Islamophobia and U.S. Politics

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Arun Gandhi
Be Blogger
Be Magazine | www.bemagazine.org

There is something strangely common with conservative Christians and conservative Muslims — they both seek to thrive on fear and hate. The only difference between the two is while the Muslim fundamentalists have taken it to the next level, violence, the fundamentalist Christians have not. They do, however, stoke the embers of distrust and paranoia about the other.

 

That a nation supposedly broadminded in every sphere of life, should be so narrow-minded in religious matters is amazing and painful. I have said this often in the past and must repeat it again that when competition is introduced in religion it not only makes a mockery of spiritualism but it brings out all the worst aspects of human nature. While most of the progressive world has accepted religious co-existence, the United States and the Islamic nations still believe in the impossible task of converting the rest of the world to their way of worship. Is religion about fear and hate or about compassion and love?

It is this politically and religiously conservative thought that has embroiled us in wars that we can’t seem to end. We are so proud of our capacity to destroy that we have not cultivated the capacity to win people through love. In fact in our warped-thinking we have demeaned love to such an extent that we think it is a dirty four-letter word.

Our obsession with hate and all the negativity that it generates has distorted our understanding of “civilization” and “progress.” Civilization has come to mean the survival of the fittest which, I thought, was the law of the jungle.

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Arun Gandhi, is a journalist, co-founder of the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, and fifth grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, continues his grandfather’s legacy through sharing the message of nonviolence through his writings, community lectures, and “Gandhi Legacy” tours with Global Exchange.

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Special thanks to Arun Gandhi for allowing permission to re-publish his blog and for sharing his work regularly as a Be Blogger here at Be Magazine | www.bemagazine.org.

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