforcing our tolerance and welcoming those who seek refuge from them. There is, however, a limit for tolerance. The core values of democracy cannot be put into question. We can and should expect that the new members in our society adapt to them. Then, we will show those who hope for a dividing and cowardly reaction after such attacks that our faith in tolerance and diversity will outlive any form of radicalised dogmatism.
The Sweeping Tide of the Right Monica Kurl 2nd year BA European Law
Marie Peffenköver 2nd year BA European Studies
“Scary: Radical Islam is Completely Taking over Europe” (Western Journalism 2014) This is the type of headline many Europeans are bombarded with throughout the media, on what seems to be a daily basis. With this type of scaremongering being forced down our throats, it is not difficult to envisage how this has influenced many citizens of the European Union to turn their affiliations towards right wing political parties. These parties manipulate facts regarding the so called “Islamification of Europe” to their advantage. This is especially the case with uninformed Europeans believing the majority of what they see and hear in the media. On top of this, the growing refugee crisis has provided another avenue for the right wing groups to scapegoat issues created by their national governments on to other minority groups. With this in mind, this article will discuss how this situation has unravelled in four EU countries, namely: The United Kingdom (UK), Germany, the Netherlands and Poland. In the UK, there has been an ever increasing tide of nationalism with the birth of numerous nationalist parties springing up across the country. The most prominent nationalist movement is Britain First, which formed in 2011. Britain First is an avid supporter of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), who both want to “take back [their] country”. As a way to gather more supporters - and in turn - more votes for the likes of UKIP, Britain First has turned their efforts towards spreading anti-Islamic sentiments throughout the UK and beyond. Its campaign mainly portrays how Britain is apparently evolving into an Islamic state, and if the British people don’t act soon, their “beloved” British culture will be replaced with “barbaric” Islamic customs. To try and hone this ideology, they frequently post videos on their Facebook page depicting local high streets in predominantly Muslim areas. These videos show how such areas have been transformed by the ever-growing the presence of mosques and halal shops. Other baseless videos concern themselves with the “horrors” of Islam, using the extremist views of radical preachers as what they deem a correct depiction of Islam. For instance, one video, “Muslims chant Britain must be destroyed”, has garnered over 1 million views. Evidence of its success politically was shown through UKIP’s landslide victory in the 2014 elections for Members of the European Parliament.
Another country keen to join the anti-Islam bandwagon is Germany. There has been a worrying resurgence of nationalism in the form of new nationalist political movements akin to Britain First. One of these movements is PEGIDA (Patriotische Europäer Gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes: Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West).
lamism and anti-immigration, sees the intake of refugees as saturating Germany with yet more Muslims. PEGIDA has developed quickly since its formation in 2014, gaining over 10, 000 members in the space of a year. This October, thousands of PEGIDA members rallied the streets of Dresden against the “Islamification” of Europe, in light of the Charlie Hebdo shooting earlier this year.
The fact that Germany has the highest immigration population out of all the EU Member States evidently helps PEGIDA to achieve their somewhat fascist agenda in a more convincing manner. The rise in popularity of PEGIDA is happening as the result of many years of cultural tension regarding the Turkish population in Germany. It has been highly debated for quite some time whether the Turkish immigrants have truly integrated into German society. To elaborate, the Turkish have shown to integrate in most aspects of German society, but not so much with regards to religion. According to recent statistics, those of Turkish origin make up 70% of the Muslim population in Germany. Members of PEGIDA view the Islamic religion as creating division, since Islamic beliefs are seen as not compatible with German ideals.
