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Answer the following questions.

 

- What are the main features of contemporary migration?

- What makes the process of assimilation so sensitive?

- What stimulated the invention of legal instruments to handle immigration?

 

Brainstorm ideas.

 

- What is the implication of the article? What can you say about the process of migration in our country? Is the situation novel or can it be traced back to the past?

- According to the writer the process of assimilation has never been simple in Europe nevertheless they managed to devise instruments of incorporating newcomers into their society. What can be done to civilize the situation in Russia?

 

■ 2.5 D. Muslims against Terrorism: Please Stop Yellow Journalism[23]

By Syed Soharwardy

 

The unfair treatment of western media towards Islam and Muslims is not new to many people. The biased reporting, stereotype stories and hidden hate towards Muslims of the world are facts of western journalism. These champions of the free world who claim that their reporting standards are very high, they are honest and feel responsible to provide correct information to their audiences are in fact, have dual standards of reporting. They intentionally dramatize a situation in order to market their programs and increase their market share at any cost. They are not honest when a news item or a story involves a practicing Muslim or religion of Islam.

The Muslims of North America, Europe and Australia have been under a constant threat from these media organizations. These media organizations including all TV network, most of the Radio stations and all-major newspapers of North America, Europe and Australia have been controlled / influenced by special interest groups. These special interest groups through the western media are not only misleading the people of North America, Europe and Australia but also trying to build walls between Islam and the people of other faiths such as Christians and Jews.

These media organizations are purposely creating a very wrong image of Islam and Muslims. The main objective of these media organizations is to create, through their own judgments, such a horrible image of Islamic teachings that the people in the west not only consider Islam as a threat towards western cultures but also feel threatened by the Muslims. A common person who is very busy to fulfill his / her economic and social needs and does not have time to investigate the situation, heavily depends upon the media reporting. If TV, Radio and the Newspapers are not honest in their reporting then the listeners or the readers of western media will not be able to get the truth. Rather, it creates misunderstanding among the various religious and ethnic groups, which creates animosity, hate and intolerance for each other. The Muslim minority of North America, Europe and Australia has been suffering from this unfair and very biased treatment of the media for a long time.

Every time when an incident of terrorism happens anywhere in the world the Muslims living in Western World specially in North America gets terrorized by the horrors of the news media. The way newscasters on radio and TV broadcast and print media prints the news, it's always very clear that all these newscasters and reporters not only try very hard to find a Muslim name to be associated with the incident. These journalists who portray themselves as the champions of humanity and professionalism become so unprofessional and inhuman that sometime they do not realize the outcome of their hurried and rushed reporting. You may be asking what proof do I have to support my arguments. Let me give you some examples from the recent memories.



On April 19, 1995 the Murrah Federal building in downtown Oklahoma City was bombed. The media speculated and blamed Muslims for the destruction and killings of innocent civilians. TV networks including CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, CBC projected and propagated Muslims as terrorists and Islam as the religion of intolerance. Many Muslims became victims of this malicious propaganda. However these reports were completely false, there was no Muslim connection in this bombardment. Two fundamentalist Christians were convicted in this case. But no media organizations identified 27-year-old Timothy McVeigh and his ex-Army buddy, Terry Nichols as Christian terrorists.

Here is another example. On October 31,1999 EgyptAir flight 990 crashed off the coast of Massachusetts. All 217 passengers died in the crash. Because of the previous lessons learned the media did not jump to the Muslim connection quickly. But as soon as media reporters found out from the flight voice recorder that the Captain has said some prayers before the crash, they made astonishing and very ignorant remarks about these religious supplications. They assumed that the Captain said these prayers because he was going to commit suicide and destroy the entire plane with him. This shows how knowledgeable these investigators are? And how knowledgeable these media reporters are? A Muslim makes such prayers / supplications everyday when he / she starts the journey OR when he / she is in danger of an accident. These supplications do not indicate that the pilot was committing suicide. They prove that he was seeking God's help. By the way, these supplications also prove that the pilot was knowledgeable about the teachings of Islam and he must have known that suicide is a major sin in Islam. But media took these supplications as an opportunity to once again misguide the people about the Islamic beliefs and project Muslims as killers.

