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More adventurous than the average bear

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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Links - 18th April 2018 (2)

Germany, Austria: Imams Warn Muslims Not to Integrate - "In the debate on migrants in Germany and Austria, no other term is used more often than "integration." But the institution that is most important for many Muslim migrants does not generally contribute much to this effort — and often actively fights it: the mosque. That is the finding of an official Austrian study as well as private research conducted by a German journalist. In late September, the Austrian Integration Fund (ÖIF), a department of the foreign ministry published a study, "The role of the mosque in the integration process". For the purposes of the study, employees of the ÖIF visited 16 mosques in Vienna, attended several Friday sermons and spoke with the individual imams — that is, if the imams were willing to have a conversation, which was often not the case. The result of this, according to the ÖIF, is that only two of the mosque associations foster the integration of their members... the mosque associations are "closed spaces in terms of ethnicity and language." That difference fosters "social integration into an internal ethnic environment, and thus ethnic segmentation." In eight of the 16 mosques surveyed, this trend is further reinforced by "widespread and openly-propagated nationalism"... six of the 16 mosque associations examined (37.5%) pursue "a policy that actively impedes integration into society and to some extent exhibits fundamentalist tendencies." Half of the 16 mosques examined "preach a dichotomous worldview, the pivotal tenet of which is the division of the world into Muslims on one side, and everyone else on the other." Six of the mosques were found to practice "explicit denigration of Western society... scholars of Islamic studies and Islam experts "are very obliging in offering to be interviewed on current political issues." That openness does not exist, however, when it concerns sermons in German mosques... The danger of this approach is demonstrated by the murder of Farima S., an Afghan woman who was murdered in the Bavarian town of Prien. Eight years ago, she renounced Islam, adopted Christianity and, two years after that, fled to Germany. On April 29, she was murdered by an Afghan Muslim in broad daylight. While a number of Muslims living in the town attended the funeral, the mosque associations pretended that the murder did not concern them. Karl-Friedrich Wackerbarth, the pastor of the Evangelical parish of Prien, where Farima S. was a member, asked the associations to condemn the crime. In October, half a year after the murder, he responded to an inquiry from Gatestone Institute: "Unfortunately, to this day," he said, "there has been no reaction." Wackerbarth suspects that the Islamic associations do not want to make a pronouncement against fatwas by Cairo's Al-Azhar University, and others, according to which "apostates" [those who renounce Islam] are to be killed."

Lena Dunham tweets women don't lie about rape before defending Miller - "The Girls star has attracted major backlash after issuing a statement in defence of producer and writer Murray Miller, who has been accused of rape by Aurora Perrineau... Many people have criticised Dunham for seemingly choosing to ignore a woman’s allegations because they’re aimed at a friend, rather than a stranger – and one of the actress’s tweets has resurfaced, providing a very different opinion from Lena. On August 4, she tweeted: ‘Things women do lie about: what they ate for lunch. Things women don’t lie about: rape’... On Lena’s Twitter feed, she has supported women who have spoken out on alleged sexual assault and harassment including Olivia Munn, Rosanna Arquette, Ashley Judd and Asia Argento. Argento, who has alleged she was raped by Harvey Weinstein, tweeted a link to Lena’s Miller statement and wrote: ‘You wrote me an email of support a few weeks ago and now you defend a rapist? WTF @lenadunham?’"

Lena Dunham no longer believes rape victims because her show's producer has been accused of rape - "Lena has claimed on several occasions that the percentage of women who lie about rape is close to 3%, but has failed to provide any evidence to back it up"

Writer Leaves Lenny Letter Citing Dunham’s ‘Known Racism’ - "a writer for Dunham’s Lenny Letter is publicly walking away from the online publication, citing what she calls the writer-actress-producer-activist’s “well-known racism.” Author Zinzi Clemmons says that she has known Dunham since their college years, and that the two share overlapping social circles. During that time, Clemmons says she “avoided those people like the plague because of their racism,” adding, “I’d call their strain ‘hipster-racism,’ which typically uses sarcasm as a cover.”"
The lady doth protest too much, methinks

Lena Dunham accused a woman of lying about rape. It fits her history. - "this controversy is not an isolated incident. Since 2012, when Girls first catapulted Dunham into her current cultural status as a walking think piece topic, she has been plagued by accusations of fake feminism, white feminism, and outright racism. For many, her statement on Perrineau is a last straw of sorts, and Clemmons’s allegations about her past are all too believable... By 2016, patience with Dunham’s I-am-always-learning-about-racism syndrome was running low. So when she claimed that football player Odell Beckham Jr. ignored her at the Met Ball because “I was not the shape of a woman by his standards” — apparently projecting a sexualized and misogynistic attitude onto a black man when all he did was sit quietly and mind his own business — few were willing to pull their punches in response... she was beginning to face new criticism: not just over the question of whether she was racist, but whether she was a child molester."

