Women fighting extremism is the topic of my U.S. visit under the autopsy of the State Department.
The first moment I listened to the argument from the organizers in Jerusalem, I giggled at me and said: Oh what would they do if they know about my Hamas tendencies. But later on, I was giving the topic more seriousness of my thought. I stopped myself at the fact that the first thing that came to my mind was Hamas. I was aware, though that my comparison in my head was based on what people think of Hamas not what I think. Well, of course, I don’t want to praise Hamas, because Hams falls in my praise only in a few positions, when Fatah conspires against them when the world puts in a huge circle of fire and compares it with al-Qaida. And politically, I admit that they are more organized sometimes and they as a party keep developing their tactics. And since they gained the sympathy last summer in Gaza, I still didn’t see them going to an opposite extreme. And again, the fact that Fatah is doing so badly, it only makes Hamas always look better.
But Hamas and extremism is not the issue. Fatah and extremism are not an issue. Muslims and extremism are not as well the issue, as much as Christians and Jews and extremist is not the issue.
We are living in a world where we are all becoming extreme and pathetically narrow-minded to a level where we consequently closed on our minds and hearts to all but those whom we define carefully as “ours” or “ us.”
Our world today is about “us” and “them.” This notion deteriorated through the recent decades to a level where “us” was fragmented into so many pieces of “un-us-ing” us. And hence, all the previous us’es became “them” the enemies.
We are standing at the top of the level in which the only next level is going down or jump. In all cases, our end seems a hollow end.
What we see from hatred among the different parts of the world and inside societies seems like a contagious widely spread the virus. The “phobia” from the other is becoming a fear that is making us lose our senses and focus on the danger that awaits us from the “other “ … that other became “all” but “us.”
While we are chasing extremism in all direction, we seem to have missed one important place to look for. “Us” … not only that. Deeper in that “us” that makes each and every one of us. “Me.”
It is our way of living. Our way of thinking.
It is in our upbringing. In our raising up to our children.
It is in our culture. In our education.
We need to start from there … and then search for ways to fight extremism in the “other.”
We need to learn to accept us for who we are first; make a reconciliation with our own identities that conforms our religions, cultures, languages and ethnicities. Once we accept who we are, we will better understand our specific roles in our societies and the universe. We will be able to see the “other” as a contributor to the world that makes our own existence complete and meaningful.
Only then, the real extremes could be fought. They will be minorities, helpless, and with no real power to agitate from. Their power that is based on “us.”