Cheryl E. Fitzgerald (synapsomatic) wrote,
Cheryl E. Fitzgerald

"You think I'm a terrorist? I'll show you a terrorist."

[Hmm, do you think that title just got the attention of the NSA? Hah.]
I've already posted about Islamophobia and its effects. But it needs emphasis again and again. Because frankly, I understand those Muslims here in the U.S. – and elsewhere in "the West" – who end up being pulled (pushed) into extremist or radical ideology and turning against us and lashing out, and even committing (or attempting to commit) acts of terrorism. What do you think is going to happen when you marginalize a certain group of people, become prejudiced against them, discriminate against them, mistreat them, give them dirty looks, say insulting and bigoted things to them, tell them they don't belong in "your" country, bully them, and even attack them?

I know what it's like – obviously, to a much lesser degree – to be on the receiving end of dirty looks and mistreatment and discrimination just because of the way I look, because I have a lot of tattoos and dreadlocks and have styles of dress that are apparently too different and unconventional for a lot of people. Furthermore, I'm an atheist, so I also know what it's like to be on that receiving end purely because I have such a different worldview and different beliefs (or lack of beliefs) and different values; and to have people assume that, just because I'm an atheist, I must have no ethical principles and must therefore be immoral, and that I must hate everyone who's not an atheist, and whatever other ridiculous nonsense they can come up with.

So I have no problem understanding the frustration, the increasing frustration, and the anger that so many Muslims are now actually feeling – as opposed to the mythological anger and hatred against the West that far too many Westerners believe all Muslims have always had. I have no problem understanding the seeming ease with which many Muslims are nowadays sliding towards extreme and radical and separatist views. I say the seeming ease, because it's not that they're easily sliding into it, but are being pushed. "You think I'm a terrorist? You treat me like I'm a terrorist? Well, then I'll show you a terrorist." Yes, I can fully empathize, because a human being, who is no fucking different from you, can only take so much abuse before they've had enough and turn around and fight back. I mean, shit, America, haven't you learned this enough with all the school shootings?! With the violent outbursts from school kids who've been bullied so goddamn much they can't take it anymore and they snap? What the fuck does it take? So many white people talk so much about bullying these days, including cyberbullying, about how it's such a problem, a serious problem, and we need to do something about it, because it's causing so much harm. And yet, how many of them are either doing or in some way supporting doing basically the same thing to Muslims?

Oh, I know what the response is: "well they started it!" Actually, no, they didn't.
First of all, that's a childish response; grow up.
Second, the idea that "someone (or some people) started it" is literally meaningless nonsense in this sort of context.
Third, history flash: Europeans invaded and colonized in the Middle East a couple hundred years or so before invading and colonizing in Africa. As tribal as the peoples of the Middle East (broadly construed) are, they were able to come together and fight back more successfully than the peoples in Africa. (Most likely, the single most important difference was that the majority of the peoples of the Middle East could all share a basic, fundamental core of their identity: Islam. The peoples of Africa had no such advantage, no such way of fundamentally identifying with each other, because Africa is just so much bigger! But probably, another difference was that, by the time they invaded and began to colonize Africa, the Europeans had learned a few things from their attempts to invade and colonize the Middle East.)
That's just one snippet from all the history, so I'll just leave it at that.

Anyway, back to the main point here.
Part of the extremist ideology of Daesh is separatism: they tell Muslims in the U.S. and all Western countries, "You are not part of their country. You are not part of their society and culture. They hate you and they don't want you there, and even want you dead. Why? Because you are Muslim." So, you see, all this anti-Muslim attitude and behavior is literally an exact realization of what Daesh is telling them, and thus, proving Daesh right. You're doing the terrorists' work for them. You're making it so much easier for the terrorists. Nice work.

And all the while, there is this: an approach based on scientific research and evidence in order to achieve the most practical results. Read. Listen to the audio: skip ahead to 7 minutes in. (If need be: link directly to the .mp3 file.)
Tags: ethics, human relations, islam, middle east, skin colours & race
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