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UBC symposium on anti-Asian racism finds Maclean's "Too Asian?" too insensitive

Zi-Ann Lum
Nov 27th, 2010

Two weeks ago, I wrote a commentary in response to Maclean’s “Too Asian?” Since then, many voices have chimed in from left, right, and centre to offer their two cents. Aside from a brief non-apology released yesterday, minimal effort has been done by Maclean’s or Rogers to remedy the offense that “Too Asian?” has caused readers.

On November 25th, the University of British Columbia held a campus dialogue organized in response to an overwhelming interest from students in wake of the focus on Asian students after the publication of “Too Asian?” Not even the generous snowfall from the night before prevented the large room from filling up to capacity. The forum featured a panel made up of a mix of distinguished faculty and administration members as well as two undergraduate students. It was refreshing to be in an environment where the objective was to engage in a safe constructive dialogue about stereotyping in media.

Four hip hijabis talk about their relationship to the headscarf and fashion

Jenny Uechi
Nov 16th, 2010

Umme's friend Yusra Qaiser

Vancouver, compared to Toronto, has a fairly small Muslim population but even a casual observer would have noticed the increase in fashionable hijabis (Muslim women wearing the headscarf) in the city over the last few years. Their scarves, often in bright colours and intricate patterns, are paired with flowing dresses or casual jeans, presenting nice alternatives and twists on the clothing styles you normally see on Robson Street.

I first became intrigued by Muslim fashion several years ago, while doing some online research about a headscarf ban controversy in France. After wading through pages of serious news editorials, I happened upon several Muslim style blogs and was surprised by their modern fashion aesthetic. Having just read a fashion feature about how to choose clothes that make you appear thinner, elongate the legs, minimize a wide hips, etc., it was refreshing to see a fashion aesthetic where the focus was more on the clothes, and not on the (always imperfect) body.

"Too Asian?" too racist for a magazine like Maclean's?

Zi-Ann Lum
Nov 11th, 2010

Whatever intention Maclean's had in publishing "Too Asian?" by Stephanie Findlay and Nicholas Kohler, the story in the November 10 issue jeopardizes the magazine's reputation of producing "strong investigative reporting" by publishing careless writing that tries to pass off inaccurate stereotypes as "facts." Findlay and Kohler might as well cite Gilmore Girls' Lane Kim and Harold & Kumar's Harold Lee while they try to stimulate a dilemma by transplanting a hot American debate into a Canadian context:

Diwali Downtown

Linda Solomon Wood
Nov 7th, 2010

UBC Bhangra dancers seemed to fly.  I thought they were the best act, and not just because VO events emcee Ajay Puri's girlfriend was one of the dancers.  Hundreds of people packed into the Yaletown Roundhouse and the auditorium reached capacity, leaving people waiting to get in at the door.  There were so many great acts, music, drumming, dancing. I just wish I'd been there all day.

I was fascinated by Raul's unbelievably long hair.  He told me it took 15 years to grow his hair.

Dejection in Vancouver over pastor's wish to burn Qur'an in Florida

Emily Barca
Sep 9th, 2010

“This act is just outrageous. It's direct provocation of all Muslims in the United States and across the globe," Sikandar Khan, President of BC Muslim Association, said. "The Qur’an is our most holy book. This is demeaning the whole religion."

The Muslim community in British Colombia   added their voices to the global outcry against a Florida pastor's (now retracted) plan to burn copies of the Qur'an. Terry Jones, pastor at the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainsville, plans to burn 200 copies of the Muslim holy book on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Khan said Jones should "come to his senses." "He’s done enough talking. He’s had enough publicity."

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