19 07 10 - 14:01Muslims are most commonly represented in the Western media as transparent caricatures. Depending on which side you're on, you'll see one of two cartoons:
- The populist right-wing tries to play them off as terrorists who are incompatible with democracy and thus, Our Freedom.
- The socially savvy left-wing tries to present them as the classic victim minority who possesses some kind of spiritual enlightenment and exotic truthfulness we've lost in the West.
And of course before the curtain falls, out come the hardline Islamic fundamentalists to remind us that they want us all dead -- or, if we can't die quietly, at least cnoverted to Islam. In this deck of cards they're the Joker, which true to form shows up rarely in the steady diet of stereotypes fed to us by our televisions, politicians, advertising, friends and pub conversation.
It's important to understand the game these groups play. The purpose of terrorism is to cause fear and disruption in society, to eventually fracture a whole country and lead it into chaos. When the World Trade Center was attacked on 9/11 the Islamic terrorists achieved such a division between muslims and non-muslims in Europe and the USA. The destruction was twofold: Muslims were suddenly feared, but as a result Muslim immigrants were also discriminated against. This way the host countries in the West see themselves as both victim and aggressor, just like they see their enemy as the same. This prevents any clear mandate to warfare or tolerance.
Diversity makes a hard decision for the Muslim immigrant. If they join their host culture, they are seen as decadent sellouts by other Muslims. If they resist assimilation, they will be hated for appearing to be the enemy. The tension of this borderline position further forces radicalization and explains why many of the most radical voices in Islam come from Muslims who have been educated in the West or at least lived in the West or one of its colonies.
The populist right plays into this situation by further demonizing Islam. Fear makes loyal voters and is a convenient excuse for war. The neoconservatives successfully managed to stage a grand invasion of Iraq but they lost the media war that followed it. After a spectacular start with high-tech precision bombs being dropped on Iraq as fireworks and of course the famous Iraqi "minister of information" thrown in for light entertainment, the occupation of Iraq quickly turned to out be a media disaster.
Iraq grew more and more unstable than it was under Saddamâs reign. Terrorism became frenzied and US soldiers were often portrayed by the left-wing media as reckless youths who considered war a videogame. With more and more people in the west losing faith in their government for their involvement in the war the neocons soon found themselves cornered and were forced to retreat in the shadows. In came a new light: Barack Hussein Obama. A mulatto with an Islamic background who became president of the United States of America in 2009.
Meanwhile in Europe in the last ten years the populist right has gained more power and slowly but surely a more repressive climate is rising. And if the threat of terror isn't enough Europe also has the current financial crisis as a stimulant to run to the voting boxes and vote as right-wing as possible. Many left-wing parties have even caved in to the pressure of competition and adopted stances that would have been considered "racist" less than a decade ago.
The populist right can currently claim they're defending freedom of speech more than any other political party. But the left-wing has adopted a new strategy, which we could call Bonoboism: bend over and let the other dominate us. They have Obama to set the example of how we can all get along as long as we blend in nicely with each other. Where the right seduces with war, the left seduces with peace, suggesting that if we just give up being who we are and blend, we can create a perfect peaceful ideal society where no bad things happen. They're not the first to promise this in history, although such a society has never occurred.
Underneath all these current events the game is still the same: the populist right-wing wants a uniform society of suits and ties, the left-wing wants a more diverse society where rastafaris and hippie girls walk hand in hand (and later get bred into a uniform shade of tan). Both parties are too busy with their own agenda to see the bigger picture: one party only cares about monetary gain and the other is obsessed with equality and political correctness. And so both plod along through the vast desert of democracy arguing with each other over which direction they should go. It's business as usual, with no focus on changing our direction for the future -- unlike an act of terror, or a sudden emotional tantrum for peace, long-term planning doesn't go over well with the voters.
In this desert of truth, the happy oblivion party of Democracy, Freedom and Consumerism got ambushed by a gang of Muslim pirates. And now the right-wing calls for less tolerance towards muslims because of terrorism while the left-wing calls for more tolerance towards muslims because of terrorism. Because of this dualistic approach, Islam has entered the deck of political cards as the Joker, to be played by either party whenever possible. We can expect both more terrorist threats inspired by cartoons and more Islamic Miss USAs in the future. The game that is played is politics and nothing else -- while ethnic and religious clashes remain a way of life, these are merely pawns for the political parties who are too busy fighting each other to think of our future.
The underlying circumstance of this situation -- which no one will mention -- is that as globalization increases, as a result cultural differences are exposed more every day. In their thirst for power neither the right, the left nor the fundamentalists seem to realize that they are pushing the same globalist agenda that has led to these clashes in the first place.
Ancient cultures have become corroded and are replaced with modern icons that promise more that they can deliver. Blinded by their own arrogance and greed the motives of all parties have become increasingly questionable. Can't we live in peace without having to adjust to a stranger's standards? Can't we keep our own standards, and not blend everyone into an average, an aggregate that destroys every culture equally? That doesn't go over well with the voters. They respond well to big emotional symbols, like burning twin towers or first non-white presidents, but nothing else.
We are now 10 years into the 21st century; pick a spear and choose your side. Meanwhile the big boys will be busy at the table playing their old card game, conquering the world by dividing it more and more. This form of genteel corruption will never be exposed by the democratic process because it profits too many. However, it's possible that a fourth force -- not Right, not Left, not Islam -- can keep the balance.
If all those who want the traditional order to survive despite the closing of global distances were to unite, they could push back this tide of stupidity. After all, we want the same thing: "Europe for Europeans" is a localized variant of the statement "Muslim lands for Muslims!" What unites thinking people who like tradition is that we do not want to be averaged and for our cultures and heritages to be destroyed. We want to be who we are, and we see how globalization is destruction and want to oppose it.
If Islamic conservatives learn to work together with Christian conservatives and manage to get rid off the stigmata of terrorism there might be hope for them in the western world. But as long as western Muslims play the part of being the spoiled and whining adopted child of liberalism and capitalism there is no future for them. We might as well give them a Sex Pistols CD and a squat to live in so they can join an equally dispossessed Western youth in futile rebellion, with no actual solution in sight. - Umbrage