Sunday, April 01, 2007


“It is the notion of ‘otherness’ that results in fear."
-Brihanyaka Upanishad i.4.2

Governments and the media peddle fear as a means of staying in power and selling news. While it is true that there really are some genuinely dangerous fanatics at large in the world, it is a well recognised habit of 'individual' and collective psyches to project their own unacknowledged aggression and hatred onto an 'other'. At present, Islam has been selected as the chosen 'other' despite the fact that the vast majority of Muslims are peace-loving people, and violent fanaticism is to be found in virtually all religions (or at least in groups claiming to represent those religions). Al Quaeda has about as much to do with Islam as the Aum Supreme Truth sarin cult has to do with Buddhism, or the Ku Klux Klan has to do with Christianity.
Europeans have been terrorising the rest of the world for centuries. The term terrorist originally referred to exponents of The Terror, another name for the French Revolution. But somehow the atrocities of other peoples seem to outshine, in the European eye, their own (Auschwitz, Dresden, Srebrenica, Omagh, etc) and are grasped upon as evidence of the barbarity of the non-European.

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