We can quote several similar incidents where no Muslim was involved in the incident but media used its twisting techniques and told the wrong information. Media always tried to portray Islam as a religion of terror and all the Muslims as terrorists. The way talk-show programs and news are produced and presented, it seems that the media has already decided the guilty verdict regardless what would be the outcome of an investigation.

Why the media would not tell about the religious affiliation of a terrorist if he or she would not be a Muslim? But when a Muslim individual is involved in any terrorist incident, his / her name is identified later but his / her religion is identified first.

Why do CNN and other network TV stations identify a group of people who attack Israel from Lebanon as Muslim extremists? Why aren’t the people who retaliate from Israeli side identified with their religious affiliation regardless whether they are defending Israel or attacking the enemies of Israel? If one group is identified with its religious affiliation and the other group with its country affiliation, this proves how biased and unfair these reporters are? Either both groups should be identified with their religious affiliation or both should be identified with their country affiliation.

During the visit of Pope Paul II to holy lands, Larry King of CNN invited various distinguished Christian and Jew guests in his show "Larry King Live" to talk about religious harmony. But Larry was unable to find a single Muslim scholar for this show. I do not think that Larry does not know that the largest population of that region where Jesus (peace be upon him) was born is Muslim. Pope was not only welcomed by Christians and Jews but the majority of the people who attended his masses and gatherings were Muslims. Pope visited the most sacred places of all three religions. But Larry King invited only Christians and Jews not a Muslim? This may not be very important but it shows how Larry King and CNN think.

Islam means Peace and Muslim means a believer from whose hands and tongue the others are safe. It is not possible that a true Muslim can be a terrorist. I am not trying to say that at present times, the entire Muslim community is perfect. I am not saying that the Muslim community does not have any bad element, for example religious extremism of some of the self claimed Muslim scholars who practice and preach violence in the name of Islam to benefit their own personal interests. These people have misused the concept of Jihad and gave their own interpretation to it. What I am trying to convey is a request to the entire media organization to be fair and honest in their reporting. Treat the Muslim community as you treat the Christian and Jewish communities.

In case of a Christian or a Jew, you are able to separate an individual action from his / her community action, why are you unable to do the same thing with Muslims? Just like Christianity or Judaism, Islam forbids its followers to harm or kill or make hostage anyone. While the media can understand the teachings of Christianity and Judaism why they have difficulty in understanding similar teachings of Islam? Is this intentional? Why do media organizations not want to play a positive role in bringing the followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism together? Why do these media organizations treat a Christian or a Jew different than a Muslim? Why are these media organizations afraid of Islam and Muslims? The problems of extremism do exist in Muslim community just like in Christian and Jewish communities. Why is the problem in Muslim community exploited more than the Christian or Jewish communities?

A terrorist should be identified and condemned as a terrorist but a terrorist should not be identified with his / her religious affiliation. Why a terrorist who happens to be a Muslim is identified as a Muslim terrorist? How about the terrorists of other religions? Why aren't they identified and associated with their religions? The white Supremacist groups in the Western world are fundamentalist Christians. Why aren’t their terrorist attacks on Blacks and other ethnic groups reported and associated with their religion. Unless, the people who believe in justice for all are united to standup for their rights, the media will continue to create a negative image of Muslims and Islam.

Culture

champion – someone who publicly supports or defends a set of beliefs, political aims, or a group of people (+of).

dual standards –unfair treatment of similar problemsbecause of political or economic reasons.

faith –strong belief in a god or gods: blind (=unreasonable) faith.

animosity – hostility (a strong feeling of disliking).

supplication –request addressed to God.

scholar –someone who studies a particular subject and knows a lot about it, especially the subject that is not scientific.

mass –a ceremony in the Christian Church, especially the Roman Catholic church, in which Jesus Christ’s last meal with his disciples is remembered.

