Che the radical Islamist?
Is it the beard that fooled people?
I tend to 'stumble' every now and then to find like minded souls and explore the fascinating world of cyber revolution. Stumble upon is a great forum to share ideas, thoughts, pictures and even blogs. I just had a long time 'friend' of mine - whom i have never met but stumbled with regularly, take me of her 'friends' list for 'siding' with the radical muslims. HHmmm. Interesting I thought. I don't recall siding with anybody. Quite the contrary really.
Firstly, as a socialist and revolutionary, I couldn't possibly side with the Christian or Muslim right. Secondly, i hoped and thought that i was making clear my intentions - which were and are of the purest nature. My intentions were to offer perspective of the 'other' side, which, for Europeans and Americans, is the Muslim side.
My friend was offended that i had abandoned ship and joined the ranks of religious fanatics. What blog was she reading? To me, this is just further proof of just how much of an understanding gap there is. The privelage many of us have in the west to be as left, liberal, and secular as we like is not one many people in the not-so-democratic Muslim world enjoy. Yes, i said privelage. We can afford to be what we feel to be because our society lets us. Many Muslims societies, however, are quite different....dare i say drastically different. They certainly are more traditional and conservative - but that does not make them radical jihadists.
One thing we have not grasped in the west is that their religion is not a once a week on Sunday occassion. It is an integral part of every day of practicing Muslims lives. Society is built on the pillars of Islam, one prays five times per day, it has a direct effect on most aspects of life - right down to what people eat and how the eat it. These are not bad things...they are just different. And its these differences that both sides are intolerant of.
Muslims don't hate the west. Most anti-west Muslim sentiment is solely based on the exploitive nature of western foreign policy towards our drug dealers - the oil rich Middle East. The violence, manipulation, oppression of many Muslims is supported by - and even created by - the western powers. The Saudi regime is the finest example.
I strongly felt we missed a great opportunity after Sept. 11. We failed to ask why and how. Why would anyone feel so desperate and angry to do what they did? How can we engage with them to assure this doesn't happen again? We did neither. We called the war cries. And look where it's gotten us. That's why I am trying, in my own way, to shed light on the thought that we might be different and that is, well, really ok.
My mom always told me, 'two wrongs don't make a right, son.' No, you're right mom, they don't. She also taught me that there are two sides to every coin - and i will truly understand only when i look on both sides. That, my friends, is my intention. Not to choose sides - but to show them.
Hasta la coin siempre