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Opposition, not Islamaphobia

A Saudi Arabian criminal being flogged. A teenage girl was recently sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison for the crime of being a victim of gang-rape. Is criticism of these human rights violations imperialistic, or unfair? (Photo: Camera Press)

A Saudi Arabian criminal being flogged. A teenage girl was recently sentenced to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison for the crime of being a victim of gang-rape. Is criticism of these human rights violations imperialistic, or unfair? (Photo: Camera Press)

Last month, years of Taliban hostility finally ended when Pakistan’s government agreed to surrender control of the Swat district and allow Shari’ah law to operate there, less than 100 miles from Islamabad. To accomplish this, the Taliban bombed nearly two hundred schools (particularly girls’ schools – women’s education is now prohibited in Swat), set alight government buildings and carried out a string of assassinations, kidnappings and suicide bombings.

I consider this surrender by the Pakistani government to be a grave mistake that will not easily be undone. As an advocate of liberties for all people, I find myself at odds with the fundamental principles of Shari’ah law, especially the version as understood by the Taliban. Their version is strongly modelled on the hard-line Wahabbi Islam of Saudi Arabia, where women continue to be oppressed, thieves continue to be dismembered and apostates from Islam continue to be murdered.

Now, the author of the piece ‘Freedom to criticise, or racism?’ must surely think that my opposition to these horrors is racist, based on an imperialist mind-set. This is nonsense, and it pains me that I am forced to defend myself from accusations of racism, but let me be clear. Criticism of Islam is not and can not be racist. Neither can criticism of Catholicism, Hinduism, Scientology or any other system of belief. Racism is an ignorant and fearful perspective, and an accusation of harbouring opinions of that kind will always carry weight. I detest the accusation, just as I detest that which I am accused of being. Those with a racist agenda, who aim to demonise middle-eastern immigrants, should be rightly condemned. My discourse is with the politics of religion.

Islam appears to be faced with a conundrum. It claims to be the final and unalterable word of God, and yet there are aspects of the faith utterly incompatible with what we as a modern society cherish. Thus, the modern day Muslim in the west is faced with a dilemma: to choose between western democratic values, or the proclamations made by the creator of the universe. Because, whilst Islamic faith can come in various levels of intensity, all Muslims, from moderate to fundamentalist, must believe that Allah’s laws are superior to our man-made ones. That is, by definition, part of what it is to be a Muslim, just as all Christians must believe that Jesus died on the cross for our sins. This is a conundrum with no easy solution, but I will make an attempt.

‘Criticism of Islam is not and can not be racist. Neither can criticism of Catholicism, Hinduism, Scientology or any other system of belief’

First, however, I must acknowledge that I have been accused of Islamophobia, a charge I will not shy away from. I will not deny that there are forms of Islam I am resistant to, but I do not think it irrational (a necessary component of phobia), and would call it hostility rather than fear. I am hostile to wahabbi Islam as practiced in Saudi Arabia, where raped woman might not seek legal protection for fear of punishment by whippings or worse. I am hostile to Islam as practiced in Egypt, where over 95% of all women still suffer female genital mutilation. I am hostile to Islam as was practiced in Afghanistan under the Taliban, where men who believed they were following the advice of Allah beat women on the streets in broad daylight. I am hostile to the Islam that inspired 19 men to hijack planes and fly them into the New York skyline. This is not an exhaustive list.

This is not the Islam that my Muslim acquaintances believe in. It is not the Islam that gave us the great poet Omar Khayyam and his beautiful religious poetry. It is not the Islam that shaped and cultivated the cradle of civilization, laid the groundwork for scientific thinking and began work on what is now modern medicine. However, the fundamentalist forms of Islam do find themselves fully justified in the writings of the Qur’an, Hadith and Sunnah. I propose that it must be the task of modern Islamic scholars to bravely do what must be done and to disagree with or reinterpret the words of the Prophet Mohammed. Female genital mutilation, honour killings, dismemberment, enforced marriage, murder of homosexuals, murder of apostates, whippings, stonings – these things are revolting, and we must hear a unified Muslim voice raised in agreement. Moderate Muslims must distance themselves from the Islam that supports such acts. Islamic leaders, too, must publicly denounce violations of human rights and lead the way towards a compatible Islam that can exist in a democratic 21st century.

