We are now 2 chapters into the story of Changez, the American and the Reluctant Fundamentalist. And I am now going to comment on certain points about this book.
The impression of the story so far is that it is a little weird. In the beginning, I didn’t understand what was happening. And I still don’t understand all of it, but I am trying to read it more than one time if I don’t understand. What I like about the book is how different it is from other books I have read. The thing I disliked is the author’s way of writing, I still don’t understand who’s talking in the book, like is the American talking now or Changez?
Changez is from Pakistan and is very religious, and the group he is traveling with are very different. They are huge money spenders, talks about beaches and alcohol a lot and disrespect the elders. And the way Erica goes topless at the beach attracts his glaze, and it makes him a little bit uncomfortable. But he didn’t say he didn’t like that because he was attracted to Erica. He was so in love with Erica that he wanted to not describe her as the rest of the group because she actually seemed to understand and talk to him. But, his opinion on them is that they are so different from them that he in a way distance himself from them. “But you told us”, they would say to Greeks twice their age, before insisting things be done their way. He called them Europeans, he made a difference between them.
When Erica asked how Pakistan is like, he said that was many things, from seaside to desert to farmland stretched between rivers and canals. He told her that the valleys were higher than the tops of the Alps. He said that alcohol was illegal for Muslims to buy, so he had a Christian bootlegger who delivered booze to his house.
When Changez said that he wants to be “the dictator of an Islamic republic with nuclear capability”, the group was shocked. He explained that he was joking. He just tried to enlighten the mood a little with a joke. Changez was just joking with a little bit of self-irony, or he might actually have meant it. He killed the mood because in the text it said that “Erica alone smiled; she seemed to understand my sense of humor”. The rest of the group went silent, but Erica continued and the mood went back to normal because she attracted the attention to herself.
So I have mixed feelings about the book. But I have only read 2 chapters so far, maybe it will get better or I will hate it. We’ll see because I have to read the rest of the book as well.
The indigenous peoples of Canada claim that they are excluded from the mosaic of multicultural Canada. When the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, addressed a meeting of chiefs from the Assembly of First Nations in December 2015, he announced a complete renewal of Canada’s relationship with its indigenous population. I am going to answer task 8, that I got in my English class.
a) Write a summary of it:
Justin Trudeau’s speech started with him saying hello in very many different languages and stopped after a few. But he said he could have said 60 more, but he had only 20 minutes. So, he started talking about the reason for this meeting, that was for the indigenous people to feel like they are a part of multicultural Canada. And that’s why he talked a lot about the new relationship between them. He also talked about better protection for indigenous women/girls, because many of them were killed or disappeared. He talked about a better educational system for them and more funding. And everyone seemed quite pleased with the new proclamations.
b) Find information on this issue and on the inquiry and produce a fact file about it:
Since Justin Trudeau made this issue a priority in 2015, the problem had to be very big. So, let’s find facts about how many people who were missing. The minister for the status of women has proclaimed that the numbers of women missing were over 4000. And the police estimated around 1200. But the numbers are very unclear, the lack of data made it almost impossible to reach an accurate figure but, 4000 could be correct, according to the history of police underreporting murders or failing to investigate suspicious deaths. After the Assembly of the First Nations the prime minister have tried to fix this problem, of course, you can’t bring them back he said. The victims deserve justice, their families an opportunity to heal and to be heard. He proclaimed that we should work together and put an end to this. But soon after Justin Trudeau’s speech, they felt like the government already failed them. In December 2016, the Native Women’s Association of Canada said that the commission fails to keep families informed of its progress. Two years in he’s not doing enough to help. Canada’s national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women have been hit by resignations and complaints it is progressing too slowly. Pamela Palmater, a Mi‘kmaq lawyer, and the professor said she would rather see action than a speech. “Some of his words were exceptionally powerful (and) would give a lot of hope to a lot of people in Canada, but he falls down every time when it comes to substantive action,” Palmater said. He is a media darling, he is not good at following through with his word but he has a pretty face.
