Fanaticism

1. Summary of Take the honour out of killing.
In this text, the author Fareena Alam attempts to give the reader insight into a world of religious fanaticism, where arranged marriages, honour killings and genital mutilation of women are facts of life, brutal acts which are happening increasingly more often in the Western part of the world. Fareena Alam warns the reader of the danger of misinterpreting these brutal acts, which mainly affects women, as a part of Islam, and that the problems are actually common in a lot of other religions. We are given the example of Anita Hindha, a 22 year old woman who was strangled to death in front of her 19-month-old son for renouncing the Indian religion Sikhism.

To cope with these threats, many women seek help and some are even given new identities, but as Fareena Alam points out, the police feel unable to properly root up the problem in fear of being accused of racism and Islamophobia.

2. Outline of attitudes to fanaticism
Fareena Alam, the author of Take the honour out of killing, describes the general attitude towards fanaticism as a mixture of fear, anger and lack of understanding. Many young people belonging to the new generation of British Muslims are simply terrified at the thought of their own family turning against them, should they act against the religion of which rules and laws their parents and siblings may fanatically follow.

To find the source of the fanatic beliefs, one would probably have to look at the original immigrants and perhaps even the communities they once belonged to. Such a community would carry out brutal acts, but saw them as necessary to uphold or strengthen the reputation and honour of a family. The problem, as Fareena Alam describes it, is that in many cases new immigrants managed to create similar communities in the countries they immigrated to, effectively making sure that the future generations would follow the rules as well.

In Phil Long’s article Abortion doctor’s killer has no regrets, we’re given some thoughts of a religious fanatic called Paul Hill, who murdered an abortion doctor and his driver as an act of retribution for killing unborn children. Paul Hill’s attitude regarding the murders is that he believes that he was carrying out the will of God, and that he has no problems with his conscience as he believes he saved many more lives than he took, by causing many abortion providers to consider quitting their practice.

In John Hind’s Constant cravings we read that the attitude towards Tamara Chrilly’s fanatic addiction to texting is entirely different compared to the previous examples of religious fanaticism. Sure, some people might find it odd and a tad alien, but the general attitude is that addiction is a far more common form of fanaticism and while a strong addiction might not always be accepted in a community, it’s still generally accepted that everyone is addicted to something, and if you’re going to be fanatic about something, it might as well be about texting, rather than religion.

3. Comments on statement
The statement “In the 2st century maybe most of us are – or will become – ‘addicts’ and it’s just a matter of degree.” is quoted from John Hind’s article Constant cravings, which describes Tamara Chrilly’s addiction to texting. I believe it is true that all of us are addicted to something, be it habits, rituals, people or objects, though I suppose that by addiction, John Hind means strong addiction as described in the example with Tamara Chrilly. It’s hard to put a finger on what defines a strong addiction, because one could argue that all humans share some basic addictions, such as a need for sleep, food, water and the freedom to express opinions and feelings. If a person is deprived of one of those things for a long time, there is no question about the fact that the person would start to appear fanatical and hysterical. Based on this, I assume that fanaticism is closely related to addiction as John Hind, perhaps unintentionally, points out in his article.

If a Muslim family develops a strong addiction to upholding the rules and laws of Islam, or perhaps an addiction to the pride and honour in doing so, then it’s, in my opinion, likely that they will appear fanatical and radical should their source of pride and honour be weakened or lost.

4. Article for teen magazine
In Western culture, it’s hard to imagine being forced to wed someone you don’t even know. Yet, it is happening all around us and to those we might consider well-integrated in our society. Can you imagine being told by your parents that they have your whole life set in stone? That something as simple as love is not allowed, because it will only make it harder to live with someone you don’t even know? Sadly, this is the harsh reality of many young immigrants and children of immigrants.

In the original communities, arranged marriages have long been a necessity to ensure healthy relations between families. It could be used as a sign of truce or even as a gift to another family. Can you imagine having your parents offer you as a gift to another family, that by some odd chance you were to marry an incompetent and ugly slob just because your parents wanted to get in better standing with another family? If you follow the news, you can also see what might happen if you decide to make a run for it. Surely we can’t allow this in our society! Make a stand, spread the word and don’t let this happen to your friends.

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Fanaticism 9.7 of 10 on the basis of 2759 Review.