The tragedy of our state of humanity (Blog post)
I like to start, as I do with any piece by Gods grace, to apologise in advance for any ignorance in my narratives, as they are opinions based on observations.
Another tragic event takes place, prompting similar reactions from around the country. Similar frustrations and shifts of attitudes, in what seems an all-too-familiar and vicious cycle. The responses are so frighteningly similar every time, the points, counter points and the widespread ignorance – the same hysteria ensues in what appears to be an ever more aggressive response. All of this builds up, with everyone directing his or her energy to a symptom that they attribute to be the cause.
Tabloids: They seem to have the well-known habit of generating fear, and using similar trigger words to evoke emotive response. If the culprit uses any words related to Islam in their acts of violence, the word terrorism is almost certainly going to also appear. This of course brings hostility in itself, with one group increasingly frustrated that whenever an individual brings religion into the equation, suddenly the whole religion is to blame. Another counter group are increasingly frustrated that Muslims seem to be making excuses for themselves, that these incidents are far too common and the cause must be Islam. Many Muslims grow annoyed of having to defend their faith and insistence that these are acts of individuals, who misquote verses or attribute their actions to some Divine cause.
The conspiracy theorists: While the tabloid response is far exaggerated and prone to feeding bias on the one hand, there is the other end of the spectrum, who although may be rightfully sceptical, draw conclusions every time for every incident with videos and ‘proofs’ detailing why the act is related to some sort of conspiracy.
Selective politics: There is very much, in all of us arguably, a selective empathy which destroys our reason. While many of us would say that a human life is sacred, no matter whose it is, the reality of our reasoning is often quite different. It’s why we see all too commonly a group that see their country as being taken by foreigners who are destroying the country, and grow fearful and develop enmity towards the groups associated with the perpetrators. Then, an offshoot of Muslims or whichever other groups with whom the act is attributed to will mention how many more die unknown or uncared for, in their homelands as a result of foreign invasion by these countries in their homelands, and how these are often ignored.
Social networking: Serving to remind me why I deactivate in the first place. This gives rise to many rants and opinions, ranging from respectful rest in peace slogans, to borderline/ outright racist remarks, because the Internet offers that channel as our outlet to frustration. When dealing with so many emotions as a result of another event that is seems like isolated events, it’s unsurprising everyone, whether they may or may not have before held an opinion, forms attributes and links whether consciously or sub-consciously that affects their thinking and viewpoints.
The events are not isolated: Whether it was the UK riots, which were often deemed as senseless and not politically motivated, or the bombings in Boston, there are great fears of security, and rightly so. We’re inclined towards this ‘us against them’ mentality. If we feel there is danger at our doorstep, tragic experiences ultimately change our outlook. When we’re not careful and thinking rationally, we all feel the need to hold someone responsible, and when such acts seem so common, we’re bound to notice a pattern between who is committing the crime and enlisting them to groups of similar traits (e.g. if the individual is coloured, or belongs to a particular culture or religion, and this isn’t the first such event, we’d be prone to believe the actions are a trait among these groups rather than the individuals because the events feed into our current perceptions or stereotypes).
Reactionary offshoot groups: From the EDL to Anjem Chaudharys Islam4UK, there’s a worrying increase of support for these groups whenever more such tragedies occur. Peoples’ allegiances grow to soften towards the values of these groups because of the frustration and that relation of some common values.
To sum up: All I’ve mentioned are just some observations, that seem to repeat themselves consistently, and sadly seems to erupt further with time, dealing with a variety of different issues that we seem to try to deal with all in one go. It’s why we’ll keep seeing the same verses from the Quran that those against religion use to try to prove Islam is the cause, the Muslims posting verses trying to prove that Islam isn’t the cause, the general public that see it as an attack on their country from outsiders, the so-called outsiders that are frustrated that what is happening as a result of the wars on their homelands are largely ignored, the provocative media and their counter responses, it seems to be a vicious and never ending cycle because of our selective thinking, and our defensive nature that can make us prone to being ignorant to why another group feels as they do about a situation. Sensitivities are trampled on in the process, and the hard truth is, until we stop feeding into the cycle, and all take it upon ourselves to educate ourselves on why another group might feel a certain way rather than always being dismissive and each playing the victim, it’s not until we change ourselves and our mindsets and try to deal with these problems from the roots, that we might begin to realise that we may all have fair points and insecurities in this madness (though have a tendency to portray our concerns irrationally). As difficult it is, there’s an internal struggle to fight our own prejudices, our own emotions in times of turmoil, to not fall victim to losing our humanity and feeding into negativity. The ball is in all of our courts to work towards our own understanding and our circles and communities.
Thoughts with the family and friends. May the murdered soldier rest in peace, and so to all civilians and victims subject to mindless acts of violence worldwide.