Here’s why pardoning the Catalan separatists might work for all

The events surrounding the ill-advised push for Catalan independence from two years ago and the subsequent fallout, culminating in street violence last week, have been distressing; for Catalonia, for the rest of Spain and certainly for some of us who live and work in Barcelona. Continue reading Here’s why pardoning the Catalan separatists might work for all

These European elections could be crucial

Virtually everyone is in agreement about the importance of the next European parliamentary elections, scheduled for May 2019. Some even go as far as claiming that they could make or break Europe.

Continue reading These European elections could be crucial

Carles Puigdemont has become the worst enemy of Catalan independence movement

The Catalan parliament reconvened on January 17th, to elect a new speaker. Judging by the proceedings, there is not much cause for optimism.    Continue reading Carles Puigdemont has become the worst enemy of Catalan independence movement

Why a unilateral declaration of Catalan independence would be a bad mistake

Catalonia has lived a terrible week. After a controversial and illegal referendum which took place on October 1st, the region has plunged into uncertainty. A wave of demonstrations unfolded across Catalonia and the rest of Spain. Continue reading Why a unilateral declaration of Catalan independence would be a bad mistake

We need an honest debate about both terrorism and Islamophobia

no islamophobia

 

In light of the appalling terrorist attack in London on Saturday, and many others before, it is imperative that there should be no retaliation towards Muslim communities in the West. Such overreaction is precisely the sort of scenario that the fanatics of the so-called Islamic State want. It would serve as a wonderful recruitment drive for them.

What should we do to make ourselves safer? This is a rather difficult question but what is clear is that we need an honest debate. Clearly, one facet of the solution is to increase spending on security and intelligence, including police presence on streets. Another one is to look at the countries and groups (not just the IS) that support and inspire terrorism. Ultimately, governments must engage with all their citizens and look at their grievances which can provoke a radicalised minority to react in such a murderous way.

Debates and other events can do important groundwork in terms of engaging with particular communities and informing and enlightening others. One such event is organised by the Socialist Party (PSC) in Barcelona on Saturday June 10. It is called Parlem de Islamofobia: Un combat contra la dicriminacio (We talk about Islmophbia: fight against discrimination). This is a worthy initiative and there should be more such events everywhere.


Photo credit: Flickr