“And There’ll Be NO Dancing”: Perspectives on Policies Impacting Indigenous Australia Since 2007

“Sexual abuse of children is inexcusable. So why is there such a fuss about a state intervention? Should we shut up and do nothing just because there is racism? No child or woman must be molested, irrespective of who the perpetrator is!” Thus my recollection of what one of my Scottish colleagues said in an informal conversation about the 2007 Northern Territory Intervention, a set of legal and political measures intended to curtail domestic violence in Indigenous Australian communities. “Yes”, I replied, “race should not be an issue when talking about crime”. Not least because domestic violence happens everywhere, including Scotland. I would not have heard anyone talking about a specifically Scottish, White or European propensity for domestic violence. Yet there is abundant talk about Black violence. Generalisation is the hallmark of racialisation. Blackness is scripted as inherently violent—a tenacious trope deriving from colonial concepts of ferocious animalism (e.g. Eze 2000; Nederveen-Pieterse 1990). Blackness is juxtaposed with Whiteness, the latter being normalised as non-violent and civilised, thus becoming the final arbiter of Indigenous destinies. Perceptions of racialised violence justify intervening not merely in matters of domestic violence but also in Indigenous life and sovereignty—hence to take far-reaching measures for the sake of securing a seemingly non-violent whitened social order; or put succinctly, to save Indigenous children in order to erode Indigenous sovereignty. “You should read And There’ll Be NO Dancing,” I told my colleague. It discusses such readings of Indigenous sovereignty and the various forms of racialisation ensuing from the Intervention.

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Featured Review – Mr Justice McCardie (1869-1933): Rebel, Reformer, and Rogue Judge

At Cambridge Scholars, we are very proud that many of our authors and their publications are critically acclaimed by eminent scholars in their respective fields. We put our authors at the centre of everything we do, and this month we would like to take this opportunity to highlight a particularly noteworthy review. Continue reading

Islamic Law and Human Rights: The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt

Moataz El Fegiery’s book Islamic law and Human Rights: The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt presents a comprehensive account of Muslim Brotherhood’s evolving thought on Islamic law and International Human Rights. Broadly, the book opposes the setting up of a shari’a state in a democratic regime with religious diversity.  It proposes the reform of traditional Islamic law as proposed by hardline Muslim jurists in favor of an “evolutionary interpretation of Islamic law” in a constitutional setup. The political transitions following the Arab Spring witnessed the influence of Islamists in politics. Focusing the impact of Muslim Brotherhood on the debates on Islamic law in the Muslim world, El Fegiery suggests that the protection of human rights requires the “transformation” of Islamists rather than their exclusion. He shuns the Islamists claim of equating sharia rule with democracy, based on the Muslim identity of people in the Muslim world, and vouches on the incompatibility of a shari’a state with democracy.

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Book Announcement: Witchcraft Accusations and Persecutions as a Mechanism for the Marginalisation of Women

Witchcraft Accusations and Persecutions as a Mechanism for the Marginalisation of Women now available from Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Hardback, pp283, £61.99 / $104.95

Cambridge Scholars Publishing is pleased to announce the publication of Witchcraft Accusations and Persecutions as a Mechanism for the Marginalisation of Women by Samantha Spence.

This books draws on feminist commentary from the disciplines of anthropology, history, law, politics and sociology in order to deal with the phenomenon of modern-day witchcraft. It focuses on the re-emergence of witchcraft beliefs in contemporary society, suggesting that witchcraft accusations and persecution are being used as a marginalisation mechanism of women. The re-emergence of witchcraft beliefs in contemporary society and the prevalence of the violence associated with such beliefs has received little attention within academic literature, yet witchcraft-related violence against women is, progressively, becoming one of the most pervasive forms of violence facing women today. This book addresses this gap in the literature, discussing the return of witchcraft beliefs to contemporary society, whilst assessing the effectiveness of international human rights law in protecting women from witchcraft accusations and persecution. Continue reading