Sunday, March 27, 2011

Accusations and Other Stories

I posted this video on posting it I explained my reason “I like the first bit showing photos of Cairo University and the evolution of dress there.”

I was surprised then by a backlash of anger from many Muslim friends who accused me of several things: spreading Islamophobia, spreading hidden message through a ‘trend’ of posts and radicalism.

The idea that posting a video can be construed as spreading Islamophobia, or have a hidden message or accusations of radicalism was shocking to me. They are three different accusations about one movie, even though my comment about what I thought was interesting about the movie was crystal clear.

I asked friends what my message was, or what was offensive about the film, but I was not given a clear answer. I was left to ponder over these reactions on my own and draw my own conclusions.

At first I thought it was intellectual terrorism, much like that of objections to any sort of accusations to the army. However I hadn’t made any accusations, so I discounted it and now I’m sure it had to be the film itself.

I have one objection about the film, the choice of music and editing while showing the contradiction between the veil and the rest of the clothing. In a way the point is driven too hard, and I prefer subtlety in films. The interesting thing about the film is that there is no narration, and all other shots taken in the film are from real life. There is something genuine about the reality portrayed in the film which I have captured with my own eyes, without making any judgments on Islamic teachings.

The objection can be to the same scene that I object to, but it can also be to the merely non Islamic point of view of presenting the culture of the Hijab. In films, you’re allowed not to cover all angles of a topic, you’re allowed a director’s eye that captures what you see.

The conclusion is that anything remotely linked to religion is taboo to talk about if religion is not exonerated. This is very worrying in my opinion because it seems that any culture permeated by religion cannot be discussed. It is at the same time worrying that this exact sentiment has been spread by the Ekhwan, saying that criticizing Ekhwan may be equivalent to criticizing Islam.

I must admit there is something even more worrying; discussions about certain topics are based on emotions, without an objective clarification as to why there are objections. The idea that people are emotionally driven is worrying for me. I too am passionate, but I would take the time to explain to my friends my point of view.

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