Another interesting example are the Netherlands, where not only an offspring of the German movement PEGIDA, ‘PEGIDA Nederland’ has emerged, but also the PVV (Partij voor de Vrijheid) enjoys increasing voters’ support since many years. Geert Wilders, whose PVV reached an approval rate of around 35% following a survey in October 2015, has not only caused upheavals in the parliament by calling the refugee crisis an “Islamic invasion” (Reuters, 2015), but already used the Eurozone crisis to bash Greece and strengthen his call for a return to the Gulden. PEGIDA Nederland claims to protect the western European culture and values. According to its website, the movement stands for “more referenda, non-violent protests and the protection of human rights” – democratic and reasonable. Why then is PEGIDA so “bad”? The problem is not what they call for – but how they do it. “79-year old Afghan spotted hanging around a playground” was posted on PEGIDA’s Facebook page where proponents mutually stoke their fears. While some people angrily
Putting this into perspective with the recent refugee crisis, Germany has welcomed a considerable number of refugees, largely from Islamic countries. PEGIDA, which advocates both anti-Is
UNCHR), using social displeasure about an increase in VAT and complaining about the Brussels dictate, Polish citizens started to feel a widening abyss to the civic platform (PO) despite the fact that unemployment has decreased and the economy is booming. In Poland, as well as in other countries, a common pattern can be observed: disenchantment about the governing parties (mainly centre-right or –left parties) due to a feeling of economic re-distribution from the bottom to the top, the perception of a deadlock as the government does not or cannot respond to people’s fears and decreasing voting turnouts. It is the “strong man” who is needed to straighten the crises – do you also have the feeling you heard this before?
demanded a picture of the man to identify him, in another chat, members were exchanging ideas on how to prevent the construction of an asylum seekers’ centre. Under a picture of a mass of darkskinned men, one woman commented:
Although all four countries are completely different, their right-wing movements have a lot in common: Most important is the notion that the “enemy” is among us; that we have to stick together against them, which leads to the re-birth of national identities. Therefore, it is always the others – neighbouring states or, if that does not work, the EU – who are to blame. This strengthens the perception that a solution can only be found on national grounds. Hate campaigns against Muslims and refugees, together with emotional and dramatizing language appeal to the citizens’ instincts – hence, be aware that these movements are great in identifying problems, yet that they do not offer true solutions. It is not about what they demand; it is how they go about it. There is one thing you should always keep in mind: No matter how bad the crisis might be – left and right to the centre, there will be no solutions.
“I want the Netherlands, my fatherland, back. The Netherlands doesn’t exist anymore since a long time. They simply disappeared”. Looking towards the East, also Poland recently made a huge leap to the nationalist-conservative side with the PiS (Party of Right and Justice) reaching a strong majority this October. Here, especially young people claimed to have become strangers in their own country – a feeling that was welcomed and strengthened by the PiS, using people’s fear of a possible Islamisation for their election campaign. By arguing that “the country is full” (0.000389 refugees per inhabitant; source:
â€œI respect your horrible opinion!â€? Annick van Rinsum 1st year BA Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
Irshad Manji, advocate of a reformist interpretation of Islam, gave a lecture just three days before the Paris attacks. In all seriousness, but with a wonderful amount of humour, she spoke about the polarization of society due to multiculturalism. After her insightful pledge for a constructive form of conflict between individuals, many left energized. This energy was however knocked away with a monstrous force as soon as it became known that there had occurred an act of terror, leading to around 130 deaths and many injured.
has been bombing its territory. However, a big group fears that these horrible acts of terror were committed because an intense despise of the terrorist towards western culture and liberal, non-Muslim individuals. Of course this hurls strong emotions of disgust. Numerous Facebook posts, beautiful columns and opinion pieces were published in the week after this tragic event which tried to inspire people to be compassioned and to contemplate over the fact that we are all human, whatever we believe in. That love is stronger than hate, that light is stronger than dark. In most cases, however, hate and fear still triumph over reason. Chiefly because, by means of pseudo reason, this hate and fear are tried to be substantiated. Before the horrendous terrorist attacks took place, racism towards Muslim refugees, for example, already occurred to a vast degree with awry justifications. Yassir Morsi, a postdoctoral researcher at the Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding wrote an article in the Guardian on the supposed logic behind them.
