Thursday, 14 January 2010

Erroneous Perceptions...



I have been thinking about that today...thinking about the gross, erroneous perceptions of the Muslim world in the Western mind.

This is no treatise on Orientalism, just personal observations that I have collected throughout the years...observations coming from remarks, articles, sentences, questions, attitudes...

I find it amazing that a Westerner, who has NEVER set foot in any Arab Muslim country, who has not read the history of the region, who is not acquainted with its food, tastes, colors, music, art, architecture, religion(s) -- apart from the regular hummus, falafel and kebab take away, and who CAN'T speak the language --  actually allows himself/herself to pontificate on it..with such assurance and sense of "expertise".

I find it amazing, that someone who can't even pronounce an Arabic/Muslim name, word, can actually allow himself/herself to speak on behalf of Arabs and Muslims...and come up with such generalizations as "in the Muslim word..."

In the Muslim world, women are...in the Muslim world people are...in the Muslim world things are...

How the fuck do you know what happens in the "Muslim World" ? How the fuck do you know what these people think or feel ? Did you ever ask them ? Did you ever befriend them closely, intimately ?

And No, fucking one of them is no passport to the Muslim world, nor is buying a kebab take away ...

I am saying that because I have heard so many Westerners, women in particular, say "I know because I dated one...for two weeks". Yeah, that makes you a specialist on the matter...for sure.

And then more crap like ; all Arabs Muslims are dark skinned and brown eyed...ignoring the fact that this part of the world has known much "m├ętissage", a mix of races, ethnicities, invasions, conquests, and the rest...

The erroneous perception that the Muslim world is one huge monolithic bloc, all adopting the exact same ideas and concepts...regardless of the specificity of the social and historical context of each country...

It's like me saying a Spaniard and a Norwegian, or a Greek and an Icelander or an Italian and a Russian...are exactly the same because they believe in Jesus Christ.

This is not only ignorant, it is STUPID. It only demonstrates YOUR STUPIDITY.

Sure, there are common cultural and religious traits to Muslim countries, just like there are common cultural and religious traits to Christian countries in the West...but they are not exactly the same, and just because you are from the West does not automatically mean you have blues eyes and blond hair...

This cartoon, caricature like image is mostly felt when it comes to the subject of Muslim Arab women.

If I am to believe everything I read, I would go totally insane and will start living out what is being written...just to confirm the image...

Arab-Muslim women are so oppressed, they are all subjugated, they are all submissive, they are all forced veiled, they are all excised, they are all illiterate, they are all discriminated against, they are all harassed, they are all home bound, they are all at the mercy of the men in their lives...

The wordings are not exactly like that, but the image one is left with is exactly like that...and the pictures...

Take pictures from Iraq, or from Saudi Arabia, or from the Gulf, or from Egypt, or from Yemen or from any country you wish...and all of these pictures show the same over and over again...a veiled woman looking desperate...as if saying please save me., o' white man and white woman...

That is not to say there is no oppression, no subjugation, no forced veiling, no illiteracy, no discrimination, no harassment in this part of the world, there is...but that is not the FULL picture.

The pictures of Western women on the other hand are always those of liberated ones, free to choose, educated, (holding some book and therefore literate), exposed (free with their bodies)...as if there is no female subjugation, repression, oppression and exploitation in the West...as if there is absolutely no violence against women in the West...no violence in the forms of prostitution and human trafficking, no violence in the form of domestic abuse, no violence in the form of date and street rape...no violence in the form of the use of women as objects for advertisement and objects in pornographic material...

Come on here, who the fuck do you think you are fooling with all of this ?

Definitely not me...

In fact you are just fooling yourselves, perpetuating an illusory image that serves many functions :

1) fend off your inferiority complex and trust me you have plenty...and restore your fake sense of superiority.

2) appease your jealousies and envies and yes you are envious and jealous because you have lost much of the things you criticize in this part of the world - family ties and commitments, community ties, respect of women (believe it or not), generosity and hospitality as ordained by our religion and culture, (a total anti-thesis to your money grabbing mentality), and more I care not go into now...

3) cover up for your blatant ignorance in general and particularly of other cultures and ways of life...

4) perpetuate the myth that you hold about yourselves as saviors and redeemers of peoples from " a lesser God" which is really nothing but a cover for a vile racism

5) and last but not least, provide ideological justification on both a personal and collective level as to why you can continue in your criminal conquests of this part of the world...under the banner of "Freedom".

But not only...

I can give you another 100 reasons...but I will stop here for tonight.
Just take it as a small introduction of how I perceive you.


Painting : Iraqi artist, Dia Al-Azzawi, 1995