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Religion and the Media - review of the film "East is East".

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Introduction

´╗┐East is east (C) Choose an issue from religion & community cohesion presented in one form of the media and explain whether the presentation was fair to the religious people or not. The Background "George" Khan is a Pakistani Muslim who has lived in England since 1937 and has been married to Ella, a British Roman Catholic of Irish descent, for 25 years. They have 7 children together: Nazir, Abdul, Tariq, Saleem, Maneer, Meenah, and Sajid, and run a popular english fish and chips shop. The film starts with oldest son Nazir facing an arranged marriage to a Pakistani girl but finding himself unable to go through with it. He runs out at the start of the ceremony in front of all the family and guests, to his mother's distress and his father's chagrin, the latter spurring George on to disown his eldest son, forever telling anyone who asks about him that he is dead. The next family crisis is the discovery that youngest son Sajid somehow never got circumcised as is preferred in Islam (which, comically, sends the Muslim children in the mosque into a panic). ...read more.

Middle

Mr and Mrs Shah and their daughters finally arrive. Both girls are obese, Nushaaba has an abnormally-huge overbite, and Nighat is simply ugly. Ella knows she has brought up her children well, but the snobby and rude Mrs Shah makes constant subtle attacks on her. The final straw occurs when Saleem accidentally drops his sculpture of a vagina on Mrs Shah's lap. Mrs Shah directly insults Ella and her sons, calling them "half-breeds". Ella angrily ejects the Shahs and their "inbred monstrosities" from the house. As expected, George blames Ella instead of Mrs Shah, but Ella stands her ground and calls George the source of the family's misery. Again George attacks Ella, but the children team up to defend their mother and halt their father. This shows him that his unjust position has driven his whole family away, even Maneer, and he breaks down, realizing that his best intentions have backfired dreadfully. Seeing that he is no longer the man of the house, he quietly departs and finds solace in the family's chip shop. Despite this, Ella still sees George as her husband and realizes that she will remain faithful and loyal to him until the end. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is negative as many Muslims would want to follow the rules and be good citizens; however this is not suggested in the movie. The film also strongly emphasises the issues to the viewer of living in an non-Islamic society and the possible problems that an interfaith marriage might cause, For example the confusion of the childrens religion, which is seen when the children are seen enjoying an Catholic concession. From this the viewer?s may interpret that Interfaith marriages do not work and are bad, although this is inaccurate as many Interfaith marriages work perfectly well and children are happily exposed to many religions often encouraging non-prejudice and biased views. On the other hand the story shows how much George cares for his children. Although we see him showing violence towards his family it?s only because he wants the best for his children and them to feel part of the Pakistani and Islamic Community. It is possible that he just wanted them to be good Muslims so they are able to go to paradise when they pass away, however his actions were just misinterpreted by the viewer. This portrays the idea that Muslims are caring and just trying their hardest to do the best they possibly can for their children even if it is or seems like the wrong thing to do. ...read more.

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