The terrorist attacks in Paris have triggered massive hatred towards Muslims in some circles, and fear of Islam in numerous. People in Europe have been living in relative peace since the end of the Second World War. Most of them have grown up in a post war environment of liberty in absolute and personal sense. Conflict and disagreement are not unfamiliar concepts to them, but merciless murder because of unclear reasons is. Some argue that these attacks happened in France because IS struggled for power over the French government, which
He reasons that the justifications for the inimical stance towards asylum seekers are utterly racist, but that this injustice can in part be attributed to the fact that it is not seen as racism. These justifications, he argues, rely on two attitudes. The first one being that the host countries see themselves as being compassionate for even considering, and being in the position of, granting asylum to others. As a result, they do not feel unjust in deciding that certain people over others, in this case Christians over Muslims, are allowed to stay. Secondly, instead that the distinction between who is good enough is being made on a basis of natural differences, it is being made on cultural ones. In this way, arguments about the cultures being not compatible enough can be used to justify turning away a certain group of people in great need of help. Moreover, with the widely divergent messages and arguments after the gruesome attacks, about the true nature of Islam, and whether or not IS can be considered a representative of this, it becomes incredibly hard to know what to believe and therefore to be optimistic about being able to act upon reason instead of fear. Right now, xenophobia and Islamophobia still drive polarization in our society with all the consequences this entails. In trying to counteract this, the theories Manji presented in her lecture on November 10th are very interesting to consider. According to Manji, polarization in society can be attributed to multiculturalism and more specifically the phenomenon of cultural rights. She thinks that it is curious that cultures deserve rights, because they are not sentient humans who can make choices, but constructs, on behalf of which individuals make choices. Thereby, giving rights to cultures, she argues, does not result in the construct suddenly coming alive and having rights, but rather in the attribution of more power to the people within the cultural communities who already have the power, to decide on behalf of everybody else what is to be respected. She additionally reasons that in a manner alike, multiculturalism causes marginalisation of individuals who in reality have different points of view. That is, because multiculturalism establishes that there are significant differences between cultures, it fails to promote discussion between cultural groups, and even fails to promote discussion within the same cultural group. It therefore disavows that there are significant differences between individuals. Manji therefore pledges for real diversity, namely diversity of thought and diversity of ideas. She sees that in order to realise this, a lot of courage is needed.
First of all the courage to decide that offense does not need to be avoided at any cost, but that instead, offense is the cost of honest conversation and honest diversity. Secondly the courage to overcome the fear of being judged by not only other communities, but also one’s own community. She understands that people do not want to stir trouble, but argues that by being passive, they allow those with convictions to polarize issues. She furthermore thinks that in order to realise diversity of thought, not only challenging each other is necessary, but also the courage and the humility to challenge one’s own beliefs. Lastly, she states that it is not smart to dismiss ‘hard-core haters’, even though she acknowledges that they are really hard to reason with because they are simply not interested in hearing other arguments. She explains that neuroscientists have ascertained that when people are hearing their point of view reflected in discussions or when they are simply listened to, their brains rewire and their emotional defences calm down. And that because they are heard, they are more ready to listen to those who disagree. So, there is value in listening to them, she argues, also because otherwise they find in populists, like for example Geert Wilders, someone who is finally giving voice to their worry. She concludes with a pledge for pluralism: “To consider what is right and what is wrong, what is acceptable and what is unacceptable and to take a position, but with the humility to acknowledge that that position is open to being changed, it is subject to having more experiences in life and hearing better arguments down the road.” (Irshad Manji) It takes great courage and discomfort to fight against polarization in society, and to strive for diversity of thought. To realise, and then embrace, that we are all individuals and that we can think for ourselves. That there will always be people who disagree. But that if we are fortunate, we have the freedom of speech, and that we can always use it. We can use it for constructive conflict between individuals, even though some of their opinions seem horrible to us.
