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Text-based Writing

Aufgaben
Download als Dokument:PDF
You are a member of an international youth organization committed to promoting the integration of immigrants. Therefore you keep track of publications on the topic. You have come across the following article (M1) and cartoon (M2).
You are a member of an international youth organization committed to promoting the integration of immigrants. Therefore you keep track of publications on the topic. You have come across the following article (M1) and cartoon (M2).

Assignments

1.
Reading Comprehension
In preparation for your task, you read the article “Celebrating Eid: ‘As a conflicted Muslim, this doesn’t come easily’” (M1) and work on the task.
2.
Analysis
Analyze the cartoon Mind the Gap (M2). Write about 250 words (+/- 10%).
3.
Comment
Choose one of the following tasks. Write about 400 words (+/- 10%).
A: Write an article for the organization’s online magazine, in which you discuss to what extent Western societies and their Muslim immigrants have already been successful in ‘closing the gap’ between their cultures. Briefly refer to your resource materials (M1 and M2) as well as EITHER A Pair of Jeans OR My Son the Fanatic.
OR
B: Fahima Haque's article “Celebrating Eid: ‘As a conflicted Muslim, this doesn't come easily’” has made you think about her situation. Write a personal letter to the author in reply to her article and reflect on the gap between young second-generation immigrant Muslims and their parents. Express empathy for their situation and recommend Fahima Haque to read A Pair of Jeans. Refer to the article (M1) as well as A Pair of Jeans.
#letter#article#apairofjeans

Resource Materials

Material 1
Celebrating Eid: 'As a conflicted Muslim, this day doesn't come easily'
Fahima Haque, The Guardian
At the end of a Ramadan marred by violence, Fahima Haque reflects on how her relationship with Islam has shifted from active rejection to thoughtful resilience.
Growing up, whenever a classmate would shout “fucking Hindu” at me, I was devastated. It felt like no one could see me, that all they could see was yet another brown person. I was lumped into some incorrect category driven by ignorance. Then, September 11 happened and I realized how different it was to be the subject of active hate.
As far as insults went, “Hindu” was inaccurate and ignorant. But being asked if my family were terrorists or being told to “go back to where I came from” cut right through me.
And so as Ramadan ends and Muslims across the world joyously celebrate Eid Al-Fitr with feasting and presents, I am grappling with the faith I was raised with.
My parents are devout, and it became clear to me as a child that straying from Islam was not an option. There was no exploratory period of what Allah meant, what other religions meant, or what not believing in a higher power could mean. It was suffocating and with every surah I memorized, I felt more stifled. Did I really want to be Muslim? Would I be more enamored with another religion? I wanted a chance to find out for myself, but doing so was out of the question.
As I got older, I had more and more reservations about Islam. Things like not being able to wear shorts when my brother could, to knowing women in a Muslim nation like Saudi Arabia still can’t go anywhere without a chaperone were very hard to reconcile with my budding sense of myself as a feminist.
So, as a teenager, I adopted the age-old liberal trick of disavowing religion; because religion is for the ignorant and narrow-minded. I knew enough to know that the sky is blue because of scattering light and tiny molecules, not merely because Allah said so. In college, I avoided telling people I was raised Muslim. I didn’t observe Ramadan, and the prayer rug my mother so lovingly packed for me gathered dust in the back of my closet as I finally wore what I wanted freely for the first time.
While I can now honestly say I never really stopped believing in God, I definitely tried. I publicly called myself an atheist and smirked at those who needed religion, but secretly I never abandoned simple rituals like saying a short prayer before eating or absentmindedly asking a higher power for guidance when lost.
But that all changed because of Isis. Islam needs real allies in in the face of such barbaric acts like those we have seen in Orlando or my family’s home country or Turkey or Iraq or Saudi Arabia. So, within the last five years I started to double down on Islam. I am the one now initiating discussions on Islam and its role in politics, race and feminism in my social circles. I am no longer ashamed to say “Yes, I am Muslim” but “No, I probably will never wear a niqab and yes, I too have a lot of questions myself”. By having such frank discussions, I had to admit to myself that being a Muslim was ingrained for me and I could never abandon it – but I did have to find a way to practice.
Like any other religion, there is a spectrum of belief for Muslims. I never had progressive Muslim role models growing up, but that’s changing. People are speaking up, using their experiences to rally on behalf of inclusion, that really helped me see how identifying as a Muslim was not mutually exclusive with me being an American, a liberal or feminist. People like Hasan Minhaj poignantly talking about being different in his one-man show, London mayor Sadiq Khan’s delightfully frank essay on fasting, queer Muslim photographer Samra Habib sharing the stories of other LGBT[1] Muslims, Muslim American teens in New York City coping with identity and books like Love InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women are refreshing and inspiring. The Muslim experience is no longer a monolith.
When you’ve spent most of your life as a confused Muslim, days like Eid don’t come easily. I don’t have many Muslim friends, despite growing up in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood in Queens, and my family never really spent it as a cohesive unit mainly because getting the day off from work or school wasn’t a guarantee.
So for me celebrating Eid has become a sort of political act. My attitude towards celebrating has changed now that my six nieces and nephews are older. Their version of Islam can be full of merriment and acceptance. In fact, this Eid I will be at my brother’s home with his white, American wife and their newborn son, and I can’t think of a more inclusive way to celebrate.
With every terrifying terrorist attack that is being wrongfully blamed on Islam, Muslims across the world understand Aziz Ansari’s fearing for his family’s safety or comedian Dean Obeidallah’s feeling of immediate, internal turmoil that happens whenever there’s a terrorist attack. And I can’t do much to stop any of that.
But what I can do, is celebrate Eid with courage and show by example what it means to be Muslim – as varied and complicated as it is to be human.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/06/ramadan-eid-al-fitr-islam-muslim-identity

