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Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa
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Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa

Author: Stephen Kamugasa

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A bimonthly discussion podcast for people who think and thank. Our aim is simple: to inspire our own and the next generation to turn challenges into coherent and meaningful solutions, focusing on humanity, leadership, and citizenship.

This podcast is particularly beneficial to leaders, policy makers, academics, practitioners, and citizens.

The podcast host, Stephen Kamugasa, FRSA, is a non-practising barrister, author, and blogger. He was formerly a Ugandan refugee as well. To learn more about him, please go to:
14 Episodes
Detailed Synopsis Understanding Genocide: A Global Responsibility In a thought-provoking podcast episode, Dr. Omar McDoom stresses the global responsibility of recognising genocide. He delves into the complexities of genocide, with a specific focus on the Rwandan genocide, emphasising the importance of understanding its causes and contexts to prevent future atrocities and foster reconciliation.Importance of Understanding GenocidePrevention: Dr. McDoom highlights the significance of comprehending the factors that lead to genocide to prevent similar events in the future. By understanding these root causes, the international community can proactively address underlying issues and take measures to prevent future genocides. Reconciliation: The podcast episode underscores the importance of understanding the motivations behind genocidal acts for post-conflict reconciliation. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of these motivations, societies can work towards healing, restoring communities, and promoting coexistence. Global Impact: Dr. McDoom's research on the Rwandan genocide emphasises that genocide has far-reaching implications beyond local or regional boundaries. The aftermath of genocide can impact international relations, human rights, peace, and security. Therefore, a thorough understanding of genocide is crucial for the global community to address and prevent such atrocities.  Role of the International Community United Nations Security Council: Despite its limitations, the UN Security Council remains a critical platform for addressing genocide and armed conflicts. Dr. McDoom stresses the need for the Security Council to play a proactive role in preventing genocide and promoting global peace. International Criminal Court (ICC): The ICC is highlighted as a key institution for holding individuals accountable for war crimes and atrocities. Dr. McDoom emphasises the importance of supporting a rules-based system and strengthening the ICC to ensure accountability for violations of international law. Lessons from Rwanda Securocratic State Building: The concept of a securocratic state builder in Rwanda, prioritizing security above all else, raises concerns about long-term sustainability and its implications for human rights and freedoms. While Rwanda has made progress post-genocide, the emphasis on security poses significant challenges. Polarization and Truth-Telling: Ongoing controversies in Rwanda, such as the Safety Bill and reactions to the UK's proposed asylum scheme to export refugees to Rwandan, underscore the importance of truth-telling and transparency in post-genocide contexts. Understanding the complexities faced by countries like Rwanda is crucial for promoting accountability, justice, and reconciliation globally. In conclusion, the podcast episode emphasises that genocide is a shared responsibility that requires a deep understanding of its causes, contexts, and consequences. By actively working towards prevention, reconciliation, and truth-telling, the international community can strive towards a more peaceful and just world. The definition of genocide is a contentious issue due to its moral gravity and varied uses in legal, scholarly, and popular contexts. Dr. Omar McDoom discusses how genocide is considered the "crime of crimes," representing the most heinous crime that can be committed by a state or people against another group. The stigma associated with genocide makes it challenging for individuals or countries to accept the label, leading to debates over its definition. Dr. McDoom explains that the debate over the definition of genocide arises from different perspectives and purposes for using the term. Lawyers focus on accountability, scholars seek to understand the causes of genocide, and communities use the term to draw attention to their plight. The legal definition of genocide, outlined in the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide, requires a specific intent to destroy a group, leading to scholarly debates over interpretation. Furthermore, Dr. McDoom highlights how scholars have broadened the definition of genocide over time to include deliberate and organised actions beyond physical destruction. This expanded view reflects the complexity and gravity of genocide as a crime. The UN Security Council remains a crucial institution in addressing armed conflicts and preventing genocide, despite its limitations. Dr. Omar McDoom underscores the importance of the Security Council as a forum for debating and potentially acting on issues of international peace and security. While acknowledging challenges, Dr. McDoom emphasises the need for a rules-based system and continued support for institutions like the ICC to maintain accountability and prevent conflicts. Time-stamp[00:02:24] Father's influence on worldview. [00:05:15] Wrongful accusation and arrest. [00:11:16] Empathy towards genocide perpetrators. [00:16:45] What is genocide defined as? [00:22:28] Understanding the concept of genocide. [00:23:13] Genocidal violence and communication. [00:30:18] Humanitarian crisis in Gaza. [00:33:00] Unusual features in Rwanda. [00:39:55] Competitive politics in Rwanda. [00:44:39] The importance of UN Security Council. [00:48:40] International Criminal Court's effectiveness. [00:53:49] Rwanda as a safe haven. [00:55:47] The polarization on Rwanda. [01:00:16] The securocratic state building model. [01:06:01] Impact on civil liberties.
