Monday, September 3, 2012

Maryam talks back.

At the beginning of Ramadan this year, a KONY2012-like video started making rounds on social media. It gave a twist to the white saviour trope with a dash of neo-colonial religio-cultural imperialism and condescension.

I’m referring to #SaveMaryam, an initiative from Mercy Mission Worldwide to raise awareness about Muslims converting to Christianity in Indonesia. In the campaign video, Maryam is a 16 year-old Indonesian who converts to Christianity because the support from a Samaritan helpline and the love from her newly-converted Christian friends help her overcome problems at home. The convincing proselytisation of Christian missionaries who mimic Islamic practices and words, spreading their messages far and wide through TV channels, are contrasted with her alleged lack of access to Islamic knowledge in Indonesia, supposedly only through Friday sermons.

But why is Maryam, even as a symbol of an “entire generation of Indonesians,” yet another Muslim woman who needs to be saved by the West?
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Read the rest of my article over at Muslimah Media Watch!

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