Annotations:
[1] LGBT: abbreviation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender

Task: Reading Comprehension

Tick the correct option a, b, c, or d. There is only one correct option.
1.
What affected Fahima most about the bullying at school was that classmates
called her religious.
completely ignored her.
used terrible swearwords.
failed to recognize her identity.
2.
After 9/11 the abuse was worse because
her family had been in the attack.
she was subjected to physical violence.
she could not go back to her homeland.
she was confronted with increased hostility.
3.
The main reason why Fahima was unhappy when growing up was that she
was not allowed to go out.
had to learn Qur’an chapters by heart.
had been born into a very religious family.
was not allowed to find her religious identity.
4.
Fahima’s reaction to her parents’ upbringing was to
look down on religion.
completely abandon her faith.
openly revolt against her parents.
focus on science subjects at college.
5.
With the arrival of Isis terrorist acts, Fahima
began to detect her feminist tendencies.
felt the need to distance herself from Islam.
tried to find allies in her family’s home country.
realized she could not get away from her religion.
6.
Fahima mentions famous Muslims in order to stress their importance in
revealing the variety that her religion allows for.
making being a Muslim an exclusive experience.
ensuring that young people take religion seriously.
showing that being a Muslim does not hamper success.
7.
Fahima mentions famous Muslims in order to stress their importance in
positive.
extreme.
negative.
indifferent.
8.
The main topic of Fahima’s article is
how Isis can be defeated.
the tradition of celebrating Eid.
her changed attitude towards Islam.
her difficult relationship with her parents.
Material 2
Text-based Writing
Text-based Writing
Background information (Cartoon):
  • The caption of the cartoon ‘Mind the Gap’ refers to the announcement which is repeatedly made on London Underground to warn passengers about the gap between the train and the platform when entering or leaving the train.
  • Reference to London bombings of 2005, a series of suicide attacks by four Islamic extremists, who targeted civilians using the London public transport system during the rush hour. More than 50 people were killed and over 700 were injured in the attack.
#cartoon
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Download als Dokument:PDF
$\blacktriangleright$  1. Reading Comprehension
Tick the correct option a, b, c, or d. There is only one correct option.
1.
What affected Fahima most about the bullying at school was that classmates
called her religious.
completely ignored her.
used terrible swearwords.
failed to recognize her identity.
2.
After 9/11 the abuse was worse because
her family had been in the attack.
she was subjected to physical violence.
she could not go back to her homeland.
she was confronted with increased hostility.
3.
The main reason why Fahima was unhappy when growing up was that she
was not allowed to go out.
had to learn Qur’an chapters by heart.
had been born into a very religious family.
was not allowed to find her religious identity.
4.
Fahima’s reaction to her parents’ upbringing was to
look down on religion.
completely abandon her faith.
openly revolt against her parents.
focus on science subjects at college.
5.
With the arrival of Isis terrorist acts, Fahima
began to detect her feminist tendencies.
felt the need to distance herself from Islam.
tried to find allies in her family’s home country.
realized she could not get away from her religion.
6.
Fahima mentions famous Muslims in order to stress their importance in
revealing the variety that her religion allows for.
making being a Muslim an exclusive experience.
ensuring that young people take religion seriously.
showing that being a Muslim does not hamper success.
7.
Fahima's feelings towards Eid are now
positive.
extreme.
negative.
indifferent.
8.
The main topic of Fahima’s article is
how Isis can be defeated.
the tradition of celebrating Eid.
her changed attitude towards Islam.
her difficult relationship with her parents.
$\blacktriangleright$  2. Analysis
Description of the cartoon:
  • the cartoon shows the inside of a tube
  • image displays white commuters cowering away as far as possible from a Muslim in a tube carriage, leaving three seats empty
  • there is a crowd in the left side of the cartoon which stares at the Muslim suspiciously
  • Muslim: wears traditional religious dress with a white tunic, a beige cap and a long black beard
  • Muslim seems to be nervous and is perched at one end of a row of seats in the tube, looks somewhat scared towards the crowd and the other people sitting in the same row
  • other end of the carriage: passengers seem to to be standing together for protection, they hold their newspapers up over their faces as makeshift shields
  • in the space between the white people and the Muslim person three words are written: "Mind the Gap"
  • both white people and the Muslim seem to have black eyes
  • the newspaper's headlines say: "Bombers may be British born", "It can happen again", "Al-Qaida in the UK", "Muslim Extremists in Britain"