Why Have Female Superhero Movies Failed (So Far)? - "Sometimes these films failed because the directors or writers tried too hard to pull the Strong Independent Woman angle, but other times gender was irrelevant and the film was just plain bad... In a recent Q&A, Patty Jenkins said that the “real challenge” of making a Wonder Woman movie was challenging the belief that women’s stories are only relatable for women, while men’s stories are universal. The director explained that when she first saw Richard Donner’s Superman, she had a great deal of empathy for young Clark Kent. “I was Superman,” Jenkins recalled. “I was that little boy. I took that ride and that journey.” So, when she finally got the chance to make a Wonder Woman movie, her goal was to create a character that girls and boys alike could relate to. “It ends up being funny because this sexism comes to the fore, because she’s walking into 1918 and she’s completely oblivious… And so there ends up being accidental comments about it, but I also went into it not making a movie about a woman at all. I’m making a movie about Wonder Woman, who I love, who to me is one of the great superheroes. And so I just treat her like a universal character. That’s what I think is the next step, is when we can start doing that more and more and the studios have confidence to do that.”"
In other words, and especially given the failure of Ghostbusters, feminism makes for bad movies

How Living in Amsterdam Is Killing the Woman in Me - "It is indeed liberating to wear whatever you like when you go out and not having to worry about it. Are you wearing a nice dress and heels for a night out? That’s fine, no man will harass you. Are you wearing your pijama when going to the Albert Heijn downstairs to buy croissants and orange juice on a Saturday morning? That’s also fine, people in the shop will mind their own business. Whatever you wear – and whenever you wear it – in Amsterdam you will be just fine. Looks are not the most important thing here, and this goes for both men and women. What matters is your contribution... living in Amsterdam is killing the woman in me. Not only am I losing my ability to dress and act elegantly, I also feel like I am becoming, well, invisible. I am not looking for a partner, I have one. So flirting with men doesn’t interest me. What I would like though is a clue that I am being noticed. I see you and you see me. That’s all. But it will not happen in Amsterdam. There are other places in the world for that.
So either you complain about being valued for your looks, or you complain about not being valued for your looks. You can't win

Do Employers in F&B Hire Hot Girls For You, or For Themselves? - "when she applied to work at Everything With Fries, she was asked for her cup size. Places like Awfully Chocolate, according to a former intern at Rice, allegedly gives their servers T-shirts that are a size smaller than the one they request for. Norman Then, the 29-year old owner of Stickies Bar, which is known for cheap beer and servers who are young, attractive “influencer types”, argues that this is just business and marketing... “Guys like to look at girls and talk about girls, girls also like to look at and talk about other girls. And also with girls the service is better. They’re more attentive, and they have a gentler touch, which people like”... “Places like Frolick will say, we look for girls with a nice smile. But you look at who they hire, and it’s quite clear how we understand things like ‘having a nice smile’. Usually it just means we want pretty girls or handsome guys”... "We hire people across different ages and races, but we look for people who are young, cool and hip, with like a fun personality, people that our customers might look at and say, eh I want to be like that"... “I didn’t know why he was telling me all this, but it made me feel special. Fuck, so embarrassing to say this now. But I was so naive. It was like, I liked that I seemed to make him happier than this other woman.” One evening, after post-work drinks, he told her that he was falling for her. “He even said, “If you want me to leave my girlfriend, just tell me. I’ll do it.” I believed him. That night, we went back to his place. And yes, whatever you think happen happened.”"
Having been to Everything With Fries many times, I have to say I doubt they had a cup size hiring policy (unless it was the opposite of what one would presume)

White inventor of ‘white fragility’ tells University of Texas: Whites must stop becoming teachers - "The white professor who quit her full-time position to tour the country, leading seminars on “white fragility,” asked for whites in the room to come forward. About 15 people walked to the stage and each one read a quote from the projection screen that addressed their “internalized superiority,” “racial privilege” and other deficiencies as whites. When they finished reading, the professor told the audience to “not clap” for the white people as they returned to their seats. She announced there would be no question-and-answer session. Then Robin DiAngelo, a part-time lecturer at the University of Washington who coined the term “white fragility” and wrote a forthcoming book on it, summarily dismissed the three-hour exercise in getting whites to feel bad about themselves... DiAngelo told participants that even as someone who leads seminars on the subject, it’s hard for her to talk about white fragility because it makes all whites uncomfortable and “very irrational”... She declined to answer a question about why men are the overwhelming majority of the prison population if they are a dominant group. The Fix had asked to play “devil’s advocate,” to which DiAngelo responded that such phrasing is a “power move” coming from a male."
I wonder why, if you keep condemning people of a certain race, putting them down, claiming you are infallible and anything they say is wrong, they would get uncomfortable, try to defend themselves and exercise critical thinking and critically examine your claims, instead of self-flagellating and accepting everything you say

Singapore’s sex trade: licensed brothels, ‘sugar babies’, and laws you can run rings around - "The licensing of brothels is controversial because they operate in so-called designated red-light areas, where the law against pimping is not enforced, critics say. (These areas include the Geylang district, Keong Saik Road, Flanders Square and Desker Road.) They argue that the brothels operate counter to the Women’s Charter, an act passed in Singapore in 1961 that prohibits knowingly living “wholly or in part on the earnings of the prostitution of another person”, and carries a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine not exceeding S$10,000. “It is not just a grey area. It flies in the face of the rule of law,” Ho says... “It is clearly not easy work, but they are caught in a very difficult place,” says Nicholas Harrigan, a sociologist from the Singapore Management University. “I would think the ethical thing to do is to look at how we can make their work safer and less precarious.” They should be able to ply their trade safely, without harassment, and with dignity, Harrigan says. After all, says Jaafar: “I am not just a prostitute. I’m actually a professional entertainer for the men in Singapore.”"
Maybe brothel owners feel oppressed that they are technically criminals, just like 377A technically criminalises gay men

