Archive for MSNBC

Is Child Marriage a Muslim Problem?

Posted in Feature with tags , , , , , on May 6, 2012 by loonwatch
Laxmi SargaraLaxmi Sargara, 18, holds her certificate of the annullment of her marriage outside the court Tuesday in Jodhpur, India.

Loons often attribute child marriages exclusively to Muslims, but a Unicef report says 47 percent of married women in India wed before age 18. Unicef also says 40 percent of the world’s child marriages take place in secular, Hindu-majority India.

As this map clearly shows, the practice is widespread in many parts of the world, most notably in parts of Africa:

Child Marriage Map

Disregarding anthropology (the comparative study of human societies) and eager to pin every social ill on Islam, anti-Muslim activists portray child marriage as unique to Muslim communities, and cite Islamic Law as a major obstacle to ending the practice. In fact, most Muslim-majority countries have legal age limits for marriage comparable to Western countries. According to the United Nations, in Algeria, Bangladesh, Iraq, Jordan, Malaysia, and Morocco, the legal age a female can marry is 18, and in Tunisia, it’s 20.  Most of the remaining Muslim-majority countries have ages set for females ranging from 15-17, and in all of these countries, the age for boys is either the same or slightly higher. India has also set the legal limit to age 18, but as is the case in many countries, the law is difficult to enforce, especially in rural areas, where historical, cultural, and economic factors often outweigh legal restrictions.

Akha Teej  is considered an auspicious day, when one does not have to consult any astrologer. This is the best time for marriages … Even our epics mention about child marriages. There is no harm in performing it, as the children do not live together and stay together only after attaining adulthood. ~ Priest in Rajasthan, Al Jazeera

Recently police and administration officials were injured when they were attacked by a group of villagers conducting child marriages in Rajasthan on the holy day of Akshaya Tritiya. Now a young Indian woman has won a landmark case that challenges the culture of child weddings. (h/t: Zangia)

Indian baby bride Laxmi Sargara wins annulment in landmark case

By msnbc.com staff

An Indian woman who was a baby bride has had her 17-year marriage legally annulled in a ground-breaking case challenging the culture of child weddings, Agence France Presse reported Wednesday.

Laxmi Sargara was 1 year old when she was married to a 3-year-old boy named Rakesh in the desert state of Rajasthan in northwestern India, the French news agency said. Their families decided that when they grew up they would live together and have children.

Child marriages, outlawed in India in 1929, are still common in many parts of the country, especially in rural and poorer communities, AFP said. A Unicef report says 47 percent of married women in India wed before age 18. Unicef also says 40 percent of the world’s child marriages take place in India.

“I was unhappy about the marriage,” Sargara, now 18, told AFP. “I told my parents who did not agree with me, then I sought help. Now I am mentally relaxed and my family members are also with me.”

Girls married off in infancy often remain in their parents’ homes until they reach puberty and then are taken amid great celebrations to their husbands’ families, AFP said. When Sargara just days ago discovered that she was married and would be sent to her husband’s home this week, she sought advice from social worker Kriti Bharti, who runs the children’s rights group Sarathi Trust, AFP said.

Bharti negotiated with Rakesh, the groom, who only uses one name, and both families to persuade them that the marriage was unfair, AFP reported. “It is the first example we know of a couple wed in childhood wanting the marriage to be annulled, and we hope that others take inspiration from it,” Bharti told AFP.

Rakesh, an earth-mover driver, at first wanted to press ahead with the relationship but was convinced by Sargara’s fierce opposition that the marriage should be revoked, Bharti said. The marriage was annulled through a joint legal document signed by the bride and groom and validated by a public official in Jodhpur, AFP said.

“To ensure that the girl does not face any problem in future, we decided to go for a legal agreement,” said Indu Chaupra, local director of the ministry of women and child development, told AFP.

The annulment coincided with the Akshaya Tritiya festival, a traditional date for mass child weddings. On Sunday, villagers in Rajasthan attacked and injured at least 12 government officials who tried to stop a wedding of about 40 child couples, AFP said. A recent survey found that 10 percent of girls in Rajasthan are married off before the age of 18, the BBC reported.

MSNBC: Mona Eltahawy vs. Leila Ahmed

Posted in Loon People with tags , , , , , , , on April 28, 2012 by loonwatch

FP Sex Issue

Mona Eltahawy is no doubt an engaging and well-spoken woman, and although her recent article in Foreign Policy Magazine was inflammatory and lacking in nuance, she’s raised some important issues about women’s rights in Egyptian society and the broader Arab world. Danios challenged Eltahawy’s sweeping generalizations in a feature article, Why Do They Hate Us? They Don’t.

Dr. Leila Ahmed, Harvard Divinity School’s first women’s studies professor, also challenged Eltahawy during an interview with MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry.  Eltahawy said during the interview that Dr. Ahmed is one of her personal heroes.

However, the two women don’t see eye-to-eye on some key issues. For example, Eltahawy supports a ban on the burqa, but in the summer of 2011, Dr. Ahmed wrote her own article for Foreign Policy Magazine, Veil of Ignorance, advancing the notion modern feminists had gotten it wrong when it comes to the veil:

These are just the first stirrings of a new era in the story of Islam in the West. Historically, religions undergo enormous transformations as one strain of belief and practice gains ascendancy over another. Living religions are by definition dynamic: Witness the changes that have occurred in the last decades as women have become pastors and rabbis. A similar process is now under way within Islam, as the veil, once an emblem of patriarchy, today carries multiple meanings for its American and European wearers. Often enough, it also serves as a banner and call for justice — and yes, even for women’s rights.