Podcast summary: In this inaugural episode of our six-part series on genocide, we delve into the silence that often surrounds this grave issue. Our esteemed guest, Dr. Maria Chamberlain, an honorary fellow at the University of Edinburgh and a Holocaust survivor's daughter, shares her poignant personal history and insights. Born in Krakow, Poland, and having emigrated to the UK in 1958, Dr. Chamberlain discusses her childhood experiences, including the influence of her caretaker Nela, which later inspired her to study fungi professionally. She reflects on the impact of her parents' traumatic past and how it shaped her identity, especially after moving to a new country. Dr. Chamberlain's book, "Never Tell Anyone You're Jewish: My Family, the Holocaust, and the Aftermath," is a testament to her family's harrowing experiences during the Holocaust. She emphasises the importance of Holocaust education, expressing concern over its absence in some school curricula and the general lack of awareness about events like the Belzec extermination camp.The conversation also touches on the power of human kindness, as illustrated by the life-saving actions of a waitress and Dr. Chamberlain's mother's German boss during World War II. These stories highlight the complexity of human nature and the capacity for good even in the darkest times. Addressing current events, Dr. Chamberlain responds to a recent terrorist attack in Israel and the subsequent opinion piece by Professor Jason Stanley, calling for a ceasefire and an end to the violence. She stresses the importance of bearing witness to the truth and the need for a peaceful resolution to conflicts. As we conclude, Dr. Chamberlain shares a sobering reminder from Primo Levi that the Holocaust's occurrence means it could happen again. She advocates for diversity, the golden rule, and a sense of awe in the living world as ways to combat discrimination and prepare for challenging times ahead. Listeners can find Dr. Chamberlain's book on Amazon or at local bookshops. The next episode in our series will feature Dr. Omar McDoom and is set to air on April 8th, 2024. We encourage our audience to subscribe to "Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa" for more insightful discussions.  Time-stamps: 00:00:01 - Introduction to the Podcast Series on Genocide00:00:45 - Dr. Maria Chamberlain's Background00:01:34 - Maria's Book on Family Holocaust Experiences00:02:37 - The Influence of Nela on Maria's Childhood00:07:17 - The Significance of Never Revealing Jewish Identity00:11:20 - The Importance of Holocaust Education00:13:42 - The Obscurity of Belzec Compared to Auschwitz00:15:16 - The Power of Human Kindness in the Holocaust00:17:55 - Maria's Mother's Escape from Nazi Capture00:24:03 - Maria's Mother's Generosity and Kindness00:26:22 - Post-War Antisemitism in Poland00:27:49 - Immigration and National Identity00:30:51 - The Importance of Testifying to the Truth00:32:33 - The Complexity of Bearing Witness in Conflict00:36:12 - The Take-Home Message from Maria's Family Story00:39:35 - How to Purchase Maria's Book00:40:14 - Closing Remarks and Upcoming Episode Preview
Podcast summary: Summary: In this podcast, Stephen Kamugasa interviews Mr. Robert Pacilio, a retired school teacher and writer. Robert, who grew up in a tough part of Brooklyn, shares his experiences of being the only child in an Italian-American family. He also discusses his journey as a teacher and his latest memoir, "It Was Never About the Books," which explores the influence of teachers on their students. Finally, the podcast explores the butterfly effect of great teachers and the impact they can have on students' lives.Show notes/Time stamp: 00:04:48 The power of resilience and determination. 00:10:32 Teaching is about empowering students. The timestamp in the podcast where it starts to discuss the challenges of the teaching profession in a highly polarised political climate is 00:21:00. Teaching in a polarised climate 00:27:10 Words and ideas can change. 00:29:38 Treat people with dignity always. 00:37:01 Respect and care for others. 00:45:16 Artificial intelligence cannot replace human teachers. 00:49:59 Importance of personalized education.
