Islamophobia is no myth: Muslims face bias of the 'turban effect'
UK Muslims query on Turkish model
Islamic women pressured by imams to stay in violent marriages
US Election 2008: Who Won, Who Lost?
Blind Opposition to Shari’ah law smacks very much of Islamophobia
FATHIMA IDRIS November 20, 2008
MCA’s outright rejection of the idea mooted by Tun Hamid Mohamed of merging the common law courts and shariah courts smacks very much of Islamophobia (The Star, Nov 14).
The proposal has just been floated and MCA has already concluded that non-Muslims would be subjected to Shariah laws because of this. How did they come to such a conclusion?
It is precisely because of this sort of anathema to the Shariah that we face insurmountable hurdles in resolving conflicts of law.
Taking MCA’s stand to its logical conclusion, it would mean that they would oppose non-Muslims using Islamic Financing or non-Muslim food outlets serving halal food because in both instances the non-Muslim would be submitting to the Shariah.
Perhaps MCA should scrape off the barnacles of prejudice covering it and try and attempt to understand the Shariah.
For instance, it could take a look at how the Shariah works compared to the civil law when someone forgets to update their nomination for EPF. Under the civil law, if a contributor appoints the mother as a nominee and then after marriage dies leaving a wife and children, the EPF payment would all go to the mother whereas under the Shariah in an identical situation, the mother and the contributor’s wife and children would also receive their due share.
However, having said all this, we must bear in mind we are not dealing with just prejudice and ignorance but true and true phobia of Islam.
Islamophobia is no myth: Muslims face bias of the 'turban effect', says study
Recent studies show anti-Muslim tendencies
It turns out Islamophobia is no myth. Researchers in psychology and medicine have found that anti-Muslim sentiment is a very real phenomenon with potentially dire effects on safety and medical care.
During last week's United Nations interfaith dialogue, Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon singled out Islamophobia as "a new term for an old and terrible form of prejudice."
Simply appearing Muslim can increase aggressive tendencies towards Muslims a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology found. They termed this bias the "Turban Effect."
Perception and aggression
A research team from the
The study found "a significant bias for participants to shoot more at Muslim targets," implying that fast, spontaneous responses were influenced by "underlying stereotypes rather than explicit reasoning."
It found that people in a positive mood were most likely to shoot at the Muslim targets, and that the influence of attire on increased aggressive tendencies were therefore "likely due to acquired negative stereotypes."
But people in the experiment did not even realize their prejudice when the intent of the experiment was revealed to them, according to the study's lead author, Christian Unkelbach.
"The most common response was, 'I'm sure I didn't show that effect,'" he told the
"Just putting on this piece of clothing changes people's behavior," he added.
Another study found that religious prejudice influenced the way doctors evaluated their patients. The study published in Medical Decision Making found that medical students who thought about their own mortality before assessing the heart-attack risk of patients who were identified as Christian or Muslim gave greater risk assessments to the former than the later.
Thus patients with identical symptoms received different assessments based on their religious identity, a finding with "potentially grave implications" according to the study.
"These patterns are in accord with many previous findings that concern with death motivates people to cling more tenaciously to their cultural beliefs, to like people who support those beliefs and to disparage those who even subtly threaten such beliefs," said the
And a new survey in
The group questioned how imams sent abroad are trained in
The latest trip by leading British Muslims came as part of the program "Projecting British Islam" aimed at building networks and partnerships with Muslim communities overseas.
Various delegations representing a diverse range of British Muslim communities regularly pay visits mostly to Islamic countries and emphasize the favourable position of British Muslims in the U.K. compared to other countries, in particular their ability to freely practice their religion in a non-Muslim country. Their visits are said to be effective in undermining the frequently used narrative that the
"The group believes a predominantly Muslim but secular country straddling between the East and the West can play a key role in tackling extremism.
Extremism threatens both
British Muslims also showed enormous interest in a hadith project carried out by the Religious Affairs Directorate, officials said. The directorate launched the project two years ago with 80 university academics to research if the existing hadiths are original and in compliance with Islam.
"Progress has been made in this research and in the coming days we’ll share the results with the public," said the official from the directorate.
In the meantime, a praying room was inaugurated in the British Embassy during the visit of the British Muslims, it has been revealed. This is seen as another step by
The delegation consisted of scholar and author Aftab Malik, Executive Director, Muslim Women’s Network
Islamic women pressured by imams to stay in violent marriages: research conducted by the Islamic Women’s' Welfare Council of
Nov 20, 2008
A new report has found Islamic women are being pressured to stay in violent marriages or accept polygamy by some Muslim leaders.
The research found instances of imams suggesting women drop their complaints, or discontinue divorce proceedings when they had gone to their religious leaders for help.
The research, conducted by the Islamic Women’s' Welfare Council of Victoria says a lack of training and regulation for imams is to blame.
Council spokeswoman Joumannah El Matrah says it means vulnerable women are not getting the help they need.
"They're more prone to violence, not being financially supported and they're not enjoying the rights that they would have under the Australian system nor indeed the rights that they would have under the Islamic system of marriage," she said.
She says a lack of regulation means the women are stuck in violent situations.
