Tuesday, October 04, 2005

# Islamophobia

600% increase in religious hate crimes in UK after 7/7.
Attacks on mosques, arsons and mearing of bacon acros the doors.
Verbal abuse and physical attack of Muslims.

Such was the backlash against innocent Muslims after incidents of terrorism. I was surprised at public's immature thoughts and actions. For terrorism acts by some individuals, the whole community took the blame. Medias have been resposible for shaping the themes which seem to demonize the Muslim community and link Islamic religion with terrorism.

It was unsettling to realize that xenophbia is still wide-spread among the society here. With such developed society and advanced nations, why can't we embrace the simple values of tolerance of each other and acceptance of people different from us? I cannot understand what is the point of racism at all. Why can certain people denounce anything different from their tradition/race/values? It is not like their own values are superior to any other's.

Growing up in Malaysia, I am grateful that I learned tolerance among races since small. It is easy for us to mingle together without being very aware that we are different from one another. Multicultural society in our country seems to have form a strong foundation for our national peace. At least, we are not that sensitive that people are different from us. At least, we do not fear other people because we are not familiar with their culture. At least, we are not too proud of our own values and despise any other different cultures.

Tolerance among races and religions. So fundamental, yet so hard to achieve.


Pandabonium said...
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Pandabonium said...

I was not surprised but greatly angered when it was revealed through the arrest of 2 British soldiers in Iraq wearing plain Iraqi style clothes, instead of uniforms, with beards, and car containing automatic weapons and explosives that the "coalition of the willing" is planting bombs as part of an effort to increase war and chaos there.

Not surprised because is has been done many times in the past (Vietnam, Italy, Northern Ireland, Indonesia, etc) and I have been studying such things for decades.

The war profiteers want chaos in Iraq and elsewhere. They preach peace and democracy while sowing the seeds of death and hate and mistrust.

Just as you are grateful for growing up in a tolerant and multicultural society, I am grateful for having spent some 28 years in Hawaii with its many Pacific and European peoples, religions, and cultures.

Someday I hope people will come together and say a loud "no" to those who gain power and profit by dividing people.

I don't have the answers, but I hope we can all begin by saying "let peace start with me".

Thanks for your thoughtful posts.

YD said...

Many thanks for your insightful comments.

The tactic of 'divide and conquer' has really been used so commonly in many wars and expansion of empire in the past. Even during the colonization of Malaysia by British, some certain extent of this tactic was used, luckily, in a more moderate and subtle way.

Human minds are getting polluted and smeared with hatred and suspicion. There are many NPO's and NGO's around the world lobbying for peace, but so far we haven't got a strong front which can do major changes to the way the powerful rules the world.

The global civil society consists of such massive population, yet unless everyone unite and take initiatives and actions, the world would be still in a state of power imbalance and unfairness.

Really thanks for sharing your thoughts. By the way, you are originally from Hawaii? That place is a paradise! Did you write anything about the place in your blog? would love to read them.. thnks!

Pandabonium said...

Sorry I didn't answer your questions before.

I grew up in California. My parents moved to Hawaii after I graduated high school, and I moved there in 1976. I lived on Maui for 28 years, then came to Japan.

It was paradise when I arrived, and still seems so to people from more crowded places. But to me, it has become over-developed already, with "big box" stores like K-mart and Wallmart and so on, lots of condominium apartments and so much traffic. It was sad to watch it happen.

So after Japan, I will go to Fiji, which is a lot like Hawaii was in the early 20th century, and start over again.

There are just two posts on my blog about Hawaii - "Red Hot Real Estate" about watching hot lava flow into the sea, and "Da Kine Grinds" about food. Perhaps I'll write more later.