Podcast Summary: In this episode 011 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, Stephen welcomes Milton Alimadi, a Ugandan-American author, journalist, professor, and publisher of Black Star News. Milton discusses his background, including being the son of a former Prime Minister of Uganda and his education at Syracuse University and Columbia University. He shares his experiences working as a journalist for publications, among them the New York Times, where he exposed the trend of white reporters fabricating stories about Africa. Milton also talks about co-founding Black Star News, an investigative newspaper, and highlights his notable investigative pieces. He is the author of several books critiquing racial stereotypes in Western media's portrayal of Africa. The conversation delves into Milton's most significant work, "Manufacturing Hate: How Africa Was Demonised in Western Media." Throughout the episode, Milton's passion for challenging stereotypes and promoting accurate narratives shines through. Please read the blog that supports this podcast, which includes book recommendations, at The Kamugasa Challenge. Timestamps: [00:02:21] Racial stereotypes in Western media.  [00:06:09] Stereotype propaganda about Africa.  [00:12:18] Kindness and standing up for injustice.  [00:18:45] History of demonisation and conquest.  [00:25:31] The dangers of tribal stereotypes.  [00:30:55] The abuse of the T word.  [00:35:26] Institutionalized racism in South Africa.  [00:41:09] Institutional racism and collective indifference.  [00:47:09] Mussolini's invasion of Ethiopia.  [00:53:59] Borderless Africa and Unity.  [01:01:31] The importance of the common human family.  [01:06:23] Historical demonisation of African people.  [01:14:09] The New York Times' historical archive.  [01:19:22] Stereotypes and demonisation in journalism.  [01:26:06] Fear of New York Times.  [01:30:05] Demonisation of Africa in media.  [01:36:09] Manufacturing hate in human relations.  [01:44:13] Major publications and African perception.  [01:47:13] Goodbye.
A crisis between town and country is as real as the day is long. It is a widening cleavage which manifests itself in everything we do: in our politics, in our education, in the way we work, in what we dream about, and yes, most crucially, in our attitude towards climate change. Look anywhere you please, and you will see a split between the town mindset and a country mindset, extending well beyond the western political discourse; spanning places as far-flung as Turkey, Brazil, Peru, the Philippines and South Africa. Take for instance Southeast Asia, one sees a similar divide, growing in its vehemence, as the consequences of the Russo-Ukrainian war take their toll; they are as the raging sea dashing against a rock on the global stage. It is against this backdrop of fury we must ask the question: What is it that sets town dwellers against those who dwell in the countryside?Today’s guest is Ms Anna Jones, a free-lance agriculture journalist, a broadcaster, a farmer’s daughter, and a Nuffield Farming Scholar.   Anna was born in 1981 into a long line of farmers on the beautiful Walsh-Shropshire border, and her childhood memories are coloured with “bottle feeding, pushing sheep down the race, riding in the stock lorry with Dad and getting told off for riding the bales.”        While farming undoubtedly courses through Anna’s veins, her childhood ambition, as far as she can remember, was to become a journalist when she grew up, without even knowing what exactly journalism actually entailed. Thus it was that upon turning 18 years old, Anna left home for the first time to enrol at the University of Central Lancashire, where she read journalism. Anna was the first in her direct family line, stretching right back to her pauper agricultural labourer ancestor who was born in 1777, to go to university and move to a city.   After graduating in 2002 with a BA Hons in Journalism, Anna worked for several regional media houses, including the Wolverhampton-based Express and Star, the biggest-selling regional evening newspaper in Britain. Her big break came in 2006, when she joined BBC One’s Countryfile as a researcher, where she remained for 12 years. During her tenure at the BBC, Anna worked in various capacities on Countryfile, Radio 4’s Farming Today, On Your Farm, Costing the Earth and the Archers, reporting mainly on agricultural issues. Anna’s career at the BBC took an unexpected turn after winning the Nuffield Farming Scholarship 2016/17 and began investigating into how the media portrays farming and country life to the public. Thanks to the scholarship, Anna travelled around the world and discovered a deep disconnect between the “metropolitan mainstream media and a distrustful and defensive farming industry,” which profoundly affected her.   Armed with her scholarship findings, Anna resolved to “motivate farmers to step up and share their stories.” Thus it was that in 2018, she left the BBC to set up, Just Farmers. Just Farmers is a not-for-profit organisation “that gives farmers and growers the confidence to tell their stories with pride through free Media Education workshops, while helping members of the media find independent farmer case studies to talk to.”    Anna is the author of Divide: The Relationship Crisis Between Town and Country.   In this episode, we discuss the topic “Climate Change: A Crisis Between Town And Country.”Look up Episode 010 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please subscribe to the Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders. For more details, please visit The Kamugasa Challenge.  