 

Vocabulary

objective – something that you plan to achieve, especially in business or work (+of): main/primary/principal objective; accomplish/achieve/attain/fulfill/meet/reach objective.

malicious – unkind and showing a strong feeling of wanting to hurt someone: malicious gossip/rumors; maliciously (adj); malice (n): without any malice – mean well.

affiliation – connection with an organization, especially a political or religious one; affiliate (v): be affiliated with sth – to be officially connected with a larger organization or a group; affiliated company/corporation/trade union; affiliate (n).

retaliate – to do sth harmful or unpleasant to someone because they have sth harmful or unpleasant to you; retaliate by doing sth; retaliate against sb for sth; retaliation (n) (+against): in retaliation for; retaliatory (adj).

condemn – to say publicly that you think someone is bad or wrong: condemn sb/sth as sth; condemn sb for (doing)sth; strongly/roundly condemn; condemnation (n); condemnatory (adj) – expressing strong criticism; condemned (adj) – a condemned prisoner is waiting to be killed for the crime: condemned cell – in the US, a room for a prisoner who is waiting to be killed.

 

1. How would the writer answer these questions?

 

- What is the reason for misrepresentation of Islam by Western mass media?

- What is the reaction of a common person on this avalanche of information about malicious nature of Islam?

2. What is your position to the writer’s statement?

 

Animosity for other religions is the creation of yellow press.

3. Has your vision of the problem changed after reading this article? Have you become more open-minded (ready and willing to consider new ideas)? Have you become more tolerant of other groups?

Brainstorm ideas.

 

- The writer disapproves of the existence of dual standards in reporting about the acts of terror. What is the situation like in our country? What was the attitude of global community to Russia’s commitment to combat terrorism and retain territorial integrity? Why has the attitude changed?

- The writer criticizes journalists for the lack of professionalism in treating important problems. What is your concept of journalist professionalism? (Take into consideration the meaning of the word “profession” as a job, which requires certain skills to earn one’s living.)

 

■ 2.5 E. Human Rights: Righting Wrongs[24]

NEW YORK

Human-rights campaigners are starting to lobby for economic and social rights, such as the right to health and the right to food. Will they make a success of it?

 

IN SHAW'S "Pygmalion", Colonel Picker­ing asks Alfred Doolittle whether he has no morals. "Can't afford them, governor," the philanderer replies; "Neither could you if you was as poor as me." Morals are costly to maintain. So are rights, especially the kind of "universal human rights" that become enshrined in United Nations' dec­larations.

During the cold war, enthusiasm for the rights split along the obvious divide: capitalists were keen on civil and political rights, communists on social and economic rights. When Western lobbyists accused the Soviet Union of violating its citizens’ rights, the Soviet government replied that the economic and social rights of its people were more important.

In terms of publicity and promotion, political rights have had the benefit of human-rights advocates. They have publicized the plight of prisoners of conscience and victims of torture. As a result, regimes that torture, unjustly imprison or disenfranchise their citizens have sometimes been pushed or shamed into changing their behaviour.

At the moment Amnesty International campaigners battle in support of civil and political rights. They define their battleground with care, supporting only the rights of individ­uals. If a journalist is thrown into prison, Amnesty will launch a campaign on his or her behalf. If a government bans a newspaper, however, Amnesty will remain mute, because the action harms no single individual.

Until now, economic benefits such as housing, food, health care and fair wages have been less widely promoted. Now, though Western human-rights groups, which have traditionally focused only on civil and po­litical violations, are looking again at econ­omic rights, and hope eventually to per­suade governments to place the right to a house or a meal on an equal footing with the right to vote.

Over the past four years, Amnesty's (International) main policy committee, the Standing Committee on the Mandate, has been de­veloping a set of resolutions that would explicitly incorporate economic and social rights into Amnesty's mandate. If adopted, the resolutions will alter the char­acter of the organization profoundly and permanently.

However much remains to be settled. For in­stance, Peter Pack, the standing commit­tee's chairman, says the organization could well end up with a position on econ­omic and social rights that resembles its stance on civil and political rights: only certain abuses, under certain circum­stances, would fall within Amnesty's re­mit.

The main question is whether such a change would reinvigorate Amnesty's mission or splinter it. Am­nesty's letters, petitions and appeals have successfully chastised torturers and des­pots. Would their tactics be equally effec­tive in the greyer worlds of health, hous­ing, and labour policy?

Up to now Western human-rights cam­paigners have left economic and social concerns to humanitarians and philan­thropists. When they have taken an inter­est in economic and social conditions, it has been merely to strengthen the case for political crusading. For example they assert that "the best way to prevent famine today is to secure the right to free expression - so that misguided government policies can be brought to public attention and cor­rected before food shortages become acute."

