Thursday, August 21, 2008


I just posted a post, thought better of it and then deleted it. I don't know if that means it will still show up on feed-readery things or not. If it does, I apologize for the rant. Let me put my frustrations a bit more rationally.

I am having a difficult time adjusting to the not-so-academic setting. I didn't think that would be a problem because technically I'm working in higher education. I was wrong.

My thesis topic, my area of research and my passions lie in an area that is highly political and timely. It makes me very angry when people say that "Islam is a violent religion" or that people have heard that waterboarding has provided valuable information.

We all know I have bad dreams, so I will not pretend to be an expert on waterboarding. Researching torture methods would probably fall right along the lines of the genocide class- BAD IDEA. But I do know that anyone who is truly looking will have a difficult time finding good sources saying that waterboarding is a good method of obtaining reliable information.

This is not information that Ranger Man gave me when he should have, or for that matter than anyone told me who shouldn't have. This is me knowing how to do research. Cursory research even. And anyone who knows Ranger Man will tell you that the idea of him divulging information that he shouldn't is at the very least laughable, if not downright hilarious.

Islam is not a violent religion. Repeat that. Say it out loud and internalize it. Islam is NOT a violent religion. Are there violent interpretations of it? yes. Are there violent interpretations of Christianity too? Absolutely (Can you say Spanish Inquisition?) . Do not condemn an entire religion due to the actions of a few. Learn about Islam, learn about Arab culture. It is beautiful and it is fascinating. Even the bad parts that aren't beautiful are still fascinating. ESPECIALLY don't sit opposite me and tell me that the 'lay person' doesn't know about Islam. Take some time, learn about the 'enemy.' You'll find that it isn't Muslims.

I am missing the academic environment- of true learning and acceptance. I am missing the fact that 'evidence' and 'research' should be vetted, and I am missing true academic conversations.

1 comment:

Jenna said...

One of the most interesting books i have read recently is "The World is Flat" By Thomas Freidman and I know he is an economist so he thinks everythign is about money, BUT one of the really interesting arguments he makes is how many Indian Muslims there are how how they are not violent at all. He talks about how difficult it is to start a business and maintain ownership and have accountability (electricity going out, not having the resources etc etc) in the middle east as a region. His theory is that there is no "good" outlet for young (men in particular) people's education and creativity and unless they want to move to Europe or the US, their opportunities for business are limited. I don't know much about this stuff, but I really liked the book.