Environmentalism has a very
different meaning for indigenous farmers in Guatemala. Last year, hundreds of
Maya Q’eqchi families were evicted from their farms in Guatemala’s Polochic Valley
to make way for corn fields, says Treehugger’s
Brian Merchant. But instead of hungry people, that corn is destined to feed the
growing demand for ethanol and other biofuels, especially in Europe.
Evictions like this one have increased
dramatically since the EU announced a plan to get 10 percent of its transportation
energy from biofuels, reports John Vidal of The Guardian. The farmers’ struggle to reclaim land continues, but
the affair raises deeper questions about the direction we’re taking toward
sustainability, says Vidal.
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Islamophobia in the U.S. has
ignited controversy recently, but its
roots go deeper than you might think. Washington has a long history of suspicion
toward Islam, especially political Islam, says Edward E. Curtis IV in Religion & Politics. That suspicion
reached a new level in the 1960s, when COINTELPRO mobilized the FBI against groups
like the Nation of Islam that sought to connect the civil rights struggle to a
larger Muslim identity. The pervasive fear of Arab Islamism is much more
recent, and demonstrates just how absent Muslims remain from the public arena. Recognizing
this, says Curtis, means recognizing that Islam—even political Islam—is a lot
less foreign to the U.S. than many people think.
Image by Jack Liefer,
licensed under Creative
Commons. Editor’s note: this image is of a Guatemalan farm, though not in the Polochic Valley.