The Hindu Next Door
So today I was looking at my old friend Vivek’s Facebook page. Vivek was by far one of my dearest friends in middle school. Now, this may not be the most pertinent observation to this blog, being that he is Hindu, not Muslim. What I found interesting, however, was that on his page he identifies himself as a proud ABCD (American-Born Confused Desi). Desi being, of course, a person from India. When Vivek and I were close, however, he never seemed especially bothered by being Indian. He seemed to find no contradiction within himself. Now, however, he has become increasingly aware of his identity. He is confused by who he is. I found this to be very similar to what so many Muslims in America face. Even without the stigma of being from the religion that has developed such a reputation in America, he faces the same experience. He was born in America, but feels allegiance to his motherland, a place he’s never lived. I just found it to be an interesting reminder that this experience is broader than simply the Muslim community, that it extends across all “foreign” minorities. Perhaps it is not religion that offends America, but foreignness.
Pictured is the lovely Sheika Moza of Qatar.
A while back, you might remember I had a post about the Burqa ban that said something to the effect of “Or, perhaps, the French just find them too unstylish.” Well, I daresay there’s something to that.
About a week ago my French professor (meaning, she is a French woman) was looking at this picture in class and remarked, “Oh, I don’t think any French person would stop her from wearing that. That is very stylish.”
Granted, it’s not a burqa, but it is the sort of religious dress that offends the French. Essentially, it’s a matter of socio-economics. The poorer people wear ugly burqas, the rich wear nicer, more fashionable clothing—naturally, who should the French love?
stumbled across this photo. the caption simply read “Christians protecting Muslims during prayer.”
This was a comment on an article about All-American Muslim on CNN’s Belief Blog. That just makes me sad. His education on Islam, perhaps highly biased, has only made him more aggressive toward the faith.
I always read the comments, but it is rare I actually find anything worthy of comment. Most are just bigotted nonsense. I find this interesting, however, because this man, allegedly educated, says he is “at war.” A cosmic war, no doubt. I must say, Reza Aslan is onto something with the whole concept. There’s definitely something to the idea of a great war in the name of God fought on a temporal and ethereal plane and apparently, this man, is a part of the battle.
Why Do People Never Listen?
Lately I’ve been working on my big semester research project for my eugenics class. My paper is a history of eugenics in Mormon polygamist communities with a focus on the affects on women and how that ties in with modern polygamist compounds. Deep, I know.
Anyway, the thing I am taking a break from my paper to write about here is this: people just plain never listen. See, I’m reading now about how across America people were convinced that polygamist women were horribly oppressed. Now, keeping in mind that I am speaking in the context of the late 19th century, it would be fairly easy to argue that women in polygamous marriages in this era were better off than their monogamous countrywomen. They had voting rights in their state (and, by the way, did not vote for the removal of polygamy with this right) and typically had less children and less family responsibilities. Furthermore, they were quite vocal about their approval of polygamy. Despite this, women’s groups across the country rose up to free the poor, oppressed Mormon women. Such movements were also much of the reason Utah was forced to renounce polygamy in order to become a state.
Flash forward to 2011. People still aren’t listening. Across Europe and America people are convinced that Muslim women are horribly oppressed. Many Muslim women are vocal about their approval of the veil and headscarf and choose to wear it. Despite this, across each country multiple groups are rising up to free the poor, oppressed Muslim women.
So… where does this leave us?
"Those who do not know history’s mistakes are doomed to repeat them." - George Santayana