Some of Eltahawy’s fiercest criticism has come from Arab and Muslim women, and it’s refreshing to see the mainstream media showing opposing views. The video starts out with a thoughtful discussion between Perry and Eltahawy, and the part featuring Dr. Ahmed begins about halfway through.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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Torgerson says Rep. Ellison doesn’t see the U.S. Constitution as ‘supreme’

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by loonwatch

Torgerson says Rep. Ellison doesn’t see the U.S. Constitution as ‘supreme’

By Paul Schmelzer


MSNBC’s The Ed Show on MSNBC turned its focus on Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District race as candidate Lynne Torgerson spoke with Rev. Al Sharpton about incumbent Rep. Keith Ellison last night. The contentious back and forth centered on Torgerson’s claim that Ellison, a Muslim, doesn’t hold the U.S. Constitution “supreme” over Shariah law. Her beef: Ellison said the U.S. Constitution is the “bedrock” of American law, but didn’t say it was “supreme.”

Torgerson announced her candidacy last week on the Tea Party Nation website, where she called Ellison a “radical Islamist” who “fails to oppose banning Islamic Sharia law in the United States.”  Ellison responded, stating in an email to supporters that “Torgerson intends to run a campaign based on hate, division, and fear. Just like in 2010, we’re not going to let our opponent’s divisive rhetoric set the tone of this campaign.”

On The Ed Show, Sharpton asked Torgerson, “What evidence do you have that he’s not committed to the Constitution?”

Torgerson replied, stating that she’s “not anti-Muslim in any way, shape or form,” before going on to say, “Mr. Congressman Ellison has been long been associated with the most extremist groups around. He has close ties to CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic relations, which was a named co-conspirator to funding terrorism in the Holy Land Foundation trial—”

Sharpton interrupted her to again ask her whether she has evidence to back her claim that the congressman doesn’t hold the Constitution “supreme” or whether she’s “fearmongering and demagoguing to get votes.”

She says Ellison “refused” to answer the question, but Sharpton noted that in a clip played on the show and credited to Torgerson’s campaign Ellison answers it.

“I believe that the United States Constitution, which has been amended well over 25 times, is the bedrock of American law,” Ellison said in the clip. “This whole movement to ban Shariah — bills like this have been introduced in 22 states — in my view is a very thinly disguised effort at religious persecution of people that are Muslim.”

To that, Torgerson said, “Actually, what he said is the U.S. Constitution is the bedrock of American law. That does not answer the question of what should be supreme currently… Mr. Ellison actually evaded the question.”

Ellison’s office sent a statement to The Ed Show underscoring his stance and taking Torgerson to task for her “extreme” and “intolerant” rhetoric:

I took an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees freedom of religion for all Americans. Religious acceptance is a deeply rooted American value, and regardless of political persuasion, it’s a value we must protect.

It’s too bad that someone can obtain so much attention based on their intolerant rhetoric, especially when unemployment is above 9 percent. On the other hand,  the nation will be able to see how extreme the rhetoric has become. I call on all Americans to reject religious intolerance and embrace our constitution which upholds the promise of liberty and justice for all people.

One other question Sharpton asked: Since Ellison got 68 percent of the vote in 2010, compared to Torgerson’s nearly 4 percent, “Is 68 percent of your district radical Islamic sympathizers?”

“No sir, I wouldn’t say so,” she said. Asked why so many people voted for Ellison, she answered, “I don’t believe people yet know what his associations and his actual agenda is.”

Torgerson, who ran as an independent against Ellison in 2010, tells Roll Call that this time around she’ll be running as a Republican.

Here’s the exchange, via Chris Steller at Patch.com Fridley:

Keith Olbermann: Steven Emerson: “The Worst Person in the World”

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 27, 2010 by loonwatch

O’Reilly was the runner up for his “Muslim problem” theme, but Emerson took the cake by being a sleazy scoundrel laundering non-for profit money to his for-profit outfit. Counter terrorism sure makes you a pretty penny.

Keith Olbermann: Steven Emerson “The Worst Person in the World”
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

 

 

Daily Show and Keith Olbermann Rip Islamophobes

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon Media with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on August 17, 2010 by loonwatch

Two takes on the issues revolving on Islamic cultural center that has been dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque.” One is a very serious toned and heart felt monologue from Keith Olbermann,

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QZpT2Muxoo0&feature=player_embedded 350 300]

The other is a satirical and hard hitting segment of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show called “Mosque-erade,”

Rachel Maddow: Kagan Closer to Confirmation

Posted in Loon Media, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2010 by loonwatch

Rachel Maddow on the hysteria directed at Elena Kagan from the far right! Frank Gaffney considers Kagan an appeaser of Islam. The Washington Times ran his story accompanied with photoshopped images of Kagan in a turban.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32545640

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Frank Schaeffer Calls out Evangelical Christians who Seek the Death of Barack Obama

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on November 19, 2009 by loonwatch
Frank SchaefferFrank Schaeffer 

There is a new prayer going around in Evangelical Christian circles and beyond for President Barack Obama. It is quite controversial as it seems to be calling for his death.

In this video Rachel Maddow discusses (at 57 seconds) the issue with former Evangelical Christian leader, Frank Schaeffer.

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wo1tw6RvfM 300 250]