Spreading the Hate

In my email recently, I got one of those forwards from a relative, you know the type “Forward this thing so that the whole world knows about it and we can stop the atrocity.” I also had someone send me a YouTube clip of a supposed comedian puppeteer, who’s character is a suicide bomber, but it’s just racism against Muslims. Ok now I know the power of email and the internet, and yes I can understand people forwarding on stuff in the hope that others will speak out against something they feel strongly against.

But do they actually read it, read every line, and think about what they’re sending before they hit that forward button?

The one I got was thinly veiled as “save the children” but what it really was, was a hate mail against Muslim people. It referred to Islam as a “backward religion” and inferred that this kind of practice (punishing a child who has stolen something with brutality) is the law amongst all Muslim people.

Now I’m no expert in Islam, but I am somewhat interested in comparitive religion, and do read a LOT, being a librarian and all. So I know, that like any other faith, Islam has it’s fundamentalist extremists who hide behind the Koran to commit the atrocities that they do. As does Christianity – look at the nutters that planned to picket Heath Ledger’s funeral (and do picket funerals of servicemen and women killed in Iraq etc) because he once played a gay man.

Or those that shoot doctors and nurses working in a family planning clinic for distributing condoms and birth control pills. Now I’ve read the Bible (being a good Christian girl myself) and nowhere does it say “Thou shalt not kill, except if someone is providing contraceptives, then shoot away folks.”

But generally speaking, all of the major religions actually do have the same rules and regulations. Whether they be commandments or whatever, they’re all the usual stuff of don’t kill, steal, shag someone else’s spouse, honour your family, love thy neighbour etc.

But why do so many so-called good Christian people assume that if someone doesn’t belong to the same faith as us, that they must be some extremist nutcase out to slaughter anyone who doesn’t follow their faith? Or that they’re out to convert and control us all into their faith? Now I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel the need to convert anyone else to Christianity with me.
My real problem actually lies with how people just spread these messages of hate, under the guise of being a good Christian. Doesn’t Christianity teach us to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you?” So why would you spread ill informed messages of hate around via email?

I think the biggest problem lies in the fact that so many folks actually don’t think of people who are different to them as being just that… people. They see the veil, or the colour of the skin, the clothes that are different, the surface stuff and they don’t realise that generally speaking, all people, no matter what their race or religion or background, want the same things in life. Ask any everyday person, regardless of their race and religion, what they want from life. You can pretty much safely say the answer will be along the lines of a healthy body, a happy family, a roof over their heads, food in the belly and to be safe to live their lives peacefully. They’re not going to say “Oh I’d like to blow up everyone who isn’t the same religion as me, that’s what I really want.”

Yes, there will always be fundamentalist extemists who use religion to gain power, control, wealth or simply because they’re insane and can’t see that what they’re doing actually goes against any true faith. So how about we help do something to prevent THAT, rather than sending around hate campaigns? Or how about we help those that have been victims of such atrocities, which often are people of the same faith as the extremists. How about helping some refugees from Muslim countries? They are usually forced to flee their homes because they don’t believe the extremists that are in power.

Or if you really have a problem with people who have a different faith to you, how about leading by example? Live your life as you would wish others to live theirs, regardless of their religion. Behave with dignity and respect. Think about what you are saying when you make that comment about a “towel head” or a comment about another faith. Read that email and think about whether or not it’s truth (maybe even do some research online) before you hit the forward button.

Spreading hate of any kind isn’t going to make the situation any better. It’s just going to perpetuate the problem. Plus it’s not good karma!

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March 26, 2008. Uncategorized.

2 Comments

  1. Scott Hughes replied:

    Great post! It’s sad that those hate messages are going out.

  2. VivC replied:

    Amen! I completely agree.

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