More on the Miss World riots

Kay McVey katsummerland at yahoo.com.au
Fri Nov 22 18:55:56 MST 2002


 --- Stuart Lawrence <stuartwl at walrus.com> wrote: >
> >
> Why do you suppose the organizers should feel shame?
> Because a number of people in Nigeria think that
>brutally killing other people in the name of
> god and religious law is the way to send a message
> about women's proper behavior? As far as I can tell
> from the reports, the Miss World contestants and
organizers didn't hack, stone, burn, or shoot
> anyone. They made the mistake of acting as if they
>were living in the twenty-first century instead
> of in medieval times. While I've got plenty of
> criticisms of beauty
> pageants, and I agree wholeheartedly with the
> boycott of the event that was
> prompted by the death sentences imposed on Nigerian
> women under Islamic law,
> to say the violence "brings even more shame on the
> event" without mentioning
> the shame these outrageous, gruesome acts bring on
> the perpetrators and
> their religious leaders is totally unreasonable.
>
> What have Marxists said to those who would prefer
> not to live under
> theocracy? This is no theoretical problem, but a
> present or imminent reality
> for a huge portion of the world's people. I'd like
> to hear what others here
> have to say.


I totally agree.

It seems that when anyone raises questions about
anti-social behaviours emananting from some sections
of the islamic community - and in the case it has gone
beyond that - they are labelled racist.

In the same way that the Israeli state labels any
criticism as anti-semitism.

Let's not forget that their are women in those
communities who are looking for support.  The whole
campaign around sexual mutilation shows this. So has
been the life struggle of Nawal El Saadawi.

The riots against the Miss World pageant are also
clearly a message to muslim women to "remember their
place".

Islam is not a monolith.

In Australia, as Kim mentioned in a previous post,
some Lebanese youth have recently been sentenced to
stiff jail terms for rapes carried out on young women
in their community.  These were brutal acts of social
control.

On another front - just as in the post from Hunter
last week relating the experience of American Indian
communities - the Aboriginal community here has been
affected by alcohol and drug abuse and it appears
escalating intra community violence. This has included
 incest, rapes and other forms of aggravated assaults.


The community has found it extremely difficult to
address this issue which partly stems from their
concerns about the negative publicity that will be
generated and which they fear can be used by racists.


Fortunately some activists will no longer be silenced
and are working to deal with these matter at a
community and national level.

On another level, is the question of how to encourage
"positive" behaviour change in a way that doesn't
introduce other forms of negative social control. This
can obviously occur in the struggle for as people have
their prejudices challenged and are forced by events
to rethink.

Has anyone done any work on this?

In solidarity

Kay



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