martedì 30 ottobre 2012

Islam & stereotypes

Today I don’t want to comment any article or speech, I want just to talk a little beat about Islam and the single story people have about it. A big part of the western world think about Islam as a religion made by shariah, burqua or discrimination against women. But, what I always ask myself is: do this people have ever read the Koran? What do they know about this religion and the billions of people who believe in it? Well, I think they don’t know very much about it. 

When we speak about Islam we have to consider that this is not a monolithic reality but it is marked by deep differences.They are: national; cultural, in fact the Sub-Saharan Islam is different from the Islam we find in India or in the countries of the Middle East; there are diversities among the language the Muslims use, not all of them speak Arabic that is the official language of the religion, in Iran they speak Persian, in Turkey they speak Turkish and in India they don’t have Arabic as official language. There are also differences between the Sunni, the Shiites and the other religious groups.
An expert in religious issues made a reflection that made me think very much about the argument I am talking about. She said: “an expert in canon Low can write about the Catholic Church, a professor of Jewish law can write about Hebraism and so one, but everybody can write about Islam!”
If we start to think where and when we heard all the opinions about this religion we will find this true. Many programs say fail things, we hear fragmented news that confuse us, sometimes we don’t know who is giving this new we just acknowledge them.                                                                                                        

One day I talked to a Norwegian family and when we discussed about Muslims they told me that all of them were like Taliban, were mistreating their wife and their daughters, they had their single story about Islam and I wasn’t able to make them change their point of view.
This, like many others, is a clear example of how we use stereotypes to understand the world. But when we use them, we do it because we don’t really know the argument we are hearing or talking about with other people, and we use our previous knowledge to get explanations of the phenomenon to our interlocutors or to ourselves. 

Silvia Bettiol

1 commento:

  1. Your reflection is right. I agree with you, stereotypes are forms to think about something that people can get out of their head. I have this difficulty too but I try to know a person before and after I can make a judgment. I blame mass-medias especially and our capacity to influenced by them. After 09/11, the Muslims theme has become very awkward and press, tv, internet show us only a negative image of this. Cruel, rude, murders: some adjectives to describe an Islamist. I want to underline that in every nations there are fanatical groups (ku klux klan in America, some nazi parties in the North of Europe) that can make the same things against the “strange”, found their reasons on the fear of people for the “different people”. This situation can have a good end, because humans can love each other just only because they are all members of human species. We only think about our interests and our prevalence over the others. Sorry, but I'm a little bit misanthropist.