 This is the 2nd of three podcasts on Climate Change.   Today’s guest is Ms Maria Diekmann, a scientist and conservationist.    Maria was born in 1965 to Major William Carl Buerk, a US fighter pilot who saw active service in the Vietnam war. Major Buerk was among those listed as missing in action - presumed dead. Maria’s mother, Mrs Antoinette Mira Buerk, was subsequently folded into the legendary Earl Warren family, after remarrying Earl Warren Junior. Earl Warren senior, was an American lawyer, politician, and jurist who served as the 14th Chief Justice of USA from 1953 to 1969. Warren also led the Warren Commission, a presidential commission that investigated the 1963 assassination of President John F Kennedy; he is considered to be one of the most influential supreme court justices and political leaders in the history of the United States. Warren was the only governor of California to be elected for 3 consecutive terms.      Maria attended the amazing Carden School in California; whose unique curricula had, in Maria’s own words, “a great influence on me.” She afterwards went to Principia School in Missouri, before taking up her place at Principal College in Illinois, where she graduated with a degree in sociology. After leaving Principal, Maria, inspired by her legendary step-grandfather, Earl Warren, first tried her hand at politics, working for Democratic Party Senator, Thomas Eagleton, but subsequently removed to South Africa to explore new pastures in 1989. She was fortunate to know a few friends at the University of Wits, where she acclimatized to South Africa’s rapidly changing political climate, which saw Nelson Mandela released from prison in 1990. This was the environment in which Maria’s life changed fundamentally by falling in love, getting married and settling down to start a family in Namibia in the 1990s. It was in Namibia that she also fell in love with endangered and misunderstood animals.    It was this love for endangered and misunderstood animals that led to the formation of the Rare and Endangered Species Trust, REST, in 2000. REST soon acquired a world wide reputation for Cape Griffon vultures conservation, but subsequently turned its focus to conserving the pangolin, after Maria devoted more than three months of her life to a pangolin pup, meticulously recording every aspect of the pup’s life as it developed. This was the first time such a thing had ever been done in history; the experience completely changed Maria’s life. Her dedication to the pangolin is captured in a BBC documentary, “Pangolins: The World’s Most Wanted Animal,” narrated by Sir David Attenborough.     Maria is now busy working towards establishing a primary pangolin conservation centre and a carbon sinking initiative in Emerald Forest Reserve in Nigeria. It is spearheaded by her Nifty Pangolin campaign, a fundraising initiative, with a view of establishing nine pangolin conservation centres around the globe, dedicated “to the protection of the most trafficked animal in the world.”     As her hands are not full enough, Maria has just published a book entitled, Pangolins in My Life.  In this Episode, we discuss the topic: “How To Love Endangered And Misunderstood Animals.” Look up Episode 009 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please subscribe to Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders.