A historical step into an age of development? Hendrik Jaschob 1st year MA Globalization and Development
On Friday the 25th of September 2015, a new age of global development has dawned. The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted the new Global Goals for Sustainable Development (SDGs) which shall herald the new start for global development. A solution for a new development strategy became urgent, after the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expired this year. The new SDGs embrace 17 Global Goals which refer to the most urgent and global issues, such as global health, sustainable energy, responsible consumption and production, urbanization, gender inequality and peace. Moreover, the SDGs highlight three extraordinary main aims by 2030: End extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, fix climate change
Bringing the world together At the summit in New York, people with worldwide reputation like Pope Francis, Shakira and Nobel peace laureate Malala Yousafzai fueled the fanfare for setting the new goals for development and a new global campaign. Also the world leaders, including Barack Obama, joined the summit for the new adoption of the goals for a new developmental age. Although, the MDGs have been heavily criticised for several aspects, such as its low ambition, the international community was aware of the necessity to implement another setting of goals that address current global issues. According to the World Bank, still 12% of all people on the globe live in absolute poverty with less than 1,90$ per day, which still underscores one of the main issues around the globe. Ban Ki-moon, therefore, says on the global goals that they are “a universal, transformative and integrated agenda that heralds an historic turning point for our world.” He further added: ““The 2030 agenda compels us to look beyond national boundaries and short-term interests and act in solidarity for the long-term. What is notable, the SDGs underwent a different process as the MDGs. The MDGs were once set in a very top-down approach that left out the grassroots level and defined the problems from a very narrow scope for the entire world. In contrast, the setting of the SDGs shows a more participatory and intergovernmental way to figure out what the world’s needs are from a more local perspective. Therefore, the working group on the SGDs included many grassroots actors throughout the way of the setting.
An evaluation However, time will show how the new Global Goals will affect development within the next 15 years. With regard to the Global Goals Report “Transforming our world- the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”, Wiebe Nauta, director of the master programme “Globalisation and Development” at FASoS, says that there is an overwhelming feeling by the vastness of 17 goals and 169 targets. He elaborates that the agenda could be difficult to tackle the entire agenda and considers the MDGs, in contrast, as a somewhat more straightforward.
In terms of sustainable economic growth as goal number eight, the world faces a high number of youth unemployment which affects especially poverty stricken areas. Therefore, Nauta warns that in our capitalist world the interests of the global elite and transnational seem to take precedent over job creation for the unemployed poor and youth worldwide. To give a prospect for assessment and progress of the global goals in future reliable data will be vital. Yet, indicators for the agenda 2030 in order to monitor the process are still being developed. Thus, he concludes that in his view much will depend on the development of indicators as this will determine how genuine progress will be operationalized and measured and hopes that the process of generating reliable data will be successful. “Normally, the devil is in the details.”, he sums up.
Hope or illusion? Due to its vastness, the SDGs seem to tackle all current global issues including all classes of society to bring change. Referring to which actors are involved in the process of the SDGs, the agenda 2030 mainly calls for the private sector to reach the new goals. In a way, it mirrors the approach of involving grassroots actors and civil society. In terms of private investment, Macharia Kamau (Kenya), one of two co-chairs in the working groups for the SDGs, said in The Guardian that a shift in mind-set is required for positive change. Therefore, it remains open how international business comes together with regard to specific development operations. However, anti-globalisation movements could see the entire agenda critical due to the large role that transnational corporations play, taking into account all the negative implications for human well-being and the environment worldwide. The growing global capitalist elite, therefore, can cause suspicion among regarding their ambiguous interests. At least, a critical stance on the progress will be required in order to tackle the urging global issues.
2nd year BA Liberal Arts and Social Sciences
A World in motion And motionless, still Our thoughts; Are distilled in Uncountable actions They bear the sum of directions Encumbered and thus, Out of shape. Flammable hopes Breed in violence As we make a move Screaming, â€˜change!â€™ Will I capture The mood of the time, If our differences Let the past re-arrange? For our World By default Is in motion. It bears the fault Of senseless devotion To the arbitrary Faces of change.
“You know what drives me crazy? It’s all these people talking about how great technology is, and how it saves all this time. But, what good is saved time, if nobody uses it? If it just turns into more busy work. You never hear somebody say, “With the time I’ve saved by using my word processor, I’m gonna go to a Zen monastery and hang out”. I mean, you never hear that.”
