MIH 514 - Cross Cultural Health Perspectives (Mod 1 CBT) - Essay Example

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To my mind, Jane Perlez’s article in the New York Times dated August 1, 2006, entitled “Indonesian Province Embraces Islamic Laws” speaks outs appreciably on cultural implications of human rights violations in the provincial capital of Aceh. My initial feelings are that…
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MIH 514 - Cross Cultural Health Perspectives (Mod 1 CBT)
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MIH 514 - Cross Cultural Health Perspectives (Mod CBT) What were your initial feelings (not thoughts) about the article? To my mind, Jane Perlez’sarticle in the New York Times dated August 1, 2006, entitled “Indonesian Province Embraces Islamic Laws” speaks outs appreciably on cultural implications of human rights violations in the provincial capital of Aceh. My initial feelings are that the government machinery, especially policemen are trying to enforce the Sharia Laws, perhaps against the wishes of the people and this could adversely affect opinion of the free world of belief that Indonesian government believes in human rights and its just enforcement in this country.
From the cultural standpoint, one cannot but helping that Sharia laws are being used in this country to subvert all kinds of cultures except Islamic ones. Moreover, only selective laws to address professed activities against the culture are being used. For instance, action against corruption which is banned under Sharia is not enforced by the government.
This could get exasperated if they were enforce Shariah laws not only for local population but also for other “non-Muslims” the expatriates and foreign visitors to this country. “The laws should be extended to non-Muslims, too, he said, a move that would place Aceh in the same ranks as Saudi Arabia” (Asia pacific: Indonesian province embraces Islamic law, 2006, para.4).
Discuss the external forces that impact the evolution of this culture:
The main external force, to my mind is the exertion of the dominant culture in the evolutionary pattern of this culture, and perhaps the low tolerance to cultures not akin to the reigning Islamic culture and Sharia laws. While it is necessary for local governments to enforce law and order to maintain the cultural identify and moral integrity of Islamic precepts, it is also necessary that the cultural aspects of other religions need also be respected, especially if does not do any harm to the administration.
Besides the aspects of having a global multicultural work force of illegal and legal expatriates, refugees, asylum seekers, employment (multinational corporations and migrant workers) are also contributing, in no small measure, to the enforcement of laws that stem from external forces, mainly law enforcement.
Define ethnocentricity and analyze how it can impact the way in which you reacted to this article.
The Merriam Webster Dictionary has defined ethnocentric as “characterized by or based on the attitude that ones own group is superior” (Ethnocentric, 2010, para.1).
It would be injudicious to believe that one’s group is superior to others, especially in multi cultural settings such as the one witnessed in the Acehian context. While country specific laws are needed to keep the place safe, it should not be overstretched to accommodate and enforce corporeal punishment at the slightest non material offence. Drinking may be an offence under Islamic laws, and this could be kept within the Islam practicing population in this place. It would be overarching if it were to be enforced against the entire population, comprising of local, expatriate and foreign visitors. It would be a gross violation of human rights to indict a person for not conforming to Islamic traditions in the privacy of her house (women not wearing head scarves at home). The law enforcers need not resort to Sharia laws to justify all heinous acts of punishment, for this it would be necessary to seek local administrative laws. Besides, a strict enforcement of the Sharia would mean banning all activities proscribed by the Holy Scriptures and not necessarily selective ones. For one thing, quoting the Holy Scriptures, Aceh needs to come down heavily on corruption, which is apparently not being pursued with same ardor as punishing poor people is being done. For another, these laws need to be enforced without fear or favor which again is being violated.
Think about your responses to the above, how this information assists you as a health practitioner?
If these are to heighten public awareness, as a deterrent, it may not really serve its purpose. Besides, the present culture of using Islamic laws against non-Islamic people would not be welcomed in any ethically bound culture. As a health practitioner, it is necessary to advocate that culture seeks to reinforce social activities and cannot impede it. Besides, Indonesian culture cannot invade a person’s privacy and dignity, and the right to select the kind of care that he/she wishes. The use of culture based religious tenets to enforce painful social practices may not always be justifiable, especially when it is also enforced on non-Islamic sections of society.
Reference List
Asia pacific: Indonesian province embraces Islamic law. (2006). The New York Times. Retrieved January 23, 2010, from
Ethnocentric. (2010). Merriam-Webster. Retrieved January 23, 2010, from Read More
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