1. This is the 1st of three podcasts on Climate Change. 2. Today’s guest is Sir Jonathon Porritt CBE, a distinguished British environmentalist, broadcaster and writer.  3. Jonathon Porritt was educated at Eton College, from whence he went to Oxford, to read modern languages. Graduating with a first class degree, Jonathon qualified as a teacher in 1974, teaching at St Clement Danes Grammar School, in Shepherds Bush, West London. He remained at the school for 10 years, including serving as Head of English from 1980 to 1984.  4. As much as Jonathon loved teaching, it was his childhood appreciation of wildlife that seduced him into trying his hand at politics. He joined and became a prominent member of the Ecology Party (now the Green Party of England and Wales), becoming its co-chair in 1980. He subsequently became a full-time chair of the party, carrying out many changes in the process, thus making the party more prominent in national elections. Jonathon stood for parliament in the general elections of 1979 and 1983; he did not win, but received attention from national media. He was instrumental in growing the party membership from just a few hundred members to around 3000.  5. However, in 1984, Jonathon gave up both teaching and the chair of the Ecology Party; to become a director of Friends of the Earth in Britain - a position, he held until 1990 - a decision which in his own words, “was probably the best decision of my life.” For he transformed the Friends of the Earth into the face of “radical respectability,” by encouraging the organisation to promote practical solutions locally, as well as thinking globally. His tenure at the Friends of the Earth saw the charity’s membership grow from 12,700 to 226,300. Friends of the Earth is now a hefty international powerhouse of ideas and solutions.    6. Jonathon’s accomplishments in the cause of climate change and the environment are too many to mention here, but one may be cited. In 1996, Jonathon, along with Ms Sara Parkin OBE and Professor Paul Ekins OBE, co-founded Forum for the Future. Forum for the Future is a sustainable development charity, working in partnership with businesses, governments and civil society to accelerate the shift towards a sustainable future. The charity specialises in addressing critical global challenges by catalysing in key systems, from food to apparel, energy to shipping.  7. Jonathon is the author of many books on environmental issues, including presenting television series on them; he has chaired the United Nations environmental and development committee for the UK. His greatest work by far, however, is his book, Hope in Hell.  8. In this Episode, we discuss the topic: Climate Change: The New Apocalypse?19. Look up Episode 008 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please rate and subscribe to Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders.
1. Practising hospitality to strangers and refugees is fraught with difficulty, it is not for the faint of heart. And as the number of the forcibly displaced people the world over surpasses a 100 million mark, it is becoming increasingly clear that troubles are the trials of friendship. For when a man is afflicted he will see who are his friends and who are but pretenders; a brother is born for adversity. Which is why it is fitting for us, in this age of geopolitical upheaval and climate change, to examine ourselves how we may most effectually be a friend to a stranger and a refugee. 2. No one is better qualified to assist our self-examination than Lord Alf Dubs, who was once both a stranger and a refugee in England.  3. Lord Dubs’ life commenced on 5 December 1932, in Prague, in what was then Czechoslovakia; born to a secular Jewish father, who was involved in the cotton export business; and his mother, a gentle local girl, a qualified dietician. Alfred was one of 669 Czech-residents, mainly Jewish, children who were saved by a British stockbroker, Nicholas Winton, from the Nazis on the Kindertransport between March and September 1939.  4. A graduate of the London School of Economic and Political Science, Lord Dubs is driven by a personal notion that “If evil men could do such terrible things, they could be countered by others doing something good” - which was underpinned by a desire to help strangers and refugees. Accordingly, Alf has enjoyed a long career in public life, achieving that particular goal: he has been a local councillor, an MP, Chair of the Fabian Society, Chair of Liberty, a Trustee of Action Aid, Director of the Refugee Council and a Trustee of the Immigration Advisory Service.  5. Appointed a Labour working peer in 1994, Lord Dubs readily acknowledges that Britain has given him ‘enormous opportunities’, that he has been ‘incredibly lucky’ and benefited from opportunities that he had ‘not expected as a refugee child.’ It is in this respect as a former stranger and refugee that Lord Dubs has made, perhaps, his most significant contribution to the UK, namely, as the official spokesman for strangers and refugees - as and when opportunity has occasioned. An instance is worth mentioning: In 2016, Lord Dubs moved an amendment that the UK should take-in unaccompanied child refugees from Europe, especially Calais and the Greek Islands. The Tory Government fought hard against this but eventually gave way because of the weight of public opinion – though they then arbitrarily put a cap on the numbers. 6.  Lord Dubs is currently a trustee of the Open University, and sits on the Advisory Board of The John Smith Memorial Trust, which was formed in 1996 to promote the ideals of democracy, social justice and good governance. 7.  In this Episode, we consider: How, in the most practical ways, we may practise hospitality to strangers and refugees in our midst?8. Look up Episode 007 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please rate and subscribe to Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders. Also, visit The Kamugasa Challenge to learn more.
