tv BBC Newsnight WHUT August 28, 2010 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
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we seek new ways of living, of thinking, and of expressing ourselves. we take risks. we learn from experience. and we keep moving forward. that is why we encourage and celebrate the explorer in all of us. >> and now "bbc newsnight." >> how rape victims have loved -- learn to love their children 16 years on from rwanda's genocide. this week, thousands of women who survived it rwanda's genocide where rate and subsequently gave birth. how are they coming to terms with their history. >> he was a killer. but of course, he was innocent.
>> france has abandoned them and other european countries are considering doing likewise. >> they are trying to be different. but they are rejecting the western culture. we are western. >> and we talk to the former marine who spent 30 years in the phenomenon that swept america. hello. it is 16 years since the world was briefly focused on rwanda in the aftermath of a genocide in which the cost population was decimated. today, the country is widely praised for its absence at reconciliation, but psychological scars are healing slowly. but the events of 1994 have left
their imprint on a generation. >> to live in rwanda is to live in the shadow of genocide. their secrets are not easily toll. -- told. >> there was never a single moment where i did not love her. i love her ever since she was born. by the time she grew up to be a toddler, some of my family gave her insulting nicknames, comparing her to animals. but i never hated her. i never once one did anything bad to happen to her. -- wanted anything bad to happen to her. >> i used to abuse claude, calling him an idiot and a fool. but i did not see him as my child. i just did not love him at all.
>> dawn in a slum on the edge of rwanda's capital. children are getting ready for school, like 20,000 other rwanda and teenagers. she owes her life to the mutt -- murder is chaos that killed so many others in 1994. her father was an unknown number of the ethnic hutu militia licence by the extremist governments to eradicates the tutsi minority. her mother is one of those who survived. >> i was rates. i was raped on three different occasions. a lot of different people were involved. i did not know who they were. everywhere i went at that time, i was>> another unwanted child,e
son of a rapist. his life has been shaped by the unimaginable horrors that preceded his birth. his mother lived amid the squalor of a refugee camp. her first bout with to get rid of her baby down a latrine. >> i had survived the violence. but now i wish i were dead because i have a child. i never played with my baby the way people do when they want the baby to smile at them. i just hated him so much. in him, i saw the image of spears and machetes. i saw a very bad things. >> like all the children born during the genocide, jean claude is almost 16.
he thinks his mother has always loved him and he says he loves her. he finds it easier to talk about his guinea pigs. >> i was looking after my friends at rabbits, and i sold some of the young ones. but the money, ipod chickens and about these guinea pigs. and i still have a couple of rabbits, too. >> small-scale buying and selling is how this woman provides for her daughter deann. like many other rape victims, it she has been threatened. she fled her village. it is hard to learn a living in her town. but she never regretted her decision to keep her child. >> my age, no parents. also, some of my relatives told
me to get rid of the baby. they said it was a child of violence and i should aboard. on any and, i decided to keep her. >> a day after, and jean claude lives just yards away. she could hardly look at her son without remembering her suffering. >> i used to see him as a killer, a son of a killer. but of course, he was innocent. it was not him who did this things. even my neighbors knew what was going on. they understood what the situation was, but now things are different. they know i love him. they are surprised when they see me going out with an when in the past -- going out with him when i in the past i used to beat him
with a notebook. now they see in close to them. we go out together. we get a school uniform and equipment. they see us as a family that cares, and there is nothing to worry about. >> for much of his job it, -- hildhood, jean'claude was failing at school, and his mother admits she did not care. but now she is proud of him. >> when i need a new book, she buys it. when i need shoes. other things that i need. >> i would like a sponsor to help him get an education. when he grows up, he will be able to help himself and others. >> i like english, and even though i find it difficult, one day i would like to be an english teacher. >> so far, jean-claude does not
know how he was conceived, although his mother thinks she will have to tell them, sooner or later. this woman already faced that moment with her daughter. >> deann asked how my mother and father had come to be killed. i had told her about people dying. when she was 12, i decided to tell her the story of her birth. at that she was grown-up enough. i told her when we were alone. it pained her. she was angry. she cried. but icahn teardown. i was showing her love. she asked me if she were a hutu. i told her she was a tutsi, like me, because i was her mother and
cared for her. and it did not matter any more. we are all were landon's now. the issue of tried is over. -- we are all rouyn's and -- rwandan now. >> there was a proverb that says upbringing is more important and birth, and i believe that. 1994 is not everything. i get memories of the genocide on the anniversary in april, but 1994 is no longer the most important thing in my life. instead of remembering 1994, i think about my children and their education. 1994 is no longer in me. >> 16 years is long enough for a child to grow up. it is a short time to recover from the horrors of rwanda has
seen, and rape is still a crime that is hardest to discuss. how would the children escaped stigma as they reach adulthood will be a measure of how much of rwanda has managed to but the past behind it. >> since the film was made, jean-claude as learned the details of his conception. the bosnian parliament is the latest of several in europe, including belgium and spain, discuss of banned. france has already announced a ban. meanwhile in britain, a group of women who wear the mekhab have launched a campaign called "unveiled justice." we spoke to women for and against the avail. -- the veil.
