Episode 2: Muslim women and the War on Terror, with Shakira Hussein

Shakira HusseinIn this episode, Kate spoke with Shakira Hussein, a researcher at the University of Melbourne’s Asia Institute and author of the recently released book From Victims to Suspects: Muslim Women Since 9/11.

We discussed her new book’s main theme – the transformation of Muslim women in the public eye since 9/11, from being helpless victims awaiting rescue, to becoming potential threats to be monitored and kept under control.

The episode covers her research on Muslim women in Pakistan, and how the War on Terror has effected the lives of women there. We then discuss how counter terrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE) has changed the aid landscape in Pakistan, before discussing recent developments in the Australian government approaches to CVE, including the dilemmas of funding community programs with CT money and the potential that CVE policy-initiatives targeting the Muslim community have for securitising them and further alienating some people.

Finally, we discuss the role of women in terrorist organisations, Western-raised women who have offered themselves as ‘Jihadi Brides’ to the Islamic State, and the way the participation of Muslim women in acts of violent extremism received a greater degree of attention because of the perception of such acts being an aberration of Muslim gender norms.

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Episode 1: LGBTI refugees in the Asia-Pacific, with Jaz Dawson

JasmineDawsonKaleidoscopePicture_n-150x150For the first episode of Sub Rosa, Andrew spoke with Jaz Dawson, a director of the Kaleidoscope Australia Human Rights Foundation.

We discussed an aspect of refugee policy that doesn’t get much media attention: the experiences of asylum seekers trying to escape persecution for being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex.

The episode covers not only the types of persecution that occur, but also the problems encountered when making asylum claims in Western countries. Someone who may have had to spend their whole life denying being gay, to avoid brutal treatment, then has to prove to officials in Australia, Canada, the UK and elsewhere that they are in fact gay and are at risk of persecution. Sometimes the processes they have to go through to prove their asylum claims are based on outdated assumptions, and can even involve further violations of human rights.

Jaz discusses this in detail in the interview, and also talks about Kaleidoscope’s work in trying to address this, and her own research in the area.

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