Are These 2 Reasons to Reform Islam Convincing Enough?
Author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali says she doesn't buy into the major worries about Islamophobia.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali: In the United States of America, I see that Muslims as individuals, as organizations, as a community are present everywhere. If anything there's more listening to them than less of listening to them. I want to juxtapose that with the plight of Christians and Jews and Atheists and ex-Muslims and gays in the Muslim world. I'm not talking about the war-torn places; I'm talking about the places where there is order and the way Muslim societies respond to that. And if I were a vocal Muslim individual or a vocal Muslim organization, I would use my energy to highlight what we as Muslims, those of us who were brought within Islam in our own countries are doing to Christians and various sects of women and Jews and all that. So, I have to be quite honest with you, I don't buy much of this whole victim thing.
Then there's another metric. In places where people are oppressed and persecuted, people don't go there. Christians are fleeing Muslim countries. Muslims are flocking to originally Christian countries. I'm not a Christian. I'm not religious in the least. I'm an atheist. But it's a mere observation. So I think in a way these organizations are playing not only non-Muslim Americans, but they're also playing the Muslim communities that they target to make them feel that they're victims of some illusion, some form of persecution that they are not in order to band them together and then manipulate them. And it's up to us to investigate these things.
I remember in the Netherlands, a band of Muslim women saying we've been spat upon. And we said, "Who did the spitting?" And we looked into it. Nobody did the spitting. She said ultimately the woman who said she was accused said, "I thought he was going to spit on me, but it didn't happen." Women who were saying, "We were looked at differently," well, if you cover yourself from head to toe in black you are going to attract attention. I know a little bit about Islam. The whole idea of covering the Muslim woman is based on so that you as a woman may not attract attention. If you find yourself in a society where people are not covered from head to toe in black and you cover yourself from head to toe in black, you are going to attract attention. So if people look at you, it may not be because they hate you or they want you out of the country; it may be because you are interesting. You are just as if you have walked off a Darth Vader set. That's probably why they're looking at you. I think we need to have this sort of honest conversation with them instead of indulging that I am a victim of. But obviously they're hiding and this is what we're seeing in our own society that all kinds of segments of people in our society feel that they are a victim of this or a victim of that in the freest society in the world. If you're victimized in America, goodness me, how would you have survived the rest of the world?
Author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali says she doesn't buy into worries about Islamophobia in the United States. Ali doesn't think it's as big a problem as it's often lain out, and that the treatment of Muslims in America far surpasses the treatment of Christians, women, Jews, et al. in traditionally Muslim countries. Furthermore, she subscribes to a theory that manipulative interest groups encourage Muslims in America to feel victimized.
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The Oxfam report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency."
- A new report by Oxfam argues that wealth inequality is causing poverty and misery around the world.
- In the last year, the world's billionaires saw their wealth increase by 12%, while the poorest 3.8 billion people on the planet lost 11% of their wealth.
- The report prompted Anand Giridharadas to tweet: "Don't be Pinkered into everything's-getting-better complacency." We explain what Steven Pinker's got to do with it.
Moans, groans, and gripes release stress hormones in the brain.
Could you give up complaining for a whole month? That's the crux of this interesting piece by Jessica Hullinger over at Fast Company. Hullinger explores the reasons why humans are so predisposed to griping and why, despite these predispositions, we should all try to complain less. As for no complaining for a month, that was the goal for people enrolled in the Complaint Restraint project.
Participants sought to go the entirety of February without so much as a moan, groan, or bellyache.
- Facebook and Google began as companies with supposedly noble purposes.
- Creating a more connected world and indexing the world's information: what could be better than that?
- But pressure to return value to shareholders came at the expense of their own users.
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