>> why are increasing numbers of young british women wearing the veil of their own volition? most of them acknowledge there are two opinions. on the streets, some fay's hostility and abuse. and yet they continue to follow this particular interpretation of their faith. one that is becoming increasingly controversial. these women are in their twenties. there were brought up in britain and university educated. renaissa has a professional job.
they are part of the new generation of women committed to defending their right to wear the veil. >> years ago, i was in the first year of university and then made the decision. i saw it as an act of worship. it helps me and protect me. i have a voice. i have an opinion. >> i have been wearing it for almost three years. it is seen as a muslim part of my religion there. >> i have been wearing the veil for approximately eight years. it says it judge me for who i am and not what i wear. >> i pray that by the grace of
god, there will be understanding. yes, there will be questions. none of them had an issue. never has there been of barrier between me and my friends. >> when i started wearing the veil, the set i had to explain it. i was more concerned with the safety. >> my mother does not wear the veil. my family is very supportive. they were quite shocked. they said not to discuss with anyone that i wear the veil. >> so why is there this difference between the generations? why are young british muslims wearing the niqab when it was
not part of their upbringing? >> they came here to make money and a better life for their children. but now, their aim was to come here and work, fit in with society. but we are part of society. they see themselves as british. >> what we have the need to explain ourselves. if someone who does not wear much clothing has to go -- can go out freely, why should we explain ourselves? we are british-born. we are born here. we grew up here. we should have the same rights as other faiths, and other people. >> this woman told with a
conservative interpretation of islam. she has lectures on islamic laws. she is in her 40's. she wears a hijab or headscarf now, but when she was in her niqab.e also wore the >> i was with a radical group. >> the backdrop was the bosnian war and the middle east. the conflict to experts from the international world. it became a narrative about british muslims. >> one of the main topics of discussion among scholars was that muslim women especially, but men as well, i need to be different. very passionate speeches that, you know, we are consulting the
memory of the profit if we try to emulate -- prophet if we imitate westerners. women must be completely covered. they must be as covered as possible every opportunity. etc, etc. i did not cover my face and my hands and my feet. >> she enjoyed being rebellious and distant. i think my generation -- >> in my generation, we had experienced quite a bit of racism in the 1970's an 1980's. we were very aware of the fact that our parents were immigrants and we were not. but we were not accepted and probably would never be
accepted. and we look at the muslim world. we were searching for an identity. >> this is what she chooses to do it. >> the muslim identity." these women say they have never been influenced by scholars preaching segregation from western culture, but why did they want to look so different by wearing a head scarf? >> people say it is trying to be different, but the intention is not to rebel against western culture. we go shopping. we wear jeans. we go out with our friends. we go well with our children. in british. i am born british. i am proud to be british. >> i go to work, and the people i work with have absolutely been fine with me. i have been fine with them. they have no problem communicating.