Analysis:
  • cartoon satirizes the attitude of commuters to fellow Muslim travellers and also criticizes the paranoia that is prevalent in some countries
  • white people fear that the Muslim is a terrorist and that he will place a bomb in the tube and blow it up
  • white people seek protection or comfort in each otherinstead of bridging the gap by communicating with the Muslim
  • they even entrench themselves behind their fear (of someone supposedly different than them)
  • white people would rather stand in the subway than sit down next to a Muslim, an issue that tackles the still existing prevalence of racism
  • however, they ignore the fact that the bombers were British born and most likely, they were more assimilated to British culture than the Muslim on the tube
    $\rightarrow$ looking for the wrong scapegoat
  • author also criticizes that the whites don't make any move towards the Muslim and that they keep watching the gap widening
  • black eyes on both sides mean that they are actually tired of all the fights and differences that separate them from each other
  • "Mind the gap" is the instruction to take care when you are leaving the tube (gap between tube and the platform) but also functions as a warning from the emerging gap between British and Muslim people
  • author ironically states that there is no such thing as a gap because people are all the same and because you cannot generalize, meaning just because one person from a certain cultural or ethical background did something as cruel and as malicious as committing a suicide attack, doesn't mean that another person from the same background will do the same
$\blacktriangleright$  3. Comment
A. Write an article
Possible information for Introduction:
  • debates about racism should be a relict of past times, still an issue, especially with Muslim immigrants living in a foreign country
  • yet, in some parts this is still the case, which is why we should all work together to close the gap between Western culture and the culture of the immigrants and not just mind it
  • salad bowl: cultures enhance each other, they do not exclude each other
Main Part - Reference to Materials and to Short Story
M1:
  • people are prejudiced no matter what
  • widen the gap between cultures after terroristic attacks even more, instead of closing it by showing empathy
    $\rightarrow$ Muslim people have lost relatives or friends as well
  • author tries to close the gap in two different ways:
    $\rightarrow$ ignores her religion, even looks downon others who are religious, trusts science over religion and assimilates to Western culture (wearing the clothes that she wanted to wear)
    $\rightarrow$ after ISIS attacks, she speaks more frankly about her religion and initiates discussions about it, gets inspired by other Muslims and by the diversity within the Muslim religion
    $\rightarrow$ celebrates days like Eid with her brother and his white wife which she considers as inclusion
M2:
  • people deliberately widen the gap between themselves and Muslim immigrants
  • blame the Muslims for everything that has happened with regard to terrorist attacks
  • don't reflect on the backgrounds of these attacks
    $\rightarrow$ extremist Muslims committed them
  • ignore the fact that terrorists might have been born Biritsh
    $\rightarrow$ look for a scapegoat outside of their own culture
  • widen the gap by letting prejudices influence them (on both sides)
"A Pair of Jeans":
  • Miriam has already closed the gap between Western and her own culture
    $\rightarrow$ wears Western clothes, lives Western lifestyle, rather "rebellious", does not obey her parents blindly, studies at university
  • two endings:
    $\rightarrow$ widens the gap: throws away her Western clothes, doesn't understand why Farook is leaving her
    $\rightarrow$ closes gap: puts on Western clothes, calls Farook to talk to him about what has happened; does no longer play the role of an obedient Pakistani daughter, accepts Western female individualistic self-confidence (yet, no rejection of Muslim identity)
  • there is also a gap between Fatima & Miriam
    $\rightarrow$ generational gap: Fatima does not understand her daughter's doings, she would have never done this to her own mother, "children don't solve problems"
    $\rightarrow$ is torn between tradition & modernity and the individualistic concept of identity
    $\rightarrow$ in the end, she decides to let go of traditional cultural values and that raising children in a foreign country might entail alienating from these distinct values
Possible Conclusion:
  • closing the gap does not work all the time: racism still exists and prejudices are still prevalent
  • however, there is a growing number of initiatives that focus on integration like intercultural gardens where peoplpe of different nations and of different languages get together and take care of a garden
  • people should focus more on such projects and could hence close the gap until it no longer exists
  • everybody talks about the salad bowl, but people should be more proactive in implementing the mindset that is connected to the salad bowl metaphor