War between theocracy and democracy is inevitable, and America’s war on fundamentalist Islam is this idea actualised. But a war of bombs and bullets is not necessary if a war of ideas can be won first. If liberty can triumph over religious dogma then a single shot need never be fired.

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18 Comments

  1. I am appalled that such articles are allowed to be published in our unviersity paper. As a muslim, i find your article highly offensive and misleading. You have no understanding of Islam, and you have no understanding of the middle east. As a Palestnian and a Muslim I am shocked to read such claims base on false facts (95% of Egyptian women suffer FGM???????? WRONGGGG) How can you say that? Please read Christakis Georgiou’s article, just so you can get a better idea of the progress of emancipation of women in the Middle East.
    You are just repeating blindly and stupidly how mainstream media has been portraying islam since 9/11. I think people that have no throrough knowledge of the middle east shouldnt even be allowed to speak on behalf of that region. You have deeply insulted my religion and my people by misleading readers with wrong facts and exaggerated terms.

    About ”our supposed democratic 21st century”, can i remind you that there are only about 40 official democratic countries in this world, and their supposed democratic processes are highly questionable.

    Unfortunately because of people like you, there has been no platform available for muslim scholars and intellectuals to express themselves and to be recognized because of the stereotypes that people like you stick to Islam. You forget poeple like Edward Said, Tariq Ali, Mahmoud Darwish, Shirine Ebadi, Mahmoud Mamdani, Tariq Ramadan, Lila Abu Lughod, and the list goes on. These are muslim intellectuals that continue to represent the Islamic and Arab world, and are internationally recognized scholars.

    In countries that you seem to admire and that you would want ‘middle eastern’ ones to live up to, we find women drunk and lying on your streets, extremely high number of domestic violence abuses, secret detention centers (such as Guantanamo etc.), appalling detention centers of asylum seekers, torture in prisons, corruption, wars killing innocent civilians, homophobia, extremist political parties.

    You need stop demonizing and judging other people and their belief systems and start looking closer to home my friend.
    You are blinded, and naive.

    On that note i do welcome you into my country of Palestine where women are the most highly educated in the whole of the Arab world and where they represented 47% of voters etc. etc.

    Bushra

    PS: I will be making a formal complaint against your article.

    Reply
  2. Hmm, it seems the author of the article is a bit behind the times. The series of imperialist occupations which the author has explicitly backed, the author’s ludicrous, fawning perspective on the racist actions of Geert Wilder, yeah these things have already happened – not up in the ether, from the comfort of a flash armchair with a copy of the Radio Times and The Sun. ‘War’ is inevitable because it has already happened, ‘war between democracy and theocracy’ is not inevitable, because it is basically just the moral refuge of a simpleton.

    The criticism of religious fundamentalism, whilst cogent and appropriate, falls on deaf ears given that the author has demonstrated… hm, yes, absolutely NO understanding of anything detailed regarding how ANY religious undertaking relates to violence, let alone anything as specific as what the author chooses to label ‘Islam’.

    Having read this shocking piece of journalism I am seriously contemplating leaving Sussex University to go and become a CND hunger striker, it is that or get a job and allow people like this to take over the world.

    Reply
  3. The problem with your argument is that you link practices e.g. genital mutilation with Islam which I would say aren’t really Islam as such, merely practices/ events which occur or have occurred in Muslim countries, they’re more to do with culture and politics. Religions are not bound to follow their teachers or their holy books – followers do what they believe is moral and sometimes use their religion to justify that, but as you pointed out, you can be Muslim and completely reject all of the practices you mentioned, and you can quite easily justify that religiously.
    I also think that you write from the cultural perspective of someone who has never been immersed in a religion like Islam and therefore you miss some of the nuances of religion, when you view it, as an outsider.

    None of this makes you racist, at all, or Islamaphobic, because you don’t have an issue with Muslims, you just view religion as causing lots of bad things (which I think is an erroneous link to make).

    By the way, I am saying this as someone who was raised in an orthodox Jewish family and community but never liked any of the religious practice. However, I always find myself defending religion, because I think it can be so misunderstood by people who haven’t been immersed in it. On the one hand, you find religious people doing the weirdest stuff because their religion dictates it – like circumcising baby boys in front of a room of people. BUT – This is not really religion, this is a cultural practice which is normalised because everyone in a community does it. There are plenty of commandments in the Torah which Jews no longer practice, like stoning adulterers. My point is that the problem is not religion because religion evolves according to its context, so it’s almost irrelevant to even mention religion alongside a practice like genital mutilation.

