Extremism: The fight that should unite us
I am not sure if we are standing on a point where the situation is switching into some good news. As the world joined efforts after 11Sep against terror in the form of governments and armies. Today the world seems to be in an immediate need to join efforts to fight extremism. The good news in this tragedy is, that the cause in which the world is joining is one, and has no particular face or form, even though it may be disguising today in the name of ISIS (Da’esh). One thing about Da’esh that is also becoming clear each day that Da’esh has nothing to do with Islam. It is nothing more than a group of criminals that continue to join into a network of evilness that the world that includes everyone else would need to mobilize against. The tools of war are not necessary the answer. I still believe firmly that violence breed’s violence, in any shape or form. And I cannot also declare loudly or secretly that the world forces should join to kill them. As the whole notion used in recruitment to anyone to join, and as the identity of a potential Da’esh could be of any race, gender and ethnicity. From any background, rich, poor, oppressed or bred in the luxury of democracy, and in many ways, they are succeeding. The enemy becomes anonymous and close. Close enough to be right there in our secured homes.
I am not also a candidate for a blame school. However, it is important to learn the lesson of our past faults. 11 Sept, in many ways, was the cornerstone of change that made the world split into terror and anti-terror slogans, which became a day in day out what became today an outcome that created the formula of Da’esh. The insistence on defining terror in a suit of an Islamic jihadist, to a level where any Muslim became a suspect. Any Muslim name, figure, shape entitled the world to scrutinize the person and push him into a place of suspicion that eventually created a state of exclusion.
Being a Palestinian makes this a norm. Understanding the mindset of the excluded. But the world as it runs with a certain normalcy isn’t Palestinian exclusion oriented. Imagine a world of people that are pointed at, excluded, threatened in the basic of their being, stripped from what makes humanity at its base, in freedoms, such as movement and shelter. The whole phobia of Islamic terrorism that invaded the mindset of the last two decades created a new reality inside each and every one of us. We all became judgmental, and extremists, each within his scope or extremity. Our lives became a set of continuous insecurities that searched a guilty one to blame.
When the white family is intimidated by the black and vice versa. When the Muslim threatens the Christian… when the fat is bullied by the skinny. When the elitist torments the local …when the Sunni anguishes the Shiite. The Wahhabi, Baha’i. The Buddhist and the Muslim. Semitic, anti-sematic. Jews and Arabs. An endless list of countless intimidation by anyone who becomes the “other.”
This is where extremism is fostered. In our very own homes. Those of us who claim liberalism and secularism, atheists or freethinkers. We are all part of this dangerous game that is called extremism …its end name is Da’esh today … Fascists, KKKs, Nazis, …….the list of terror resulting from extremism along our history is also endless. Coming from all religions and sects. Being fought under the name of a belief or a holy believed cause.
The terror awaits us today, is no longer far away and distant while we are safe in the luxury of our secure zones. It became so close that we all participate in nourishing it. And as horrifying as it is growing. The only weapon we can indeed fight in is in our individual spaces. In our very own homes. With our very own family members and circles of friends. Each one of us needs to become the very own shield of anti-extremism that is protected by acceptance, tolerance, and love.
It is becoming an obligation to each and every one of us to become the right notions we preach intolerance and acceptance.