Posts tagged Islam

Via theatlantic:

The Burka Avenger

Some superheroes crusade in spandex briefs, but the star of a new Pakistani cartoon fights crime in a decidedly more modest getup. In the new kids’ TV show Burka Avenger, Jiya is a sweet schoolteacher who’s bareheaded by day. But at night, she dons a full-body black cloak, complete with a face veil, and battles the bad guys: an evil magician and a corrupt mayor who try to close classrooms and steal charity funds. In keeping with the show’s educational message, the Avenger attacks her nemeses with books and pens.
Read more. [Image: Unicornblack]


This looks fascinating!

Via theatlantic:

The Burka Avenger

Some superheroes crusade in spandex briefs, but the star of a new Pakistani cartoon fights crime in a decidedly more modest getup. In the new kids’ TV show Burka Avenger, Jiya is a sweet schoolteacher who’s bareheaded by day. But at night, she dons a full-body black cloak, complete with a face veil, and battles the bad guys: an evil magician and a corrupt mayor who try to close classrooms and steal charity funds. In keeping with the show’s educational message, the Avenger attacks her nemeses with books and pens.

Read more. [Image: Unicornblack]

This looks fascinating!

This is lots of different kinds of awesome.

From mona-tomic:

In response to the racist/islamophobic ads that have recently come up;

The MYG of the ICSC presents:

My Jihad Is…

Fascinating! Read the whole thing.
From theatlantic:

Free Speech in the Muslim World? Ask the Egyptian TV Station That First Aired the Anti-Islam Movie

For all the damage that mobs and armed groups have done in majority-Muslim nations in the past week, there is one target that they missed. The mobs in Cairo, one of many cities where protests followed the Innocence of Muslims video ridiculing the Prophet Muhammed, overlooked the Egyptian TV station that had actually broadcast it, Al Nas TV. Egyptian prosecutors have now issued arrest warrants for eight people in the United States with connections to the film — but they, too, overlooked the TV station.
While the film’s creators have received the attention they craved, it’s more illuminating to focus on Al Nas TV, which made them famous. The station’s story even suggests one possible answer to the problem of offensive speech in a number of volatile majority-Muslim societies.

Read more. [Image: YouTube]

Fascinating! Read the whole thing.

From theatlantic:

Free Speech in the Muslim World? Ask the Egyptian TV Station That First Aired the Anti-Islam Movie

For all the damage that mobs and armed groups have done in majority-Muslim nations in the past week, there is one target that they missed. The mobs in Cairo, one of many cities where protests followed the Innocence of Muslims video ridiculing the Prophet Muhammed, overlooked the Egyptian TV station that had actually broadcast it, Al Nas TV. Egyptian prosecutors have now issued arrest warrants for eight people in the United States with connections to the film — but they, too, overlooked the TV station.

While the film’s creators have received the attention they craved, it’s more illuminating to focus on Al Nas TV, which made them famous. The station’s story even suggests one possible answer to the problem of offensive speech in a number of volatile majority-Muslim societies.

Read more. [Image: YouTube]

Hip Hop and the Arab Uprisings | openDemocracy

A fascinating roundup of hip hop artists from around the “Arab Spring” countries. This is a great way to learn more about the story of the year through its interaction with pop culture—as well as a great way to learn about how pop culture (and, in some way, globalization) is reshaping modern Arab societies.

The story has embedded videos by MC Swat (Libya), Lowkey (Palestine), and Kazeboon (Egypt). There also links to many others, including more famous (in the West) figures like El Général (Tunisia).

But it’s also a reminder of a time when hip hop in America was also about “issues”—not just about money, hype, and sex. Here’s hoping for an NWA comeback tour.

If you’d like to tag along with my POL 102 class this semester, here’s your chance. Once a week I assign a web based assignment to go along with the topic of our chapter textbook (we’re using The Good Society: An Introduction to Comparative Politics).

This week, we’re looking at various facets of political culture. So Wednesday we’re discussing a Current TV report about the religious/secular debate in Turkey, particularly with the rise of the AK (Justice & Development) Party. The report is called "Scarf Wars" and first aired in 2008.

The report is particularly fascinating, because it looks at a predominantly Muslim country that is—and historically has been—remarkably secular. In fact, the country’s constitution proscribes a strict separation of church and state (known as laïcité) that goes much further than in the US. In many ways, the images and discussion in the video challenge traditional perceptions of “Muslim” political culture in the US media. But pay attention to the debate over the role of religion in Turkey. Does it mirror any of the debates in the US—particularly the “war on religion” rhetoric—taking place today? If so, which US political party most closely resembles the “Islamist” AK Party?

