Yesterday I posted a news item on my Facebook page about an Anti-Islamic group planning to move protests to Albury amid mosque renovation plans and shared this news on a community page that I maintain. I have called for support to the local Muslim community and not allow outside groups to enter and disturb the peace and harmony in our town, if and when it happens.
This post sparked a debate with one gentleman who took objection to the post and ended up posting you tube videos that show Islam extremist groups fighting local authorities and their capacities, and asking me not to post anything like this on a community Facebook page.
I also had a private conversation with another person who expressed concerns and ended up quoting the popular saying which echoes many peoples views on Islam and terrorism and that is – “Not All Muslims are terrorists but every terrorist is a Muslim”
This made me think. This is how it is everywhere isn’t it – from individuals to societies, to countries – people stuck on what they see as right, not willing to give the other party a chance to explain, wanting to have their word as the last word by all means, distinct ‘us vs them’ mentality, using religion to support arguments, to create arguments, forgetting the basic humanity.
The overriding need for safety of the self drives a person to behave in a way that suits them operating from within their silo.
Is this what humans have become? What is it in us that is so threatening to each other?
We profess words of peace, but inside we are riddled with doubts, worry, judgment, fear, persecution – how can our smiles be genuine?
How can love blossom in hearts that are shrinking with fear and crouch in that corners of safety that is illusory?
Love is the answer no doubt and caution needs to be exercised as well when getting into public debate because not everyone comes from the basis of love. Solution for any of theses issues from micro to macro is in individual understanding and adjustment.
At a time when we are living with all nationalities and religions together in communities, do we isolate one particular community because the larger diaspora of that community on an international scene is not just labelled but marginalized as terrorists because of a few hundred or thousands of peoples’ actions?
Which religion is exclusive of fundamentalism? There are fundamentalist terrorists in all religions Hinduism included. In fact, every individual is capable of being a terrorist. As long as we are operating from fear, the capacity to terrorize in the name of self protection not only is there but is on the ever increase. When enough people with this terror in their hearts join forces, extremist groups are formed. Anti-Islam groups are equally the terrorists.
Yes, I agree when we chose to migrate from our home lands, we have to abide by the law of the host country. I don’t see any Islamic group in Australia nor any other religious group acting against the law of the land barring a few isolated cases. So why do we have to bring international fears into our home towns or allow others to pollute our minds?
Is Fear the driver of the 21st Century?
Did we not let fear rule us so far and look where we collectively brought the world to. I cannot exclude my role in the large collective drama. Every fear I harbor in the deep dark corners of my heart, no matter how hidden and deep, will contribute to the larger scene. It first plays on me, then on my family, community and it spreads.
When our children have to sit side by side in schools with Christians, Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs etc what are we teaching them – not to help a child in need because he happens to be a Muslim, therefore a terrorist by default?
When that fear is big in our hearts, how can we genuinely demonstrate to our children to become caring individuals? Can we preach something that we are not prepared to follow?
I am not asking that we should become activists in an effort to solve world problems. But what is wrong in asking to become activists for ourselves, to weed our own hearts from the damaging fears and prejudices, plant seeds of love to sprout and grow in recognition that –
“Skin deep, we all flow red” and the fistful of muscle that beats in our chest cavity and throbs inside our skulls wants only one thing – LOVE.
What is the worst thing that can happen if we all converted to the Religion of LOVE, just for today, and tomorrow – one day at a time?
Start the day with Love – Send loving thoughts for yourself, your family, your community and the world.
Spend the day with Love – Smile and wave at everyone. Extend loving help where possible. Don’t be a grouch. Smile does not cost anything
End the day with Love – Say thank you for the day’s events, send loving light into the world and pray that even more loving day will dawn tomorrow.
If we took time to make this an individual practice and also do it collectively, then fear will have no room in our hearts. We can put aside our minds’ little worries, fears, pressures of various sorts of daily living and grow in love.
Continuously spending a few conscious moments everyday living in love and gratitude, we pave our way to create unity and harmony – recognizing the Fatherhood of God and Brotherhood of man.
Fear and Love are the two swords that cannot fit into the one sheath.
What is your choice – Fear or Love?
One binds and the other releases from our own self created shackles.
Let Love be the driver of your thoughts, words and deeds.
Until next time
With Love and Respect