What Christine Fair et al are proposing is to educate Pakistanis about what the US thinks is good for them. For these political scientists, the right kind of Pakistani possesses the right kind of knowledge: Drone strikes are for his or her own good. It is with US intervention, through drones and propaganda, that Pakistanis can be saved from their backwardness, their tribalism, their Islamism, their nationalism — in short, themselves. But this kind of imperial experiment has been tried out before in South Asia. […] According to Fair et al, this is because not enough Pakistanis know that having their children, their houses and their funeral processions blown up by US drone strikes is actually a good thing for them. The reason they don’t know is because they don’t know English.

 
mehreenkasana:

samanddeantimetravelto221b:

coolgreatlame:

masturbasians:
a muslim woman protesting the burka. in some countries, muslim women are raped and beaten for showing even their noses and mouths. in some places, they get their hands chopped off for showing their wrists, or looking at a man.

I feel so proud of her, She is so brave and so strong. Just wow. 

You know it’d be great if you didn’t post sensationalist, Islamophobic photos based on lies.
This is not a Muslim woman. This was taken in Spain, here’s the link at a carnival. It was done - yet again - in that tiresome, boring, repeated-to-death sentiment that pits Muslim women as victims of oppression throughout the world. Some inebriated woman pulled your typical Orientalist move by putting a burka on and then stripping because apparently that’s the only way Muslim women can gain human status.
Liberation.jpg Emancipation.gif.

Do your homework at least, God damn it.

mehreenkasana:

samanddeantimetravelto221b:

coolgreatlame:

masturbasians:

a muslim woman protesting the burka. in some countries, muslim women are raped and beaten for showing even their noses and mouths. in some places, they get their hands chopped off for showing their wrists, or looking at a man.

I feel so proud of her, She is so brave and so strong. Just wow. 

You know it’d be great if you didn’t post sensationalist, Islamophobic photos based on lies.

This is not a Muslim woman. This was taken in Spain, here’s the link at a carnival. It was done - yet again - in that tiresome, boring, repeated-to-death sentiment that pits Muslim women as victims of oppression throughout the world. Some inebriated woman pulled your typical Orientalist move by putting a burka on and then stripping because apparently that’s the only way Muslim women can gain human status.

Liberation.jpg Emancipation.gif.

Do your homework at least, God damn it.

(via plavapticica)

 

[Some Indian and “Western” commentators] have reduced India’s rape crisis to a cultural problem. Men, we are told – specifically, Indian men – are culturally lacking and barbaric. They have no concept of women’s rights or equality. They are born and bred to sexually assault and degrade women. This is a familiar phenomenon, and an outgrowth of colonialism. When horrible crimes happen, specifically to women, we reduce the culture, in this case, of about 1 billion people, to a gang-bang-enabling society of rapists. And of course, by blaming Indian culture specifically, Western sexism is brushed under the table. We arrive at Gayatri Spivak’s formula explaining the colonial exploitation of anti-woman violence in colonized societies: “white men saving brown women from brown men”.

The process of reducing brown men to savages has been all too familiar in recent years. We have seen Egyptian men reduced to “animals” and “beasts” by the New York Post because a mob high on a combination of stupidity and jubilation about Mubarak’s downfall brutally assaulted white reporter Lara Logan. We have seen a number of “native informants,” from Mona Eltahawaly to Hirsi Ali, tell us that Arab and Muslim men “hate” women. In typical colonial fashion, gender dynamics, including real crimes and acts of brutality, are reduced to “cultural” problems in which we can reduce entire societies to large gang-bang parties predicated on savage men who simply prey on women.

 

mehreenkasana:

fopofeminism:

“Drones Kill So Malala Can Live”—How does western media use women to justify violence in Pakistan? What are the realities for women on the ground? 

Madiha Tahir  is an independent journalist reporting on conflict, culture and politics in Pakistan. She has travelled extensively through the FATA areas of Pakistan, reaching many areas that are inaccessible to many journalists to report on victims of drone violence. 

