11/15/2015

THE COMPLEX


Some unrelated (but I guess kinda symbolic) photos that I took a couple of weeks back at Kakola prison in Turku.


Things are not as black and white as we often like to think. Something very tragic happened and people decided to make it into a symbolic event, "a crime against the whole of humanity". But what about the countless horrible things that have happened throughout history all around the world? What makes this tragedy so much more tragic than the rest? I happened to read this article by Elie Fares called "From Beirut, This Is Paris: In A World That Doesn't Care About Arab Lives", and she contemplates:

When my people died on the streets of Beirut on November 12th, world leaders did not rise in condemnation. There were no statements expressing sympathy with the Lebanese people. There was no global outrage that innocent people whose only fault was being somewhere at the wrong place and time should never have to go that way or that their families should never be broken that way or that someone’s sect or political background should never be a hyphen before feeling horrified at how their corpses burned on cement. Obama did not issue a statement about how their death was a crime against humanity; after all what is humanity but a subjective term delineating the worth of the human being meant by it?

Humanity, in its simplest definition referring to "all people" in Merriam-Webster Dictionary. Aren't muslims also part of that humanity? Such a thick wall has been established between the Western world and the Middle East. All springing from the event of British and French colonization after World War I. The Ottoman Empire was partitioned and distributed between the two powers - Britain claimed Iraq and Palestine, while France took over Syria and Lebanon. I am obviously not an expert in this subject but it would seem only natural for a society to react in some way or another when it is suddenly taken over by an outsider. In this case it has initiated a strong counter-reaction encouraging a strong sense of nationalism creating radicals who are ready to fight for their nation until death. But what people often forget is that this of course does not apply to the entire population of these countries.

        Then there is the U.S. with its obsession to intervene in everything. A person in my position with rather deficient knowledge of the seemingly complex relationship of these two parties can only try and guess what motivated the U.S. to get involved, but the most obvious answer is the thirst for power disguised as "fighting for justice at the behest of the local people". My father together with his family was among the people who had to leave their home as refugees during the civil war. He is a pretty rational guy (as well as a man of science) and I trust his judgement of the situation. He told me that in his (and many other Iraqi's) opinion the United States' intervention and removal of Saddam Hussein only left a power vacuum, which lead to chaos - a power struggle between the Shia and Sunni population. At least when there was a strict Sunni dictator there had been order (not saying that repression is a good thing but the reality is that his removal made things even worse, spiraling out of control). I can understand that many Iraqi people would subsequently have hard feelings toward the U.S. - I mean, who are they to have a say in how things should play out? An outsider with false motives should at least not be allowed to make a decision in that big of a matter.

       I feel like the problem is not so much differences in Western and Middle Eastern thinking - individualist and collectivist nations can live side by side in harmony. And not even a matter of religion. But both of those things do of course create a good basis for a hateful relationship, which, when fueled by an evil image of the Western world through imperialism, has created radicals determined to eliminate the enemy in the name of God. This of course works the other way around as well. The Western media provokes a state of panic and mistrust by constantly announcing about muslim terrorists, using language as a weapon. The point here is not to point fingers and blame anyone, it is to understand the origins of how things got to this point. That is the only way to approach this situation with any hope for a positive outcome through understanding. A counter-attack will only continue the evil spiral of hatred and revenge, which is no solution in itself. What that solution might be seems like an eternal mystery due to the complicated nature of the situation. But I hope that someday we will eventually figure it out and learn to live with each other in peace.

4 comments:

  1. Hello, I completely agree with everything you posted. It's vile that so many people found this event an excuse to turn against the refugees and Muslims in general. This really has nothing to do with religion. Those people want to take revenge, they want to kill and probably added religion to the mixture to attract more people to their cause.

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    1. Hey there Lena!

      Glad to hear you say that. I'm sure that many of these people, inclined to commit some pretty horrible stuff, just use Islam as a shield, as well as a means to create chaos and western hate towards muslims and refugees overall. However, I want to clarify one thing - in my opinion religion does play some part in it as well (although I am emphasizing the past historical events, which have led to this point - no one really knows how things would look today hadn't the west been so involved).

      Islam is problematic to some extent (which is completely expectable from any man-made creation), because it is a potentially bad ideology and such unfortunate interpretations can easily be made by some people. I mean, the sheer fact that according to Islam anyone who in one way or another turns against the religion should be stoned to death (which I hear is accepted by the majority of muslims) does not create a very healthy atmosphere. The central idea of Islam is to submit oneself, and to suppress certain things that are actually natural for human beings. But as we know there are a lot of muslims who make the best out of what they are given, and there's also starting to develop the idea of reformation (a good example would be Irshad Manji: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3WFDKFkFBA), which I think is great.

