Where do I start?? All of these articles were very interesting to me because I have studied things very similar to them in the past. Islamic Traditions and Hero Worship were two classes that almost directly dealt with the issues at hand.
“Unveiling Imperialism” immediately brought back memories of Newt Gingrich saying things like, “I believe Shariah is a mortal threat to the survival of freedom in the United States and in the world as we know it” (NYTimes).
Gingrich expressed his dislike towards Sharia law very publicly and proved how little he knew about the actual subject. I want to talk about the fine line between what people find offensive in one culture and understanding or respecting a law of another culture or religion. Sharia law is pretty much the law that Muslims live by, the law that guides them. There was uproar a few years ago in the United States because this law interfered with the constitution and amendments. “Freedom of religion” is emphasized in the United States, but how much is it emphasized when other rules are broken? How can the United States, or any country interfere in another countries social system just because they don’t think it’s right. Towards the end of the “Unveiling Imperialism” article, Stabile and Kumar note, “Reports reveal that women are still punished according to Islamic laws”. However, that is a very general consensus. Again, I would like to reiterate that each country and religion lives by different laws or customs. No matter how bad these might be in one’s eyes, how can one justify the killing of hundreds of thousands of innocent people?
This point reminded me of the Burka and Bikini article. The U.S. encourages women to have slim waists and skinny bodies, and on top of all that, they encourage their women to show off those bodies. How is this any different from women wearing Burkas in other countries? I can guarantee that the U.S. would not appreciate other countries using that as an excuse to come in and invade our societies in order to fix these problems.
A similar argument can be raised in the reading, “Death by Culture”. I actually just recently read several documents on Rajput Indians and their practices. Women in the culture are encouraged to be good “Sati’s”. In order to do so, they are good to their families, king, and especially, their husbands. One of the practices women participate in is burning themselves on a pyre following their husband’s death. This shows their ultimate loyalty towards their husbands. Although this act is very strong and final, it is one of their fate. Again, I believe that this is something that is very difficult to argue or try to understand because we are of different faiths and beliefs. Ultimately, who is to say what is right from wrong?
I included the article on Gingrich.