Islam, Women and Middle Eastern Media

The Middle Eastern media pushes an image of a united Muslim community which is against Western influence in the area as being the dominant identity of Islam; yet reporting by Arab and other regional media reflects the fractured nature of the religion. There are four main issues to assess when looking at representations of Islam; the representation of women, extremism, sectarianism, and of course the “Muslim Street”.

I am using the news media as the basis for this discussion.

An identity crisis has been gradually developing between Sunni and Shia Muslims, which becomes evident through reporting on the sectarian warfare in Iraq and other conflicts zones. As is the case here in the West, there is always a level of focus upon extremist Islam in the Middle Eastern media. Continue reading Islam, Women and Middle Eastern Media

An Inconvenient Truth

What a name and what a book (haven’t seen the film yet). As some readers may know I have been on a holiday on the other side of Australia (the beautiful Gold Coast) for two weeks (got back Saturday night shortly before midnight). Before we left I spotted Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” in book form at the airport book-shop. I picked it up, flipped through and bought it. There was no iffing or butting about it. The book is an invaluable source of information with a level insight and research I have rarely seen in any discussion of Global Warming.

The book also has a personal “Al Gore” touch to it- relating the experiences of Al Gore and his family to attitudes about environment, human interaction and global changes. It’s amazing how an event involving a person or people close to you can cause an emotion or realisation which has across-the-board impacts on your life views. Al Gore describes how situations in his life have brought him to appreciate and understand the environment more, to fear losing places and a lifestyle dear to his heart, to want and be able to make a difference all of his own in the fight against global warming.

After winning Presidency and then losing it again during the Florida votes scandal, Al Gore did not relegate the rest of his years to fighting against the Bush family, republicans or any other personal vendetta. He asked himself (my interpretation) “Well, What CAN I do now?” Continue reading An Inconvenient Truth