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Not in MY country.

Discussion in 'UK and World News' started by jhawk, Nov 14, 2017.

  1. jhawk

    jhawk Member

    Yesterday, a 7.3 magnitude earthquake struck near the Iran/Iraq border, killing over 400 people and injuring 7,000. It also leaves over 70,000 people without their homes

    This was covered by global news outlets, of course, including CBC News. And no matter where I looked in Canadian news outlets online, I found some variation of the following comments.

    "What goes around comes around!" or:
    "Not near enough deaths!" or,
    "All this does is add more people to hell!" or,
    "That's what you get for supporting ISIS!"

    And I know -- I know I should probably just ignore it... But I can't. I find it impossible to ignore, because to ignore it is to leave it to fester and for the bigotry to grow and so I'm going to attempt in some small way, to shut it down right now.

    I don't know where everyone's humanity went? I can understand being culturally ignorant. I can understand being geographically ignorant. I can understand ignorance. Really, I get it -- someone had to teach all of us how to use a spoon, after all. But this is not ignorance.

    Ignorance would be, for example, asking (a perfectly fair question if you genuinely did not know), where those two countries were. Which is totally acceptable unless you're a geography student.

    Ignorance, for example, would be saying that one of the countries in which the earthquake occurred, Iran, is somehow supporting ISIS. When they are opposed to each other on every single level -- theologically, ideologically, politically -- opposition is what you'll find. Given the chance, ISIS would wipe Iran off the face of the earth -- and vice-versa. You could also be forgiven for not knowing that the earthquake's epicentre was in Halabja, in Iraqi Kurdistan, a city mostly populated by Iraqi Kurds -- also opposed to ISIS. But, if you don't know that they're all different from each other, then you'd easily presuppose that they're all the same. That's OK, people can explain to you how that isn't the case and you'd learn differently and hopefully that would change your perspective.

    But these comments were not coming from a place of ignorance -- because they did not ask any questions, they did not seek to provoke intellectual discussion. Instead, they were coming from a place of bigotry, perhaps hatred, intolerance, and a place where -- obviously -- one has foregone one's humanity and compassion and replaced it instead with some sort of irrational lust for vengeance.

    And that is perhaps the most sickening thing about this whole bloody episode. There are people -- at least hundreds, by the looks of the comment sections on CBC -- across the country whom look upon an act of nature, which causes hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries and they think, "Good. They deserve it.", or some other equally outrageous statement.

    And to be honest, I didn't expect it. I didn't expect of my fellow Canadians that you could at once be so ignorant whilst also being so damn heartless and removed from your humanity.

    Four hundred people are dead.

    Seven thousand-plus are injured.

    Seventy thousand are without their homes.

    Through no fault of their own other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    And you -- you can sit there, in your gigantic ivory tower and mock the dead and wish there were MORE of them?!

    This isn't what represents Canada. I know that. But it speaks to a growing sentiment of bigotry, ignorance and generally a sense of resentment towards the 'other'. People are rejoicing in the deaths of other people simply because they happen to not live where they live, not worship as they do, or speak a different language to them. And that second point is perhaps the crux of the issue -- the mention of Allah in the comments I've seen would suggest that it's about anti-Muslim bigotry.

    Well, allow me to tell you this: this idea that Islam or Muslims are monoliths is nonsense. The Muslim community worldwide, and indeed in this country, is as diverse a community as one could possibly imagine. They are not all the same. I shouldn't have to say it, I really shouldn't, not in this day and age. Not in a time where everyone has the literal world at their literal fingertips and can learn about anything from anywhere at any time. But nonetheless, here we are and I'll have to run through it again.

    ISIS believes in a particular brand of Sunni Islam, known as Salafi-jihadism -- which is a part of a version of Islam known as Salafism -- the word "Salaf" means "devout ancestors" of the Prophet Muhammad -- and thus, Salafi Muslims seek to emulate the Prophet in the way in which they live their lives. There are three Salafi schools of thought -- Purists, Politicos and Jihadists.

    Salafis who adhere to the first school - Purist Salafists -- believe in a non-violent devotion to God and believe that politics is an interference or distraction in this devotion -- thus, they avoid it. They are socially and religiously conservative, but they do not seek to impose that belief upon other people through politics.

    Salafis who adhere to the second school -- Political Salafis -- believe in a non-violent devotion to God, expressed in the political arena and emphasize that Salafism should be reflected politically.

    And finally, we have groups like ISIS and Al-Qaeda, who are Salafi-jihadists. A minority within the Salafi community who believe in the violent propagation of their religion -- by force, and in the case of ISIS and Al-Qaeda, etc, these are jihadist-terrorists -- that is, they believe in the use of violence against civilians in furtherance of their objectives.

    I should also point that there is myriad differentiation between Salafis themselves, also. One is not necessarily like the other, no matter which school of thought they belong to..

    Since people seem to be intent on confusing Iran with ISIS -- there is a fundamental difference between the two. Most Iranians are Shi'a Muslims, and almost everyone who subscribes to the worldview of the Islamic State believes that there is no finer thing on this earth than to murder all of the Shi'a -- whom they see as apostates (because if you do not believe as ISIS believes, then to them, that makes you a "reject of Islam" and therefore you are legitimate targets for slaughter).

    As for the Iraqis -- Halabja is an area within Iraqi Kurdistan -- the Kurds in northern Iraq faced slaughter at the hands of ISIS -- once again -- not willing to submit to their brand of Islam? According to them, that makes you an apostate and therefore legitimate targets for slaughter -- ISIS murdered hundreds, if not thousands of Kurds when it moved into Kurdish areas of northern Iraq.

    So, never mind the human bankruptcy of your claims about this earthquake somehow being a fitting punishment for ISIS -- you are intellectually and factually wrong, as well. If you're going to behave like a person devoid of your moral compass, please do not also be devoid of your brain. Like I said, the whole world is literally at your fingertips.

    Of course, the point of this whole thing is that I think, the next time you see people being assholes to Muslims like the people on CBC News' comment section, or just in general anywhere -- the next time you see people making light of a human tragedy for no other purpose than some sort of sick desire for vengeance -- maybe you could turn to the pathetic excuse for a human being next to you and ask them where they lost their compassion and humanity.

    This is NOT a reflection of the country I moved to.

    This is NOT a reflection the country I know and I love.

    And this will NOT become a reflection of a country filled with the sort of ignorance, hatred and bigotry that causes someone to rejoice in the deaths of other people.

    This is my country now. And this sh!t will NOT happen in my country. Not while I still draw breath.

    *If you do want to be productive in helping out, aside from calling out the assholes... Here is a link, with other links to organizations providing aid.

  2. Jezza

    Jezza Regular Member

    Well said.
    There have been some shockingly cruel comments online about that earthquake.
    gravity aided likes this.
  3. Spinney

    Spinney Regular Member

    Excellent post, well said.
    gravity aided likes this.
  4. gravity aided

    gravity aided Member

    True. We've got to quit this business of viewing others as different, and search for the commonalities.