they see me for who i am. people actually give us a chance. >> she wore the niqab for three years and then give it up. >> i found it incredibly and practical. i enjoy doing outdoor things. -- i found it incredibly impractical. it is very hard when you wear the niqab. also i was insane racism. and i realized that the fact that i dress no differently was not helping. -- also i was sensing racism. >> she does not believe that there should be a ban on the niqab, but she believes muslim
women need to think carefully about the consequences of wearing it. >> it is so edgy and there is so much this respect for islam -- it is a very worrying situation. in that situation, anything you do to make it worse does not help. no matter how hard you try to be friendly and everything, people have already made their conceptions about you. >> she does not believe the niqab should be an issue for politicians, but she was at muslims to discuss it among themselves, and she is concerned that is not happening. >> i was giving a talk in a prominent islamic center. and i was talking about the hijab not having to be very different from western identity.
why does it have to be very arab-looking? why can it not look british- looking? and most of the audience just got up and walked out. people are not prepared to listen. people are just not -- they are afraid to speak out. they're afraid if they speak out they will be branded as traitors. >> she hopes that her daughter will in time choose to wear the headscarf, but as far as the niqab is concerned, she has strong views. >> i would be upset if she wore it. it would be looking back, and we are preaching nice things, i hope. to show such a symbol of segregation and not wanting to be a part of british society
would be so wrong. >> serra also has a young daughter. what would she advised her to do? -- sarah also has a young daughter. >> i was not forced to wear the veil and i would never do that to my young daughter. she will have her own mind and tear of goals. she will have the choice as to whether she chooses to wear it or not. that is not something i would impose on her. >> there have been all kinds of attempts for american culture to come to terms with what happened in vietnam. even bruce springsteen had ago. but no one has come as close as the author of "matter warned." -- "matterhorn." [unintelligible]
>> he stood beneath the great monsoon clouds on a narrow strip of ground between the jumble. >> since 1969, it is the story of the 20-something men of bravo company in vietnam. faced with starvation, leeches, and the enemy, they fight toward an impossible target. written by a vietnam veteran, it has been called the definitive vietnam novel of airtimes, and the hottest new novel in america today. extraordinary given that it is his first book. he started writing it in 1977 and it has taken years to get published. he was awarded two purple hearts. and he describes the terror of
combat in a hopeless war. >> the jungle was not evil. it was in different. so, too, was the world. >> he joins me. why do you think a novel about vietnam's strike such accord in 2010? >> well, there are probably several reasons. one is i think the baby boomers are getting to the point where they will start reflecting in their history. i hate to think i wrote a book about my own history. but i also think they were engaged in a war that has a very eerie parallels to vietnam. there are so many parallels. that also struck a chord in this century. >> do you think a lot of americans did not want to hear about vietnam, and now, as you suggest, they're in a more reflective mood about the climate because of this act is up today? >> oh, yes, i think that is absolutely true.
i think america likes to win. the war did not go our way. it takes a long time. i think that, you know, if you win wars, you do not tend to reflect on them as much. it might have been healthy, actually. >> one of the things that strikes you reading this book is the almost casual racism that is going on, the bad feeling that was part of everyday life of the soldiers that were supposed to be fighting together. >> absolutely. i think that was one of the parts i struggled with. i am a white person from a small world town in oregon. what do i knew about african- americans? you cannot write about this time truthfully unless you deal with racism. i think with the u.s. military, they actually accomplished the hard job of integrating the races. it was there that people learned to trust each other, not to fear each other.
it was during that time. it was not easy. there was an awful lot of violence. but it got done. and i think that was done it more by the military, more than the school system's even. >> it did change america, this work, and in many ways. >> absolutely. i think it was a war that america started to see it was not all sort of nice -- nights in a shining armor. people started to see reality. the poets of the first world war. they started dealing with that in as serious wide. -- serious way. the stars of war for the vietnamese -- the sorrows of war for the vietnamese, they are dealing with it.
>> just finally, did you ever think you're going crazy? was this your weird hobby? >> actually, on several occasions i asked myself that question. i was like, look, if you do not believe that you have the talent, you are crazy. i had to sit down and say, no, i think it is ok. i think i had talent. i will plow on. i definitely question myself. >> that is all for this week. from all of us, goodbye. >> hello and welcome. >> see the news unfold. get the top stories from around the globe and click to play video reports. go to bbc.com/news to experience the in-depth, expert reporting of "bbc world news" online. >> funding for this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation of new