To complain about unnecessary intrusions seems reasonable; to insist that profiling be carried out properly and indeed respectfully, entirely proper. But to argue, as is now common, that it is another example of harassment of and discrimination against Muslims by an increasingly aggressive and hostile State and society, is not only a bit rich. It sounds disturbing like another example of what is becoming a dangerous pathology among many Muslims — to wallow in a self-imposed and eagerly embraced status of victimhood.
This condition places the blame for every ill in their lives, in their communities, in the West and in the countries of the Middle East, on the imperialist oppression of the white man, the American and, of course, the Jew, never once stopping to consider even the possibility that their plight might be, in part at least, their own making...the idea that responsibility for the woes of the Islamic world these past few hundred years can be laid at somebody else’s door is escapist fantasy.
The nasty regimes of countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and Egypt conveniently emphasise this victim status to divert attention from their own repression and inequality and to blame Israel. The failure of Palestinians to create an orderly and successful society is blamed on “the occupation”.
The failure of many Muslims in Europe, especially in Britain, to integrate effectively is laid at the feet of a white racist society that excludes them. The real injustices suffered by these communities become a convenient smokescreen to hide their own flaws.
This victim mentality reaches its apotheosis in the minds of a few in the hideous distortion of martyrdom. The image of the suicide bomber captures the ultimate catharsis of victimhood and at the same time the ultimate escape and liberation from it — the violent immolation of the victim on the altar of a sacred ideology. Of course this is a perversion of the very idea of sacrifice. Martyrdom is a willingness to die for one’s faith, not a willingness to take hundreds of innocents with you in the process.
...this celebration of victimhood plays to the West’s deep sense of guilt, producing a fearful complementarity that makes today’s crisis so potent — a civilisation all too willing to accept the blame for the woes of a people all too willing to blame them.
We can stop enabling the victim mentality by overcoming our guilt complex. But then it is up to Muslims themselves to defeat it. Polls repeatedly show vast majorities of Muslims in the West, and smaller majorities in the Middle East, believe that terrorism is a perversion of Islam. But those same polls also show many Muslims agreeing with the proposition that the root cause of that terrorism is “oppression”.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Being Smart on the Issue of Racial Profiling
From Gerard Baker's op-ed in the London Times:-