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Analysis of Hajrah Arshad Speech on Prejudice

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In February 2015, 17-year-old Hajrah Arshad delivered a passionate speech when she tried to remove prejudice. In the congregation there were people with Muslim backgrounds as well as people with other religions. The speech was held outside the synagogue at the “Peace Ring” assembly in Oslo. The purpose was for us to put an end to radicalization and extremism against specific religions. My analysis will focus on the livestock and how Hajrah Arshad used strategies for the speech. That is, the use of the appeal form, the quote and rhetorical means to engage and maintain the public’s interest, as well as induce their sympathy.

The speaker is very neat and formative. Hajrah has given this speech on this special occasion, where the target group has been Muslim and people of other religion. It is divided into three parts; introduction, main part and conclusion. In introduction, Hajrah begins to greet everyone and present themselves. In the main part, she takes the starting point of Abid Raja’s claim and emphasizes her struggle against extremism. Lastly she concludes by saying an inclusive “we together, as a nation” section and a gratitude to people who met at that special assembly.

Almost clear languages are based on ethos rhetorical appeal form. For Hajrah who represents Muslim people in that gathering, it is very important that she creates credibility with people with other religions. This is because before the speech was held, there were several terrorist attacks occurring by IS or IS-affiliated group in Europe. They attacked, for example, in Copenhagen on the 14th of February and in France on 7-9. January where it led to Muslim criticism and extreme extremism against Muslims.

Hajrah refers to Islam and other religions in different ways to emphasize how religious guidelines are important. She has used these religious references in different ways. For example, initially she begins talking Arabic, which refers to Allah is the Almighty. “I start with the name of Allah, the Almighty.” This mostly works to iron etos. In this way, she emphasizes her faith and faith in God. Furthermore, by speaking in another language, which probably is not familiar with a part of the audience, she also draws the audience’s attention to the scene.

Other religious features in the speech are that Hajrah repeats the words, for example, “I am Muslim”, “I was raised”, “Our religion says”, “We as Muslims” etc. She repeated such references to present her personality positively by referring to his religion. This builds on a reliable character and makes the audience confident that her personality is credible. And these religious references were used to act as a topic to support her ideology, as she acts on behalf of religious beliefs instead of personal interests. The use of such references also served her to create a sense of unity among her and the audience.

The other way she used religious references was that she took quotes from celebrities / prophets in her speech. For example, she took a quote from the Qur’an of the Prophet Muhammad: «You cannot enter Heaven until you believe, and you will not really believe until you love one another». This sentence is said and contains the true essence of the whole Quran as well as the true essence of all religions. Therefore she reveals the culture and religion she belongs to as well as trying to create a relationship with the audience. In addition, she emphasizes her faith and faith in God. And this goes on a strong ethos.

The use of inspirational heroes or quotes from famous people can create credibility both to the audience and to Hajrah. She presents herself as a safe speaker when she expresses these quotes because they are presented as facts. In this way, she takes the role of having the knowledge to inform about this without anyone contradicting it. And this plays strong both as a logos and etos element.

Hajrah has used a large part of the pronoun like “I” “we”, “you”, “us” “our” etc. The analysis of pronouns reflects how Hajrah has used these pronouns in different contexts and how she has emphasized inclusive in the form of the pronouns. For example, when she pronounces “we” in the speech, it acts as an agent to draw attention to a group of people, whether it’s the audience she gives the speech to, or another exclusive “we”. By including the audience with inclusive “we” Hajrah social appeal has become convincing. She involves the audience in her social work by making them responsible for future actions. In this case these pronouns ethos reinforce the part of the speech.

“Muslims and Jews – cannot live side by side and show respect to each other, how can we expect to be respected as a minority in the country? How can we expect to receive without giving?”

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