So, you think you are anti-bigotry and extremism?

If I ask you what bigotry is, I am sure your answer would be something like, “the demonisation of (an) entire group(s)”. If I ask you what extremism is, I am sure yours would be something like, “the embrace of extreme views and/or actions”. Everyone can get the gist what both words mean.

Well, not really.

If you condemn someone for demonising an entire group of distinct human beings, then you are anti-bigotry. If you condemn someone for justifying the brutalisation of innocent people just for achieving certain goals, then you are anti-extremism.

Well, not quite. You are anti both IF you apply those attitudes to literally every person, including yourself.

If you condemn certain Muslims for being extremists and yet you justify the killing of innocent Muslims by American government OR you condemn American foreign policy and yet you justify the deaths of Americans in 9/11, you are not anti-bigotry and extremism.

Not only you see those groups as nothing but giant monoliths, you believe it is acceptable for anyone to kill the people simply for sharing “membership” with the bad apples. Not only you are anti to neither, you embrace them.

So many people have accused me of complicity to bigotry and extremism. Why? Because I defend not just myself, my fellow Muslims, my fellow Indonesians, but also non-Muslim and non-Indonesian fellow human beings from proudly malicious generalisations.

My accusers believe the only way to fight bigotry and extremism is to stereotype and even incite violence against entire groups. When I call them out, they always deny it. But, they always throw the accusation at me only after I denounce their stereotyping and incitement, not because I explicitly and implicitly justify the evil they supposedly condemn.

Yes, supposedly. It is very apparent they hate the immorality only when it is perpetrated by the wrong crowds; if the perpetrators are the “right” people AKA their allies and themselves, they would paint their immorality as praise-worthy, truth-telling politically incorrectness.

Call me radical. But, you cannot be anti-something when you love embracing that something.

Oh, and I also acknowledge both words are loaded. I do agree they shouldn’t be thrown around easily. But, I am confident I am utilising them appropriately.

I have encountered so many people who insist someone cannot be bigoted if they are not violent. Thankfully, unlike them, my standard isn’t that low.

If you have dehumanising beliefs about the “others”, you are bigoted. If you believe the end justifies even the most violent means, you are extremist.

If you are neither, why are you okay with such thoughts nesting in your thinking organ? Heck, why are they there in the first place?

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Confederacy….. and bin Laden?

In a Japan episode of Vox’s Border, a far-right Japanese activist said it was offensive for the Zainichi Koreans (Koreans who have been presence in Japan since the Japanese rule of Korea) to have schools dedicated to North Korean-style education. He believes it is akin to America having schools dedicated to Osama bin Laden.

Well, about that…

After the civil war in which the separatist, slavery-advocating Confederacy lost, a handful of Americans started propagandistic efforts to ensure the heroic long-lasting legacy of the secessionist state; they whitewashed history education and built monuments glorifying the Confederates. They have successfully brainwashed many into believing that the Confederates were fighting for states’ rights, without asking which rights.

Then, during the civil rights activism era, more Confederate monuments were build. It sent a clear message that they wanted to keep black people as second-class citizens.

Not to mention there are many schools and even military bases named after Confederate leaders.

Never mind the Americans who think factually-misleading monuments can teach us history. Some also believe the Confederates should also be celebrated because they were a part of American history, regardless of the damages they caused.

If that’s the mentality, why stop there? Why don’t they also celebrate other people who tried to destroy America? You know, like Osama bin Laden.

Considering he is a significant and undeniable part of American history, why won’t Americans celebrate his glory and mourn over his demise? Why won’t they name schools and military bases after him?

Obviously, those rhetorical questions. The Confederates were seen as Americans – regardless of their secessionist tendency – and they were driven by an ideology which many contemporary Americans deem tolerable or even desirable. Meanwhile, bin Laden was not an American and his ideology is inspired by his Islam faith, which makes it unacceptable for many Americans.

As a Muslim myself, I despise Islamic extremists and their apologists. But, I would have respected the history negationists much more if they are consistent.

I would undoubtedly be frustrated if they celebrate both the Confederates and bin Laden. But, at least, they are genuinely motivated by the misguided desire to celebrate history, NOT by the desire to whitewash certain ideologies.

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