What's this all about then? Someone said "Oh, you're overreacting Scott. This won't ever happen."
And the point is missed by some. What is the point again?
This is about claiming the tools of hate away from those who would use them for dire purposes and turning them into tools of protest. It's a reminder to all of us, of our human history that pitted masses against masses.
This is about protest. If On the Ground is about anything, it is about protest; which is the last action any citizen has when everything else is taken away. As Elie Wiesel perfectly said,
"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest"
I will pin this badge on myself as protest. If you hold an opinion that begrudges all muslims for the crimes of a few then you are no different than the fascists that divided Europe on the back of hate and war. There are some who would say that pinning this star on my jacket won't help matters. I disagree. Do sit-ins or strikes or shut downs help matters? Yes, I think so. They inconvenience others; they disrupt the general order of things. If protest is anything it's disrupting business as usual. This is our obligation as people on the ground. It's our way of reaching out to people about a single cause that holds our passion.
People don't just start protesting because they are bored. My religion is the most misunderstood religion in recent times but I won't be blamed for that. And I refuse to be schooled by ignorant people about my faith. Take One Nation; she walks around with a copy of the Quran and suddenly she is an expert to her disciples. Should I start walking around with a copy of the Talmud and Bible making claims about them? No, of course not, if I'm a respectful person, which I am by the way, I would approach a Church or Synagogue and speak with leaders in those communities.
The place of Islam in the world has passed a critical point where any attempt to counter the negative spin is perceived as illegitimate. How was this done? With the ramping up of an ongoing threat of terrorism perpetrated by and through the War on Terror (a disturbingly convenient endless war with a borderless enemy). The powers that be, enacted a Chomskyesque like "manufacturing of consent" that would produce an alternate and illegitimate Islam on all accounts. It's an Islam completely foreign to the lives and experience of most muslims. And it is a production of Cecil B. Demille proportions.
A war like this requires levels of backing from various institutions and power structures to maintain public support. These levels of support involve academics, news media, political institutions, financial institutions & war lobbyists (i.e. weapons manufacturers), police, intelligence & surveillance agencies, defence, mercenaries, criminals, gangs and terrorists. So when I try to discuss Islam in a public forum it's these levels of power I am up against.
Let's face it, we are too far gone to discuss the merits of my faith and its values which make it one of the three major religions on this planet. Yet, for what it's worth: my muslim parents taught me to respect them, respect women, respect my neighbours and live a good decent life and worship God. That's right, muslim parents taught muslim me to live a good decent life. It may be hard to hear for some of you and I'm sorry if you don't believe muslims can be as inherently good as you. How a person practices their faith is on the person not their faith.
All that aside, there is a simple classification system I have for how I view the world that helps me to live harmoniously and wisely amongst my fellow humans.
a - power structures (see above)
b - hardline groups (i.e. extreme behaviour and beliefs). Some examples: Taliban and other radial muslim groups, World Church of the creator, radical Zionism and other radical groups like hard right neo fascists in the UK, Europe, Australia and the US. This last bunch have real power with global machinations.
c- the rest of us (this is self explanatory - the people, the general public. Those on the receiving end of the machinations of power and propaganda.)
note: a and b are in the minority but they are able to agitate c which is in the majority.
The question in turn being; when we say muslims or christians or jews or atheists or buddhist or hindu do we need to clarify which part of the above classification we are describing? Yes I think we do.
a + b are trying to convince c to put all muslims on notice, to badge us all regardless of where we are on the scale a, b or c. All 1.5 billion. That's 1500,000,000 people. That is unacceptable to my logic and my understanding of history.
A final thought comes to mind. It's actually a blessing in disguise that a hardline regime has gained power in the US. It takes the pressure off muslims in the c category (rest of us); at least simply because it brings out of the woodwork the disturbing ideology of white supremacy and radical anglo-centric thinking. Donald Trump represents some of the most hardline elements of American society. His rhetoric has mainstreamed neo fascist terminology and politics placing the spotlight on them. It makes it clearer to the naked eye that there are two polarized camps; muslim radicals versus neo fascist anglo-centric US/UK/EU/zionist regimes, all hardline factions eager to disrupt c with violent action to achieve their agendas.
The rest of us need to speak up as often as we can when these factions attempt to strongarm their agendas on us. We have strength in numbers which is where they can and have faltered and failed. I look forward to a future that rejects their world views and a history that writes them as an insignificant footnote in the wider scheme of things. That future is only possible if there are more of us speaking with each other and diffusing their divisive tactics. May that future be the one that we tell our children and future generations about.