Now, campaigners increasingly ques­tion that view. Amnesty may be the most prominent human-rights group debating a shift of focus, but it is by no means alone. Since 1993, the charter of the Centre for Economic and Social Rights in Brooklyn, New York, has demanded that it "chal­lenge economic injustice as a violation of international human rights law". In its strategic plan for the next three years, Oxfam, Britain's leading overseas-development charity, lays out its belief in "rights to a sustainable livelihood, and the rights and capacities to participate in societies and make positive changes to people's lives".

United Nations' bodies are also keen to extend the concept. Since 1998, the World Health Organization has been asking the international community to recognize health as a human right. And the un Human Rights Commission recently stated that interna­tional trade law ought to be harmonized with international human-rights law.

Why, though, are human-rights bodies so keen to broaden their remit in this way? Michael Ignatieff[25] insists "All the gains in civil and political rights that have been made in Botswana, for example, will be wiped out by the catastrophic losses in economic and social rights. At this level of incidence of aids, the virus destroys the infrastructure of a society. It cuts into the defences that make civil and political rights possible."

Mr. Ignatieff has a point. Botswana, like neighbouring South Africa where aids is also rife, is a democracy with a reasonably free press and healthy civil institutions. The fact that Botswana suffers from the world's highest incidence of aids, with South Africa close behind, proves that de­mocracy and press freedom are not pro­phylactics. Human-rights campaigners may feel that these countries are not doing enough to staunch the spread of the dis­ease, but they cannot blame the failure on political abuses. Nor can they tell other, less enlightened regimes that respecting civil and political rights will help to halt the spread of aids.

However, the strategy is a perilous one. Even if economic and social rights appear to have the same status on paper as civil and political rights, their philosophical grounding is often questioned. Though governments may intentionally torture their citizens; they do not usually intentionally, inflict on them poverty and ill health. The moral impera­tive to stop poverty or disease is therefore not as convincing as the moral imperative to stop torture.

There is a further problem. In the eyes of governments today, certain human rights in the civil and political realm have attained the status of moral absolutes. Abusers of these rights face sanctions and censure, even if their actions are man­dated by the democratic processes of a sovereign state. However, giving a similar status to economic and social rights would produce a curious outcome. Some nations would be subject to condemnation simply because of their poverty, while others would be arraigned[26] for the policy out­comes of decisions taken democratically. It would be morally distasteful and counter­productive.

Critics of an expanded set of human rights point to another difference between the old sort and the new. To guarantee civil and political rights is relatively cheap, whereas to guarantee economic and social rights is potentially enormously costly. The cost of ensuring the right to vote, for example, is well-defined. Endorsing a universal right to health care, by contrast, seems a sure start to an expen­sive ride down a slippery slope.

In any case, it will be hard for human-rights campaigners to advance economic and social rights as successfully as they have promoted civil and political rights.

If human-rights campaigners succeed in deploying their campaigning skills to im­prove health and reduce poverty, that will be a considerable gain. However, they risk alienating Western countries that have hitherto usually been their allies, which will have to face the claims of their own citizens for adequate health care, food, wages etc.

Veteran campaigners know all too well that two wrongs don't make a right. They are about to find out that too many rights may well make a wrong.

Culture

 

disenfranchise – to no longer allow someone to have the right to vote.

philan­thropist – someone who believes in helping people, especially by giving money to those who need it.

realm – a particular area of knowledge, experience, interest: the political/military realm, (+of).

censure – severe criticism of someone.

chastise – to criticize someone.

 

Vocabulary

 

plight – a sad, serious, or difficult situation: the plight of the poor/homeless/unemployed.

re­mit – a particular area of work that someone is responsible for: within / outside the remit of.

(re)invigorate – to give someone more energy, refresh; invigorated (adj)– full of energy; invigorating (adj) – making you feel that you have more energy: an invigorating walk/ swim/shower.

rife – (adj) (never before noun) if something bad or unpleasant is rife there is plenty of it; rife with.

perilous – very dangerous; perilously (adv):perilously close to (doing) sth; peril (n) – danger:in peril; at your own peril; the peril of doing sth.

deploy – to use sth; deployment (n).

 


Date: 2015-12-24; view: 692


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