An Asian Christian woman living in London blogging about the everyday issues of religion

Thursday, 10 July 2014

ALIENATION

"The worker becomes an ever cheaper commodity the more commodities he creates. With the increasing value of the world of things proceeds in direct proportion the devaluation of the world of men...the realisation of labour appears as a loss of reality for the worker...The alienation of the worker in his product means not only that his labour becomes an object, an external existence, but that it exists outside him,,, and the life that he has conferred on it confronts him as something hostile and alien"- Karl Marx 1967





Sunday, 6 July 2014

A post on world poverty

A Brown Skinned Person Could Be A Christian

On Friday I was passing through a busy London train station. A small group of Orthodox Jews caught my eye. I have always been fascinated by their traditional dress (the men) and how the women are compelled to cover their hair with wigs. My daughter often tells me off for staring at them, such is my fascination. Anyway, the group consisted of two men, a woman and some children. The woman saw me looking at them and started drumming her fingers in a 'walking' manner up and down her thigh. There was fear in her eyes. I was going down the escalator and they disappeared from my sight. I was rushing to get home to cook for a dinner party that I was hosting only three hours later.

The look in the Jewish woman's eyes disturbed me. The penny dropped the next day. The woman had been using her fingers to to alert her male companions to my presence. She kept glancing at them nervously but they were engrossed in their smartphones. It seems so obvious now that I don't know why I never thought about it before. Yes, I know it is rude to stare but why was she so scared? I can only assume that she must have thought that I was a Muslim. If my recent experiences are anything to go by brown skin equals being a Muslim in the Western world.

Only a few days earlier my new boss had asked me if I was observing Ramadan. I don't. I am an Anglican, a CoE regular attendee. Recently, people whom I meet for the first time have started asking me whether I am Muslim. This has never happened before. Nobody assumes that I am Christian. Quite strangely, nobody makes an assumption that I am a Hindu either. The latter would qualify as being quite an educated guess with a high chance of being correct. Many in my family are Hindus. No Muslims though. What all this demonstrates is the creep of religion into the domain of race. 

The whole strange episode has got me thinking about other things. The blowback of Israel's policy against Palestinians seems to be a feeling of individual and personal insecurity within their own people. Jewish friends who live in North London tell me how they have to be extra careful over their personal safety whenever Israel launches an attack on Gaza etc.  If a woman sitting in a London station could fear a brown skinned woman dressed in a business suit then their individual fears multiplied across their population globally must amount to some sort of breach of their own liberty. If you cannot live in peace even when you are not physically caught up in the conflict zone then surely it is time to question what good the policy is and for whose benefit?

Friday, 20 June 2014

Are Refugees Not Fellow Human Beings?


 This  week is Refugee Week and today (20 June) is Refugee Day. I ask you to please pray for the ever growing global conflicts whereby weapons and killing are seen as the means to enforce power and people are subject to death and destruction. 



In a world where wars are fought on a daily basis and where conflict is growing the mass exodus of people seeking safer havens is, sadly, viewed as a nuisance occurrence. The status of being a  'refugee' has become the target for racism. Countries at war drive these people out while countries not at war which have safe democracies work hard to keep these people out.

Where are these people who are displaced through NO fault of their own meant to live so they can keep themselves and their families safe while having access to clean food and water?

When a boat full of refugees is turned away by a country it is viewed as a 'victory' for the country concerned. When a boat full of refugees sinks, as so often happens, there is sympathy for the dead but no recognition of the causes that drove them into the boat in the first place. 

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Racism is back-Yeah, I had noticed

The irony of it all. While UKIP goes to great lengths to deny that it is a racist party and politicians run scared of accusing UKIPpers of being racist, racism is found to be alive and kicking. No one dares utter its name but it exists as a counter-political and socio response to the unemployment and housing problems. In a survey by British Social Attitudes of 2,000 people a 30% level of racism was found to exist.

I don't need a survey to tell me or confirm my everday life experiences. It's in the small look thrown my way, an odd comment which reaches my ear when it isn't meant to and the narrowing of career choices which are explained away based on other factors (which don't affect OTHERS the way it does to someone like me). The person at the receiving end of racism bears responsibility for proving or disproving any complaints made and, often, is discouraged from saying anything because the dominant embedded response is to counter-accuse the victim by labelling them 'paranoid'.

Racism has now become a part of politics. Questioning the levels of immigration isn't wrong but stigmatising those from certain countries and discriminating against certain characteristics is. By tying immigration with politics it becomes nationalistic to be racist albeit by stealth but it happens. As an Asian woman I face a double 'whammy' - racism and gender prejudice. I wonder how many 'whammies' disabled people face or even refugees for that matter who seem to be viewed as the lowest form of life that must be kept away from nation boundaries at all cost?