In 2012, the former Prime Minister of Great Britain, David Cameron, held a famous speech on Multiculturism. I am now supposed to present the basic ideas of the speech, comment on the speaker’s attitude and way of presenting his ideas to the audience. I am also going to discuss on if Non-violent extremists are just as dangerous as violent ones.
So the theme of the speech he held was obviously about terrorism, and the idea of the speech was to make people realize that the Islamic religion is not the extremist and terrorist. He said that we can’t mix religion and political ideas together because they are two totally different things. Of course, we want to blame the terrorism on someone, but blaming a whole religion does not work. The terrorism is all based on political ideology and on people who go to the extreme to express their thoughts. He repeated the same point throughout the whole speech to make it clear that we should not distinguish Islam and terrorist as the same thing. He wouldn’t have repeated this if he didn’t want this to actually be remembered. Because when a great leader makes a speech you often repeat what you think is the most important.
I felt that David Cameron had the attitude of a believer in his speech, he wants to believe in change and he was open-minded in his speech. Many leaders/prime ministers want to blame other countries for the terrible things that are happening. But he wanted to tell the world the reason behind terrorism, that religion should not be involved and that anyone in any country could become a terrorist.
The way he presented his ideas to the audience were great I thought. He started the whole speech with humor, wanting to get the attention of everybody in the room. Then he started getting down to business once he got the attention of everybody. The structure and the way he talked about different thing were all great. He was formal and serious, and he talked so everybody could feel included in his thoughts. He made suggestions and cleared up thoughtS people were probably thinking. Altogether he presented his ideas in a positive and good way for everybody to understand.
He also made a point in this speech about identity. How many Muslim men living in another country often get confused over their own identity. Because many of them often feel that they are not welcome or that they don’t fit in. They get vulnerable and that is where the Non-violent extremist shine. They usually influence them to do bad stuff for them. So that is very dangerous. Many people are vulnerable when they try to build up their own identity and if you stumble upon the wrong influence you might help these dangerous Non-violent extremists actually do something violent trough someone else. And that makes them just as dangerous as the violent ones.
To sum up, David Cameron’s speech made a huge impression even to this day, because it has become more and more relevant than ever before. And he tried to reach out to the people telling them about the difference in a religion and in a political ideology. But lastly, he wanted them to remember that they should confront terrorism now because this was a “challenge we can not avoid”.
These last weeks we have worked with different texts/stories about the multicultural topic. Now we are supposed to express our thoughts. I am supposed to choose the one text/story I liked the most. In total we have read:
- My son the fanatic
- Free for all
- One of my best friends
- Grand Torino (I did not watch the movie)
- A letter of explanation.
Out of all these texts/stories, I think “a letter of explanation” was the best. And the reason behind why this is my favorite is that he is a gay Muslim man. And we don’t often get to hear about gay men in a religion that is strict about sexuality.
This story is about a man named Mushin who is a grandson of an Imam in Waterloo Road Lansdowne. He is raised to be a good Muslim by his parents but as he grows he struggles with more than just being lefthanded in this righthanded Islam community. He struggles with his sexual orientation. Because he is gay! As the years go by he tries to conceal it and focus on his religion. At one point he marries a girl because he thought he could change, the girl could probably make him straight, but he soon realized that he didn’t love her and they divorced. After his divorce, he went to a farm for seclusion. A miracle happened and he finally came out of the closet. Because God would accept him for who he is. He told his mom, and after time she accepted him for who he was and he founded the Inner Circle to help other people come out about their sexuality.
The text has taught me a lot about the struggles of religion and societies. Being multicultural can have good and bad sides, but mostly good I think. Because when you understand someone who is the complete opposite and respect them, you can make the multicultural society works. And it taught me that you should try to understand others so that we could continue to make multiculturalism work. And even though multiculturalism works they may have some struggles with adapting to the society and the laws. We see that religion might affect you a lot, but we can make it work, just like Mushin in “A letter of explanation”. But lastly, it taught me that multiculturalism is all around.