BSJ

The Butler Scholarly Journal

Category: World Issues

  1. ‘The Role of the Muslim League in the Partition of India’

    The independence of India in 1947, and the subsequent creation of the two separate dominions of India and Pakistan, is an event that is frequently considered a turning point in modern history. [1] The bloody legacy of partition still runs true today, largely affecting present day politics, with both India and Pakistan playing a significant role in the current geopolitical climate. Partition consolidated divisions between the Hindus and Muslims, whilst simultaneously having an impact on the many other religions that were in existence at the time. Border locations, such as Kashmir, are still suffering from the aftermath of this disunion….

  2. Star-crossed lovers crossing cultures: a comparative anthropological analysis

    This study proposes to examine the invention and reinvention of the classic tragic story of love in various cultural settings and how it the story was affected by the local environment. Shakespeare’s phenomenal Romeo and Juliet and its incarnations as the American West Side Story and Russian Could One Imagine? will be examined. This study is anthropological in nature as it is interested in the cultural context of the stories. Firstly, the notion of love as we understand it must be interrogated. Romantic love in Euro-American society is understood as the deep feelings shared by two individuals who idolize one…

  3. ‘Jihadi chic’ or flag of solidarity? The Many Strands of the Palestinian Keffiyeh

    On June 1st, the Palestinian Museum in Connecticut shared a piece of digital art by Waleed Ayyoud of George Floyd wearing a keffiyeh scarf, with the caption, ‘united we stand against injustice’.[1]  Unsurprisingly, the backlash came thick and fast, with one pro-Israel writer tweeting, ‘This picture has the fantastic ability to, simultaneously, whitewash the crimes of Palestinian leaders throughout the last century while also staining the memory of George Floyd’.  In 2007 you could find the scarves sold in Urban Outfitters, in a range of colours to match your outfit, for just £20… until the CEO, Dick Heyne, withdrew them…

  4. Disenfranchised Youth: The Effect of Sanders’ Campaign’s Suspension on young Americans

    When, on the 8th April, Bernie Sanders announced that he was suspending his campaign, he congratulated Joe Biden and said that he will work with him in order to “move our progressive ideas forwards.” Yet, across the US, young voters have lost hope, and many have pledged that they will not vote for either Biden or Trump in the upcoming presidential election. They see no blue light at the end of the tunnel. It is not surprising that the youth of the US would feel disappointed at this development, two- thirds of voters under 45 voted for Sanders. Conversely, two-…

  5. Gender And Power in African Religions: The Case of Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita

    Gender has played an integral role in understanding and (mis)understanding African religion, in particular the case of the Antonian Movement. Dona Beatriz Kimpa Vita (1684-1706), a rather obscured African historical figure, claimed in 1704 to have been visited and then reincarnated as St Anthony of Padua during a nearly fatal fever. Quickly gaining a following, Dona Beatriz led what has become known as the Antonian Movement.[1] The aims of the movement were for the reunification of the Kingdom, as well as more general religious changes such as indigenising Christianity to Kongo, introducing new prayers (the Salve Antoniana) and encouraging the…

  6. In the wake of IS: “Holding them to justice”, and “deradicalisation”

    After many years of war and fear, the body which calls itself Islamic State has seen its territory reduced to only a few hundred square metres. However, as their support weakens, this gives rise to a new problem; how do we deal with those individuals who left the UK to fight for IS, but now want to return home? The issue is a complex one, given the brutal actions of IS and their direct attacks on UK land and citizens, on which many have strong opinions. More than 900 people travelled to Syria and Iraq from the UK; of this…

  7. Is Poverty Sexist?

    A new and insidious trend in global poverty has developed, as the burden of destitutions is becoming increasingly gendered. This phenomenon, known as the ‘feminisation of poverty’, is characterised by the disproportionate representation of women amongst the world’s poor and is rapidly intensifying. In spite of the United Nations’ pledge to ensure children of both sexes receive complete free primary and secondary education by 2030 as part of Sustainable Development Goal number four, recent figures show that progress is off track. This is evident nowhere more so than in sub-Saharan Africa, where the share of aid targeted at education has…

  8. What are the consequences of conflating the Middle East with the Muslim World as geographical designations?

    The exonymic neologism ‘Middle East’ was coined by US Navy Captain Alfred Mahan in 1902 in an attempt to delineate a seamless territory centering on Persia, Mesopotamia and the Persian Gulf (Culcasi, 2010, 585). Since then, the term has been used to describe a plethora of countries, spanning three continents, contributing to its obfuscation as a geographical and cartographic object. This confusion is caused because the Middle East is an abstraction of various distinct and heterogeneous countries which have little physiographical, geographical, historical, cultural, or political unity. In attempting to categorise the Middle East, it is often mistakenly conflated with…

  9. The Rendition Dystopia

    ‘Power is not a means; it is an end.’ – George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty Four. The date 11 September 2001 is undoubtedly identified among the global population as one of the most significant dates in modern history. The acts of terror committed in the United States on that day continue to resonate with countless others across the world. Attacks such as those upon Paris in November 2015 and the Brussels bombings in March 2016 serve as stark reminders of the capabilities of human beings in causing harm to others. However, almost 15 years since the start of the War on Terror,…

  10. Beyond the Olympic Spectacle: Displacement for Development

    As the first South American host, the 2016 Olympics in Rio are eagerly anticipated as an opportunity to attract tourists and business, as well as providing employment and training to assist the city’s economic growth. However, beyond the spectacle and perceived benefits of the event lies a darker interpretation, which implies that the Olympic games are an opportunity for cities to justify removing the poor to enable the accumulation of capital. The large-scale and forced displacement of Rio’s informal ‘favela’ settlements demonstrates how Olympic development enables cities to justify the removal of undesirable, poor and marginalised groups. After hosting the…