“So, what might King offer as an international thinker, and as a representative of a radical Christian tradition: a focus on the fundamental place of racism, class, and imperialism in international politics, as well as the moral need to confront these common problems. And where Wight and Niebuhr share King’s condemnation of violence, the radical Christian move is not to pacifism or the prudential use of violence, but to direct opposition and resistance through nonviolence.”

The Disorder Of Things

Monday 17 January marked the official US holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. While watching Monday’s Democracy Now! program, featuring substantive excerpts from King’s speeches,  the clarity with which he connected the domestic fight for equality to international politics, in particular poverty and war, struck me. The international aspects of King’s thinking, I believe, are important for two reasons.

King’s Radicalism

First, it challenges the interpretation of King as an insufficiently radical leader offered by some critics, and the co-option of King’s legacy not only by “moderate” liberals but also by conservative political figures in the US. King has become a symbol in the public consciousness of a safe reformism and a favorite icon for the type of liberal who abhors radicalism above any other political sin. As Michael Eric Dyson says, “Thus King becomes a convenient icon shaped in our own distorted political images. He is fashioned to deflect…

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Patriarchal values and the death penalty

Hearing about the death of the woman who was brutally raped and violently attacked in New Delhi was one of the saddest and most disturbing moment of 2012 as the year ended. Following the reports that described how she was being violently handled by 6 men and all the call for the death of her rapists/ murderers, I have realised that the world has not gotten anywhere more enlightened nor civilised.

Patriarchal values lead to sexism and gender inequality

Despite more equal opportunities for women in the areas of education and jobs as well as status in society, inequality between genders due to patriarchal values and sexism still reigns in many parts of the world and in many segments of society. To cut the long story short, I will keep the focus on India.

According to a report by Reuters, the men admitted to raping and torturing her in…

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These days in September…we remember

Palestine, 11 September 1922

The British Mandate for Palestine, sometimes referred to as the Mandate of Palestine to the West, the , was a system of government in the Middle East from 1920 to 1948, over the former Turkish provinces of Palestine, Iraq and Syria – territory that now comprises modern-day Jordan, Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Great Britain was awarded the Mandate for Palestine after World War I by the League of Nations. Its purpose was to oversee the administration of Germany’s former overseas possessions and parts of the defunct Ottoman Empire, which had been in control since the 16th century, “until such time as they are able to stand alone.” The borders of the Mandate for Palestine extended from the Mediterranean SeaFrench Mandate of Lebanon, French Mandate of Syria, and the British Mandate of Mesopotamia to the North, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the East and South, and the Kingdom of Egypt to the Southwest.


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Munich, Germany, 4 September 1972

The Munich massacre occurred during the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, West Germany, when members of the Israeli Olympic team were taken hostage by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September, a group with ties to Yasser Arafat’s Fatah organization.

By the end of the ordeal, the group had murdered eleven Israeli athletes and one German police officer. Five of the eight terrorists were killed by police officers during an aborted rescue attempt. The three surviving terrorists were captured, and were later released by Germany following the hijacking of a Lufthansa airliner.

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Chile, 11 September 1973

Salvador Allende holds a unique place in history, as he was the world’s first democratically-elected Marxist leader of any nation. Sadly, President Allende of Chile’s election sent a shiver down the spine of the West who were in the middle of a Cold War, whose egos were reeling from the failure to topple communism in Vietnam and who still felt the threat posed by the Cuban Missile Crisis1. Allende was elected to power with 36.2% of the vote in 1970 – his term was to be cut short less than three years later by General Augusto Pinochet. Both Allende and Pinochet were dogmatic men, each believing his cause was the right one and neither left room for compromise – when two men of this disposition clash, tragedy is the only outcome. This entry chronicles the events of the day that democracy died in Chile.

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Palestine, 16-19 September 1982

The Sabra and Shatila massacre (or Sabra and Chatila massacre; Arabic: مذبحة صبرا وشاتيلا) was carried out in September 1982 by a Lebanese Forces militia group against Palestinian refugee camps. The Lebanese Forces group stood under the direct command of Elie Hobeika, who later became a long-serving Lebanese Member of Parliament and, in the 1990s, a cabinet minister. The number of victims of the massacre varies according to source: the lowest confirmed estimate is 700; the highest is placed at 3,500.

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United States of America, 11 September 2001

On Sept. 11, 2001, suicide hijackers crashed two airliners into the World Trade Center in New York, causing the 110-story twin towers to collapse. Another hijacked airliner hit the Pentagon and a fourth crashed in a field in Pennsylvania.

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Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania, 1 September 2004


The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan Massacre) began when a group of armed Chechen separatists and Islamic fundamentalists including 186 children took more than 1,200 schoolchildren and adults hostage on September 1, 2004, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania, (an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation). On the third day of the standoff, a chaotic gunbattle broke out between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces. Three hundred thirty-four (334) civilians were killed, and hundreds more were wounded. Chechen terrorist Shamil Basayev took responsibility for the hostage taking.

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