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing her on the intersections of Pakistani society, gender and American drone strikes. Listen by clicking the area, or read a slightly edited transcript below. 

How is Pakistani society—particularly in the FATA-controlled areas most affected by drone strikes—gendered? Does this make it so that women are affected differently by drone strikes than men?

Madiha Tahir: It is difficult to know what the precise gender relations are, particularly in North Waziristan, which is where most of the drone strikes have been happening. Before I start talking about this, I do want to say that the tribal areas are subject to three forms of violence: American drones, the Pakistani Army which conducts operations there, and lastly criminal gangs like the TTP who also kill people and conduct their own form of terror in these areas.

The thing that I have heard from psychiatrists is that women are harder hit by some of the psychiatric issues that result from these conditions, partly because they do not have the same kind of support networks that the men do. Each of these homes, which are called “compounds” and have dozens of family members living there—often as much as 50, 60, 70 family members and related family living in a particular home. So women have access to this group. Still, they’re not able to move around in society in the same way that the men do. They’re isolated for a variety of reasons. They don’t have people to talk to in the same way that men do about dealing with whatever issues they might be dealing with—dealing with stress, etc. So, they exhibit particularly severe forms of trauma and psychological stress from all of these forms of violence.

The particular thing about drones is that they cause a very particular form of anxiety. The thing about violence from the militancy, like gangs and the TTP, is that there is some sense—whether it is true or not—that to some extent, they control their interactions, so as long as they don’t bother them, they will not be subject to violence. Irrespective of whether that’s true or not, that is a thing in peoples’ minds.

However, with drones they have no control. The drones are not part of society in anyway, they are not interacting with society in anyway. They are hovering overhead 24/7 and they make a constant buzzing sound which is incredibly unsettling to people. You don’t know when these drones are actually going to strike. There is an uncertainty that produces a particular form of anxiety that the other forms of violence do not.

You mentioned the differences between representations of Afghan women and Pakistani women in the American press. While Afghan women needed to be saved, Pakistani women are called Terrorist Mammas and Terrorist Wives. Can you talk about this difference? 

MT: A common trope of imperial wars has been the idea of white men saving brown women from brown men. This is certainly part of the war effort we see in Afghanistan. Major mainstream American feminist organizations supported the war in Afghanistan as a war for women’s rights—never mind that Malalai Joya, a feminist and an activist in Afghanistan, has spoken about how women’s rights have taken a turn for the worse since the United States invaded Afghanistan.

In Pakistan, however, in the tribal areas where the drone attacks are happening, that has not come to the fore as a justification. You have moments of it where you see, for example, that when the school girl Malala Yousafzai attacked and shot by the Taliban, you saw that she was being used to mobilize pro-War sentiments.

In general, what you see in the triabal areas is that when women are caught and killed as part of a targeting effort by the US. So when drones kill women in the tribal areas, lots of so-called experts write that off as collateral damage, or, they say that these women, by consenting to be the wives of these militants. That is another question altogether, what makes a militant—but to the extent that women were wives to these people, they were complicit in whatever alleged crimes that these people may have committed and therefore deserved to die. So they’ve been called “Terror Mammas” and other such terms.

So, you don’t see the same kind of discourse happening in Pakistan around the saving of women. To the extent that it happens, the saving of women in other parts of Pakistan is that women in tribal areas are deemed as complicit if they end up being killed in a drone strike.

Can you talk about Malala Yousafzai and how this was treated as the question of education in Pakistan and ignored as a foreign policy issue? 

MT: It’s horrific what happened with Malala, and certainly a cause for concern. So the fact that people were able to be horrified by what happened to Malala is—in the case of Pakistanis who are written off as terrorists or open to terrorist tendencies—the fact that Pakistanis exhibited horror at Malala Yousafzai’s shooting is a testament to the fact that Pakistanis are, by and large, opposed to this form of terrorism. It’s sad to actually have to make that comment, and to have that be a political comment, but given the rhetoric in the United States around Pakistan, even saying something as basic as “most Pakistanis are not terrorists” has become a political statement.

