So, a series of anti-Muslim ads are up on the DC Metro. The theme is “This is Islamic Apartheid: Stop U.S. Aid to Islamic States.” My understanding is that this is a reaction to an earlier ad campaign in NY by a Palestinian group accusing Israel of practicing Apartheid in the West Bank (my sense is that both accusations are true!).
Individual ads focus on, for example, the road-sign directing non-Muslims away from Mecca, gays being executed in Iran, a little black boy wearing leg-shackles that indicts Arabs in Mauritania for practicing slavery against black Africans, and a Palestinian flag saying “It’s Saturday, so Massacre the Jews; on Sunday, massacre the Christians.”
This is pretty harsh stuff, equivalent, I guess, to running anti-Catholic ads featuring the pedophilia scandal. . . Having grown up in an overwhelmingly Muslim context my first reaction is definitely one of “unfairly singling out abuses from among more than one billion people.” My second-order reaction though is to be proud of the American free speech tradition (and such ads would not obviously be do-able in much of Europe so it is, I think, an American free-speech tradition not a Western one).
I do think that we Muslims in the West are over-fond of playing the victim card, while more or less ignoring our own problems.
While I more than a bit dubious that such “in your face” crticism is the best way to nudge things in a more positive direction, I ultimately go with my American side–what’s being highlighted here is true and far from the best face of Islam–it should be corrected before we get into too much of a defensive huddle.
So, am at a party celebrating end of final exams–went out for cigarettes (I normally don’t smoke, know it’s really bad for health, etc., but sometimes do when I drink). Anyway, I’m in line at CVS–hijabi-chick clerk asks Latino guy in front of me what he wants. He says “cigarettes.” She says “what kind?” This goes back-and-forth 3 or 4 times–it’s clear the guy does not speak English. So, I say “Marlboro Lights for me.” She laughs (a bit derisively), checks me out. He says “ok” and gets some too, after me.
I feel a bit weird about the interaction–one the one hand, I jumped the queue, on the other I broke the unhelpful interaction and Latino dude got his cigarettes.
America at the ground level is often very different from the America of the “A-team” VHS tapes that I watched as a little girl that made me want to come to America!
I feel a real class disdain for both “hijabi-chick” clerk and Latino dude . . . but, honestly, I don’t feel guilty about it even though most of my white friends would tell me I should.
I guess I should learn Spanish?
Although I am a dual Pakistani-US citizen, I view China with a high degree of skepticism (having choked on their pollution, in particular–plus they fail my “salad test” of development!). Nor do I uncritically buy into the Pakistani official line that China and Pakistan’s friendship is “as high as the mountains and as deep as the seas.” More like fair-weather friends, I would say.
That out of the way, it is quite interesting that Chinese troops have apparently entered some 5 miles into Ladakh and set up a base! While India hardly needs advice from me, they should think long and hard about why their neighbor feels that this is a good thing to do. In one world, it would be an unthinkable provocation, but China obviously does not view itself as living in that world.
Thoughts? Continue reading
I would generally view Russians and Ukrainians as among the–on average–tougher and more pragmatic white people of the modern era, presumably due in large part to their more hard-scrabble circumstances. That said, I was more than a bit surprised to see that Inna Shevchenko and her Putin-baiting FEMEN activists are planning “to deploy an entire network of Femen activists [to] hound Islamic leaders across the globe, subjecting them to desolating criticism. We intend to hound spiritual leaders.”
LOL–the naivete is a bit astounding.
Note to Inna: who exactly is your intended audience in these majority -Islamic countries? Methinks they are miniscule at best!
OK, so the Boston Bombers are Muslims, and appear to have been motivated in no small part by Islam (clam down, denialists!
). They are also boys who could have passed for white in the US (though not in Russia!). Continue reading
Let’s move the speculation as to the ethnicity of the suspected Boston Bomber perps off of the Malala thread and have at it! The topic is burning up the internet (and, the intense interest in it demonstrates, to me, the shallowness of the multi-culti/diversity worldview–I say that coming mainly from the political right–whatever happened to the ideal of colour-blind justice? I know, I know, backlash or something but the cheerleading to have had one’s favorite enemy ethnicity have done it is a bit sick).
(More specifically, about 90% likely to be northern Indian–of which, overwhelmingly likely to be Pakistani, for obvious political reasons, 10% Persian. I base this largely on skin-tone, facial structure, and, like a good Bayesian, baseline probability.)
Blog commenters on other sites insisting on “white” strike me as deluded, but we shall see.
(Apologies to Cranberries for post-title!)
There is something more than a bit disturbing about how different factions are “rooting” for favorites regarding the ethnicity of the Boston Bomber. The left would love a “white American.”
The right would love a Muslim.
I’m kind of rooting, in a sick, twisted way, for a Pakistani–more readers for Brown Pundits!
>:-> Continue reading
Early reports indicate a Saudi student is in custody.
UPDATE: He’s apparently been cleared:
CAIR will no doubt soon be taking to the airwaves to disingenously warn of a wave of anti-Muslim backlash.
UPDATE: Well, obviously depending on who the perps turn out to be! I’m still betting on al-Qaeda-inspired, b/c I think domestic terrorists have a track-record of hitting gov’t installations rather than random crowds, plus al-Qaeda’s “Inspire” magazine has had “do-it-yourself” articles on pressure-cooker bombs, but we shall see . . .
My parents received their “Maple Leaf Cards” yesterday (i.e., were regularized as “landed immigrants”). Wow. Toting it up, around half of my schoolgirl friends have emigrated–mostly to North America, UAE, UK, or Australia. There’s been a real surge out towards the UAE in the past couple of years. A lot of these people claim not to have “really” left, but in practical terms they indeed have. My experience is only anecdotal (and perhaps the shock of it all is even leading my mind to count in a biased direction) but people seem very pessimistic about economic prospects and political turmoil as the US pulls out of Afghanistan and how that is likely to destabilise the region.
I guess countries like Ireland and Lebanon have proportionately much-larger diasporas, but it really is not a good sign that so many educated people are hitting the “eject” button! I’m hardly one to talk, but it feels very weird that now I will visit Pakistan only infrequently. . . My father was educated in the UK but returned to Pakistan; he has really just had enough, though. Sad. The sheer incompetence/corruption as exemplified by frequent “load-shedding” really was driving him crazy. I guess the last person out won’t have to “turn off the lights”–they’ll already be off!
India I suppose is in a different position inasmuch as some people are even returning from the West. But in Pakistan the non-crazy layer is quite small so losses in the 50% range per generation seem ominous.
Heh. I don’t really understand this caste stuff, but since Sid insists we have caste in Pakistan (LOL–at the end of the day, I do actually accept his point, but Good Lord it is so far down on the list of problems in Pakistan that it strikes me as an odd obsession, especially for such an erudite chap!) I can’t resist mentioning it.
At any rate, well-played, Sir Chetty!! If history is a guideline he has an excellent shot at a Nobel Prize.