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Rustum Kozain on the Zapiro-Muhammed Controversy

Don't Mess with the President's HeadAlert! BOOK SA member Rustum Kozain has translated his Rapport article on the Zapiro-Muhammed controversy and posted it on his Grondwerk blog. It’s certainly something that our readers will want to check out:

Looking at the Zapiro controversy, I think that the issue for many Muslims in South Africa is not the depiction of Muhammad per se, although that is a strong pretext. Rather, I think the responses of anger and hurt come from the same place as those feelings of anger and hurt that other such epithets, like ‘hotnot’ and ‘kaffer’, cause their targets. In other words, the offense is more about the slighting of identity itself, in a specific historical context of long-abused identity, than it is about the content of that identity. You are (still) being defined and represented by a world that has the power to define and represent you in whatever manner it sees fit, and there’s nothing you can do about it. It’s the function of power itself over the target that such an epithet calls up, recalls and maintains that rankles, rather than the specific variable that that function depends on – race, dietary habits, Muhammad.

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Recent comments:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Annette</a>
    June 11th, 2010 @09:26 #

    Thank you, Rustum, for another excellent piece; you shed light where darkness can seem so overpowering. I have to say that I felt hurt and anger about this issue and I'm not a Muslim. When jokes evoke hurt they just aren't funny.

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    June 11th, 2010 @09:40 #

    Seconded on Rustum's insightful piece.


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