1. The late Nelson Mandela, speaking at the British Red Cross Humanity lecture in 2003, said: “Those who conduct themselves with integrity and consistency need not fear the forces of inhumanity and cruelty.”  2. In these vacillating times in which leaders, and even scholars, almost believe, that truth and integrity as they relate to civic life are but two values of many, and will have to stand their test, and in all probability, will fail as many human system of values and ethics have done. It is appropriate for us to interrogate whether whistleblowing is a civic value worth its weight in gold. We do so by asking a simple question: Is a whistleblower an angel, a villain, or a bloody fool? 3.  I can think of no one who is more qualified to examine this question than Mr Guy Dehn, the founder and former executive director of Public Concern at Work, a Whistleblowing charity, which now operates under a new name, Protect-Advice.  4. A Londoner - born and bred, Mr Dehn was educated at Westminster School; from whence he went to Bristol University to read history, and qualified for the Bar of England and Wales in 1982. Guy practised as a general common lawyer in both London and Bristol - where he also ran two free legal advice sessions.  5. In 1986, he was appointed the Legal Officer to the National Consumer Council; and in 1988 ran its parliamentary work. Guy left the National Consumer Council to start a little project on whistleblowing in 1992, which subsequently became Public Concern at Work (PCaW). He remained at the whistleblowing charity until 2008. During his tenure as executive director, Guy was instrumental in bringing onto the statute book, The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998.  6. After leaving PCaW, Guy went on to set up a charity on witnesses in the criminal justice system, Witness Confident, but was compelled to close it down after a decade of indifference and opposition from the police. Guy Dehn has co-edited along with Richard Calland a book, Whistleblowing Around the World: Law Culture and Practice.  7.  In this Episode, we answer the question: Is a whistleblower an angel, a villain, or a bloody fool? 8. Look up Episode 006 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please subscribe to Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders. Also, kindly visit The Kamugasa Challenge for more information.
1. We cannot reckon upon the clouds, their laws are so variable, and their conditions so obscure. The same is true with life. This reality has become so manifest to us all lately - since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 - disrupting our lives both at home and abroad and upending the world in every sense of the word. It is therefore a great privilege to have with us a physician, a Taiwanese doctor, share his personal experience in a podcast: Why I Love Working As A Community Doctor In Taiwan!  2. Dr Chih-Kuan Lai is a community doctor at the Department of Family Medicine, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, where he works since 1995.  3. Dr Lai was born in I-Lan county, which is located in the North-eastern part of Taiwan in 1964. He relocated to the capital, Taipei, at the tender age of 16; to pursue his ambition to qualify as a medical doctor.   4. Graduating from Taipei Medical College as a Doctor of Medicine in 1989, he went to Oxford University in 2000 where he obtained a Post-graduate Diploma. Dr Lai went on to graduate with PhD from the Graduate Institute of Epidemiology and Preventative Medicine, College of Public Health, at the National Taiwan University in 2016.   5.  In addition to working as a community doctor, Dr Lai is also an Associate Professor of Family Medicine at National Defence Medical College; and a Clinical Lecturer in Family Medicine at National Yang-Ming University - both institutions situated in Taiwan. He is a General Member of Taiwan Association of Family Medicine, Taiwan Academy of Hospice Palliative Medicine and the Society of Research on Nicotine and Tobacco. Dr Lai has published eleven peer-reviewed journal articles.  6.  In this Episode, Dr Lai shares with us: Why he loves working as a Community Doctor in Taiwan 7. Look up Episode 005 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please subscribe to Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders. Also, kindly visit The Kamugasa Challenge for more information
1. It is well said that the longer the saw of contention is drawn the hotter it grows; and the beginning of strife is as the letting forth of water. Since the fateful Brexit referendum of 2016, the troubled seas of UK’s identity politics are accordingly raging most severely each time they dash against the rock of reality. It therefore begs a simple question: How does one challenge identity politics in a liberal democratic country such as the United Kingdom of Great Britain? 2.  No one is better qualified to answer this question than Emeritus Professor John Charvet of the Department of Government at the London School of Economics and Political Science.  3. He was appropriately born in an Egyptian city of Cairo, in 1938; where his father worked for Shell oil company. John’s ancestry is also strikingly appropriate; for his heritage in its totality includes: English, French, Italian and Egyptian. However, he inherited his British nationality and citizenship from his father. His formative years were spent in Cairo, where he experienced the Second World War, but subsequently relocated to the United Kingdom in 1946, where he was privately educated.  