Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto dead

Why does it seem like something tragic is always happening just before or after Christmas every year?

The murder/assassination of Benazir Bhutto today in Pakistan is tragic but hardly surprising in my mind. From the time she returned to Pakistan a few months ago she has been in danger. It started just after she landed in Pakistan when militants tried to blow up her car in a procession. An attempt that killed over 160 persons but failed to harm Bhutto.

This time they got her though. Shot through the neck and then a bomb. I guess they weren't taking any chances.

This comes at a time when the country prepares for general elections on January 8th with Bhutto having been one of the main opposition leaders trying to wrest control from current leader and some might say dictator Musharraf. Her death is sure to throw the whole country into an uproar.

Last week Bhutto spoke out on the religious schools in her country which she claimed were making killers out of children. I'm sure this probably didn't go down well with some of the radical elements in her country. Bad enough that a politician is making those statements, bad enough that the politician is seen as pro-US and pro-western but even worse that its a female politician probably.

Got to wonder why Bhutto who previously held the presidency only to be forced into exile returned to her homeland in the hopes of regaining power. She was literally marked for death from the get go so was it bravery, stupidity, idealism or hunger for power that made her put her life in jeopardy for a chance to lead a country with such a fragile stability?

Whatever it was it cost her her life. RIP.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry Christmas

Wishing all of my readers and fellow bloggers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. In case you want something more to read check out my Ol Time Christmas post from two years ago. Blessings!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

More than Culture

I kno mi roots n culture (murderer!)
Shabba Ranks - Roots n Culture

The facts are this: A Mississauga father strangled his 16 year old daughter Aqsa Parvez to death last week. The media pounced on the story because the two had apparently been arguing over whether the Muslim girl should wear her hijab or not.

It became a story not about domestic violence or child abuse but rather a story about how
cultures clash or how some immigrants can't integrate into western society or basically those evil Muslims.

I tend to disagree somewhat with the media's coverage.

To me, assuming that the hijab was part of the issue since I've read other stories that say it was just a fraction of what the arguing was about, its more a story of a child who challenged her parent's rules and a parent whose reaction to that challenge got out of hand. There was a cultural aspect because of what they were allegedly fighting about but this story could have played out exactly the same way in other cultures or religious families.

So to me I just see the media's reporting as sensationalizing the story to get us to fall for that "evil Muslim" or that look how different these immigrants are from us angle that they would like us to always believe.

Yes the killing was unique because a Western raised non-Muslim would probably not be killed by a parent over a hijab but he/she might have been killed or attacked over dating someone from what was perceived as the wrong ethnicity or race, over wearing something that the parent considered improper or even not wanting to follow the parents religious beliefs. It has happened before, it will happen again. Its the same thing just no hijab involved.

The problem is that our society likes to categorize incidents involving minorities. One drug dealer of black or Caribbean descent becomes all black men sell weed and carry guns and are in general dangerous. One Muslim father who went way too far in disciplining his child becomes look at these Islamic folk. See how they behave and why cant they just assimilate to the dominant culture. Its a reinforcement of the fear of the unknown and the different. Different means scary in these parts and these stories reinforce this.

Somehow the positives never get distributed that evenly do they?

To be honest when I first heard the story my thoughts were look how teenage rebellion can go wrong. Look how she play she disobeying the old man and the man get ig'rant and kill she just so.

Teenagers can get on your last damn nerve regardless of their culture and some parents do see red when they think that their child is disobeying some fundamental tenet of their law. As a West Indian I've heard plenty of stories of parents who would throw at or lash their kids with whatever was handy including shoes, clothes irons etc if the kid disobeyed them or as we would say in Barbados "feel dat duh big" or "get too big for he/she boots".

I'm not saying that's right I'm just saying that is/was how it was. I've head similar stories from other cultures.

The facts are parents need to discipline kids. They don't need to throw stuff at them or choke them to death or indeed get violent to do it but they need to exert strong discipline. Everyone does this differently and sometimes stuff gets out of hand as it apparently did with Asqa and her dad. Don't get me wrong its a dreadful story and her father deserves full punishment because parents should protect their children not kill them.

But its a story that's not unique to any culture or religion as some media outlets would have you believe. No need for cultural or religious labels this is simply a tragedy.

Rest in Peace Aqsa. What a sad way to go.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Church Shooting

I guess one isn't safe anywhere these days.

I'm referring to the folk who were killed in a church in Colorado yesterday.

What I find interesting though is that the gunman was shot by a security guard at the church. (OK disclaimer I really haven't followed all the info on this incident particularly closely so forgive me if I'm wrong but the reports said the gunman was shot by church security.)

Whoa! Hold up! Did I miss something? Since when Church had security guards? I neva been to church with security guards have you? I mean I know earlier this year I mek joke about fete church but security at church? Armed security at church! Fa real?

Blouse n skirt!

Church must really turn into bashment. Wha kinda rowdiness a gwan at church that dem need security guard. OK so it did come in handy this one time but church shootings are not a norm are they? I reminded of that Shaggy's recent Church Heathen song. Maybe next we will see dress code at church. Actually hmmm that might not be such a bad idea. Make it so number one.

I'll leave it there though and not make any comments about these watered down mega churches and their self-help Tony Robbins style sermons.

All I have to say is things ruff when church have armed security. Wow!