You’d think after watching BBC Three’s Make me a Muslim documentary, being a female convert to Islam is so riddled with fault lines. Not really. My recent interviews with Muslim converts offered a rare glimpse into the lives of three women who would flatly reject such comparisons. And they’re all buzzing with spiritual ecstasy, retelling what caused them to halal-ify their wardrobes and Islamise dress codes.
Like many non-religious people around the world, I use the internet to express my thoughts. Especially in a country where the vast majority believe in one religion, and do not like to hear any criticisms, the internet provides a relatively safe way of speaking freely. Or so I thought.
As much as I tried to repress from memory a recent post in The Independent titled “Slut dropping’ and ‘Pimps and Hoes’ – the sexual politics of freshers’ week”, it rings true for some common Muslim anxieties with student life.
As sketchy details surface about one person who has been alleged on a US website to be the director of ‘Innocence of Muslims’, and a recent French cartoon depicting Muhammad in a postmodern satirical form, both filmmaker and cartoonist join a long list of Muhammad-baiting Islamophobes.
Is Citizen Khan offensive? Yes, and not because of its treatment of religion but because it patronises its audience by flogging dead jokes and dumb stereotypes.
It seems apt then, that last week 4000 people in Bangkok convened to discuss ways towards bettering the Muslim community, not just individually but collectively.
The facts are in. Over the last two decades, British media coverage of Islam and Muslims has been overwhelmingly negative, stereotypical, inaccurate – and racist
Anyone who has ever had dealings with a marketing or PR department will probably have experienced at the time feelings similar to when they first encountered a foreign language. “Our new line of streamlined products will enhance our client-focused approach”, was how it was put to me a few days ago by a particularly polished “blue skies thinking” sort of person.
As the Eurozone crisis has teetered along the edge of disaster thanks to continued political and economic instability in Greece, Spain and Italy, the meteoric rise in the popularity of far-right political parties raises grave questions about Europe’s future.
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