Despite being ostracized, constantly ridiculed , and bullied for being a Muslim, I will never reciprocate the same treatment.(Lies ! the skeptics reading this will say). For some, this is an obvious natural response, but to others, a person seen smiling and reciting prayers of happiness to those who want nothing more for them than to burn in a harrowing fire, is an odd sighting , one that ignites skeptic’s emotions, skeptics that would argue such a response goes against our very own nature. A sign of weakness perhaps ? No, a trick by the dirty terrorist ! Don’t fall for it. I think it’s really sad that behavior that was once considered a given, has become so foreign to our temperament, to our essence. but I don’t blame them….to some extent that is.
Humans, the mammals gifted with speech. The elevated beeing blessed with moral awareness, and the ability to differentiate right from wrong, and the sole reason for all earthly suffering. Humans are weak. That part is clear, it is our flaw. Perhaps the events devised by humans throughout the ages, causing our humanity to deteriorate in such away, are too strong to overlook, even when it goes against that which we inherently know isn’t the case. After all, what do we know ? So no, I don’t blame them. But that doesn’t mean that it isn’t hard. The right thing usually is. Yes, believe me, it’s hard when you are stood there for hours trying to debunk a myth by spreading peace and love, before a person that feels no remorse for the lost lives of innocent people and children ! Why ? Because they are Muslim, they are the enemy, they are the other,”their lives don’t matter. They deserve it.” Yes, I understand the hatred, you want it to stop, I get it, and so do the parents of those innocent children.What you are saying makes you a hypocrite. How is it any different from what you accuse Muslims of? It isn’t. Here is a story I read in another online blog that demonstrates our capacity to become the very thing we hate, by psychology today blogger, Peter Bregman. The following is the excerpt mentioned :
One by one people stood up—people from the U.S., Colombia, Somalia, Mexico, Israel—and spoke about the cruelty they had experienced in their countries. As I heard about family members being kidnapped, raped, or killed, people being bombed and forced to live in refugee camps, my empathy for the victims and my anger at the perpetrators intensified.
Then a quiet woman named Nancy spoke. “We all participate in one way or the other,” she said, “We are all guilty.”
I could no longer restrain myself. “We’re all guilty?” I burst at Nancy. “Really? How about the babies who are dying or the women who have been raped? Are they guilty too? Guilty just like the rapists? That’s ridiculous!”
The room went silent.
Nancy shrank, and I didn’t care. Actually, that’s not true—I did care. I loved it. It felt great to lash out. I felt powerful. Safe from the violence. Righteous. And relieved, as the tension that was building inside me began to subside.
Then Ian, who hadn’t yet said a word, spoke into the silence. He asked me if I could see myself killing, if I were in, say, Somalia. I was quick to respond no.
“You scare me,” Ian said
I scared him? I was the one showing outrage at evil! He shouldn’t be scared of me; he should be scared of people who could see themselves killing.
But Ian was on to something deep and important. Something all leaders need to understand: When empathy plays favorites, we should all be scared.
It makes us feel better to separate ourselves from people whose behavior we don’t like. It makes us feel moral, safe, and beyond reproach. But separating the other people as evil means we are more likely to lash out at them and, before we know it, become cruel ourselves.
I am not saying that we should excuse violence or poor behavior. There must be consequences to people who act destructively. But psychologically separating ourselves from them makes us dangerous.
It didn’t take long for me to learn that lesson firsthand.
I was still filled with emotion from the last conversation when Günther, a German man, started yelling in German, and slamming a tennis racket onto a large foam block, one of the tools that Ann uses in her workshop to get energy moving.
Every time the racket slammed down, I flinched. His accent, the yelling, and the slamming brought me back to my family’s memories of the Holocaust. My mother and her family were in hiding in France during the war, and her newborn sister, Ariel, was killed by a doctor who gave her milk that was too thick. He said he did it because she was Jewish.
I imagined Günther in a Nazi uniform, cold eyes peering out behind a low-hanging army cap, emblazoned with a swastika. I was flooded with rage, sadness, and fear. My whole body was shaking. I pictured baby Ariel, dead, wrapped in a blanket, as I picked up the racket.
I slammed the racket on the cube with all my strength. “Stop it,” I screamed, completely swept up in the moment. “Stop screaming. Stop the hatred. Stop the violence.”
In that moment, I could have killed Günther.
But Günther isn’t a Nazi. He’s a software developer with a German accent.
In other words, I didn’t want to kill Günther for something he had done. I wanted to kill him for something he represented. For his accent.
In that moment—and I feel chills down my spine as I write this—Günther wasn’t the Nazi. I was.
You can check out the full blog here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/how-we-work/201111/how-avoid-becoming-person-you-hate.
So in conclusion, In us, we have the capacity for both good and evil, with every decision we make in our daily lives, we are presented with a choice, It was due to one choice that Anikan was transformed into “the very thing he swore to destroy”. One choice can be the determining factor in you becoming Luke or Vader.
I consider myself lucky to be able to see this and not fall into the traps of otherization. For many, it’s easy to be blinded, especially those who have lost people they love and have legitimate reasons for pointing the finger at the other side. And yet, believe it or not, even amongst them you will find those who’s humanity is still intact.For they know the danger of that mindset well. Those are the ones that truly disserve admiration.When I think about all the anger, violence, and deaths that result from this kind of hatred. Suddenly, it isn’t so hard for me to be nice. What’s a few kind words if it can prevent an avalanche of anarchy . So despite the rudeness and the hostility, I continue to smile in the face of those who insult me.Thus, was the way of my beloved prophet ( Sallah Allhu alhi wassalm). And that is my choice. 🙂 Peace/salam. Namaste,thank you, and goodnight.
Ps. this is my first blog, so be gentle, please. 😀