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UK’s first course in women, Islam and the media launched

19 January 2012 General 11 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

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University of East Anglia degree module will cover topics including veil wearing, ‘honour’ crimes and arranged marriages.

Women, Islam and the media are topics often found in close conjunction, and not always in the happiest of circumstances. So in a canny move, the University of East Anglia (UEA), which often gives better-known institutions a run for their money in terms of column inches, has developed a course entitled exactly that.

The 12-week module, which the university claims is the first of its kind in the UK, will cover the often inflammatory topics of veil wearing, arranged marriage and “honour” crimes – looking at how they are portrayed in contemporary film, TV and other media, and how this reflects cultural biases in both the east and west.

It launches this week and 18 third-year students have enrolled. Roughly equal numbers of men and women have signed up.

The course was developed by Dr Eylem Atakav, a graduate of Ankara University and lecturer at UEA. “Lots of people have written about women and Islam, lots of people have written about Islam and media or women and media, but they haven’t been brought together before,” she said.

Atakav said the course would be an important way of changing perceptions of Islam. Study materials include films and TV programmes from around the world, including Iran, the US, Turkey and China. “We will look at how the media talk about ‘honour’-based violence, for example. If it’s a Middle Eastern woman who happens also to be a Muslim woman it’s called an ‘honour crime’. But if it’s a British woman who was killed because her husband was jealous because she was having an affair with another man, it’s called murder.

“These crimes happen everywhere in the world, it’s not just a Muslim, or just a Middle Eastern thing.”

Journalist and broadcaster Nabila Ramdani agrees there is a need to challenge stereotypes. “The media caricatures [Muslim women]. It is the same kind of media treatment which sees Muslim men portrayed as swarthy types with beards or – at worst – potential terrorists,” she said.

Atakav said the course had added relevance in the light of the Arab spring and new forms of political activism by women.

This week Germany‘s first university department of Islamic theology opened in the city of Tübingen. Three further institutions are planned across the country, designed to train future imams and teachers. Germany’s education minister, Annette Schavan, hailed the scheme as an antidote to “hate preachers”, according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur. Thirty-six students have enrolled for bachelor degrees.

Original post: UK’s first course in women, Islam and the media launched

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11 Comments »

  1. but those are all things that take place in islamic countires. What are you upset about that your people do these things or that somebody is teaching about them

  2. but those are all things that take place in islamic countires. What are you upset about that your people do these things or that somebody is teaching about them

  3. What is upsetting are things like honour killings and arranged marriages have a horrible stigma to them; yet, to my knowledge, are NOT a fundamental park of Islam

  4. WARNING! This is not a joke!Carry on reading!Or you will die, even if you only looked at the word warning!

    Once there was a little girl named clarissa, she was ten-years-old and she lived in a mental hospital, beacause she killed her mom and dad. She got so bad she went to kill all the staff in the hospital so the government decided that the best idea was to get rid of her so they set up a special room to kill her, soon as possible but it went wrong, the machine they were using went wrong. And she sat there in agony for hours until she finally died. Now every week on the day of her death she returns to the person that reads this letter, on a monday night at 12:00a.m. she creeps into your room and kills you slowly, by cutting you and watching you bleed to death.

    Now send this to ten other people or she will haunt someone else who doesn’t pass this on like you did. And forget about you. Example 1: Jenny didn’t believe this and deleted it without even reading the whole thing! A few days later on the Monday night, she was woken up by loud footsteps and heavy breathing, there wass Clarissa standing there with a huge knife and well Jenny is history

  5. There is more to Muslim women than veil wearing, honor crimes and arranged marriages. If you want to learn about women in Islam, you have to learn the good side and the bad side. I am not against these things, because they do occur, but that is NOT what shapes Muslim woman.

  6. Honor killings is NOT Islamic! Honor killings IS Cultural! Arranged forced marriages is NOT Islamic for men and women. Arranged marriages where both man and woman agree now that IS Islamic.

  7. Isn’t hijab a choice?

  8. Did any of you actually read the article??

  9. 1. Arranged marriages are not a part of Islam, rather it is cultural tradition which many non-Islamic cultures have.
    2. Honoring Killing: was actually one of the first things forbidden in Islam but again it is culture. In an Islamic society only authorities have the right to punish not anybody else.
    3. Most Islamic scholars agree that Hijab (the hair and head covering) is obligation. The niqab (borqa) is a choice.
    Please feel free to ask any questions.

  10. 1. Arranged marriages are not a part of Islam, rather it is cultural tradition which many non-Islamic cultures have.
    2. Honoring Killing: was actually one of the first things forbidden in Islam but again it is culture. In an Islamic society only authorities have the right to punish not anybody else.
    3. Most Islamic scholars agree that Hijab (the hair and head covering) is obligation. The niqab (borqa) is a choice.
    Please feel free to ask any questions.

  11. Michael wadley
    No not really, they happen there but in every other country by plenty of religions. A christian kills someone, “man kills person” muslim kills someone “terrorist involved in jihadist killing spree” it happens everywhere, but when a muslim does it its a special case. And if you fully read the article, youd see that were ok with this because its finally teaching that its not ok to do an honor killing or arrange marriages etc.
    Sarah marie strickland
    It is.

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