keywords: Somayra Ismailjee

  • AUSTRALIA

    Engaging with Dutton's rhetoric is a slippery slope

    • Somayra Ismailjee
    • 20 May 2016

    The irony of trying to negate these stereotypes is that in doing so, we are still cheapening asylum seekers to political tools, stripping them of their humanity and multiplicity. Aiming to counter such rhetoric as Dutton's with stories of high-achieving refugees plays into a toxic game that legitimises the same negative stereotypes by engaging with them. Just as invisibility dehumanises asylum seekers, so does the hypervisibility we attribute to a select few stories.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Self-care as political warfare

    • Somayra Ismailjee
    • 24 February 2016
    4 Comments

    Feminist writer Audre Lorde wrote that 'Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.' In medical professions, the term 'self-care' originated in reference to the self-management of illness. Self-care, however, also exists in the context of social justice, extending beyond physical wellness to cater for a holistic approach that includes emotional, mental and spiritual fulfilment. The need for this is rooted in the burden of oppression.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    #LetThemStay reveals the political capital of compassion

    • Somayra Ismailjee
    • 12 February 2016

    Since the first churches offered sanctuary to the refugees facing deportation to Nauru, a steady stream of voices have joined the call for compassion. As a political language, compassion is itself a reclamation of power. Extending safety, resources, or even a mere welcome to people in need proves that we have something to give. Strength is embodied by a capacity to aid and assist, rather than in cruelty. Empathy, care and compassion appeal to us on a level of emotion that runs deeper than mere rhetoric.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    What is a brown body worth?

    • Somayra Ismailjee
    • 03 February 2016

    A perception of Muslims as 'savage' and antithetical to peace accounts for incidents where overtly racist people can rejoice easily at the loss of human life, to little negative reaction. When a person is deemed unworthy or bereft of humanity, their death becomes gruesomely welcome. While Islamophobia itself does not define racism, Muslim people exemplify ideas of a cardinal threat against the Anglocentric West, which laterally affects how brown non-Muslim minority groups are treated.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    'Australian Muslim' is not an oxymoron

    • Somayra Ismailjee
    • 15 June 2015
    16 Comments

    There is a particular anatomy to the process of othering. In any context, the formula consists of propaganda, hatred, division, suppression and control. I'm from Perth. Some people would dispute this due to my brown skin and non-Anglo name. But I was born here, and have lived here for my entire life. Still, people like me are too often considered Australian only by law, and not by sociocultural connotation.

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