    Reply
  4. Oh and Bushra, you’re a complete hyopcrite! You see nothing wrong with defacing Jewish religious symbols (yes it’s still offensive even if it’s on an israeli flag) and waging a vendetta against the Jewish state, but you can’t take criticism of inhumane practices that occur in Muslim countries.

    Reply
  5. When have i defaced jewish religious symbols Ruthie? Please quote me because i can’t seem to remember. As denouncing the horrors comitted by your supposed Jewish state, i do that everyday! And i will continue doing so! As an israeli citizen, i am considered a second class citizen in my own country, doesn’t that give me the right to criticize the state of israel? or what you call the Jewish state. 25% of that state are muslim let me remind you, and please never ever forget that. Now what i ‘wage a vendetta’ against (as u want to call it) are israeli war crimes. Which most of the International community today agrees to. An imperial and racist state, that believes in the superiority of the Jewish community above all other races, ethnicities and beliefs.
    But this is a whole different debate. And we both know where we stand on this political issue. You are a zionist and i’m not.

    About your other comment however, i very much agree with you, it is cultural practices thta are justified through religion. And not religion itself.
    You are very right about that, and no one said FGM was a good thing, you just cannot link it to religion, it is a cultural practice. And culture has never been fixed, it is something that changes and evolves through time.

    Finally Ruthie, you need to stop thinking that i have a problem with Jewish people, you really need to get that out of your head, if that was the case, i think i would have too many people hating me. I have many jewish friends, and never have i defaced anythig about their religious beliefs, and the same goes to them: they never defaced muslim religious symbols. Can you (and your friends) stop putting words in my mouth, i am tired to explain over and over again, something we both know ain’t true!
    I am an anti war activist, and i truly believe in justice and in the case you are mentioning, yes i believe in full justice to the palestinians, how has that defaced Jewish religious symbols? Being anti zionist (how many times do we have to say it) doesnt mean i am anti semitic (do i need to repeat this, or hold a placard for you to understand?).
    Now I am very happy to have this debate with you, anytime, anywhere. But before accusing me of things i haven’t said, speak to me face to face.

    Bushra

    Reply
  6. I think Peter’s point is that the Koran is different from other religious texts, because it claims to be the final and -indisputable- word of God. Therefore, to be consistent (Peter argues) muslims have to follow the Koran to the letter, including all the horrible cultural practices like FGM and killing apostates.

    I’m actually not sure if it’s wise to make this argument. Humanitarian interpretations of religious texts should be encouraged and I don’t wish to point out that it is (arguably) going against real Islam.

    Bushra, by handing out leaflets with a cross through the Israeli flag you seem to be blaming all Israeli citizens for Israel’s defence policy. It’s also religiously insensitive because of the religious symbol on the flag and, although I’m not for a minute suggesting it was your intention, can’t you see why Jews might take offense?

    Reply
  7. Yep Bushra, see Jessica’s comment for what I was referring to…but then again if you didn’t have anything to do with the leaflet then I apologise for the accusation!

    Regarding Israel – my point was not intended to accuse you of being anti-semitic, what I meant was that you are vocal in your criticism of Israel’s mistakes, but take massive offense to the suggestion that practices in other parts of the middle east are barbaric. Then again, it is difficult to see from your response which part of the article it was that you objected to – the association of Islam with those practices, or the criticism of those practices full stop?

    This debate has reminded me of Johann Hari’s recent article which attracted a lot of controversy. This is his defence, of what he said, very eloquently put:

    “All people deserve respect, but not all ideas do. I don’t respect the idea that a man was born of a virgin, walked on water and rose from the dead. I don’t respect the idea that we should follow a “Prophet” who at the age of 53 had sex with a nine-year old girl, and ordered the murder of whole villages of Jews because they wouldn’t follow him. I don’t respect the idea that the West Bank was handed to Jews by God and the Palestinians should be bombed or bullied into surrendering it. I don’t respect the idea that we may have lived before as goats, and could live again as woodlice…. When you demand “respect”, you are demanding we lie to you. I have too much real respect for you as a human being to engage in that charade.”

