Aesop's story might be a good one to teach at New York Police Department trainings, instead of infecting unsuspecting officers with a pernicious fear of Islam and Muslims. The active participation of Police Commissioner Kelly and his Public Affairs Officer Paul Browne in the creation and promotion of an anti-Muslim film has led Muslim New Yorkers to deep disappointment, skepticism and mistrust. They are now calling for the two to resign.
And Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, one of two Muslim members of Congress, was brought to tears during a Congressional hearing in March while describing how the man, a Pakistani-American from Queens, had wrongly been suspected of involvement in the attacks, before he was lionized as a young police cadet who had died trying to save lives.
Despite this history, Mohammad Salman Hamdani is nowhere to be found in the long list of fallen first responders at the National September 11 Memorial in Lower Manhattan.
Inside, though, this Dairy Queen seems different from the 5,000 others lighting up the country’s summer nights. It has the standard freezer filled with Dilly Bars, and the black-and-white photographs evoking a past that includes the first Dairy Queen, in prison-centric Joliet, Ill., in 1940. But plaques and letters and children’s handwritten notes cover nearly every inch of available wall, all praising someone clearly without Pennsylvania Dutch roots; someone named Hamid.
By 7:30, Ms. Osei had taken her place in her thronelike office chair — she is the president of Napasei Taxi Management Corporation, after all — while Mr. Osei, who is vice president, took a more modest seat nearby. Then they prepared for the next 12 hours of fighting parking tickets, getting taxis inspected and helping drivers who came in to pick up their cash.
But the Oseis call this grueling schedule a vacation compared with the real holiday they have ahead. On Wednesday, when they board a flight to Ghana, their roles will suddenly and drastically shift. As they cross the Atlantic Ocean, Mr. Osei will become Nana Gyensare V, a chief of the Akwamu people, who oversees the residents of five towns across the Eastern Region.
After arriving in Accra, the capital of Ghana, he will don a delicate gold crown, take a seat on his throne or stool and work 20-hour days out of his 10-room palace. Rather than focus on taxi tune-ups and inspections, Mr. Osei will assume judicial and other powers, like mediating family disputes. Ms. Osei, who is happiest talking about chassis and alternators, will have to fulfill the responsibilities of a chief’s wife by running women’s groups in each town and helping with preparations for a 1,000-person banquet in September, at which Mr. Osei will bless the yam harvest. Residents are waiting to eat the yams until after Nana Gyensare’s arrival.
Like many gay Iranians, Hamid was pressured by his parents to marry a woman based on prevailing traditions in Iran. But knowing he was a gay man, he and his wife divorced, and he was soon kidnapped by local authorities because of his appearance and beaten half to death in his home. "A man with long hair is not a man," he was told by an officer of the basij, the Iranian security force. "...Of course [your wife] would divorce you."
As an anthropologist, I find the connection that Berlusconi and his team propose between Muslims and Gypsies very interesting. Italy has been rebuked by the European Union for the intolerable condition in which Gypsies (many of whom have been Italian citizens for centuries) are left, and the lack of religious spaces for minorities in the country, with the paradoxical situation that the Catholic Church supports the construction of mosques. But the similarities end there: Gypsies in Italy tend to be Catholic or are Muslims in they own way, and the number of mosques (there are only three ‘official’ ones in all Italy) as well as the ‘unofficial’ garage-based prayer spaces (likely no more than 750 in all Italy) cannot be compared with the larger number of Gypsy camps.
Readers who may not know much about the political situation in remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, still know, based on images they see on television, that the situation of women is disastrous. Three Cups of Tea reaffirmed that message, and provided a savior in the form of Mortenson. But what about women’s organizations in Pakistan and Afghanistan? Why are they not part of this picture of empowerment of women? These questions are not directly addressed in these kinds of discussions, because, by definition it seems, Afghan and Pakistani women are victims, and not actors in their own lives; they are in need of help from the outside. [From Greg Mortenson and the Business of Redemption]