I’ve wanted to say something all week, but have lacked the time to express myself efficiently.
This is my statement in acceptance. The media is commonly on the hard sell to tell me something that has no truth means test or point of accountability other than their peers. And more often than not, they are all paying homage to the same cash god. As is shown here in this SMH article regarding the media framing of the Paris attacks.
I realised long ago that the only way that ‘Joe Public’ knows most things happen is that from the media. That put’s a lot of power in the hands of the very few privately owned media outlets who, these days get most of their information regarding international events from two international news agencies, Associated Press & Reuters as most local news companies have closed their international bureaus and rarely sent reporters abroad due to cost. So, if the news is a product that I’m being sold and information fed to journalists by government PR departments is potentially propaganda tainted spin, then where should I turn? Who should I trust?
My answer is ‘myself’. Let me look at my world, and my experience and remarkable intuition and let that be my guide. In my experience, most small experiences and groups are just microcosms of larger ones. So let’s get specific with my experiences, and see what they can teach me about these uncertain times.
The large media outlets have been selling me the really interesting, highly mediated, fear inspiring product of Islam. Noting for a moment that Islam is a religion not a country.
This is my experience of people from many different nations Indonesia, Pakistan, Palestine, India, Iran, Afghanistan, Somalia, Egypt, Tunisia, USA, England, Fiji, Singapore, Philippines, Turkey, Iraq, ALL and I repeat ALL of those encounters have been of the positive kind. Beautiful families who have always been respectful, joyous, hopeful and above all generous. The school my children attend has a really high percentage of children of the Muslim faith and on the whole have been parents that have brought their little people to playgroup ‘religiously’ (pub absolutely intended). Their children are more often than not the ones who always make eye contact, smile and say hello. The kids in our area who have trouble living side by side with other human beings are not from a different country, I do understand this is not always the case. But, my point would be it is the homes they come from is the ruling factor.
I do not wish to paint an artificially rosy picture. At one time I was living in a women’s refuge after me American (Baptist) partner had threatened to kill me (apparently I wasn’t practicing obedience to my not husband). I met a woman from Afghanistan who had five children and had been bashed by her doctor husband for twenty years…she had had enough. She had lived in Australia for almost seven years and spoke only a few words of English. She had a loving mother and brother who also lived in Australia who were supporting her in leaving. She was a brave, strong and generous woman who would always share her food with us, insisting that I taste everything. She proudly showed me wedding videos of her family back home, saying that they weren’t like ‘him'(her husband) and that her uncles would kill him if they were back home. She was SO grateful for the help to start a new life for her children and couldn’t wait to get her licence.
I have had many a late night conversation with Iraqui; African; Iranian and Pakistani taxi drivers who were Islamic. One Iranian comes to mind, he was very devout and told me of how he got up early each morning to ‘talk to God’. All the time he talks to God. He told me proudly of his daughters, particularly the younger one who loved to dance. He told her that God doesn’t want her to dance, but she can’t help it, always when she’s doing any thing she start to dance. But sometimes she get up early ‘Daddy, I want to talk to God with you.’ Taking care of family is always a major theme with these men. They work hard to make a good life for their family and have never been anything but respectful to me.
I understand extremist religion. I grew up in a cult that was reportedly Catholic (even though it was condemned by the Catholic Church). People gave up their innate ability to question and choose right from wrong. It is a scary ability that people have. It also plugs in to the ego where you believe that you are following the right path and everyone else is following the wrong path. And people start to act as if they are super heroes, probably much like soldiers who are on a mission and do not question their orders. There are very clever people who knows this exists in people and are plugging into this part of humanity, with the mass media doing PR for them. I cannot and should not judge all other Catholics by the people in the cult as they are not them. But I do believe that extremist religion supports those who have evil in them.
I know what I believe and I know how I choose to live. Each individual is just that. People have the ability to do evil, I have experienced that first hand, they have the ability to lie to themselves and say that they are abusing people, killing and maiming in the name of God or their country or their race… that doesn’t mean that it is a Godly or patriotic act or has anything to do with their bastardized form of their religion or concept of freedom in fact it is the opposite.
I will not be taught to fear, I will not be manipulated by printed words, skilled orators or carefully crafted stories made to manipulate a civilization. I will treat my neighbors with the same love and respect that I always have, I will continue to look at the cause and not just the effect, and question, question and question again what your motivations are in telling me the story you are and not telling me the information you leave out.
If the law of attraction is a real thing, then love and connection with those around us should be the order of the day.