    I

    Reply
  8. Incidentally, Bushra, if I seemed a little bit hostile in that comment it’s mostly because you came accross as very unsympathetic when people took offense at Dr Tamimi’s invitation to speak at Sussex…and that was a situation when myself and others were upset (because Dr Tamimi has a record of promoting killing civillians) and you appeared dismissive and insensitive to people’s feelings.

    Reply
  9. Also I don’t mean to be accusatory, or to say it should have any bearing on this discussion, because the issues really are completely separate, but if you sense hostility coming from me it’s probably because the only time I have heard you speak it was in that situation.

    Reply
  10. I love how people assume im handing out these flyers, even if i have no problem with them and i see them in a different perspective, yes i am against the existence of Israel as it is today, and putting a cross on the israeli flag is by no means an offense to Jewish people, i dont see why, as it is a flag not a menorah. Now if israelis take offense well let them, i disgaree with Isralei politics – and i am israeli myself- so that is again another debate. Please lets not mix things up.

    I will quote Ruthie ” the problem is not religion because religion evolves according to its context, so it’s almost irrelevant to even mention religion alongside a practice like genital mutilation.” I totally agree with this. Again FGM is a horrific thing that happens and that have occured in muslim countries but among christians as well as muslims. Different interepretations in Islam have been done about FGM, but the practice is all in all mostly African, and has been practised in African countries within different communities.

    Ruthie obviously what i am arguing is the naive and easy associations peter has made between Islam and these practices, I think it is too easy. And i think Peter is in no position whatsoever to judge or understand these things, because as you said, he has not been immersed in a religious community.

    I take offense Ruthie when people like Peter mistakingly associate things such as FGM to islam. And yes it is offense to my whole community, and obviously i am very irritated about such misleading articles.

    Obviously you never come to the Palestine Society meetings, then maybe you wlould have seen me in more sympathetic terms. And maybe you were at Azzam Tamimi’s meeting, and if you weren’t then you missed out on his emphasis between anti zionism and anti semitism. As you feel upset with people like Azzam Tamimi, i feel upset when people call themselves zionists, because it is an ideology that believes in the expulsion of my people.

    Bushra

    Reply
  11. I think we basically agree on a lot of points, but my gut reaction is not sympathetic to the offence you feel because you don’t really understand why a lot of Palsoc activities have offended people, and don’t seem to care much. Actually, I do think you have the right to be offended now but I’m going to consider you hypocritical until you understand that certain activities you have been involved in have been…I am going to put it this way, insensitive at best and at worst, offensive.

    Disclaimer: none of the following has anything to do with the above article.

    The flag issue: It was a bit presumptuous of me to bring that up because I didn’t know that you had anything to do with it, it was just something that has been bothering me and I knew that you knew the people handing out the leaflets. But now we are on the topic, here is the issue.

    The star of david is the main Jewish symbol, always has been, which is why it was chosen for the Israeli flag. It’s meant to represent God’s presence – the pointing in all directions symbolises God being omnipresent. Do you now see why Jews have taken offence to a cross through it?

    On zionism, the Tamimi meeting and members of Palsoc supporting Hamas. Zionism as I have been taught it does not require the expulsion of the Palestinian people and I definitely don’t believe that it should. I don’t even know if I want to call myself a zionist because people seem to assume it means all sorts of things and all I know is I believe in a Jewish state and a Palestinian state and tolerance and equality in both states. So please don’t use my ‘intolerance’ as a basis to dismiss the things I have been offended by.

    I wasn’t at the meeting because I was upset that week that he’d been invited in the first place, and I made the decision not to put myself in a situation that would land me in tears. I know the difference between anti-Zionism and anti-semitism but that wasn’t my problem with him in the first place, like I said, my problem was that he has encouraged suicide bombings and said that he would commit one. I was genuinely shocked because I had no idea that members of Palsoc were that sympathetic to terrorism. I was also really shocked by the way that no-one at the council meeting said that they disagreed with what he had said in that interview that I quoted, and no-one responded in a polite or respectful way to my questions on the event wall. It basically made me feel as if Palsoc cares about Palestinians but not about the Israelis who were victims to those attacks and who are potential victims.
    It also made me feel as if any requests for the anti Gaza bombing protest to be pro-peace, and respectful of human life on both sides, were being shunned and labeled fascist, anti-freedom of speech, even anti Muslim.