      However, my opinions are based on the words of others, and I have yet to personally get acquainted with the Quran. People tend to twist things around so I should probably be more careful in choosing who I trust to listen to :D

      Thanks for your thoughts anyway! :)

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  2. Tuli olo, että pakko kommentoida. Itse nimittäin postasin Instagrammiin #prayforparis ja kuvan Pariisista. Tarkoituksena ei ollut unohtaa muita kauhutekoja ja vähätellä niitä, tai nostaa Pariisin kauheuksia paremmiksi kuin muita tapahtumia.

    Pariisin iskut tuntuivat tällä kertaa omakohtaisemmilta, koska hyviä ystäviäni asuu siellä ja yksi ystävistäni lähetti minulle iskujen aikaan, että 100 m hänen asunnoltaan ammutaan raskaasti aseilla.

    Tajuan, että Syyriassa tämänkaltainen ammuskelu on jo arkipäivää. Ihan hirveää. Pariisin teoista erityisen rankan teki sen takana toimiva ajatus, että länsimaalaiset käännytettäisiin pakolaisia vastaan, jotka pakenevat veritekoja.

    En halua tuntea siis häpeää siitä että postasin kuvan Pariisista. Ajattelin kyllä muutakin maailmaa, arabimaailma mukaan lukien. Kävin kuitenkin vaihtamassa kuvani alle myös prayfortheworld tekstin ihan vaan selvyydeksi.

    Ainakin itse koen täällä aikamoista maailmantuskaa, vaikka Instagrammiin päivittyiskin vain Pariisin kuva.

    Toivottavasti nämä iskut jotka pyrkii mustamaalaamaan muslimiuskontoa saadaan yhdessä kukistettua syyllistämättä vääriä tahoja. Peace and love ✌

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    1. Moi Pilvi!

      En missään nimessä millään lailla tuomitse ihmisiä jotka postaili kuvia Pariisiin liittyen, koska tiedän että suurin osa tarkottaa vaan hyvää (moni varmaan miettimättä mitä muuta se epäsuorasti implikoi). Ja tiedän myös että Pariisin iskuihin on helpompi meidän länsimaalaisten reagoida koska se on maantieteelisesti lähempänä ja on luutlavasti kaikin puolin tutumpi paikka (ja kuten sulla, ihmisillä saattaa olla jopa ystäviä siellä) - tottakai siihen reagoi vahvemmin. Että siinä mielessä ymmärrän kyllä mistä tää reaktio johtuu.

      Ja vaikka sanoin tossa tekstissä että uskonnolla ei oo niin isoa roolia tässä sekamelskassa niin en meinaa sitä etteikö sillä olis mitään merkitystä. Kaikki tää kumpuaa siitä että jotain kansaa on kohdeltu huonosti jolloin ihmiset turhaantuu ja radikalisoituu ja Islamin huonot piirteet tulee esille ja korostuu.

      Enkä siis myöskään todellakaan halua väittää että Islam on virheetön uskonto - kaikkea pitäis pystyä tasapuolisesti kritisoimaan (katoin hetki sitten Sam Harrisin ja Ben Affleckin välisen väittelyn aiheesta (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vln9D81eO60), tosi huvittavaa katsottavaa, suosittelen :D). Se on ihmisten luoma ja juurikin sen takia siinä on paljon ongelmallisia asioita. Se on potentiaalisesti vaarallinen ideologia joita monet ihmiset myös käyttää hyväksi. Henkilökohtasesti oon sitä mieltä että Islam pitäis uudistaa, samalla lailla miten Kristinuskokin reformoitiin aikanaan (me kehitytään koko ajan ja niin meidän ajatusmaailmankin pitäisi). Ja monet muslimit on myös samaa mieltä, muttei uskalla sanoa mitään koska on laajasti hyväksytty ajatus että muslimit jotka tavalla tai toisella kääntyy Islamin oppeja vastaan kuuluisi tappaa. Monet Islamille keskeiset aatteet siis hankaloittaa minkään näköistä muutosta. Ja tää tietysti jakaa ihmiset niihin jotka ajattelee että "mitä järkeä on uskonnossa jos sen keskeiset opit ei tuu suoraan Jumalalta?" ja niihin jotka on uudistusmielisempiä. Tavallaan ymmärrän ton argumentin, mutta koska itse uskon että usko lähtee omasta itsestään (ja että uskonnot on ihmisten luomia) se ei oo mulle ongelma :D:D

      ANYWAYS, mulla on siis vaan ongelma sen kanssa kun ihmiset puhuu että "kaikki muslimit on pahoja" kun se ei selkeästikään oo totta. Islam on vaan vähän ongelmallinen ideologia joka kannustaa tekemään hassuja eikä niin kivoja asioita. Nää asiat vaan maalataan niin mustavalkoseksi koska niitä on vaikea käsitellä. Monimutkanen juttu!

      Kiitos kommentista ja ajatusten jakamisesta :>

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