4. Graduating from Cambridge University with a degree in economics, John’s first job was as an Assistant Principal in the Home Civil Service at the Board of Trade. But it was not a success. He subsequently read for post graduate degree in Politics at Oxford University, from whence he took up a teaching position at the LSE, teaching the History of Political Philosophy. John took to teaching like a duck to water and remained at the LSE until his retirement at the age of 65. During his teaching career, John was a visiting Professor at The John Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a visiting Fellow at the Australian National University in Canberra. He has published seven books and numerous articles. John is now an Emeritus Professor at the LSE - dividing his time between France and Brighton. John now occupies himself with his love of all things gardening; he is also working on a new book entitled, Communitarian Ethics.  5.  In this Episode, we answer the question: How To Challenge Identity Politics In A Liberal Democracy? 6. Look up Episode 004 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please subscribe to Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders. Recommended Reading: 1. The Ethics of Identity (Princeton University Press, 2005), by K.A. Appiah 2. Pluralism (Duke University Press, 2005), by W. Connolly 3. Liberalism: The Basics (Routledge, 2019), by J.Charvet 
1. In these strange and vacillating times of Brexit and identity politics, in which every tribe in England takes solace in the familiar, I think it is important for us to cut each other a little slack when speaking words of woe. We should be very slow to judge; for we may not know who it is that is actually speaking, as the voice of the seeming bigot may in fact be the voice carrying in its dark strains the emotions of great sorrow. Now I am not naïve as to imagine that every bigot screaming obscenities at me, asking me to catch the nearest aeroplane to fly back to where I came from is not a racist. Hell no! I have had my fair share of xenophobic encounters and mean-spiritedness to know the difference.  2. In this Episode, I read an old blog-post I first published in 2019 in the hopes of helping us not to be quick to judge when confronted by a racist attacker, any racist, directing violent abuse at us. For we may never know what kind hell the attacker maybe in. As Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship once said: “Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others, we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” 3.Look up Episode 003 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please subscribe to Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders.
1. Questioning the ancestral gods of any nation has never been an enterprise rewarded by anything save calumny: trying to question the god in whose image the modern Western tyrannical hegemony is cast, is one fraught with much peril. However, as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn reminds us: “One [woman] who stopped lying could bring down a tyranny.” The author of “The Political Appropriation of the Muslim Body – Islamophobia, Counter-Terrorism Law and Gender,” does just that! She has vowed to stop others lying about this seemingly powerful god – and speak truth to power.2. The Political Appropriation of the Muslim Body is a difficult but compelling book. It is not for the faint-hearted. Put simply: The author is astonishingly brutal in her frankness.3. It is the author’s considered thesis, that great and high-minded values, namely, democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and gender equality; have been appropriated by Western politicians as a cloak to advance their racist policies against Muslims. Emeritus Professor Susan Edwards of the University of Buckingham, makes an urgent clarion call upon all right-thinking people to stop suppressing the truth; but to take a stand and speak up, and challenge this malevolent appropriation before it destroys us all and everything, we hold dear.4. Susan Edwards is a researcher and campaigner, holding degrees in both law and social sciences, and a barrister. She campaigned for many years in the area of Women’s International Human Rights, including lecturing in the USA, Middle East, Australia, and Europe. An accomplished author of four books, plus co-writing a book; she has edited numerous journals and is an Opinion writer for several leading newspapers: The Times, The Guardian, and The Age (Australia). Her latest work, The Political Appropriation of the Muslim Body, is the subject of this podcast interview.5. Do you want to learn more about Susan Edwards? Follow her on Twitter, Prof Susan Edwards @edwards_prof or visit her page at The University of Buckingham.6. In this Episode, we discuss Professor Edwards’ thesis that values and principles of democracy, the rule of law, freedom of speech and gender equality; have been appropriated by politicians as a cloak to advance Western power, territorial and military ambitions against the Middle East and in effect Muslims.7. Look up Episode 002 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please subscribe to Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders.Where the book maybe found:The Political Appropriation of the Muslim Body – Islamophobia, Counter-Terrorism Law and Gender is now on available at a reputable bookshop near you. You may also access it by contacting the publishers, Palgrave Macmillan.Recommended Reading:1. Lawless World: Making and Breaking Global Rules. By Philippe Sands.2. On Palestine. By Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé.3. Covering Islam. By Edward Said.4. The Torture Debate. Edited by Karen J. Greenberg.5. From Victims to Suspects: Muslim women since 9/11. By Shakira Hussein.