    Reply
  12. This article is very interesting. While I don’t agree with all of it, it’s certainly refreshing to hear a libertarian viewpoint on campus. The current climate of the Sussex political life is an overwhelming pseudo-socialist smog – (and this is coming from a socialist).

    A lot of people are criticising the figure of 95% female genital mutilation. It sounds about right to me – there is no disclaimer on the WHO sources saying “this is only for a special region of Egypt,” as some are claiming. The WHO estimates that female genital mutilation has been at 95%-97% for the last decade or so.

    There was an article in the Guardian written in June 2007 analysing the issue, importantly citing a UNICEF report on the statistics. According to the UNICEF research, 96% of Egyptian women aged 15-49 reported that they had been circumcised. Moreover, a much less thorough (i.e. biased) inquest from the Egyptian government found that the figure hovered around 50%. So whatever poll you decide to pick, the end result is overwhelmingly negative.

    It has been said in other comments that this mutilation is more likely to stem from cultural traditions as opposed to Islam specifically. Interestingly, Christians in the Middle East have also been cited as proponents of genital mutilation. I feel that this misses the point of the piece: the author is arguing against any kind of theocracy, and appears to be promoting a staunch atheism. To use other religions as straw-men arguments does not detract one jot from the point of the article.

    It is more than likely the case that the author does not agree with any kind of religious genital mutilation practices (as I certainly don’t, either) – rather, highlighting the recent Islamophobia debate and tying it into context.

    Another argument could be made to suggest that Islam actively encourages these sorts of activities. Any basic translation (there are several around) of the Sunan Abu Dawûd records Mohammed promoting a mild female circumcision. Now this text has varying levels of authority, but has been used by Muslim commentators to encourage a very mild form of female circumcision.

    My own opinion is that any kind of circumcision is wrong. And so I disagree with the mainstream Islamic opinion (from hadith) in saying that it is a requirement for boys; and I disagree with the outlying texts in suggesting mild female circumcision. I regard these practices as barbaric and outdated.

    In regards to Bushra’s comments about women being drunk, etc. – I certainly don’t think that women being drunk is a bad thing. I have no idea why that was cited as a problem. Why women specifically – and not men? Is a woman being drunk and ‘lying in the street’ somehow worse than a man?

    Also, there is infinitely less homophobia in Western Europe than in the Islamic world. So again, I have no idea why that issue was cited. The whole comment had shaky arguments. And to make a ‘formal complaint’ against an article seems to be a very poor way of approaching controversial issues. Relegating a touchy subject to a taboo-realm of red tape doesn’t fix anything.

    I doubt that anyone in the university harbours ill-will towards people for being muslim. I haven’t seen, read or heard that sentiment anywhere on campus. And I doubt that anyone wants to really offend; you have friendly, inspiring and intellectual people on every point of the political and religious spectrum.

    We’re getting an emerging stream of Islamophobia-themed articles in The Badger because people are fed up with religious criticism being off-limits. It’s especially important to cast a critical eye on religious ideologies in these times of religious wars. Let’s not jump to accusations of racism.

    In criticism of the article, I’d say that it is important to draw a bigger line between the two kinds of muslim in Islam: the typical follower- wonderful, warm and humble people (of whom I’m lucky to have some as friends); and the extremists we often see paraded in newspapers. Someone with prejudiced motives might see an article like this and use it irresponsibly to fuel the fires of hatred.

    And I agree with Ruthie’s comments about the issue being much more complicated than the article presents. The entire thing is a complicated web of religion, freedom, liberty and rights. It can’t possibly be covered in a single article; and the piece provides a very simplistic overview of one point.

    Much love,
    A.

    Reply
  13. It is somewhat fashionable these days to attack Islam and muslims, but not with actual facts, but distorted facts. This is like blaming every single Christian for the actions of pedophile preists. It’s not silly but nutty!

