Circumcision and Human Rights

For both Jews and Muslims, circumcision is a religious and cultural practice. Within the last few weeks, Germany outlawed the practice of male circumcision for any but the strictest medical reasons. An atypical alliance of Jews and Muslims successfully challenged the German court's ruling and Chancellor Angela Merkel has promised to make religious circumcision practices […]

Anthropologists Write on Afghanistan

The New York Times Sunday Book Review discusses the books of Noah Coburn and Thomas Barfield,  two Boston University anthropologists who conducted fieldwork at Afghanistan: Ten years after the Taliban’s leaders fled their country in apparent defeat, the war in Afghanistan has become what one observer calls “a perpetually escalating stalemate.” As in Iraq, the […]

Anthropological Antiquity

The appropriation of anthropology for political, economic or religious means is far from being a new phenomena. What is interesting in this case is the construction of an Islamic myth of anthropological antiquity which is framed in opposition to the contemporariness of Anthropology as a Western form of knowledge. The Iran Book News Agency announced the publication […]

Minding Arab Fundamentalism

Gabriele Marranci, an anthropologist based at the National University of Singapore, writes  at his blog on the revolts in Arab Countries and on how anthropologists have helped to perpetuate the myth of a fundamentalist Arab-Muslim mind: Although we need to acknowledge that each revolt finds its raison d’être in local contexts and issues, we have […]