#MuslimRage Grrr

Oh hey have you guys seen this really catchy cover?

Newsweek’s idea of…..journalism.

An accurate portrayal of the Muslim world? No. Kinda racist and insulting? Oh yeah.

Honestly, does Newsweek really think that every single one of the 1.5 billion Muslims in the world look like that? How stupid do these so-called news sources think we are? And how much lower are they going to get before realizing how derogatory those kinds of images are to Muslims?

It’s kind of like slapping a picture of the KKK on the cover of a magazine and titling it “Christian Rage”

Ridiculous right?

What’s even more upsetting (and pretty hilarious actually) is how Newsweek’s editors seem to have no clue what they’re doing. They actually asked the public what they think of their latest cover and to make sure to use the hashtage #Muslimrage! Yaaay *giggle*

Here are some of my favorite responses and proof that Muslims do have a sense of humor.

And here’s the best one:

So naturally the hashtag, #muslimrage was trending all day on twitter yesterday. What’s a better way to fight ignorance (on both sides, Muslims and non-Muslims) than using sarcasm and humor?

Muslim Myth #1 debunked: Muslims do have a sense of humor.

Ok here’s my last point. People seem to forget that Muslims all over the world are fighting for the same exact things that Americans fight for right here in the U.S. They want jobs, they want to be able to put food on the table, get medicine when they need it, have picnics, play sports, invent things, take care of their parents, send their kids to school, go shopping, start businesses, hang out with friends and everything else that makes life worth living. The second that both sides can understand that about each other, that’s when everything starts to change for the better.

Muslim Myth #2 debunked: Muslims are human beings just like everyone else.

To see some awesome reporting on the #muslimrage twitter trend, check out these articles:

‘Muslim Rage’ Explodes on Twitter, But In A Funny Way (Yes, Really)

13 Powerful Images of Muslim Rage

Newsweek’s ‘Muslim Rage’ Cover Mocked Online

#MuslimRage: How a Cynical Social-Media Play Became an Awesome Meme

Fires and Danish Cartoons All Over Again

Bodies were carried out of burning factories in Karachi and Lahore
Photograph from the New York Times

Yesterday was an unbelievably tragic day. Over 300 Pakistanis were killed in factory fires in Karachi and Lahore. Most of the people were trapped inside. The buildings did not meet up to safety regulations. Many of the windows were barred and the doors were shuttered. Some people miraculously survived by jumping out of windows that were open. Others did not. I can’t even put to words how incredibly sad I feel. But I hope it doesn’t even compare to the shame that the factory owners and the corrupt leaders of Pakistan are feeling right now. My heart goes out to the families of those who died. Not just to those in Pakistan, but also to the American ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, along with three others were killed in Benghazi when the U.S. embassy was attacked. A mob of extremists did this because of….a movie. Not even a movie, but a rather amateur attempt at a movie, more like a really long video, that was basically trying to warn its audience of the dangers of Islam. Blah blah blah. As if we haven’t heard that rhetoric before. While it saddens me to hear about people having such strong anti-Muslim sentiments, I am more enraged by the fact that these criminals think they have the right to storm an embassy and kill innocent people who had absolutely nothing to do with the production of this video. WHY? I don’t understand. Why do these terrorists have to be so dumb and dangerous? Why would they do such a thing merely months after the U.S. helped them to overthrow their cruel and (literally) insane dictator? This whole reaction is the same exact way extremists reacted when the Danish cartoons were published. American flags were burning, buildings and vehicles were set on fire and FOR WHAT? I don’t care what people say. No matter how offensive, insulting and racist these sorts of cartoons and videos are, it does not justify killing innocent people.

I am so tired of this. When does it end? When will these extremists just learn to shut the hell up and stay at home? When will Islamophobes learn that anti-Muslim images are just as appalling and derogatory as anti-Semitic and blackface images? It’s complete madness. On the one hand, the Islamophobes are ever so subtly campaigning to either deport people like me or put us all in concentration camps. And on the other hand, there are the Islamic extremists who claim to act in the name of Islam, but all they do is drag my religion in the dirt.

We need more water if we’re going to put out all these fires. The fires of corruption and extremism.