According to the UN Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the number of refugees and forcibly displaced people increased to a staggering 82.4 million by the end of 2020; more than 26 million of whom are refugees, a number which is larger than the entire population of Taiwan. As recent tragic events in Afghanistan clearly show, the world is as a troubled sea, raging and dashing against a rock of growing global inequality; and the global Covid-19 pandemic is exacerbating things, making a bad situation worse.2. Truer words have never been spoken, namely: “Troubles are the trials of friendship.” For when a man is afflicted he will see who are his friends indeed and who are but pretenders; a brother is born for adversity.3. The Kamugasa Challenge is delighted to present to you the 1st Episode of ‘Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa’ Podcast; and our special inaugural guest is, The Rt. Revd. Dr Alan Wilson, the Bishop of Buckingham.4. This inaugural episode is entitled, “Refugees and Foreigners Are Welcome.” The refugee crisis is the background canvas upon which the discussion will proceed; and more specifically, the discussion will endeavour to answer a more specific question, namely: “Who is my neighbour?”5. “Who is my neighbour?” is a pertinent question of our troubled times – both at home in the UK and abroad – especially when we call to mind a wise old saying: “Those that wrong their neighbour may thereby, in the end, wrong their own children more than they know.”6. Bishop Wilson was born in Edinburgh, and was brought up in East London and Kent. He was educated at St John’s College, at the University of Cambridge; and then Balliol College at Oxford University, where he completed a Doctoral Degree in modern historical theology. Dr Wilson has been the Bishop of Buckingham since 2003; and is a member of the Council of Christians and Jews, the Howard League for Penal Reform, the Wyndham Place Charlemagne Trust, and the Ecclesiastical Law Society. Dr Wilson is the author of ‘More Perfect Union: Understanding Same-Sex Christian Marriage.’7. Do you want to learn more about Bishop Wilson? Follow him on Twitter, Alan Wilson @alantlwilson or visit his blog, This Special Episode is dedicated to ordinary men and women, who did much to help Stephen Kamugasa during his sore years of distress as a penniless refugee in England. The Episode is also dedicated to Windle Trust International for verifying Stephen Kamugasa’s identity in an independent report requested by the University of Buckingham.Kindly look up Episode 001 of Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa, and please subscribe to Conversations with Stephen Kamugasa podcast through your favourite podcast app to listen to the latest insights from our guest thought leaders.Recommended Reading:a) Doctrine in the Church of England: The Report of the Commission on Christian Doctrine Appointed by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in 1922.b) A Plot to Kill: A true story of deception, betrayal and murder in a quiet English town. By David Wilson.c) The Independent Safeguarding Review: lessons learnt from events in the parishes of Stowe and Maids Moreton, 2012-2019. By Dr Adi Cooper, OBE.d) Striking the Balance: Upholding the Seven Principles of Public Life in Regulation.e) History: Whose history is it anyway? By Stephen Kamugasa
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