I decided to continue my break from history to write about some of the things I've seen on recent articles here at WriterBeat.
I wanted to share with you that I don't understand racial or religious hatred. I'm glad I don't.
My father traveled to many different countries because of his job. He traveled to Syria and Yemen, Europe and South America. Along the way he figured out the Great Universal Truth. This is it:
Being an asshole cuts across racial and religious barriers. But so does being a good person.
My father encouraged me to read and along the way I developed a passion for science and history (well, and geekier stuff like Lord of the Rings but that's a story for another time). I learned about the heights of humanity and the wonders of creation.....I also learned about the depths of depravity and the horrors of unchecked science. I also learned tolerance, to me that was the greatest gift my father ever taught me.
Consequently I don't understand those that hate or fear those that are different from them. I honestly don't care about the color of a person's skin, how someone worships or who they like to screw. To me it's largely irrelevant, what matters is how they act and how they treat people.
It brings me to what I call the "phobias." It's an all around fear or hatred of a group of people based upon their religion. It's largely driven by irrational fears based upon stereotypes and conspiracy theories that have small kernels of truth buried in them. A great one is Islamophobia.
Muslims are terrorists!!!!!! Well, some of them are. Most of them are not. Yeah, I know, the ones that are terrorists are vocal, scary and take innocent lives but those are the exception, not the rule. There are a lot of Muslims, if all of them were terrorists we would be well and truly screwed. You can link this with the fear of refugees but, oddly, terrorist incidents among refugees is rare. Most of the terrorist incidents spring from home grown, naturalized citizens or natives. Yes, I know about the incidents of sexual assault and rape that have occurred. Those are crimes that need to be punished, not attributed to the refugee population as a whole. Those crimes are hardly exclusive to refugees.
Naturally, since, you know, I'm a Zionist Troll, I have to talk about Judeophobia. I'm not going to call it antisemitism, after all, to paraphrase something Stone-Eater said, that doesn't necessarily deal with Jews. What I see is a need to demonize Jews, to attribute almost mystical powers to them. Jews are pictured as an amorphous mass with a hive mind, spinning webs and controlling governments. The Rothschilds own everything, the Mossad sees everything and Israel is the root of all evil. Depending on your feelings about Adolf Hitler you also believe they caused the war and faked the Holocaust. The Mossad apparently helped the CIA fake 9-11.
It's all nonsense, rooted in centuries of Judeophobia. Is Israel a trouble spot in the Middle East? Yes. Do I agree with Israeli policies? Not all of them, no. Do I understand some of them? Yes, based on Israeli obsession with their defense....based on two thousand years of oppression culminating in an attempted genocide during WW II. Does it make it right? No and I'd like to see U.S. aid linked to Israeli compliance with international law. Do I have the power to make that happen? No.
Now, I know a lot of you Islamophobes and Judeophobes can misquote the Quran and Torah to your heart's content. I can do the same with the Bible. It doesn't make it right.