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Tuesday, July 07, 2015
The Associated Press article "Soap opera shakes customs of Arab married life" (July 28) was a nice change from the usual stories that only show Muslims in the context of political oppression and warfare.
It's great to read an article that humanizes Muslims especially through a subject that anyone anywhere can relate to, TV.
Unfortunately, the article is still guilty of conveying gross generalizations of Arab and Muslim people. It suggests that Islam doesn't condone equal rights for husbands and wives.
The article states:
"Noor delivers an idealized portrayal of modern married life as equal partnership; clashing with the norms of traditional Middle Eastern societies... Many are still confined to the role of wife and mother."
This is a simplification rooted in stereotypes of Muslim people.
In most Middle Eastern and Muslim societies, women do in fact go to work and husbands do help with the housework and child rearing.
The article presents one billion people as being a monolith. These so-called "traditional Middle Eastern societies" are complex and multilayered. They have also significantly modernized along with the rest of the world.
The un-Islamic aspect of the soap is not an equal relationship but the occurrences of premarital relations, abortions and alcohol consumption which are forbidden in Islam.
I hope that the Daily Herald will recognize its responsibility to portray all people fairly and accurately.