Thursday, January 04, 2007

"It'd be alright if they stuck to the government's version of the facts"

So, they're angry with the guy who took the video? Sounds like they are angrier at being caught.
THE Iraqi Prime Minister's office has defended the manner of Saddam Hussein's execution and confirmed the detention of a guard who is believed to recorded the moment in a macabre and unauthorised video that has generated world revulsion.

Hmm, Muslims/Arabs/Others vilified as 'animals' and not respecting democracy...and now Muslims/Arabs/Others are fitting their stereotype. And don't give me the 'puppet Iraqi government excuse', they still participated in it.

I have to go put 'Orientalism' by Edward Said back in my reading pile. I tried reading it when I was younger but just couldn't get through it. It's sadly too relevant now to ignore.

In 1980 Said criticized what he regarded as poor understanding of the Arab culture in the West:

So far as the United States seems to be concerned, it is only a slight overstatement to say that Moslems and Arabs are essentially seen as either oil suppliers or potential terrorists. Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab-Moslem life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Arab world. What we have instead is a series of crude, essentialized caricatures of the Islamic world presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression.[15]

I completely agree with this statement but in this instance, the Muslims are actually acting like the 'crude, essentialized caricatures.' Have their caricatures become our self-portraits?

By the way, I know that I'm equating Arab with Muslim in this post. I think that this critique applies to both groups. I'm pondering the comparison to U.S. actions in Iraq and U.S. actions in Afghanistan, which I do think is different. Let me think about it for a while before I write up that post.

Of course, this will all have to be done after I finish studying for the day.


anrosh said...

Hi - I came to your blog via Maryam's - my I write under the name Anrosh at her blog. I understand you want to be anonymous and respect it. Can you refer me to any other human rights officer since I am applying for similar positions with the UN. I would really appreciate it. I would like to send you my email address but would like to refrain my email address being picked up by marketers. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanking you in anticipation

homeinkabul said...

Hi Anrosh, Welcome

I don't know who Maryam is? Does she link to me? But you can email me at homeinkabul at gmail dot com

I don't work at the UN and am not a human rights office - I think that's Frida...

chaoyang said...

you should email Shamira with these thoughts - she would have much to say...

is this like life imitation tv or tv imitation life? have we become our exagerrated caricatures in Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City?

Or maybe (holding hands up to deflect expected hostile response) those reports about them Arabs were true? (wincing)

chaoyang said...

** life IMITATING tv

** tv IMITATING life

(you know what I mean)

homeinkabul said...

C: Well, I don't think it's true - but I do think we, as Muslims, need to take a step back and perhaps internalize it as much. I'm thinking specifically of Afghans and the whole stereotype of the 'warrior'. There is an element of truth in it but that's not all and the caricature is weighing us down.

Anrosh said...

Thanks a ton homeinkabul! Thank You for pointing me out to Frida - yes she is the person I was looking for .