Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Aujourd'hui, moi aussi, je suis français

I lost a friend today.

She wasn't someone I'd ever met in person; I only knew her over the net. But we'd been talking for a long time, remotely; she'd shared a lot of herself with me, and I with her. I knew she was pretty right-wing, but it didn't matter all that much. We were close.

Then came the Paris attacks. In the aftermath, it all came spilling out of her: how she blamed the Syrian refugees for everything; how all Islamic people were to blame; how mad it was of President Obama to be welcoming ten thousand refugees into the USA.

I told her that, actually, I favoured helping Syrian refugees in any way possible. She told me that France should nuke the lot of them.

I said goodbye.

She was still swearing and typing insults at me as I unfriended her and set a block so that I wouldn't hear anything from her again. But that wasn't what disturbed me the most.

What really disturbed me, and still does, is that her attitude…her blind, unreasoning hatred of Islam, her eagerness to see them all slaughtered or nuked…is exactly the same—exactly the same—as the attitudes of the terrorists themselves.

My friend, and ISIS…I can't tell the difference. That bothers me. Actually, it terrifies me.

I'll pray for her. Somehow, somehow, this hatred has to end. On both sides.


At 20 November 2015 at 08:06, Blogger BlueLion said...

Sorry to read about that sad experience. I guess your friend's problem was that she didn't know any decent Muslims (personally) - otherwise she might be wary of such rashness. All in all many countries and people tend to get more aggressive and hostile against one another. Question is how to stop fear that threatens to turn into hatred? Hatred that turns into violence? How the fathers of the great religions would weep - Buddha, Jesus, Mohammed ...

At 26 November 2015 at 17:45, Blogger Notgazpacho said...

I can't imagine how it must feel to find out a friend can harbor such ugliness. I would have done the same thing, I think. Such strong negativity is a deeply sad thing

I've missed your updates, sir. Stay strong. Let your writing speak when you can. Your mind is a spark of light.

At 8 April 2016 at 11:23, Blogger Lady Phoenix said...

I will admit that I have mixed feelings on the matter. There are decent muslims and a mosque not to far from my apartment however that said, there is not a general repudiation of the teachings of the muslim faith about the concept of Jihad that makes me worried. I worry too about christian fundementalists as well who bomb abortion clinics and spread hate in my country too as these two religions have a writing requirement of proslytizing in the religion (witnessing the faith).

It is even worse in that while there are a lot of victims among the syrian refugees, there are also terrorists and bombers hidden in their ranks as Belgium and Paris has shown that they need to be handled with kid gloves. These refugees have turned areas of Germany into terror locations as well enforcing sharia law and raping on women of Germany that get too close to their neighborhoods.

do I blame them all and want them destroyed, No, but I understand that your friend knows fear, knows grief and sorrow and that she can't necessarily overcome them easily. Perhaps cutting her out is necessary, perhaps patient and teaching her might be better. I just don't like letting HATE win in destroying friendships.

At 22 September 2016 at 19:51, Blogger Amanda L. said...

It's really quite sad and heartbreaking when you see the ugliest side of people you thought you knew so well. It's even worse if it turns out that's their true self.

Rationality falls by the wayside so easily when we have been hurt. I grew up around many Christians and many family members have told me I'm going to hell for various things (like wearing jewelery). I've been condemned and verbally abused for simply admitting I'm bisexual, regardless of anything I have or haven't done with a woman. I've had to watch friends and a family member go through shunning and shame and horrible things in the name of protecting abusers (and covering up their abuse, no matter how heinous, because they were the pastor's kid) or condemning what they deem immoral behavior (divorcing an abusive husband, for example). It is difficult to have Christian friends who always say they love me but hate the sin and who proudly shove Bible verses in my face that say I am an abomination. Every day there are new stories of pastors or otherwise Christian people committing horrific acts of abuse on children and murder and all manner of nightmarish things and using their religion to justify it or to shield themselves from justice or taking responsibility.

It has gotten to the point where I irrationally flinch when someone new tells me they are Christian. It's difficult to overcome my reaction, especially because it came about from more of a "slow burn" situation, something that has been built up over my whole life through a multitude of interactions and witnessed events.

I can only hope your friend can look at herself when the emotion of the moment has passed and realize the error and danger of her thinking, but my fear is that she has harbored such feelings for a long time...and this is their moment to shine. I am so sorry for your loss. I've lost friends over just such differences, and it never gets easier. The hole they've left will always be there.

Take care.


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