Accelerated Time: Does technology actually keep us from getting busier? Although this quote from the movie ‘Before Sunrise’ did not have a lasting impact on the characters’ lives, or at least it did not seem to be very important to the movie, it grabbed my attention. This is it. The World in Motion. All this time-saving technology, and all it makes us do is more, more, more. Nowadays, motion means speed. It accelerates. The faster we can do things, the faster we are required to do them. Think about it. The invention of computers, for example, came handy because you did not have to write everything by hand anymore. With the internet, you could write an e-mail, not having to wait days or weeks to get your message delivered or to wait for a response (that is, if the person you sent it to was not busy). Having a dishwasher, you do not have to
Eszter Sailer 1st year BA European Studies
spend so much time by the sink, washing, scrubbing, drying etc. Planes enable you to travel to other continents within a few hours. Online shopping spares you the time you would spend walking down the streets. I could name many more examples. Do we really use all that time that is ‘left over’ because of technology effectively? It is interesting to look at the two sides of having ‘left over’ time. On one hand, it makes us lazy. For instance, if you are used to doing the dishes by hand, having a dishwasher might not make you, as a person, more effective. Knowing myself, I would just watch another episode of my favourite show, as I would know that by not having to do the dishes, I could just relax.
On the other hand, though, it justifies people to demand more from us. It is no longer a valid excuse to tell your boss that you could not complete all the paper work that was required for the next day because it was too much to handle for your hands. You donâ€™t have to write with a pen, you can just use your computer to fill in the online forms. Deliveries take less time, so you can demand more of your local store by requiring the product to arrive on time. The Economist says in one of their articles that there were once predictions that said: we will have to work less hours and we will have longer vacation. Moreover, there were even concerns about what we would do with all this free time. I would tell those predictors that they did not have to worry. As The Economist says, â€œeverybody, everywhere seems to be busyâ€?. You could ask yourself, why is everyone so busy? The growing demand explained before might serve as an answer. The predictions of less work and more vacation seemed to forget one thing: money. If less work can serve for the same amount of productivity, the amount of work we did beforehand will earn us more money! The theory of a more relaxed life is flattering, but we have to admit that money is a leading (if not the most important) power in the world, and capitalism simply makes use of efficiency. However, productivity could serve as a motivating factor as well. The possibilities to do more can drive you towards your goals faster and it allows you to get more out of a situation than you thought feasible before. The growing demand made me think of another thing. If the amount of innovations have increased more than ever starting from the twentieth century, making the world work faster and faster, how fast will the world be in ten years? Twenty years? A hundred years? It seems as if the speed has been accelerated. The world became faster, even though there had always been innovations. The Neolithic Revolution, new techniques of working crops in the Middle Ages, steam power, machinery and weaponry during the World Wars, and now, the internet. It seems to go faster and faster and I do not know what the limit is. How much more will we be expected to do? How long can this continue? How long does it take for us to have the feeling that it is going too fast, that one is not capable of doing so much, even if one has all the resources to do so. Is there even a limit?
It might be, that innovations and technology do not make our lives easier, they just make things easier, letting us work on other problems. We might be better off as we were, let’s say, two hundred years ago, as not all of us have to work in the field, doing heavy labour, but the stress our work puts on us might be on the same level. We simply focus on other things. Though a world that is going faster and faster might not be that bad. Who knows, years from now, with all the inventions, innovations and effective technology, we will reach the max, what we were aiming for and we will get those short hours of work and long vacations after all. It is important to look at your own goals and trust your own pace. The world can expect you to do more and act faster, but you have all the space to use your saved time for something else. You have the possibility to contradict the quote from ‘Before Sunrise’ and actually avoid getting busier. At the end of the day, it is up to you how you deal with a world in extreme motion.
Meet Our Team
The Team in no specific order Alice, Johannes, Marta, Jakub, Annick, Marie-Isabel, Vincent, Marie, Diya, Padraic, Leon, James, Monica, Martin, Lize, Milli, Hendrik, Elysia, Fiona, Christian, Eszter
Missing on the photo Amber, Louise, Joost, Angelle