Hate Breeds More Hate In a Globalized World/ Sobhi Ghandour

It seems that we are living now in an age of extremism, in terms of ideas and beliefs, with fear, anger, and hate prevailing over everything else.

Fear and hate are the prevailing sentiments in today’s world. It seems that globalization has had a negative impact on everything around us -- even our feelings as fear leads to anger which in turn leads to hate and consequently to suffering.

The negative results of globalization can be attributed to the advancements in media and information technology. Even as the world shrinks because of these technological advancements, the divide between nations and peoples deepens, culturally and socially.

In today’s world, people not only fear other people and societies that differ in culture, color, or faith, they also fear nature’s devastation, as well as corruption and excessive consumption.

People also fear tomorrow, instead of hoping that every new day will bring good news for a better life. Some people fear that terrorist attacks could happen in their countries; many others experience daily terrorism as a result of foreign occupation or domestic oppression.

This state of uncertainty is a dark world where some communities fear terrorist ghosts, while others live as ghosts. Yet, they all share the fear of an unknown future.

The world as a whole has been living in this state since the attacks of September 11, 2001, which has become a very dark day in history.

Since then, the world has been driven by a blind anger that does not differentiate between guilty and innocent people. The September 11 attacks have been used as a pretext by the neo-conservatives in Washington to adopt foolish policies based on fueling fear, anger, and hate.

Emerged victorious

September 11 was a black day in which extremism emerged victorious in its battle against innocent people everywhere, and strengthened the political and religious extremists, who, in the end, serve each other even if they are fighting in different arenas. And their victims, of course, are the innocent.

Following the criminal attacks of 9/11 and the exposure of the policy of stoking fear, anger, and hate, racists in Europe and in the US called for condemning Islam and Muslims, instead of holding the perpetrators responsible for the attacks. They sought to divide the world between communities living in fear and others living on hate. In the 1990s and after the fall of the Soviet Union, many Arabs wrote about Israeli plans to turn Islam into “the West’s new enemy”, while others in the West wrote about the “clash of civilizations” theory. Yet, these writings and theories only remained ink on paper until the September 11 attacks.

The war launched against Islam and Arabs as “the New Enemy” is failing because it was based on an erroneous theory which merely adopted and repeated the methods used in the struggle against communism during the Cold War.

The communist enemy (USSR) actually governed huge countries spanning from the Far East to Central Europe, in addition to communist parties in most parts of the world. Moscow already possessed nuclear bombs directed at America and its western allies.

What, then, explains the reality of the “new enemy”?

It is a “War of Ghosts”, based on violent means adopted by extremist groups who have been practicing terrorism in their own countries and against own their people first and foremost, but who do not govern any country or possess a legitimate political identity.

Before the divine religions, some people worshipped fire as a deity, but few ancient peoples revered water, even though the human body cannot survive for more than a few days without water, which also covers more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface.

I wonder if this is a confirmation that people driven by their fears tend to glorify symbols of violence and destruction while ignoring good and useful things.

Today, we have concerns about global warming and the fear of climate change which threatens the future of the planet with droughts or flooding, and could significantly alter the four seasons, leaving the Earth between harsh hot summers or severely cold winters. This imbalance in nature was caused by man, who was supposed to protect his planet.

We are living in a world where people cannot tolerate others who have different ideas or who belong to different nations and cultures.

It is more important today than ever to adopt moderation in dealing with each other, regardless of our religious, ethnic, and ideological backgrounds. There is no doubt that embracing moderation and rejecting extremism is the only way out of this dark path.

The differences that exist between people is God’s will and one of His norms of Creation, but those who call for extremism want the entire world to be the way they are. They believe in one thing: “You are either with us or against us”, and they threaten to excommunicate those who disagree with them, even if they are from the same religion and nation. This is a destructive way of thinking, and it is fueled by acts of extremism carried out by other extremists in other places.

However, those who feed on causing divisions and stoking violence and extremism will come to their end soon, because there are still good and moderate people who can stop the pendulum swing of extremism and bring balance to the world. The moderates must exert their influence to put an end to extremism everywhere.



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