Dop 10 Fears. Not China: See the Protests. Among Top 10 Fears: Muslim Outrage! Effects of Terrorism: The West Caves In, even YouTube. Over coming Fear. The Question: How?
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Among Top 10 Fears: Muslim Outrage! Effects of Terrorism. Top 10 Fears.
WESTERN TOLERANCE and ISLAM
AN ONGOING BARRIER - FEAR
People often think they know what they're afraid of. According to my observations, often there's a lot we don't know.
China has been extremely repressive of Tibetans. Is the West afraid to speak out. No. Right now (April 8, 2008), there are huge demonstrations underway in the Western world. The Chinese had planned to have the Olympic torch taken country to country. Demonstrators are making that nearly impossible - and using the Chinese plan to stage massive protests against Chinese repression in Tibet.
In other words, people in the West are not afraid - not even of using fire extinguishers against the Olympic flame! People do need to be careful about Western police - but there is clearly no fear that the Chinese will retaliate by bombing Western protesters, hunting them down, putting a price on their heads, etc.
On the other hand, the same people don't protest against Muslim violence. Instead, I've heard masses of people intone: You mustn't offend anyone's religion. Most often, they're condemning the Danish cartoonist who drew a cartoon offensive to many Muslims. He shouldn't have done it. He knew it would lead to outrage, and so he shouldn't have done it.
Huge amounts of Muslims and non-Muslims alike accept that the Danish cartoon should never have seen the light of day and that Muslims outrage at it is acceptable, understandable.
My thought: perhaps people are just not thinking - it's easy to be for religious tolerance (the main non-Muslim reason for being against the cartoon), and it's easy to be offended at the cartoon (the main Muslim reason I've heard for being against it).
It's a lot more frightening to take on Muslim rage, Muslim violence, Muslim threats, etc.
So it's easy to stay safe, protest the cartoonist for daring to create a cartoon that was sure to be unpopular with Muslims - who are totally not acknowledging how it shows a major truth.
Is fear of taking on the Muslim religion one of the top 10 fears. I don't know. But speaking out when one is likely to get hostility is something many people back away from. So, many people don't stop a racist, homophobic, etc remark for fear of the anger their comment may provoke. Yet in this case there is often no threat of physical violence (unless one is revealing one is gay in a very homophobic environment).
When one speaks out against parts of the Muslim religion, one can look back at a history of Muslim violent retaliation: against a Dutch filmmaker, against former Muslims now against the Muslim religion, and so forth.
I don;t know if this make fear of Islamic retaliation one of the top 10 fears - it is a fear, often a fear lurking below awareness until one wants to speak out and finds ... oops, fear.
Click here for part of my own journey through fear, which came close to the start of the exploration of Muslim self-righteousness re the Danish cartoon:
Fear Casts a Long Shadow
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copyright Elsa Schieder, 2008, all rights reserved
Top 10 Fears. Not China: See the Huge Protests.