Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Spanish voice of reason on Islam, clothing and schools

"Islamophobia, the successor to our centuries-old tradition of anti-Semitism. In short, the rejection of the other…

One of the most commonly heard arguments these days runs along the following lines: if progressives want to remove crucifixes from classrooms, how can they accept the presence of female pupils wearing hijabs? What this question overlooks is that the classroom is a public space, paid for with taxpayers’ money, and run by the state, and where teachers and pupils of different faiths meet. The state is supposedly secular, so there can be no official use of religious symbols.

But wearing the hijab, the kippah or a crucifix is a personal decision, and should be seen along the same lines as wearing a particular team’s soccer shirt, or a t-shirt with a band name on it.”[ Javier Valenzuela writing in El Pais.]

My own logic would also suggest that unless there is a bigoted slogan on a t-shirt or depicts acts of violence then it should be allowed… (Or unless a student is half-naked) I see no reason to bother with them.

The enormous amounts of time and energy spent in schools (and recently the media) discussing and dealing with the subject of student’s clothing is ridiculous.

And why is this such a popular subject? Mainly, because it is a tangible subject. You can see it. It therefore suits the small-minded. It is easier to deal with than bullying, racism or the reluctance of many parents to be involved in their children’s education. So it gets the most attention, even though it does not deserve it.

Friday, April 23, 2010


1st anniversary of the Casal Popular Okupat [squatter’s workshop] in Vilafranca del Penedès.

I talked to a spokesman, took a few photo’s and wrote this article on their activities when they had just started a year ago.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Nights & days in Spanish Africa

Children sleeping in rubbish bins, illegal people-trafficking, police drugging and torturing immigrants, 10km of barbed-wire fence, plus routine murder and a thousand other atrocities – all with tacit European Union approval. Welcome to Melilla!

A shocking article: “Europe’s dirty little secret”. In El Mundo (Spanish:) “El sucio secreto de Europa.”

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What Franco knew about The Final Solution

New documentary evidence, written in 1943 by Ángel Sanz Briz, a young Spanish diplomat, strongly suggests that the former Spanish dictator must have known many details of the horrors of the Nazi’s Auschwitz death camp.

“This shows that Franco knew the exact dimensions of the massacre. There is no room for doubt,” according to Bernd Rother, a German historian and author of a book on Franco and the Holocaust.

To read more (in Spanish) click here.