"My generation of Arabs was told by both the Arab nationalists and the Islamists that we should man the proverbial ramparts to defend the “Arab World” against the numerous barbarians (imperialists, Zionists, Soviets) massing at the gates. Little did we know that the barbarians were already inside the gates, that they spoke our language and were already very well entrenched in the city."
I thought the amount of stupidity that was thrown about when the Israel/Hamas conflict was kicking off was bad, clearly people have an excellent ability to reach new levels of idiocy.
Just as being Jewish does not necessarily mean being Israeli or supporting that state’s actions, being Palestinian does not necessarily mean being Hamas or supporting them either.
This reality extends further. Being an Arab does not mean Muslim. Muslim does not mean IS/ISIS/terrorist. Muslim does not mean extremist or supporting extremist actions.
Sometimes they do, but assuming so because you can’t be bothered to get to know them or befriend them only makes you a fool. If you’re judging people based on appearance alone, then you’re nothing more than a racist whose intellectual capacity is skin deep.
Inclusion, not exclusion is the way to get people, whoever they might be, into our communities.
It’s incredible the power that terrorism has to strike fear into the hearts of ordinary people. The now nightly news reports of our security forces raiding homes and arresting individuals is worrying to say the least.
That said, what of those individuals. Many have been arrested, but nearly none charged. Why is it that they are paraded before the nation, as though guilty, before a trial has even happened? Would that one charged even come close to getting a fair trial, should they even be tried?
The language used should be a target for cynicism. The endless bandying about of terrorism and language of war is nothing more than the inflammation of fear. The notion that we are any better serviced as a nation, by stoking the culture of fear is patently stupid. This fear of the Other is an unfounded fear, based on nothing more than allegations.
There are only two groups that benefit from the parading of accused on TV and the fear that is stoked through it - those in power and groups like IS. For those in power it is the construction of a political agenda that does nothing for us or our political discourse. For terror groups, it’s sowing fear through their actions thousands of kilometres from our shores.
Those to lose will inevitably be our fellow Australians who happen to also be Muslims or whoever it is people formulate to be the Other. Whoever it is they want to target their spurious racism at (that and seemingly the half of Melbourne that wear rough beards - as we all know - it’s appearance that equal terrorism, not ideas or actions). We will all lose from this culture of fear - we lose our sensibility, our empathy, our freedom. We reject it all for fear.
Now I’m not suggesting we have nothing at all to fear. There are those that seek to harm and kill and their motivations are varied. From robberies to murder, there are those amongst us that seek to do harm. Always have been and unfortunately always will be and we should be wary of that.
That’s why our security forces exist. They do their job and they do it well. They do it everyday keeping the peace and investigating crimes - whatever those crimes may be. Long may they continue so that we don’t have to live in fear.