    Reply

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Florence Dutton - October 29, 2018

Over recent years, relentless injustice has caused a surge in female self-reclamation, especially across the media. More and more women from marginalised communities and backgrounds are coming…

Poets Wow Crowds at The Haunt
Arts
127 views
Arts
127 views

Poets Wow Crowds at The Haunt

Alice Gledhill - October 25, 2018

On Sunday evening, The Haunt welcomed a trio of poets from America and Canada as part of Neil Hilborn’s UK tour, treating guests to an uplifting night…

Top Stories
128 views

Brighton and Beyond

Rachael Naylor - October 24, 2018

Finding your feet in a brand new city can be overwhelming and confusing at first, however Brighton offers a range of alternative travel options to satisfy all…

Freshers 2018
132 views

The best breakthroughs of 2018 thus far

Sabrina Edwards - October 22, 2018

As we begin a new school year, this is a great time for Sabrina Edwards, the new Science editor, to reflect on the best scientific breakthroughs of…

De-Stressing with Rob Cowen’s Common Ground
Arts
218 views
Arts
218 views

De-Stressing with Rob Cowen’s Common Ground

Hal Keelin - October 18, 2018

Upon my transfer to Sussex University, I found Robert Cowen’s Common Ground a particularly comforting read. After nearly a year out from academic study, I was finally…

Johnny English Fails to Strike Again
Arts
152 views
Arts
152 views

Johnny English Fails to Strike Again

Alice Gledhill - October 18, 2018

Striking up laughter in cinema screens once again, Rowan Atkinson may have given up playing lovable Mr. Bean, but he hasn’t retired as Johnny English just yet.…

Sexual assault in the US government
Comment
128 views
Comment
128 views

Sexual assault in the US government

Tom Robinson - October 17, 2018

“I believed he was going to rape me.” are the stand out words in Christine Ford’s final testimony at the confirmation hearing of Brett Kavanaugh as an…

What’s ACCA-ning?
Arts
197 views
Arts
197 views

What’s ACCA-ning?

Emma Nay - October 16, 2018

  All you need to know about autumn at the Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts If you have not seen the ACCA’s new autumn programme, you…

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols
Arts
204 views
Arts
204 views

Review: Journeying with Grace Nichols

Kate Dennett - October 12, 2018

In celebration of Black History Month, Sussex Student Union organised a number of interesting talks and events across October. One of these exciting opportunities was a chance…

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA
Film & Theatre
192 views
Film & Theatre
192 views

Review: Suzanne Ciani & Martin Messier at the ACCA

Anonymous - October 10, 2018

At the outset, Mr Messier’s FIELD at once invoked The Matrix and Daedalus’ Boiler Room set.  The basic concept of this mixed media performance relies on transducer…

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development
Arts
277 views
Arts
277 views

Shelf Help: The Organisation Encouraging Self-Development

Kate Dennett - October 10, 2018

To commemorate to this year’s Mental Health Awareness Day, I found it increasingly difficult to draw attention to just one book of relevance in recognition of this…

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective
Campus News
224 views
Campus News
224 views

Freshers’ Week from a second year perspective

Chris Ahjem - October 9, 2018

Annually, the University of Sussex welcomes thousands of new students to our Falmer campus and every year the Student’s Union and Brighton based clubs and businesses increase…

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known
News
351 views
News
351 views

National Badger Day: 10 fun facts you might not have known

Chris Ahjem - October 6, 2018

To celebrate National Badger Day here are 10 fun facts about our animal kingdom namesake Badgers can run up to 16-19 miles per hour which is the…

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week
Arts
275 views
Arts
275 views

University of Sussex Joins Libraries Week

Kate Dennett - October 6, 2018

This coming week marks the celebration of Libraries Week, an event solely dedicated to praising the work of libraries across the UK. This annual event is taking…

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin
Interview
230 views
Interview
230 views

Oscar Jerome at The Hope and Ruin

Alex Leissle - October 4, 2018

The young star is often a tricky title to navigate. There are the big names, who explode into the world with noise, bright light, a big record…

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry
Lifestyle
344 views
Lifestyle
344 views

How Fenty Beauty changed the face of the makeup industry

Rachel Badham - October 3, 2018

Fenty Beauty, launched in September last year, is a makeup line created by global superstar Robyn Rihanna Fenty, better known as Rihanna. It’s not uncommon for celebrity…

Why we should all embrace drag
Features
261 views
Features
261 views

Why we should all embrace drag

Chris Ahjem - October 3, 2018

Once an art form disregarded by many, 2018 bears witness to the continuous rise of drag as a legitimate, celebrated art. Spearheaded by RuPaul’s Drag Race, drag…

In Conversation with Alannah Myles
Arts
438 views
Arts
438 views

In Conversation with Alannah Myles

Anastasia Konstantinidou - October 3, 2018

This week we had the pleasure of interviewing Alannah Myles, the 1991 Grammy winner for best female rock vocal performance for her outstanding vocal abilities for the…

Brighton Needs You!
News
237 views
News
237 views

Brighton Needs You!