People protesting against the criminals who attacked the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya
Photograph from the New York Times

An Emotional Investment in The Hunger Games

Some good friends of mine highly encouraged me to read The Hunger Games trilogy, and I trust their taste so I did it. I literally read all three books in one week. I couldn’t put them down. I became so anti-social, it was ridiculous. People at work would comment “Hey! I haven’t seen you around the office lately.” That’s because I’m sitting in a park bench during my lunch break trying to finish the books as fast as I can on my kindle while somehow also stuffing a sandwich in my mouth. Additionally, I told my friends (the ones who aren’t Hunger Games fans) last Friday that I couldn’t hang out because I needed to finish the last book. They called me a nerd. It’s ok they’re just jealous.

What’s not to like? The books have got a great story, a kick-ass heroine, and it makes you think about the world we live in today. War, violence, reality TV, soldiers coming back from war, dealing with PTSD and how we’ve been dealing with all of this in the decade that the US has been at war. It’s a lot to take in, but it’s worth thinking about.

So now that I’m done reading, naturally I became way too emotionally invested in everything related to the books. Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Bought my tickets for the movie coming out on Friday (yay!)
  2. Watched pretty much every stupid Youtube video related to the movie (mostly interviews with the cast where I laughed along with their jokes as if I know them personally)
  3. Read random people’s reviews/debates of the books on the Internet
  4. Watched more Youtube videos (this time of interviews with author, Suzanne Collins),
  5. Analyzed the story and characters with my friends who are fans for hours over the phone
  6. Watched the movie trailer a dozen more times
  7. Daydreamed about being able climb trees efficiently and then…
  8. Went back to watching more Youtube videos

I can honestly say that I know more about the lives of Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson (who play Katniss and Peeta respectively) than is socially acceptable. But just to let you know, we would be such good friends. No joke.

However, it wasn’t until today that I noticed something: Katniss Everdeen, the kick-ass heroine, is described in the books as being a 16-year old girl who’s olive-skinned and scrawny with dark hair. As much as I truly adore and have a creepy friend crush on Jennifer Lawrence, she definitely does not fit this description. Of course when it comes to acting talent, she is hands down the perfect girl for this role. I’ve always been a strong supporter of casting someone with talent rather than the exact looks for a part. It’s just common sense. If the actor can convince the audience of the role he or she is playing, then that’s it. They should get the job. Take Memoirs of A Geisha for example. The roles played by Ziyi Zhang, Gong Li and Michelle Yeoh caused quite a stir since these actresses are Chinese and Malaysian and yet they starred in a movie as Japanese characters. Critics wrote articles about how ridiculous that is and blah blah blah. Yet we have Australian actors playing Americans and Americans playing Brits and Brits playing Irish characters all the time, and the list goes on. When it came down to it, the director, Rob Marshall, felt that these actresses were best suited for the roles.

I suppose people have stronger feelings about this subject when there are minorities involved. I guess it just makes me a little sad when I read back and see what Katniss is supposed to look like. Even in my head I kept imagining Jennifer Lawrence’s face as Katniss because I had seen the movie trailer before reading the books. That was actually kind of irritating. It was as if my imagination went into lockdown mode and said, “Who cares what she looks like?! Just finish the story!”

The main reason I feel blue about this is because I TOTALLY could have played Katniss! Dark hair, olive skin, scrawny? Check, check and check. Never mind that I have no acting skills whatsoever, it still would have been awesome. But really, deep down I know it would have been pretty amazing to to see thousands of fans cheering for a brown girl, especially at a time when the media only shows us footage of people and events that make us think we should either feel hate or pity towards anyone who’s got brown/olive skin. Because you know. That’s the developing world.

Besides that, I am genuinely very excited to see the movie. Jennifer Lawrence is an incredible actress. I mean she already has an Oscar nomination. I have no doubts that she will be amazing as Katniss. And next time an “olive-skinned” girl needs to be cast, I’ll audition. Problem solved.

By the way, if you want to read a hilarious blog post about The Hunger Games, read this: The Embarrassing Side Effects of Having Recently Read “The Hunger Games” by Holley Maher