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Política Internacional / 24/07/2020

"Terrorism is politics, not religion" says Karen Armstrong

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"Terrorism is politics, not religion" says Karen Armstrong


Karen Armstrong warns of the need to turn on a light the darkness of ignorance predominates, which, in her view, serves the interests of many. The West gives little or almost no relevance to what is going on in the rest of the world, maintaining the attitude of being superior. Compassion is a recurring word in all the themes that Karen addresses, always remembering that putting yourself in the other's shoes is the only way to have an idea of ​​the pain that the other feels.

For Karen we live in an “extremely conservative” but “dogmatic” society. However, people are not comfortable with being dogmatic, or even think they are not, because they consider themselves “tolerant”. According to her, being tolerant reinforces the idea that there is a privileged group of conservatives, that dictates the rules and is composed of the majority and that, through false benevolence, will tolerate that minorities coexist. Tolerance is not social justice, it is just a way for the "winner" to swallow the presence of the "loser" dry.

“We have to go beyond that, as we live in an increasingly interdependent global world. If the stock market falls in a certain place, markets will also fall around the world that day. ”

Karen blames the media for the exacerbated attachment that people have to nationalism, which no longer makes sense nowadays, everything is interconnected, connected via technology. The media ignores some facts that could transform public opinion. There is no interest in dismissing some misconceptions that she herself helped to propagate in common sense, and she quotes: “I give an example. I write about Islam. Since 9/11, research has been carried out that should be relevant to the general public, but people have never heard of it. ”

There is a stigma rooted in the public imagination, which is this thing of thinking that every Muslim is an extremist. Radicalism exists, but only a tiny fraction of radical extremists had an Islamic education, the rest were converted - or self-taught - or were not practicing until they converted to radicalism.

“Although it sounds strange, jihadists are not particularly religious. If they were, I insist, they would not do these things. And the media is responsible for not emphasizing, with sufficient determination, ideas that go against this image. ”

Monotheistic religions have always insisted on equality and justice. It is the message of the Koran, the Gospel and the prophets of Israel, but we have not yet found a rational motivation to promote the universalization of human rights.

The State is rational and acting in this way does not happen to everyone, leaving out the poorest and in this respect it is the religions that respond on their behalf, creating a balance between State and religion.

On the other hand, he points out that much of the aid has been provided not by religious leaders, but by businessmen, which is a great thing in the sense that they are more practical.

Although this stance of such businessmen is attributed to the discovery that it is more profitable not to be stingy and selfish, that this is good for your business, Karen points out that what is still worth fixing the world is the famous “golden rule” ”, That is: never do to others what you do not want them to do to you. And he recalls that leaders like Buddha, Muhammad and Jesus, despite having lived in turbulent societies, always preached that compassion cannot be applied only to those in their group.

Regarding the changes in behavior generated by the new technologies, Karen is concerned in some ways, considering it absurd to prioritize virtual relationships over real ones. “It is a little scared. Take the case of Twitter. The idea that you can express substantial thoughts in 140 characters, or whatever, is dangerous because it reduces complexity. Not to mention all the hatred that appears and that people can launch without being face to face with the interlocutors. It is supposedly something that serves to unite, but at the same time, it is bringing out some of our worst defects. ”

We should, says Karen, feel uncomfortable with the other's suffering, not just with spurts of compassion that make us like posts, but all the time.

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