Who in God’s name are "THEY"?

26 Jul

Western people should be aware of the many dramatically different shades of opinion in the Muslim world. There are too many lazy, unexamined assumptions about Islam, which tends to be regarded as an amorphous, monolithic entity. Remarks such as “They hate our freedom” may give some a righteous glow, but are not useful because they are rarely accompanied by a rigorous analysis of who exactly “they” are… — Karen Armstrong

That is from what I now see to be one of the most relevant and timely posts I have ever put on my Tripod English and ESL site. I was over at the girls school today, having been given some poems written by a Year 12 student there to comment on, and the Head of English there, an old friend, and I agreed the world had indeed gone mad lately. “Can you believe,” said Tess, “someone told me talk-back radio yesterday was wall-to-wall ‘why I hate Muslims’.”

Sadly, I can believe it. And it is utterly wrong. Hating “them”, whoever “they” might be, and most people have no idea who “they” actually are, is just as wrong as “they” hating “us.” The hate is the disease. More hate is never the solution.

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There is nothing strange or new in followers of Islam, even young ones of Bangladeshi, Indian, Pakistani, Iraqi or other origin, such as those in the Salt Mine’s Islamic Students’ Society — Australians all — opposing terrorism. Witness the poster (above) they put up around the school last year.

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Posted by on July 26, 2005 in Australia and Australian, education, fundamentalism and extremism, Islam, Multicultural, personal, racism, right wing politics, Salt Mine, Sunday lunch


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