The other thing is that we saw around Malala was a certain mobilization of sentiment around Malala to justify the war. Within Pakistan, we saw protests happening. In one case there was a photo circulated of a woman at a protest in Pakistan holding a sign that said, “Drones Kill So Malala Can Live.”

But the larger political question is: why are we so horrified by the shooting of Malala Yousafzai, but not the killings of children who are being killed by drone strikes?

Certainly we should be horrified by the Taliban shooting Malala Yousafzai, but we should equally be horrified by children being killed by drone strikes.  Those things barely make the wire service reports, never mind an entire news article on any child. We barely know their names. That’s what I find really troubling—and that’s where the politics comes out: this emotion that comes out around Malala Yousafzai is a certain kind of politics that only feels horror for a particular kind of violence and doesn’t feel horror for another kind of violence that is also killing children, and used to justify the killing of those children on the basis of shooting of another child. 

Listen to this.

 

mehreenkasana:

How Thomas Friedman Distorts Realities in Egypt, Pakistan, and India by Amith Gupta in Jadaliyya

Writers such as Gyanendra Pandey have noted that despite the systematic nature of Indian state’s violence against its Muslim minority, such violence is always deceptively depicted as an aberration, “aberration in the sense that violence is seen as something removed from the general run of Indian history: a distorted form, an exceptional moment, not the “real” history of India at all.” This is a fitting commentary on Friedman’s own whitewash of the history of India. This is, of course, not to mention India’s short stint as a dictatorship, from 1975-1977, when Indian leader Indira Gandhi declared a state of emergency, jailed political opponents, dramatically limited freedom of the press, and began a campaign of forced sterilization against the poor—following a court ruling that she had broken the law during her election. Furthermore, there is India’s declaration of war against jungle tribes within India itself: peoples that have been dispossessed and robbed of their lands, only to be massacred by helicopter gunships as they try desperately to resist. Nevertheless, Friedman somehow manages to ignore these glaring problems in favor of highlighting a token Muslim appointee as proof of Indian cosmopolitanism.

Such omissions are only the beginning of Friedman’s absurd musings. He asks if Egypt, under the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood, might become like Pakistan, opting for strict military rule and intolerance against minorities. In the process of posing and exploring the question, he makes another glaring omission: the role of the United States. In both Pakistan and Egypt, US policy has been a major determinant in the outcome of internal power struggles, especially those which concern military-civilian relations. Pakistan did not become a militarized (near-failed) state without the active intervention of the United States. A major Cold War ally against the non-aligned India, the United States backed Pakistan with billions of dollars in military aid since its founding in order to contain the alleged threat of communism. This carried over and was intensified during the Soviet invasion of neighboring Afghanistan.

The massive and unbalanced aid flow to Pakistan’s military establishment has resulted in the weakening of Pakistan’s civilian institutions, creating a nuclear military power that can and does ignore the rule of law with the blessing of heavy US support. In the process, the United States has enriched a core of Pakistani military officers who have used the billions of dollars to fund various pet projects, while preventing any serious oversight from the Pakistani civilian government. This continues even as Pakistan’s military and intelligence services back al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. There should be no doubt that the United States has underwritten the Pakistani military’s domineering, lawless hand in Pakistan’s domestic affairs so as to quell any real or alleged threats from other regional powers.

[continued]

Thank you and shukriya for proving that Friedman will always be a God damn idiot. Read this.

 
mehreenkasana:

lazybeautiful:



kateoplis:



timelightbox:



Beautiful cover photograph by Asim Hafeez of Malala Yousafzai, who topped the short list for TIME’s 2012 Person of the Year.



Perfect.



can we all just acknowledge that she’s the real person of the year?



