Nahella Ashraf

Say it loud: hands off the hijab

Issue section: 

The government and its allies in the media are once again fuelling anti-Muslim attitudes, this time with their attack on the right of young Muslim girls to wear the hijab at school.

Following the chief inspector of schools Amanda Spielman’s call for primary schools to consider banning the hijab, Neena Lall, the head of St Stephens School in Newham, east London, imposed such a ruling. But after a meeting of more than 150 parents, she scrapped it, and apologised for her huge error of judgement.

The State

Issue section: 

Channel 4’s The State is a four-part drama following two British men and two British women who decide to go to Syria and join Islamic State. As you can expect, the subject matter itself is incredibly divisive. The harrowing drama was not an easy watch, but an important one.

The first episode feels like an adventure film as four Britons leave their everyday lives to join Isis. One man hopes to follow in his brother’s footsteps and persuades his best friend to accompany him along the journey.

The Muslims are Coming

Issue section: 

Terrorism is probably the most studied crime in the world today. Since 9/11 a thousand new books have been added to the terrorism literature each year.
Most are concerned with the same question that haunted Americans in the aftermath of 9/11: “Why do they hate us?”
In The Muslims are Coming Arun Kundnani notes that the new front in the war on terror is the home-grown enemy, domestic terrorists who have become the focus of sprawling counter-terrorism structures in the US and Europe.

The Condition of the Working Class

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So often working class people are told what their lives are like and, in most cases, what's wrong with their lives. Here is a film that shows working class people telling their stories as you rarely see them.

This documentary, The Condition of the Working Class, covers the making of the play of the same name that was shown at Salford Arts Theatre almost a year ago. But this film is more than just a behind the scenes look at how to produce a play. The film shows how a group of people of all ages, many with no acting experience whatsoever, came together to tell the story of their lives in their own words.

The aim of the play was to draw parallels between the lives of working class people in 1844, when Engels wrote The Condition of the Working Class, and working class people today.

"War on terror": The Afpak disaster

Issue section: 

The war in Afghanistan has spread to Pakistan, and now the US is struggling to contain the disaster they call the Afpak war.

Pakistani militants are ambushing some 200 supply trucks a month as convoys make their way through northern Pakistan into Afghanistan. Videos have appeared on YouTube showing Pakistani militants with captured US trucks.

This is a huge embarrassment for the US, whose response has been to use drone attacks on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, killing countless civilians in remote villages.

When this didn't achieve the desired effect the US applied huge economic and military pressure to push Pakistan's president and army chief towards military operations.

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