The recent elections in Germany showed a spine chilling rise in the far right and it’s terrifying quite frankly. Yes, the country voted in the majority for common sense but there was still a percentage who seem to think that hatred is the answer (We can sit and gasp from this side of the water but actually we are the only country in the past year in Europe who have allowed the right wing to win an election). But Germany has its very own history, that is still not history, for there are people able to tell the tale first hand and it is not something that we can afford to just say ‘well that won’t happen again.’
I seem to have started all political, I didn’t mean to but I guess that is what is happening, we are being led by the nose by politicians and many many people are not happy. I have been asking the question for some time now, do we actually need politicians? What role do they actually play? What is their purpose? We seem to look to politicians for answers, for solutions and it has become increasingly clear that they are not able to do this. It would be impossible for any one single person to have all the answers and all the knowledge to be able to run a country, or run most things way smaller than a country for that matter. How can we expect one person to be able to do that? We can expect better than we are getting for sure, but why do we keep turning to them for sanctuary and safety when again and again they crap upon the people of their countries from a very great height. Why do we not turn to ourselves for the wisdom and guidance that we seem to be seeking?
I went to see a film last night about Islamaphobia and the talk afterwards inspired these thoughts along with yet another attack yesterday on a man entering a mosque. At the after film talk was a man who used to be part of the English Defence League, the same sort of groups of people who have just gained strength in Germany. He was brave in talking out and said that he is now on the receiving end of the hatred that he used to dish out and it’s not pleasant. Basically, he said that he used to read the papers, media and believe what was written. Seeing is not believing, very different things. Based upon what he read, this led him to carry out acts of hatred. Why and how have the media in this country not yet been prosecuted for incitement of hatred? How does it keep happening? I don’t understand one bit. Diatribe keeps getting churned out and people keep believing it. Actually, the people who have consistently been on the receiving end of racist attacks in this country have, over a number of years now, been people from the Chinese community but we never hear anything about this, why? What purpose does it serve, to whoever it is in charge, to demonise the muslim community in this way that actually leads to people getting attacked? Why and how can anyone lump together a bunch of people who, as individuals, are as different from one another as any other community. I have not met two muslims who are the same, two christians who are the same, two atheists who are the same, two anybody who are the same so, whenever anybody starts a sentence with ‘They…’ it makes me want to tape their mouths up (that’s being polite).
In the same way, it is individuals who hate, not communities. Those individuals may seek out like minded (I use that term very loosely) people and create groups that can hate together but it is only ever really an individual that can hate. As the film said ‘hate is easy… to understand takes courage.’ Although the media cannot force us to think in a certain way, it can certainly have a strong influence. As the director of the film said, ‘McDonalds do not force you to eat burgers but they give you many reasons to want to eat them.’ While the media keeps churning out all these vile untruths it is up to all of us to go out and talk to people, get to know people, make up our own minds without opting for the lazy and toxic route of hatred or, just as bad, indifference.
If there is something that we do not understand, then we need to get informed rather than keep looking for a scapegoat. I have spoken with many people who say that they do not understand the religion of Islam. Then get informed rather than lumping people together. I don’t pretend to be an expert but Islam has many different versions in the same way that all religions do. There is room within all religions for different versions. The divisions within those different versions are often created by those from outside, such as invading a country, to boost the age old tactic of divide and conquer. If you hold a prejudice against a so called group of people then you are part of the problem. There are arses within every single sector of society, that is individuals again rather than a whole community. We are never going to solve the problem of there being arseholes except than to try and not be one ourselves. The world is not perfect but please don’t make it any worse.