The online dictionary site dictionary.com defines racism as being:
1: a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among the various human races determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule others.
2: a policy, system of government, etc., based upon or fostering such a doctrine; discrimination.
I am more concerned with the definitions of racism which fall within the definitions 1 and 2. Recently I stumbled across a bloggers page called Creeping Sharia. I noticed that this writer has been blogging about Middle Eastern issues and thought it would be interesting to follow their posts. From a position of curiosity and wishing to gain an alternative perspective I followed various blogs that this author had written. At first I found some of the articles were interesting, however, as I read more and more I found them to be disturbing.
It is true that the Middle East has been presented in a terrible way within mainstream media across the western world. It is also true that there have been some very real, traumatic and disturbing terrorist attacks against the Western World by Al Qaeda (inspired) terrorists who have come from the Middle East – Lebanon, Palestine, Saudi Arabia etc. It is true that there is a rise in fundamentalism with respect to Islam within the Middle East. However, what astonished me about the articles that I have read was the racism that fuels these discussions and articles. There was not a reasonable point to be made; the main point was that Muslims are terrorists. The main point was that Islam is something to be feared, rejected and destroyed, yes destroyed! I made a few comments on the posts and suggested that there were many forms of Islam and many ways of practicing Islam and that these discussions should be contextualized. I was told that I was a British Liberal, that I was insane and pointed to look at various Youtube video’s about Londonstan! I was accused of being mental and ignorant. The discussions that my comments created left me feeling gobsmacked, astonished and sad and pity towards those people. Pity because these people are not people who have informed positions on the Middle East or on Islam. Sad because their posts were often substantiated by media material and reading it made me cringe. It occurred to me that the Middle East is facing turmoil in more ways than one. Currently there are wars and conflicts in the region, there are new governments with new policies which to an extent are on the radical side. However, sad that the millions of Muslims who do not ascribe to the radical/fundamental aspect of Islam are not getting their messages across and are silenced.
However, these writers who do portray Islam in a negative light they are dangerous in my opinion. I left the discussions with them noting that their attitudes could to an extent be described as the sort of attitudes found in parts of Europe during WWII. That this rise in fascism was unacceptable. Of course I knew that these people would want the last word, I just did not give them the satisfaction of reading or commenting further.
I am not a Muslim but I do not accept racism, I do not accept intolerance and I reject violence and aggression.
When we are striped down to naked flesh we are all the same, we share similar biology and chemistry.
I suggested that my American friends (those who were blogging) concern themselves with the real issues that exist in their society; gun control, domestic violence, the economy etc etc and make some positive changes for their lives and those who follow. Yet their reply to me was the there was no fear in America apart from the rise in Islam and terrorism. Perhaps it’s true and perhaps I am naive, I just don’t know. What I do know though is that racism in any form is unacceptable.