K so through a series of unwise mistakes I have once again become trapped on the eastside during rush hour so now I feel like I should kill time to wait out the traffic which leads me to this question: should I eat KFC for the first time in my life?
What can I do against ISIS, what vegetarian foods should I eat, which jeans should I wear to look god? At first glance these sentences seem disconnected, but they all centre around the “I” and which effect the actions will have on “others”. Western world advertisement teaches us to think in opposites: me against them, more beautiful than…, bigger slice of cake then, rather a white person than….”
This is earth.
Earth is small. We’re stuck together. We only have each other. We are all human beings, we’re all pretty much the same.
First I’m going to tell you how I’ve been informed* ISIS collects their men. (I was informed by the show called #tegenlicht on Dutch tv channel VPRO, broadcast somewhere in October 2015).
Muslims do not feel welcome.
Using social media and videos, ISIS reaches out to them and offers them 1) an environment where they will be welcomed warmly, 2) a part of the holy war.
These muslim people (often young ones) who have at times been treated as second-rate humans, are moved by this message.
Some depart to Syria or Turkey, to travel to the IS.
Secondly I’m going to tell you what you can do as counter-move.
All the people want, is to feel welcome, and to get recognition. You may not be able to reach out to the Muslims that are thinking about departing to the IS, but you may encounter members of their family or community. Muslims are welcome here. They are welcome at another part of this big blue earth we are on together.
Consciously treat them like how you’d like to be treated. Don’t be afraid.
On the crowded bus, sit down next to a Muslim man instead of remaining standing. Give the Muslim girl a job opportunity even if you can’t pronounce her name. Approach the Muslim boys at school and ask what they think about the attacks. They count. Big blue earth.
And maybe the Muslim grandmother you gave your spot in the grocery store queue had a good day because of it, and thus has energy to talk some sense in her extremist grandson’s mind - enough for him to stay.
SYRIAN REFUGEES are human people too. Their human rights are violated. The attacks in PARIS were the reality they are trying to escape. So instead of rejecting them (I am looking at you, right-wing parties) because you’re scared of attacks… know that those people are even more scared of attacks because they have been in the middle of them. Vote for peace and humanity.
Some call this a “war on terrorism”, and maybe that’s how it should be treated.
You don’t win a war by making more enemies. Win a war by making friends.