Islam and the West// Dispossessed

Week 9 // Post 10

      After reading Foreign Affairs The Dispossessed article by Alia Malek and Josh Neufeld I gained a different perspective on migration. External forces are pushing millions of people out of their home country, forcing them to migrate. With the influx of people migrating into a new country comes with a rush of problems. “ Few wealthier countries could survive such a seismic population shift without experiencing enormous political and economic challenges.” (Malek & Neufeld) Jordan is ranked second in the world for the number of refugees and has by far done is excellent job at maintaining economic and social status.

            The article also follows five Syrian refugees and their families who made the journey to a better life.  Capturing their trip through cell phone footage we gain in insight on how hard this journey truly is. From feeling alienated in their own country Muhanid and Mohammed  they knew they couldn’t allow their children to grow up in an environment like this. While on their journey the friends meet Ihsan who was abandoned by his chaperone, they take him under their wing.    Finding a smuggler to start their journey to Germany they still had a long way to go. Getting in a 25 person inflatable raft, which held 50 Syrians and Iraqis, they crossed the Aegean Sea. After floating to Kos, Greece the refuges searched for a place to stay. Across the next couple of days the refugees experienced fear as they continued their journey. Finally making it to Germany the refuges were free, creating a new life of possible for their families. The comic illustration does an excellent job of capturing there journey.

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          Among all of the different aspects that caught my eye throughout the article The New Reorder by Anna Badkhen portion stuck out more than the rest. Cell phones and the advancement of social media have giving an insight to what a trip may look like and how to execute a journey for a potential migrant. We gain insight to the good and the bad “We can friend migrants on Facebook. We can watch on Instagram feeds as dead children float facedown in the Mediterranean surf.” (Badkhen) These technological advancements also allow us to experience the journey. Traditional the media we are used to hearing is negative, aggressive, and is missing the element of humanity. It doesn’t show compassionthat migrants have a story that consists of layers, or the struggle of traveling with three kids and a wife. Social media today adds a level of compassion that has been missing. “Unless the world finds compassion for this new communality, learns to make sense of one another’s voices, its humanity will perish.” (Badkhen) Badkhen addresses the question of, is this a century of dislocated people or dislocated passion? What I gained from the article is that migrations isn’t going to stop, what has to stop is the way we look at migrants and learn to accept it.

         The article Islam and the West: Narratives of Conflict and Conflict Transformation by Nathan C. Funk and Abdul Aziz Said discusses the issues between the United States and Muslim Middle East. The conflict between the two can be descried as “Frictions generated by conflicting interest and desires spill over into the cultural domain, resulting in the politicization of identities and escalatory conflict dynamic in which the basic value commitments, beliefs and mores of the “other” are regarded as threatening and problematic.” (Funk & Said 2004) When we stereotype we divide ourselves in to the “other” and “self” which leads to dehumanization, this only pulls the two further apart. I believe this creates fear due to lack of knowledge between the two. “Clash of symbols” has also posed a conflict between the two Westerners view headscarf’s and other symbols of Islamic religion to be expression repellent, and Muslims see blue jeans and other western symbols to be anti-Islamic statements. “Belief systems are being simplified into images to be either rejected or absorbed in their entirety, resulting in deeply impoverished notions of both Islam and the West.” (Funk & Said 2004) In order for Muslims and Westerners to achieve the cohesiveness they need to stay true to their values and learn to find the common ground that will allow one another to learn from each other rather than focus on differences.



Caryl, C. (2015). Refugees are flooding countries that can’t protect them. Will the levies break? The Dispossessed Issue. Retrieved from:

Nathan C. Funk and Abdul Aziz Said. Islam and the West: Narratives of Conflict and Conflict Transformation. From:


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