Reformist Muslim

Exploring possibilities for the future of Islam and other thoughts

Location: London, United Kingdom

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Supposed 'Culture Of Fear'

It is fashionable to bemoan the 'culture of fear' which exists in America. I would suggest that this is common to most if not all societies and that pointing out the flaws in others often leads to ignorance about one's own self. For example, in Europe the fear of being like America often leads to a reluctance to carry out much needed economic reform. A lot of continental Europe also has a fear of immigrants which is similar to the fear of black people in America.

A somewhat similar point in a third world context is made by David Ford aka The Artsaypunk (A liberal Canadian living in Pakistan) who says this:
I tend to have strange relationships with servants, as I’ve explained before. Generally though, as my command of the language increases slightly, I’ve become more comfortable with them. They seem to like me, which I think is derived from my unique tendency to treat them like human beings rather than the dirt under my feet that happens to unquestioningly clean up after me. My more skeptical friends tell me that I’m setting myself to be taken advantage of, but oh well, I like trusting people, it makes me feel nice.
In this post, David also narrates one his own very interesting experiences. To finish, my point is not to deny that societies have problems or that some servants might not steal from their employers. However rather than simply being critical of others, it is often best to use that analysis to critically evaluate one's self.


Blogger Jordan said...

It is absolutely true that fear plays an important role in our lives.

We spend BILLIONS on mad cow disease that MAY injure 1 or 2 people, but almost nothing on obesity which will no doubt put us into an early grave.

Its the old saying, "not knowing is the hardest part". I know I will not be blown up by a jihadist, and yet I fear Islamic estreamest far more than I fear McDonalds.


Regarding the second part of this article, as a Canadian, I know how David feals. I hate being "served" on, it just makes me uncomfortable to be in an elevated position. If this leads to someone ripping off David, I still think he is doing the right thing.

6:38 am, January 17, 2006  
Blogger Edward Ott said...

Nice bit of writing, please keep it up.

9:24 am, January 19, 2006  
Blogger reformist_muslim said...

Thanks for the comments. Jordan I may have something to add to what you've said which I'll put up later.

11:12 am, January 19, 2006  
Blogger Jordan said...

Reformist, I just want to compliment you on your blog... we cruise the same conservative/fundemenentalist blogs and you always keep a level head and rational approach... I can't always make the same claim (man DrMaxter really knows how to push my buttons!) :)

4:40 pm, January 19, 2006  
Blogger The A. said...

1. The idea of 'servant' in south asian culture (or atleast as they exist now in the ever-discussable middle classes) is never truly translated to the western mind.

2. 'Cruising' the same blogs?

5:28 pm, January 19, 2006  

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