Stop. Please.
I have to disagree with you all not because Malala isn’t an inspiration for many but because your consistent spotlight on this child is proving to be extremely dangerous for her and those who were injured along with her (but conveniently forgotten). Schoolgirls injured with Malala Yousafzai fear becoming symbol for women.
I’m Pakistani. Hear me out.
There must be a course on ethics when it comes to reporting on children in war zones. This obsession with this young girl and her rightfully strong views is proving to become detrimental for those in Swat, Pakistan. This symbolizing renders these young girls into targets.
Furthermore, you have Laura Bush - of all the people - cheering for this child. Laura Bush is the same woman who used women’s rights and feminism as an excuse to talk over Afghan and Iraqi women and to gain more (liberal) support for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. I am thoroughly disappointed to see otherwise well-to-do individuals using this cover and issue so irresponsibly. If you want to support educational programs in South Asia and the Middle East, you must stop using images and voices of children to further this cause. They become targets. More girls will be seen as “evil” because of this.
It is also extremely important to see how Malala’s case is being used to justify other forms of violence to “correct” the patriarchy in Swat. This kind of support is co-opted by imperialist forces. Jadaliyya notes: “The hawks of war have seized on Malala not only as the symbol of a cause to be championed, but also as a means of legitimizing their own policies and tactics.”
If you genuinely want Malala to be the Person of the Year, stop using her as a symbol. Work on her cause. Stop using her as a symbol of resistance; It turns her and her kind into targets for more violence.

People really, really don’t understand the gravity of such hero-worshiping. You’re placing a child on a pedestal, for fuck’s sake.

mehreenkasana:

lazybeautiful:

kateoplis:

timelightbox:

Beautiful cover photograph by Asim Hafeez of Malala Yousafzai, who topped the short list for TIME’s 2012 Person of the Year.

Perfect.

can we all just acknowledge that she’s the real person of the year?

Stop. Please.

I have to disagree with you all not because Malala isn’t an inspiration for many but because your consistent spotlight on this child is proving to be extremely dangerous for her and those who were injured along with her (but conveniently forgotten). Schoolgirls injured with Malala Yousafzai fear becoming symbol for women.

I’m Pakistani. Hear me out.

There must be a course on ethics when it comes to reporting on children in war zones. This obsession with this young girl and her rightfully strong views is proving to become detrimental for those in Swat, Pakistan. This symbolizing renders these young girls into targets.

Furthermore, you have Laura Bush - of all the people - cheering for this child. Laura Bush is the same woman who used women’s rights and feminism as an excuse to talk over Afghan and Iraqi women and to gain more (liberal) support for the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq. I am thoroughly disappointed to see otherwise well-to-do individuals using this cover and issue so irresponsibly. If you want to support educational programs in South Asia and the Middle East, you must stop using images and voices of children to further this cause. They become targets. More girls will be seen as “evil” because of this.

It is also extremely important to see how Malala’s case is being used to justify other forms of violence to “correct” the patriarchy in Swat. This kind of support is co-opted by imperialist forces. Jadaliyya notes: “The hawks of war have seized on Malala not only as the symbol of a cause to be championed, but also as a means of legitimizing their own policies and tactics.”

If you genuinely want Malala to be the Person of the Year, stop using her as a symbol. Work on her cause. Stop using her as a symbol of resistance; It turns her and her kind into targets for more violence.

People really, really don’t understand the gravity of such hero-worshiping. You’re placing a child on a pedestal, for fuck’s sake.

 
mehreenkasana:


Native Orientalists in Pakistan
The Orientalist enterprise of Western writers has received a great deal of critical attention since the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism in 1978. As Western academics have learned to bring more objectivity and empathy to their study of the Islamicate, a growing number of Muslim academics, novelists and journalists – in their home countries and the diaspora – have started looking at themselves through new Orientalist constructs that serve the interests of Western powers. This native Orientalism has existed in the past but it has grown dramatically since the launch-ing of the West’s so-called global war against terror. This essay examines the man-ner in which native Orientalists in Pakistan – writing mostly in the English language – have been supporting America’s so-called global war against terror.