Anonymous - September 28, 2018

Brighton is a vibrant and thriving city that many students at Sussex are lucky enough to call home. But there are many in the area in need…

Books Every Fresher Should Read
Arts
471 views
Arts
471 views

Books Every Fresher Should Read

Anonymous - September 19, 2018

Starting university comes with both exciting but potentially daunting changes, with both moving away from home and studying at degree level posing to be two new challenges.…

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist
Film & Theatre
314 views
Film & Theatre
314 views

INCREDIBLES 2: The Sequel with a Feminist Twist

Olek Młyński - September 18, 2018

One key film in the development of anyone who grew up in the early 2000s was The Incredibles (2004). It’s comedy, vibrancy, and general sense of fun…

France in Fine Fettle
Sports
362 views
Sports
362 views

France in Fine Fettle

Anonymous - September 17, 2018

Prior to the start of the quadrennial tournament this summer, football fans across the world grew sceptical over Russia’s credentials and ability to host the most prestigious…

Dive into Brightonian Culture
Arts
331 views
Arts
331 views

Dive into Brightonian Culture

Sorrel Linsley - September 17, 2018

Boredom is impossible when you throw yourself into everything this weird and wonderful city has to offer. The specific and unique cultural wonders of Brighton are indeed…

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?
Arts
378 views
Arts
378 views

Oh, baby, baby, did you see Britney at Pride?

Anastasia Konstantinidou - September 15, 2018

During this year’s Pride Festival, Brighton had the honour of welcoming international pop star and voice of the early 2000s, Britney Spears, to the main stage. Undoubtedly,…

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate
Campus News
1550 views1
Campus News
1550 views1

Union obliterates the debate – unwritten requirement used to shut down free speech debate

Jordan Wright - April 27, 2018

Student society Liberate the Debate’s most recent event was cancelled over a lack of compliance with the Students' Union's (USSU) requirement for a neutral chair - a…

The Slacker Podcast w/ You Me At Six
Music
61 views
Music
61 views

The Slacker Podcast w/ You Me At Six

Lara Antoine - November 17, 2018

Among the warm lights, plants and sofas that looked like they were from the set of Friends, BBC Radio 1 Presenter Phil Taggart conducted a one-off live…

News
173 views

Brighton and Hove Employment

kenyon55 - November 17, 2018

Approximately 800 of 4,520 currently unemployed in Brighton and Hove are aged 18-24, according to The Argus. To address unemployment, especially amongst Brighton’s youth, the city’s Jobcentre…

BBC Introducing Live| Sustainability and Music
Music
101 views
Music
101 views

BBC Introducing Live| Sustainability and Music

Lara Antoine - November 16, 2018

If you were to link sustainability with something it's unlikely to be music. The panelists aimed to prove that wrong, focusing on plastic waste and emissions in…

‘I’m Sick of Singing About My Broken Heart’ – Tom Odell in Concert
Music
145 views
Music
145 views

‘I’m Sick of Singing About My Broken Heart’ – Tom Odell in Concert

Mollie Lindsay-Bush - November 16, 2018

[caption id="attachment_37093" align="alignnone" width="3024"] Photo by Mollie Lindsay-Bush[/caption]   ‘I’m Sick of Singing About My Broken Heart’ – But, oh boy Tom, we are not. When I…

Thrilling Feminist Dystopias
Arts
79 views
Arts
79 views

Thrilling Feminist Dystopias

Anonymous - November 16, 2018

The production of dystopian fiction has rapidly expanded over the past twenty years, with young adult dystopian trilogies, such as The Hunger Games, gaining popularity amongst teenagers.…

It’s Time To Talk About Biphobia
Features
129 views
Features
129 views

It’s Time To Talk About Biphobia

Rachel Badham - November 16, 2018

Biphobia is the prejudice against bisexual and pansexual individuals, and whilst this may exist amongst the heterosexuals it’s also very common within the LGBTQ+ community itself. Bisexuality,…

