posted on Jul, 15 2005 @ 06:04 PM
It seems to me that there is still a subconscious tendency to correlate ideology, culture and religion with race. This has precisely the opposite
effect to preventing racially-motivated prejudices, making not only ordinary Muslims potential victims of reaction but also many non-Muslims as a
side-effect. In this century, I believe there will be an accelerated decorrelation between race and culture/ideology because of increased
globalisation and, significantly, the Internet. Thinking along racial lines, however unconsciously or subtly, not only inadvertently compounds
unfounded racial assumptions and hurts more innocents, but also results in a reactionary mentality that prevents us from taking steps to solve what is
a serious threat to our society at present.
It is necessary to stop thinking of Islamist terrorism as a “racially sensitive” issue because it is precisely not a racial issue except in the
minds of the deluded and those stuck in obsolete ways of thinking. Islamist fundamentalism should be recognised for what it is – a very extreme,
essentially racially-agnostic ideology (though with a distinct Arab bias) within a more general ideology. In principle, we could see a future where
"white" converts are brainwashed into fanaticism. Incidentally, the current focus on encouraging the moderate section of the Muslim community to
take a pro-active role in fighting extremism is the correct one and long, long overdue, but as has been suggested the Government must also play a
strong role. The problem with Islamist extremism, globally, will not disappear easily and in my opinion it will likely take significant, perhaps
costly measures to eradicate it (or at least minimise it).
I do not believe that multiculturalism is simply an option for the future, I believe it is a necessity.
The direct sharing of ideas, experiences and perceptions between different but mutually-respecting cultures aids the growth of all and since
technology has “shrunk” the world so to speak, it is the only option other than isolationism, constant cultural friction and eventual stagnation.
The fact that one specific ideology (or ideology within an ideology) does not wish to share the world is by no means whatsoever a bad reflection on
the concept of multiculturalism. The world has many cultures which are very, very different from one another – and as is demonstrated in all
religions, there can be significant variation within a commonly recognised “single ideology”.
More pragmatically, the world is truly heading towards a global community and for any kind of stability it will be necessary to drop utterly
irrelevant and fundamentally damaging associations with race, no matter how subtle, and focus on the only things that matter in influencing that
stability – ideologies and the interactions between them.
Making this cognitive shift will expedite the dissolution of archaic racially-influenced thought processes which only hinder the unity of humanity and
facilitate a future global environment where all cultures can grow together, different to facilitate variety and experiential growth, but still
unified as humans.