Posts Tagged ‘religion’

By Somayra Ismailjee

Sending reporters ‘undercover’ in veils does nothing to grow cultural understanding, writes Somayra Ismailjee.

Earlier this week, The Daily Telegraph sent reporter Tanya Smart to two locations in Sydney wearing a full niqab, followed by a photographer, to document the reactions of the general public.

The article, titled ‘Life Under the Muslim Veil: Our Reporter’s Day Shrouded and Afraid on Familiar Streets’ recounts her experiences of racism and verbal abuse throughout the task.

Smart’s piece describes lengthy deliberation of her editor’s assignment – that of spending “two days in the traditional niqab dress in two different parts of Sydney to see how people would react”.

This is striking, as there is certainly no shortage of information displaying the reactions of white Australians to those who are visibly Muslim – just last week, harrowing accounts of Islamophobic attacks circulated widely across the internet and through word of mouth.

Mosques were desecrated with anti-Islamic sentiments sprayed across the walls; Muslims were threatened, including a schoolteacher at knifepoint, harassed, abused and attacked across the nation – targeted by strangers, co-workers and acquaintances alike.

Social media vitriol spread like wildfire. The headscarves of hijabi girls were forcefully torn off them in my own city of Perth, and undoubtedly many others. Attempts at segregating a national community have been working.

Perhaps the most significant response to traditional Islamic dress has been the unconstitutional call from senator Jacqui Lambie to ban it – for Smart to see the response of Australians, she need only have looked to federal parliament.

Islamic coverings – the niqab and burqa particularly – have long been under scrutiny from Westerners. The uneducated are quick to conflate the garments with ‘terrorism’, linking any Muslim expressing their faith through their attire to groups like ISIS (it is worth emphasising that extremist organisations do not follow Islam, and have been continuously condemned in public by religious leaders).

In the height of the recent hysteria, we have seen Cory Bernardi call the burqa a “shroud of oppression”, conveniently ignorant of the fact that most Muslim women wear it of their own free will. Here, the only way the burqa is a symbol of oppression is due to the reprehensible backlash faced by those who don the garment.

Smart thus proclaims the intention of her endeavour was to give ‘an insight into a garment which has proven so divisive’.

However, it should come as no shock that there are, in fact, plenty of Muslimah women around ready to give their own insights – insights which seem to be currently falling on deaf ears.

Contrary to her intentions, Smart’s piece only serves to discount their experiences – her own voice, aided by whitewashed media, yelling louder than the Muslim women who experience unrelenting discrimination each day.

The article, though a seeming attempt at unity, still treats us as alien.

“A number of people smiled at me, maybe smiles of sympathy or the only way they could hide their fears from me,” Smart wonders, as though observant Muslim women could never be treated with politeness, or as human at all.

She describes the attire as inflicting loneliness and a feeling of invisibility, remarking, “I felt hated and completely alienated from the rest of the world, so hidden and alone”.

Hers is a personal essay on her experience, and there is a significant portion of negativity relating to wearing the garment itself.

“I never knew what it was like not being able to smile”, she muses, though this is irrelevant to her mission.

“Yes, the shroud covered my skin, my hair, my eyes, my identity but what hurt most was having my emotions hidden from the world.”

Dear Tanya – if you find it painful, save the dress for the Muslim women who take pride and find solace in it, who willingly ascribe to a faith in which peace and modesty prevail. No-one benefits from you wearing it. We do not need you to undertake a “journey posing as a Muslim woman” – we do exist, and we are valid.

Less than a week ago, a Muslim teenager in London was denied the right to continue studying at her school. This resulted only from her choice to wear the same face veil Smart wore for her article, despite no uniform or dress code prohibiting it.

It is appropriative and insensitive for a woman who does not face the same discrimination based on her dress as a Muslim woman to engage in an experiment in order to comment, as Smart has done.

Wearing the niqab for a few hours over the course of two days does not equate to an understanding of what devout Muslim women experience.

By dressing with modesty in a society obsessed with image and shallow beauty ideals, practicing Muslims take the focus away from their bodies and onto their words, actions and intentions.

A Muslim woman derives empowerment from limiting what others see of her – whether it be an act of desexualising herself from unknown men amidst a society rife with a casually intrusive and perverse male gaze, or for something as apolitical as a preferred aesthetic.

Womens’ bodies have always been commodified and objectified in Western society, looked upon as possessions for trade, bid and barter.

It is grossly unfortunate that the very garments Muslim women wear to defy this tradition have become entangled in a web of conflict at the hands of people who do not know or understand them.

Those who argue about the burqa spread a debate drenched in prejudice and xenophobia to our bodies, treating the sanctity of our clothing as battlegrounds for politics and persecution – it is grossly unfortunate that we have become commodified in a whole new way.

The social experiment in question attempted to evoke empathy. The truth behind the matter, however, is that the verbal attacks and sense of isolation Smart faced are only relatable to her readers because she is, in fact, non-Muslim.