Features
58 views

Acting Political: Celebrity Involvement In The Political Landscape

Rachel Badham - November 16, 2018

Amid the build up to the US mid-term elections, global megastar Taylor Swift released a political statement via Instagram to her 112 million followers. Swift has previously…

Period Poverty: The Untold Story Behind The Tax On Women’s Bodies
Features
111 views
Features
111 views

Period Poverty: The Untold Story Behind The Tax On Women’s Bodies

Rachel Badham - November 16, 2018

Jaffa cakes and edible cake decorations are just some of the products that are VAT free in Britain, and yet tampons and sanitary towels are still subject…

Should We Say No To Gendered Marketing?
Comment
78 views
Comment
78 views

Should We Say No To Gendered Marketing?

Rachel Badham - November 16, 2018

From the moment we become aware of the concept of gender as children we automatically become conscious of the unwritten rules that dictate what constitutes gender. From…

Playing with fire…but who gets burned?
Comment
322 views
Comment
322 views

Playing with fire…but who gets burned?

melissageere - November 16, 2018

While up to 30,000 people attended and enjoyed Lewes Bonfire celebrations on the 5th of November, there was a marked lack of public criticism of the deeply…

Homelessness in Brighton: An Olympic Disaster
Culture
234 views
Culture
234 views

Homelessness in Brighton: An Olympic Disaster

tallulahfirefly - November 16, 2018

In a 2011 article the BBC reported that homelessness had nearly doubled in the last year. But what sparked this dramatic increase in figures? It has long…

BAME Representation: Darren Chetty and Lacking Representation in Literature
Books
103 views
Books
103 views

BAME Representation: Darren Chetty and Lacking Representation in Literature

Mollie Lindsay-Bush - November 16, 2018

  I came across Darren Chetty, a teacher and author based in London, when reading the 2016 Readers Choice Award winner The Good Immigrant. Compiled of a…

The Limitations of a Liberal Victory – The American Midterms
Comment
45 views
Comment
45 views

The Limitations of a Liberal Victory – The American Midterms

Tom Robinson - November 16, 2018

On Wednesday, the results of the US midterms were released which could have a monumental impact upon Trump’s presidency. In casting their opinion on Trump so far,…

Blood and Cups: Breaking the Period Taboo
Features
141 views
Features
141 views

Blood and Cups: Breaking the Period Taboo

Billie-Jean Johnson - November 15, 2018

In Bolivia it has been believed that disposing of menstrual pads with other rubbish could lead to sickness or even cancer, according to UNICEF. Ancient Roman, Pliny…

Brighton Cinecity: South East Stories Review
#CINECITY19
258 views
#CINECITY19
258 views

Brighton Cinecity: South East Stories Review

Harry Salisbury - November 14, 2018

The early 19th Century Holy Trinity Church - since 1996 the home of one of Brighton’s leading contemporary arts organisations Fabrica – served as a stunning host…

News
123 views

Sussex Uni Achieves Fair trade Status

kenyon55 - November 14, 2018

Sussex has achieved Fairtrade status, committing the institution to decent working conditions and the maintenance and support of sustainable local production. “The University and Student's Union have…

Campus News
177 views

Future of Pharmacy Degree Uncertain

Matthew Nicholls - November 14, 2018

The month-long Pharmacy MPharm consultation has now ended. The consultation over whether the course should be discontinued lasted from October 9 to November 9, with the final…

Widows – Inheriting crime
Arts
96 views
Arts
96 views

Widows – Inheriting crime

Olek Młyński - November 14, 2018

Steve Mcqueen’s latest film is a bold move from slow-burn dramas with a strolling pace into the department of fast paced blockbuster heist-movie. Regardless of this, Widows…

News
171 views

Luqman Faces Deportation with Tribunal Approaching

kenyon55 - November 14, 2018

Luqman Onikosi, an ex Sussex student, came to the UK from Nigeria in 2007 and continues to campaign for his right to remain in the country. His…

Ex-Sussex Professor: “Israelis blew up Twin Towers”
News
231 views
News
231 views

Ex-Sussex Professor: “Israelis blew up Twin Towers”

kenyon55 - November 14, 2018

The University of Sussex is investigating after emeritus professor of International Relations, Kees van der Pijl, tweeted: “Not Saudis, Israelis blew up Twin Towers with help from…