While we’re at it, here’s a recent article from Time magazine about Turkey’s current president ("Erdogan’s Moment"). With the current events in Syria and the rest of the Middle East after the “Arab Spring,” Turkey—a longtime US ally—has become a potential model for many Arab reformers. Should the US encourage this? 

The Political Notebook: Can we all stop acting like political Islam means that "Arabs can't do democracy"?

From thepoliticalnotebook:

I mean, really? Talking about the possible dangers of the political rise of the Muslim Brotherhood or the Salafists or the Ennahda Party (particularly when it comes to social freedoms) don’t have to involve saying things like “Are the sceptics who said that Arabs could not handle democracy—and would inevitably elect nasty people who would never surrender power—being proved horribly right?

Just to point out - we rarely look at the Evangelical role in US politics as an argument for a Western inability to successfully implement and maintain a democracy, but Evangelical Christianity’s political and activist role is frequently aimed at detriment to social freedoms like the right to choose or the freedom to plan a family and to have safe sex, or to have the same rights even if you’re gay.* We absolutely need to be talking about what the outcome of Ennahda’s big win in Tunisia and the growing power of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt might mean for those populations, but we also need not to get carried away into the land of paternalistic Orientalism and start making broad decisions and evaluations of any culture’s innate ability to form a certain kind of government to our own liking, or make snap decisions for those countries about whether or not their new systems are successfully created.

Important things to remember here when talking about this: not all residents of the Middle East or North Africa are Arab or Muslim; a significant chunk of Egyptians and Tunisians did not vote for political Islam and are exerting pressures on those parties to dilute their politics, make promises about their social policies, and form coalitions with more moderate or secular parties; talking about the failure of a political transition just as it’s officially beginning is hasty and silly; not Western does not equal not successful. 

*If you’re reading this and you’re Evangelical, this is not equivalent to me saying your religion is bad or that you automatically believe these things or act in these ways. I’m talking about the politicized elements seen in and wielded by numerous conservative/Republican candidates and their political influencers.

Surprisingly powerful. Even if not as clever as http://muslimswearingthings.tumblr.com.
From life:

A self-described “visual anthropologist” and social explorer,  27-year-old photographer Umair Jangda has created a  remarkable series of images based on a simple, sneakily powerful  concept: namely, that photographing Muslims of different ages and  backgrounds dressed in both contemporary clothes and in traditional  Islamic attire might well be one way to alter the perception of Islam in  the West.

“After a bit of a false start with this project,” Jangda told LIFE.com,  “I realized that, ironically, I needed to show the stereotype [of how  Muslims appear to Western eyes] in order to to battle that stereotype.

LIFE.com presents a selection of images from Jangda’s work-in-progress: The Muslim Behind Islam.

Surprisingly powerful. Even if not as clever as http://muslimswearingthings.tumblr.com.

From life:

A self-described “visual anthropologist” and social explorer, 27-year-old photographer Umair Jangda has created a remarkable series of images based on a simple, sneakily powerful concept: namely, that photographing Muslims of different ages and backgrounds dressed in both contemporary clothes and in traditional Islamic attire might well be one way to alter the perception of Islam in the West.

“After a bit of a false start with this project,” Jangda told LIFE.com, “I realized that, ironically, I needed to show the stereotype [of how Muslims appear to Western eyes] in order to to battle that stereotype.

LIFE.com presents a selection of images from Jangda’s work-in-progress: The Muslim Behind Islam.

Scarf Wars | Current TV Vanguard

Next week my POL 102 students will discuss cultural politics, w/ an emphasis on secularism & religious values in politics. On Wednesday, they’ll watch a video about the head scarves controversy in Turkey, a predominantly Muslim state that has traditionally strictly enforced secularism (or laïcité) in the publish sphere.

foreignaffairsmagazine:

In our newest snapshot, “Sultan of the Muslim World,”  Soner Cagaptay takes a look at the effect that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will have on Turkish politics, and, as a result, the Muslim world as a whole.

foreignaffairsmagazine:

In our newest snapshot, “Sultan of the Muslim World,”  Soner Cagaptay takes a look at the effect that the Justice and Development Party (AKP) will have on Turkish politics, and, as a result, the Muslim world as a whole.

The Economics of the Hajj

….As many as three million Muslims will be making the trip this year, and to manage that massive influx of people is a significant responsibility. So it is encouraging as an outside observer of Saudi Arabia to note that perhaps nowhere else in the Kingdom is the government’s reinvestment of its wealth into infrastructure more apparent than in Mecca, as millions experience the Hajj pilgrimage with new modern developments.

It would be interesting to compare this w/, say, pilgrimages to the Vatican or other sacred sites. In fact, I just read a series of kitschy commercialized articles (on one of those in-flight magazines) about Western tourism to sacred yoga sites in India. Similar, or different?