Her struggle is palatable – an easy-to-swallow dose of the extensive, harsh reality inflicted upon Muslim women by an increasingly Islamophobic society.

Further problematic is the Daily Telegraph’s inability to distinguish between the niqab and burqa, despite commissioning and running an article featuring the former.

Their Facebook post regarding the story, and a photograph caption within the article – “Tanya Smart wearing a burqa in Haldon St Lakemba” – labels Smart’s attire a burqa when it is, in fact, a niqab.

The garment is acknowledged as a niqab by Smart herself throughout the piece, showing the Telegraph’s error as symptomatic of a wider misrepresentation of Islamic culture by mass media.

It is easy to draw in readers with sensationalism and homogenisation – and the Telegraph, when deconstructed, appear to be using elements of both.

The publication has also tried the concept before with “My Day Under Cover as a Muslim Woman”, a 2011 article by Clementine Cuneo, which begs questioning: if the Telegraph are so intent on revealing the experiences of a woman in conservative Islamic dress, why not allow a Muslim woman to?

There is an easy way to find out the experiences of a Muslim woman who leaves the house dressed only in certain attire – ask.

Smart’s story serves only as another reminder of mainstream media’s habitual silencing of minority voices, to raise those of the uninformed on a pedestal. It is odd that those who do not encounter discrimination based on facets of their identity like race or religion are so often the ones to write about it.

It is ironic, then, that her piece was supposed to encourage understanding between non-Muslim and Muslim populations.

If you want to encourage diversity and acceptance through the media, start by implementing diversity and acceptance within the media.

Original Source: New Matilda

Advertisements

Occupied Palestine | فلسطين


Maan News Agency | Aug 13, 2012

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli bulldozers uprooted agricultural land in the Bethlehem village of al-Khader on Monday, a local committee said.

Ahmad Salah, spokesman for the local committee against the wall and settlements, told Ma’an that five dunams of private Palestinian land were leveled in al-Absiyya, near the settlement of Elazar.

Olive trees and a well belonging to Riziq Muhammad Hussein Salah were also destroyed.

Settlers led by a female leader then stole several uprooted olive trees and took them away in trucks, Salah said.

“Her name is Nadia Matar the founder of the settler group known as women in green. This group maintains that all hills in the Etzion area must be under settler control to build religious schools and parks,” he added.

Last week, Israeli forces moved part of a military checkpoint near al-Khader, witnesses said.

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an that a checkpoint…

View original post 34 more words

Hidden Agendas

 

Published on Jul 24, 2012 by ZeroSixtyEight

Ted Gunderson talks about connexion between the CIA & Satanism.

Category:

Education

This video uses copyrighted material in a manner that does not require approval of the copyright holder. It is a fair use under copyright law.Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for fair use for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educationalor personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use.

View original post 50 more words

Mystery Worshiper's Blog

In US and Canada, Christians remain unaware of the current persecution of Christians in Syria. But wait a minute. It’s not what you might think.

The persecution is not by the Assad regime, it is led by the US-backed rebels and NATO war criminals. For a clearer picture of the Christian persecution, and how it is never reported by CNN or Fox News, or other mainstream media, go to Richard Edmondson’s blog and read what he has to say.

If you are a Christian, Richard’s account of Christian persecution will increase your righteous indignation. In his article, witness a so-called journalist, a media scoundrel who won’t face the camera, accusing a brave nun of lying. Also witness the total silence of Zionist ‘Christians’ like the ‘Rev.’ John Hagee who prays for war, supports political assassinations, genocide, and the racist State of Israel.

Syria is a secular state and Christians support…

View original post 32 more words

HAARP – Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura. As aired on Tru Tv USA. Full Episode

Former US Navy Seal, US Governor and wrestler gets together his research team to delve into the world of

Conspiracy Theories.

 

Jesse Ventura was born in 1951 in Minneapolis. After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he joined the Special Forces and served as a UDT/SEAL from 1969 to 1973. After being honorably discharged from the Navy, he returned to Minnesota and, while attending community college, started training to become a professional wrestler. Ventura began his successful professional wrestling career in 1975. In the early to mid ’80s, he moved from performing in the ring to color commentator. In 1987, Ventura starred alongside fellow future governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in the hit film Predator. He has gone on to be featured in numerous films and television shows, including a fan-favorite appearance on The X-Files playing a “Man in Black.” The 1990s saw Ventura enter the political arena, serving as Mayor of Brooklyn Park, Minn., and in 1998 as Governor of Minnesota. After he left office, Ventura was a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. He is a New York Times best-selling author of five books and currently resides in Minnesota and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.

I came across this today on my travels throughout the internet and thought i would blog about it as its quite a well known thing but most people don’t actually know what our Universal Human Rights are.