B: Write a personal letter to the author
Possible information for Introduction:
  • give some information about yourself, how you found the article, what you found interesting about it,…
  • explain why the article is relevant nowadays (or in your country/hometown)
Main Part - Writing a personal letter
Reflection on gap between young second-generation immigrant Muslims and their parents:
  • balancing between two identities: one inherited by the parents, one acquired when confronted with the country's identity/lifestyle
    $\rightarrow$ children/teenagers don't want to neglect their heritage and thus deceive their parents
    $\rightarrow$ one can't deny one's cultural heritage unless one wants to break with his/her family
    $\rightarrow$ parents have given up a lot in order to facilitate their children a better life with more perspective than they had, children should thus feel more grateful
    $\rightarrow$ byproduct of external forces of assimilation and culture change on both sides
    $\rightarrow$ parents were brought up with other values and morals, children experience the same values/morals PLUS the ones of the new society they live in
    $\rightarrow$ it is hard to unite those two identities
  • children see benefits in living the "Western" lifestyle
    $\rightarrow$ for some, it is not as restrictive as the traditional Muslim lifestyle (no religious "laws", like wearing traditional clothes, eating specific meat, not going out at night, having a boyfriend/girlfriend before marriage)
    $\rightarrow$ more choices with rgard to faith (children were used to practice a certain religion; when they came in touch with other people, the personal viewpoint might change regarding faith)
    $\rightarrow$ parents don't understand their children anymore
  • immigrant parents tend to be harsher when it comes to school grades or education in general
    $\rightarrow$ have sacrificed their life for their children's education (worked hard in order to pay tuitions) and want good grades / success in return
    $\rightarrow$ children don't see the sacrifice, it wasn't their choice to make, didn't want parents to sacrifice everything, maybe didn't even want to go to college,…
Expressing empathy for Fahima Haque's situation:
  • it is hard to hear people offending you because of your skin color or your religion and because of associations with terrorists that people make
    $\rightarrow$ not at all justified and "hate" is a hard word
    $\rightarrow$ people have nothing else to do with their lives, always look for someone to blame and to use as an outlet for frustration
    $\rightarrow$ victims are reduced to their skin color or religion which is dehumanizing
  • struggling with faith when anyone outside the own family reduces one to being a terrorist because of one's religion is natural
    $\rightarrow$ acting that way and abandoning the faith, even look down on it is just normal and understandable
    $\rightarrow$ author didn't want to be associated with being a terrorist, so she drew consequences
    $\rightarrow$ felt restricted and wanted the same liberties as the people around you
  • it is also understandable that the author never completely abandoned the Muslim religion
    $\rightarrow$ author grew up with it and it comes natural to her
    $\rightarrow$ found another way to deal with prejudices or offenses and can thus not be influenced by such narrow-minded people
    $\rightarrow$ awesome and inspiring that she found Muslim who she can look up to and who live diversity, this should be made more public
    $\rightarrow$ that was her way back to her faith
Recommendation of A Pair of Jeans by Qaisra Shahraz:
  • short story that deals in some way with the same issues
    $\rightarrow$ having problems with cultural and societal identity
  • young woman feels trapped between two cultural/societal identities
    $\rightarrow$ on one hand, she feels free with her British identity, goes out with friends, doesn't obey her parents, wears Western clothes
    $\rightarrow$ on the other hand, she feels more secure when wearing traditional dress, agreed upon having an arranged marriage
  • tries to unite both lifestyles but keeps struggling with doing so
    $\rightarrow$ alternates between them but makes it worse with that actually
    $\rightarrow$ offends her future parents-in-law by wearing Western clothes
    $\rightarrow$ parents-in-law cancel wedding due to that
  • two different endings
    $\rightarrow$ due to those consequences, the woman returns to being the obedient daughter her parents have always wished her to be
    $\rightarrow$ feels that she has been treated unfairly, calls future husband and tries to work things out; might hence successfully unite Western lifestyle with Pakistani traditions of having an arranged marriage
Possible Conclusion:
  • hope that author would read the recommended short story and that she would find inspiration by doing so
  • author should publish more articles and thus help other Muslim teenagers with finding their true identity
  • author should wirte articles about the Muslim artists she mentioned on a blog for instance
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