Let’s face it- there’s no way to avoid this topic. At this point, I don’t know that there’s anything I can say that hasn’t already been said in the past few days. What I’d like to do, if I can’t offer anything new, is at least offer some clarity. Here are the facts, folks:
On the 7th of this month Sayeed and Shareef Kouachi attacked satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo for running cartoons deemed “insulting to Islam”. The Kouachi brothers, armed with AK-47s, a shotgun, and a grenade launcher, killed 12 individuals- most of them magazine staff and cartoonists- in addition to wounding several others. Two days later the Kouachis would be killed by French police after a protracted siege in a warehouse. Other suspects involved in the attack are currently being hunted down.
Since the 7th, we’ve seen an outpouring of indignant outrage over the killings, as well as solidarity marches, both for France and for freedom of speech. Despite the near universal solidarity behind Charlie Hebdo, a myriad of differing conclusions have been voiced in the past few days- some good, some bad, and many missing the point entirely (in spite of genuinely good intentions). Let me try to address a few of these below.
Not All Muslims Are Terrorists/Not All Terrorists Are Muslim
…But I shouldn’t have to tell you that.
At this point, parroting that line is starting to feel almost patronizing. It’s an obvious truth, and it shouldn’t need me to defend it. There are millions upon millions of Muslims in the world, the vast majority of whom want nothing more than to live their lives in peace- among them, Ahmed Merabet, a police officer and the first of the Kouachis victims. Whether the infamous 9/11 attacks (in which American Muslim Mohammad Hamdani died attempting to rescue people from the North Tower) or the thousands of Muslim Arabs and Kurds fighting against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Muslims shouldn’t have to be “rescued”. From Abdul Haji to Aitazaz Hassan Bangash to Malala Yousafzai– there are just as many heroic actions from Muslims as their are heinous ones.
But this is, again, obvious to anyone actually interested. I don’t know that there’s anybody out there who hasn’t already made up their mind about it (for better or for worse). Continue reading →
Posted in art, cartoons, Comedy, comics, Europe, government, history, Islam, media, morality, news, politics, race, religion, writing
Tagged Abdul Haji, Aitazaz Hassan Bangash, Boko Haram, cartoon, Charlie Hebdo, Far Right, Fascism, free speech, Hassan Nazerallah, Hezbollah, Islam, Islamophobia, Islamophobic, JeSuisAhmed, JeSuisCharlie, killing, Koran, Kouachi, left, magazine, Malala Yousafzai, massacre, Merabet, Mohammad Hamdani, Mohammad Saba'aneh, Muslim, My Name Is Ahmed, My Name Is Charlie, Nigeria, organisation armee secrete, race, racism, radical, right, terror, terrorism
Let’s Talk About The Hijab
We make no pretension of being unbiased here at the CWR. We have our particular axes to grind and banners to wave. Evan, you’ll notice, often covers the place of Asians in culture- in no small part because Evan is a combo of a few Asian peoples himself, and more directly affected by that issue. I, alternatively, grew up in the Middle East, and after having spent pretty much the entirety of my life with Arabs and Muslims (not the same thing, shouldn’t have to explain that), I’m more sensitive to Middle Eastern issues- Islamophobia in particular.
I could spend all day railing on the treatment of the Middle East/Arabs/Occupied Palestine/Muslims/etc. The way Arabs/Muslims are singled out for scrutiny and criticism. Casting Indian actors to play Arabs, since Arabs don’t match their own stereotype. The lack of appreciation for the key role the Middle East played in preserving and advancing science and philosophy.
You get the idea.
So rather than trying to tackle a single issue that could be (should be, and has been) covered by an entire academic book, I’m going to hit up super-specific issue.
The hijab. Continue reading →
Posted in America, Europe, feminism, Islam, media, race, religion
Tagged Aceh, afghanistan, Africa, America, Arab, Asia, bigotry, Christopher Titus, comments, congressman todd akin, Culture, Egypt, Europe, expression, feminism, Feminist, freedom of speech, Hijab, human-rights, indian actors, Indonesia, Iran, Islam, Islamophobia, Jordan, Kevin Hart, Lebanon, Malala Yousafzai, mennonite, Middle Eastern, middle-east, misogyny, missouri congressman, modesty, no shirt no shoes no service, north america, patriarchal, patriarchy., politics, racism, racist, rape, religion, saudi arabia, secular, social standards, stubbenville, Syria, Todd Akin, trial, western, westerner, women's issues, women's rights