Before you judge those refugee’s you see walking the streets, before you judge those asylum seekers in camps, read through this first, then ask yourself the question: “what has happened to them to make them leave their home and seek refuge in a country elsewhere that they do not know or belong”? Maybe when you can actually answer it with knowledge and fact, then you may finally change your mind about supporting Refugee’s and Asylum Seekers. – Freeuganda”

Universal Declaration
of Human Rights

Plain Language Version

1 When children are born, they are free and each should be treated in the same way. They have reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a friendly manner.
2 Everyone can claim the following rights, despite
– a different sex
– a different skin colour
– speaking a different language
– thinking different things
– believing in another religion
– owning more or less
– being born in another social group
– coming from another country
It also makes no difference whether the country you live in is independent or not.
3 You have the right to live, and to live in freedom and safety.
4 Nobody has the right to treat you as his or her slave and you should not make anyone your slave.
5 Nobody has the right to torture you.
6 You should be legally protected in the same way everywhere, and like everyone else.
7 The law is the same for everyone; it should be applied in the same way to all.
8 You should be able to ask for legal help when the rights your country grants you are not respected.
9 Nobody has the right to put you in prison, to keep you there, or to send you away from your country unjustly, or without good reason.
10 If you go on trial this should be done in public. The people who try you should not let themselves be influenced by others.
11 You should be considered innocent until it can be proved that you are guilty. If you are accused of a crime, you should always have the right to defend yourself. Nobody has the right to condemn you and punish you for something you have not done.
12 You have the right to ask to be protected if someone tries to harm your good name, enter your house, open your letters, or bother you or your family without a good reason.
13 You have the right to come and go as you wish within your country. You have the right to leave your country to go to another one; and you should be able to return to your country if you want.
14 If someone hurts you, you have the right to go to another country and ask it to protect you. You lose this right if you have killed someone and if you, yourself, do not respect what is written here.
15 You have the right to belong to a country and nobody can prevent you, without a good reason, from belonging to a country if you wish.
16 As soon as a person is legally entitled, he or she has the right to marry and have a family. In doing this, neither the colour of your skin, the country you come from nor your religion should be impediments. Men and women have the same rights when they are married and also when they are separated.
Nobody should force a person to marry.
The government of your country should protect you and the members of your family.
17 You have the right to own things and nobody has the right to take these from you without a good reason.
18 You have the right to profess your religion freely, to change it, and to practise it either on your own or with other people.
19 You have the right to think what you want, to say what you like, and nobody should forbid you from doing so. You should be able to share your ideas also—with people from any other country.
20 You have the right to organize peaceful meetings or to take part in meetings in a peaceful way. It is wrong to force someone to belong to a group.
21 You have the right to take part in your country’s political affairs either by belonging to the government yourself or by choosing politicians who have the same ideas as you. Governments should be voted for regularly and voting should be secret. You should get a vote and all votes should be equal. You also have the same right to join the public service as anyone else.
22 The society in which you live should help you to develop and to make the most of all the advantages (culture, work, social welfare) which are offered to you and to all the men and women in your country.
23 You have the right to work, to be free to choose your work, to get a salary which allows you to support your family. If a man and a woman do the same work, they should get the same pay. All people who work have the right to join together to defend their interests.
24 Each work day should not be too long, since everyone has the right to rest and should be able to take regular paid holidays.
25 You have the right to have whatever you need so that you and your family: do not fall ill or go hungry; have clothes and a house; and are helped if you are out of work, if you are ill, if you are old, if your wife or husband is dead, or if you do not earn a living for any other reason you cannot help. Mothers and their children are entitled to special care. All children have the same rights to be protected, whether or not their mother was married when they were born.
26 You have the right to go to school and everyone should go to school. Primary schooling should be free. You should be able to learn a profession or continue your studies as far as wish. At school, you should be able to develop all your talents and you should be taught to get on with others, whatever their race, religion or the country they come from. Your parents have the right to choose how and what you will be taught at school.
27 You have the right to share in your community’s arts and sciences, and any good they do. Your works as an artist, writer, or a scientist should be protected, and you should be able to benefit from them.
28 So that your rights will be respected, there must be an ‘order’ which can protect them. This ‘order’ should be local and worldwide.
29 You have duties towards the community within which your personality can only fully develop. The law should guarantee human rights. It should allow everyone to respect others and to be respected.
30 In all parts of the world, no society, no human being, should take it upon her or himself to act in such a way as to destroy the rights which you have just been reading about.

This plain language version is only given as a guide. For an exact rendering of each principle, refer students to the original. This version is based in part on the translation of a text, prepared in 1978, for the World Association for the School as an Instrument of Peace, by a Research Groyp of the University of Geneva, under the responsibility of Prof. L. Massarenti. In preparing the translation, the Group used a basic vocabulary of 2,500 words in use in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. Teachers may adopt this methodology by translating the text of the Universal Declaration in the language in use in their region.

via UDHR: Plain Language Version.