February 23, 2012
I’ve started a lot of drafts about a lot of different things, but this time I hope to finish this post and publish it.
Currently the top news result for BBC is Obama’s apology for NATO forces burning the Koran. When I first read the news yesterday or the day before, I thought “Wow. That was stupid. How could they be so disrespectful?” But then I thought about all the images I’ve seen from around the world of people burning the American flag. And then I thought about how many people around the world may burn bibles and torahs. And now I think about all the other book burnings and iconic imagery that’s been destroyed around the world. So why is this such a big fucking deal? What is so much more holier and special about Islam?
It’s a question that has been widely discussed in the past decade or so. For example, in South Park’s 5th season, they illustrated Mohamed in the episode “Super Best Friends.” But then seasons later, Comedy Central refused to air another episode with Mohamed. It was in July 2001, several months before the United States invaded Afghanistan and Iraq. Obviously there’s a correlation between the two, but why? What is so fucking special about Islam?
I just needed to put it out there, like so many before me.
November 29, 2009
For anyone who doesn’t already know, Switzerland voted and passed a ban on the construction of minarets. But thankfully Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf “[reassured] Swiss Muslims, saying the decision was ‘not a rejection of the Muslim community, religion or culture.'” Then what kind of decision was it, Ms. Widmer-Schlumpf? It’s kind of like that time France banned headscarves because they were oppressive to women.
I was going to write something facetious about how progressive the European countries are with all this religious tolerance, but I really can’t. It’s just ridiculous. Why do states take it upon themselves to integrate/isolate religions into their societies? I’m not particularly pleased with how the U.S. runs things, but at least policies and laws don’t directly address religious practices. The biggest issue I remember was a few years ago when a Muslim woman wanted to get her driver’s license, but the DMV would not take her picture unless her face and hair were uncovered.
And sure, religion has played a huge role in preventing laws regarding gay marriage and abortion, but I truly believe that when it comes down to the wire, religious definitions and ideals will not stop human rights and law from developing. And in turn, law should not stop religion. If someone wants to build a minaret, how does that encourage extremist ideals? How does the prevention of minaret construction encourage religious tolerance?
I just don’t get it. And to be perfectly honest, I’m disappointed to see a woman be a spokesperson for this.
July 23, 2009
I recently read this article by Fatemeh Fakhraei about how Muslim women appear to be treated by some (radical?) feminists. It seems that some people in the U.S. assume Muslim women can’t or don’t speak for themselves. While I was taking an International Human Rights Law course at the American University in Cairo (because I’m sooo worldly and such), I read this great article by Madhavi Sunder titled Piercing the Veil. The whole document is great, but since it’s 75 pages, I will extract my few points. (The greater scope of her article addresses and critiques CEDAW and human rights law in regards to religious practices and vice versa.)
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