Johor's Malays tilt towards conservative Islam: Survey - "Most Johorean Malays prefer Muslims in key leadership positions. Three in four are supportive of strict Islamic criminal laws called hudud that have punishments, such as stoning for adultery and amputations for theft, being implemented in the state. And slightly over half, or 57 per cent, want those laws applied to all Malaysians regardless of religion. ISEAS fellow Norshahril Saat said such conservatism was previously associated only with Malays living in the rural Malay belt states of Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah... "After I die and am lying in my grave, which identity will secure me heaven? Do I tell God I am Muslim or a Johorean and Malaysian?""
Looks like the Sultan is not in tune with his people

David Cronenberg Says Rotten Tomatoes Is Wrecking Film Criticism - "A movie critic's job is to offer informed analysis of a film, based on an understanding of the medium's history as a popular art form. Usually this involves judging whether the movie succeeds in a number of ways, from storytelling and acting to sheer aesthetic beauty. A good critic usually has a nuanced enough view of a movie that it might be hard to reduce the entire thing to "thumbs up" or "thumbs down.""

Raqqa's dirty secret - "The deal to let IS fighters escape from Raqqa – de facto capital of their self-declared caliphate – had been arranged by local officials. It came after four months of fighting that left the city obliterated and almost devoid of people. It would spare lives and bring fighting to an end. The lives of the Arab, Kurdish and other fighters opposing IS would be spared. But it also enabled many hundreds of IS fighters to escape from the city. At the time, neither the US and British-led coalition, nor the SDF, which it backs, wanted to admit their part... "we saw IS fighters with their weapons and suicide belts on. They booby-trapped our trucks. If something were to go wrong in the deal, they would bomb the entire convoy. Even their children and women had suicide belts on"... Despite the abuse they suffered, the lorry drivers agreed - when it came to money, IS settled its bills... Raqqa was effectively IS’s capital but it was also a cage - fighters were trapped there. The deal to save Raqqa may have been worth it. But it has also meant battle-hardened militants have spread across Syria and further afield – and many of them aren’t done fighting yet"

Indonesia's Orang Rimba: Forced to renounce their faith - ""For now we are focusing on the children. It's easier to convert them - their mind isn't filled with other things. With the older ones it's harder," he says... "So that our children can have the same opportunities as the outsiders, the people of the light, we had no other choice. We had to all convert to Islam." ... The surrounding majority Muslim population calls the Orang Rimba "Kubu". "It means that they are very dirty, they are garbage, you can't even look because it is so disgusting," explains anthropologist Butet Manurung, who has lived with the Orang Rimba for many years. "It also means primitive, stupid, bad smelling - basically pre-human. People say their evolution is not complete."... "After a while, we wanted to send our children to school, but the teacher wanted to see their birth certificates, and for that you have to have a state religion that the government recognises. "So we had a tribal meeting, and discussed what religion we would choose, and decided to choose Islam," says Yusuf. Indonesia - the world's largest Muslim country - officially recognises six religions: Islam, Protestantism, Catholicism, Hinduism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Indigenous rights bodies are fighting to get recognition for the hundreds of other faiths practised across Indonesia. The country's constitutional court recently ruled in their favour, finding that it was against the constitution to force people to state a religion... The fact that they hunt and eat wild pigs also creates social tensions, he added. "This is a Muslim community. If they see the pig's blood and the leftover bits, they are disturbed," the officer explained. What is taboo, or haram, for the Orang Rimba directly contrasts with what Muslims eat, explains Mr Manurung. "Orang Rimba will not eat domesticated animals such as chickens, cows or sheep. They think it's a form of betrayal. You feed the animal, and when it gets fat you eat it. The fair thing to do is to fight. Whoever wins can eat the loser." This clash of cultures began in the 1980s, when then-President Suharto gave land and incentives to migrants from overcrowded Java to move and open up the jungles of Sumatra"

Your gut bacteria could determine how you respond to cutting-edge cancer drugs

Swedish woman Raped by Syrian migrant commits Suicide after Prosecutor drops her Case - "Angelica is not the only one whose rape case fell through. Swedish police, he says, is getting worse and worse at researching sexual crimes and 13 rape cases are closed without prosecution each day... Lamotte recorded his telephone call with police, inquiring after the rape of a 12-year-old girl. In it, the police admits that it “can no longer cope with the scale of sexual violence”."

BHU doctor creates app to block porn websites, play bhajans instead - "A doctor in Varanasi’s Banaras Hindu University and his programmer associate have created an application that will block access to pornographic websites and begin playing Hindu devotional songs when a user makes an attempt"
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