Griswold’s Journalism Started With Honor Killing
Just added another book to my Amazon Wish List:
Eliza Griswold’s “The Tenth Parallel” began as a probe of religious fundamentalism’s link to violence. After traveling through Africa and Southeast Asia, she just wanted to tell the stories she found along the way.
(WOMENSENEWS)—Eliza Griswold’s reporting has taken her through Afghanistan, Iraq and Somalia, through militarized societies where men wield guns, women are often encouraged to keep quiet in public and where being a female reporter might seem like a stark disadvantage.
But she doesn’t see it that way.
She started out in search of answers to the question of whether religious fundamentalism in some of these populous Christian and Muslim communities necessarily leads to violence. But then she gave up, in the face of too many intangibles.
Letting Readers Draw Conclusions
“Every time I tried to assess someone’s relationship with their religion, I realized very quickly that I’m on shaky ground,” she said. “Trying to guess what’s motivating them in each moment is dangerous supposition. I prefer to lay out the stories and leave the readers to draw their own conclusions.”
In each country, she describes women interacting with the forces of fundamentalism in surprising ways.
In Somalia, for instance, Griswold meets with a mother-daughter team of doctors—Dr. Hawa Abdi and Dr. Deqo Waqaf—who run an 80,000-person refugee camp on their family’s farmland.
Another powerful female character in the book is Nur Amina, a petite Muslim Indonesian policewoman. She works as an enforcer of vice and virtue imposed by the Islamic revival that swept Aceh after the 2004 tsunami.