Reading right now. Profound and important.

mehreenkasana:

Native Orientalists in Pakistan

The Orientalist enterprise of Western writers has received a great deal of critical attention since the publication of Edward Said’s Orientalism in 1978. As Western academics have learned to bring more objectivity and empathy to their study of the Islamicate, a growing number of Muslim academics, novelists and journalists – in their home countries and the diaspora – have started looking at themselves through new Orientalist constructs that serve the interests of Western powers. This native Orientalism has existed in the past but it has grown dramatically since the launch-ing of the West’s so-called global war against terror. This essay examines the man-ner in which native Orientalists in Pakistan – writing mostly in the English language – have been supporting America’s so-called global war against terror.

Reading right now. Profound and important.

 

Two images of India that are recognisable to people today in both Britain and the USA are those of poverty and mystery. What ‘sells’ a country like India to the West, as seen in tourism advertisements for example, is its ‘exotic culture’ in the context of its economic poverty. In her exoticism and her misery, the ‘Indian woman’ has embodied the subcontinent itself: attracting and repelling at the same time, she is as absent in the construction of her image as India has been. As Said says: “in discussions of the orient, the orient is all absence, whereas one feels the orientalist and what he [sic] says as presence”. Said’s quote is significant because, as Billie Melman has shown, although he uses examples of the construction of women in literature as descriptive illustrations of orientalist discourses, he does not incorporate an analysis of gender into his conceptual approach. Liddle and Joshi, for example, show how gender formed one of the pillars on which imperialism was built, and that the divisions of gender mediated the structure of imperialism; and Sangari and Vaid demonstrate that both the coloniser and the colonised used the image of Indian women and the notion of Indian tradition in relation to gender to contain political and cultural change in both Britain and India. Although this orientalist discourse was largely constructed by men, Western women also contributed to it.

Feminism, Imperialism and Orientalism: The Challenge of the ‘Indian Woman’

Ramusack identifies the approach of most Western feminists of the time as “maternal imperialists”, including those who supported Indian nationalism but still believed that the colonial government improved the condition of women. As Jayawardena makes clear, they saw Indian women as their special burden, and saw themselves as the agents of progress and civilisation. The subject Indian woman in a decaying colonised society was the model of everything they were struggling against and was thus the measure of Western feminists’ own progress. British feminists saw Britain as the centre of both democracy and feminism, and when they claimed political rights they also claimed the right to participate in the empire, seeing female influence as crucial for the empire’s preservation. They sought power for themselves in the imperial project, and used the opportunities and privileges of empire as a means of resisting patriarchal constraints and creating their own independence.

The truth.

(via mehreenkasana)

 

I could venture into the deep thesis of Orientalism, but let me not. A simpler explanation is because the editors at these foreign publications demand a certain style. The foreign correspondents reporting from “exotic” locations, where a “life is cheaper than the bullet that takes it”, have to conform to corporate demands. Many have internalised this style, while others let the desk editors do the Stylebook adjectivisation. Some foreign correspondents have spent enough time in Pakistan to know its nuanced life, while other “parachute journalists” use adjectives as crutches to bolster their “fact-challenged” reportage. […] The result is a colourful picture of Pakistan for the world to read. Here “moustachioed” and “turbaned” men rub shoulders with “powerbrokers in pin-striped suits”, who are always fighting a losing battle with brass-laden generals who always “swagger”. […] Yes, this is a war we fight on a daily basis. It is a war of adjectives that slash like a whip and cut like a scimitar. At the end, the poor Pakistani journalists can only look at the foreign correspondent and say with a resigned shrug: “Saala angraizy kee maar dey giya” (He vanquished me with the English language).