Thursday, September 07, 2006

Highly successful strategy: Making the victim feel guilty

Though the West is surely not blameless, either through history or today, in its treatment of Muslims, the idea that responsibility for the woes of the Islamic world these past few hundred years can be laid at somebody else’s door is escapist fantasy.

The nasty regimes of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt conveniently emphasise this victim status to divert attention from their own repression and inequality and to blame Israel. The failure of Palestinians to create an orderly and successful society is blamed on “the occupation”.

The failure of many Muslims in Europe, especially in Britain, to integrate effectively is laid at the feet of a white racist society that excludes them. The real injustices suffered by these communities become a convenient smokescreen to hide their own flaws.

This victim mentality reaches its apotheosis in the minds of a few in the hideous distortion of martyrdom. The image of the suicide bomber captures the ultimate catharsis of victimhood and at the same time the ultimate escape and liberation from it — the violent immolation of the victim on the altar of a sacred ideology. Of course this is a perversion of the very idea of sacrifice. Martyrdom is a willingness to die for one’s faith, not a willingness to take hundreds of innocents with you in the process.

Pierre Rehov, an Algerian-born French filmmaker, who produced a documentary, Suicide Killers, was asked in a TV interview this year how the world could end the madness of suicide bombings and terrorism. “Stop being politically correct and stop believing that this culture is a victim of ours,” he said.

Of course, this celebration of victimhood plays to the West’s deep sense of guilt, producing a fearful complementarity that makes today’s crisis so potent — a civilisation all too willing to accept the blame for the woes of a people all too willing to blame them.

Gerard Baker

We really need to ask ourselves who really is the victim here. Forget the sins of the fathers. All of our fathers have sinned, each and every one, and we all have been marked by their wrongdoing, no matter where we come from.

But today, let us see what is really happening.

Who builds its paramilitary structure right in the heart of civilian areas? Who lobs rockets where they know the most likely targets are civilians? Who calls for the destruction of entire nations, entire peoples? Who has been involved with what? Who was a combatant? Who chose the road of hate, and who tried to make a life? Who set bombs in airplanes full of civilians? Who flew airplanes into other buildings? Who set bombs off so that people on vacation would die? Who encourages the chaos that keeps Gaza a miserable place?

It is not the people on vacation, the people busy at work in New York, the people riding the Tubes in London, the firemen in Sweden who are pelted if they enter the wrong neighborhoods, people whose cars were burned in France, the bystanders who went to the store to have some person sweep the intersection with bullets, the Russian children kidnapped on the first day of school, the baby intentionally targeted by a sniper.

Name things what they truly are, and not what the meme of the day says they are, then make your decisions, one way or the other.

Who talks of hate instead of building? Who talks of death instead of living?


Post a Comment

<< Home