"Women find themselves in situations where the Australian system may have finalised their divorce but they're still waiting on the religious system to finalise their divorce. So in a sense they're left in limbo."
However, Sherene Hassan from the Islamic Council of Victoria says it does not represent the broader Islamic community because the women interviewed were already accessing welfare services.
"So the women who were in the focus groups were all people who were experiencing problems with their marriage."
"So it’s not a reflection of the wider Muslim community. So these are extreme cases." Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/11/21/2425877.htm?section=australia
By WILLIAM J. BROAD and DAVID E. SANGER, November 20, 2008
The figures detailing
Several experts said that was enough for a bomb, but they cautioned that the milestone was mostly symbolic, because
“They clearly have enough material for a bomb,” said Richard L. Garwin, a top nuclear physicist who helped invent the hydrogen bomb and has advised
While some Iranian officials have threatened to bar inspectors in the past, the country has made no such moves, and many experts inside the Bush administration and the I.A.E.A. believe it will avoid the risk of attempting “nuclear breakout” until it possessed a larger uranium supply.
Even so, for President-elect Barack Obama, the report underscores the magnitude of the problem that he will inherit Jan. 20: an Iranian nuclear program that has not only solved many technical problems of uranium enrichment, but that can also now credibly claim to possess enough material to make a weapon if negotiations with Europe and the United States break down.
American intelligence agencies have said
Siegfried S. Hecker of
In the report to its board, the atomic agency said
That uranium has been enriched to the low levels needed to fuel a nuclear reactor. To further purify it to the highly enriched state needed to fuel a nuclear warhead,
“They have a weapon’s worth,” Thomas B. Cochran, a senior scientist in the nuclear program of the Natural Resources Defence Council, a private group in Washington that tracks atomic arsenals, said in an interview.
He said the amount was suitable for a relatively advanced implosion-type weapon like the one dropped on
“It’s a virtual milestone,” Dr. Cochran said of
The agency’s report made no mention of the possible military implications of the size of
Whatever the exact date, it added, “
Peter D. Zimmerman, a physicist and former
In its report, the I.A.E.A., which is based in
A senior European diplomat close to the agency said
The atomic energy agency said
“While it cannot be excluded that the building in question was intended for non-nuclear use,” the report said, the building’s features “along with the connectivity of the site to adequate pumping capacity of cooling water, are similar to what may be found in connection with a reactor site.”
US Election 2008: Who Won, Who Lost?
A few weeks ago, I was in a meeting at work when, while discussing a rather contentious issue, someone casually joked along the lines: "You're sounding as if you're going to be put in Gauntanamo." A Muslim female colleague, whom I have known from college, responded something like this: "Actually that's not funny – for some of us, it is not that farfetched." This is the kind of fear many Muslims live in
An article published shortly after elections in Newsweek reported that Muslims had overwhelmingly voted for Obama in the election. According to exit poll data and estimates, 7-8 million Muslims live in America and of all the Muslims eligible to vote, 95% actually went out to vote with 89% voting Democratic. More Muslims have usually voted Republican in the past because the Republican stance on various issues is closer to the Muslim view. Although majority of the Muslims cited economy as the primary reason, politics of fear by Republicans, and a massive anti-Islam campaign played a major role too.
Early last year, I had gone to the screening of the movie "Obsession: Radical Islam's War against the West" in a local church. Unfortunately, the movie was a piece of intense propaganda campaign against Muslims. After making a few statements about 'all Muslim not being terrorists', the movie did not leave any way for the audience to not believe that Muslims are nothing but terrorists – assaults were constantly made on Islam and Muslims, instead of on terrorists. Everything was somehow linked back to Islam although many scholarly studies have unveiled root causes of terrorism and established a lack of link with Islam. But the real damage came when 28 million copies of the movie were distributed in just months before the election primarily in the swing states to influence the vote.
During the election campaign, there were also accusations that Obama was a Muslim as if being a Muslim makes him dangerous or any less American. This was stressed by the media and tacitly as well as explicitly supported in Republicans conventions. Perhaps, by this time, people had seen the movie, and along with smear casting that continued in some of the media outlets, it seemed that the allegations were effective in instilling fear in people. These tactics backfired though because it seems that smears against Obama and distribution of the movie led Muslims to come out in large numbers and vote against the Republican candidate. The percentage of Muslims who voted in this election is probably the highest of any community, race or religious group.
The biggest loss in the last few months has been for the Muslims in
The biggest win of this election is victory of the candidate who supports unity of this country. Barack Obama's stance from immigration to the economy has been to solve the issues faced by the people, and unite the country to work together. This unity, of course, requires people of all faiths, all races, and all colours to come together and join hands, and that is, in fact, the biggest strength of this country. It also requires people to get across stereotypes and rise above prevailing differences. This is perhaps why millions of Muslims voted for him. You have to have right ideas, and a desire to get people to work together to fulfill those ideas – and he has both.
I sincerely hope that within the next few years, Obama administration will undo at least some, if not all, of the damage, and strengthen ties between
If anything, the attempted McCarthyism of 2008 failed on Obama, but the tactic lives – at least for now.
Ironically, famous words of the first Republican president Abraham Lincoln: "Government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Source: http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/muslimperspectives/archives/154953.asp?from=blog_last3