Artiklar • januari 12, 2012
Sympathy for the Devil
By Meenakshi Malik
Society has increasingly become xenophobic, and in an atmosphere of both war and monetary difficulties, it has almost become a habit to blame most of the troubles on “illegal aliens” or “terrorists”. They are apparently destroying this western society through no fault of the society itself.
Sweden’s recent condemnation from Amnesty International on its policy to forcibly return many Iraqi refugees, and Americas (republican) tendencies to blame the “illegal aliens”, UK’s recent sudden hike in prices for education to threefold, and constriction of visas to any foreign person and the overall stern and unreasonable immigration policies of Europe, along with those in USA and Australia have somehow become acceptable.
Most notable is the increase in reactionary language in media and growing support for xenophobic parties in the above-mentioned parts of the world. A recent trigger, and perhaps the piece of news that this article is a retort to is the recent death of Anuj Bidve, an Indian student who was visiting the UK. An intimidating attitude of ‘as long as they are not our citizens, why should we care less?’ is approaching and suffocating the political attitude of most notably northern Europe and USA. Although Anuj Bidve’s family was compensated due to extensive media coverage and public opinion, what about the (not so sporadic) instances of racism?
A certain amount of xenophobia and resentment for increased crime have, no doubt, simmered under the surface in this globalising society, mostly due to statistics binding increased immigration with crime in media i.e. showing crimes with alien perpetrators. So then what causes this sudden boiling over of this simmering pot? A couple of just the right ingredients suffice- the recent discourse from politics and media regarding the ‘War on Terror’ combined with the Economic recession (which caused many to lose their jobs) with a pinch of the revival of the post-colonial aspect of “us versus them” resentment, and voila, you have yourself a perfectly intolerant government, with a reasonable support from this society.
What irks most is that such an attitude almost cyclically emerges at a time of economic decent, or at the event of a war, both situations which are not at all connected to those it is blamed on. Instead of siding with reforms, long term, intelligently thought out and lasting plans we revert to war. Instead of abiding by established moral ideas of tolerance, freedom and mutual respect we revert to bigotry.
Economic recession and war seem to be instigated by the short-sighted decisions of those who we allow to make these decisions. So then who should we actually be angry at? Is it us, or them?
Photo: Creative Commons license, aymanfadel (Title: Aby Gayth Family – Iraqi Refugees in Jordan)
(The opinions presented in this article represent those of the author and are not intended to represent the views of UF in any way, nor are they intended to represent the views of any organisation or company which the author represents. UF is a politically and religiously independent organisation.)