Deliberation on YouTube: Female Muslim Immigrants

The two videos I found on Youtube are related to the present situation of female Muslim immigrants in western world.

The first video:

This video was made by Press TV, a news network in Iran. It discusses about the decision French government made for denying the citizenship of a Muslim woman for wearing the veil. See details.

About the comments:

First, Youtubers brought up the issue about whether the video is biased or not. Mulatto321 indicates that the video is on the side of the Muslim women.

Second, Youtubers has debated over whether the French government has made a right decision or not. Supporters pointed out that: “France has the right to protect their values (gimmejustice)”; “why do Muslim not respect the law from a non Muslim country(006kkk).” Youtubers that hold the opposite point of view pointed out that: “seriously France is creating problems for themselves!”; “Another sighn & indication of the West’s so-called “New Inquisition”-Era ! (zolgharn)”

The second video:

The uploader announced that the rude comment will be deleted. The video was made by CBC Television, a news network in Canada. It interviewed three Muslim women to know their opinion in wearing a Hijab, Niqab, or wearing neither of them.

About the comments:

First, some Youtubers believe the veils prevent women to have the same status as men; however, some think that Muslim women have the rights to wear whatever they like, even though some of them choose to wear veils.

Second, some comments points out that Islam woman were treated badly; however, some hold opposite point of view by thinking that most of people understand Islam culture from western stereotypical media, which didn’t show the “real” Islam.

Third, a few of Youtubers cursed the female Muslim respondent for deciding not to wear the veil and “turn away for Allah (GoodBinGood).”

Fourth, some Youtubers holds animosity toward Islam culture. They left hostile words toward Islam culture.


1)      The comments of the videos are different from what Hess had discussed in the paper; I think it is because both videos are not made by the government. I didn’t find any parodies that related to the video; also, I find no one thinks the video is some kind of propaganda. I think maybe it is because the video didn’t try to promote certain idea to the audience; instead, the video left an open ended for people to discuss freely.

2)      Both videos were made in English, and most of the comments were written in English; therefore, I believe that certain opinions cannot be revealed in this case. A lot of people left comments to support what French governments did; however, the commenters mostly are from countries that are related to western values. I think Youtube is a platform for everyone; however, when it comes to cross-cultural issues, English speakers will be easier to be heard by others. It is interesting that we are discussing about Islam women, but we didn’t heard any Islam women’s voice in the comments.


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. aflaten
    Sep 08, 2010 @ 13:26:40

    I was reminded a bit about the Morozov piece and the discussion about whether the Internet has a western-bias when you mentioned that most of the comments were made in English. I agree that, especially in the cases of international incidents, we do not get a clear representation from all sides involved. There can simply be too many obstacles in the way, such as a lack of access to the technology and language barriers. And even when such comments do make their way through, they can so easily be lost in the sea of other comments. I think you make a good point to keep cognizant of the fact that, as you scroll through comments on Youtube, not all sides may be represented equally.


  2. francescalyn
    Sep 09, 2010 @ 09:56:55

    I found the second video absolutely fascinating. I think a lot of times news organizations spend a lot of time discussing the hijab or the social status of Muslim women yet we do not often have them speak out on television about how they feel. All women in this piece seem to view the veil as a personal choice to some degree. I think our western stereotype of veils still greatly persists.
    But I wondered after watching the second piece if women in predominantly Muslim countries have similar opinions to these women? In countries such as Iran, the veil is not optional and a woman wearing no head covering in public would be violating the law. This also made me wonder what access to new media women are given in these countries. It would be interesting to compare their opinions.


  3. Carol
    Sep 09, 2010 @ 21:35:45


  4. Wendy Brunner
    Sep 10, 2010 @ 03:28:52

    Considering the discussion we had on vernacular discourse in class, I find it curious how openly rude and hateful some of the posters were. I suspect that a much smaller percentage of people would have the nerve to be so nasty if they were not shielded by the anonymity of the Internet and a pseudonym. Discussing Muslims in western culture has become a very sensitive subject for polite conversation, but it seems no-holds-barred online…that makes me wonder a bit about the framing of discourse via different media. It also makes me wonder about the sense of community we discussed in class that can develop on some threads. Maybe that community bond becomes stronger if the issue is less controversial? Or if the video is more clearly one-sided?


  5. Mindy McAdams
    Sep 11, 2010 @ 09:04:50

    Surprising that you didn’t find a lot of comments hateful toward Muslims (because there are people like that). I wonder whether all such comments were deleted?

    I like it that you linked to each commenter! Very clever!


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