“I haven’t done anything wrong!”
“Yes, you have.”
“What do you mean? No, I haven’t.”
“Clearly, when you were [insert random action here], you were blatantly attacking me and people like me, so now I am furious with you and will visit pain and destruction upon your house, your family, and all those things you hold dear because I am too taken up with myself to let go and move on.”
Okay, so that last bit has never been uttered from anyone’s mouth, I’m sure, but it’s the attitude that spawns that sort of thinking and behaviour that infuriates me to the point at which I may see red, or grab the nearest blunt object and repeatedly beat the nearest wall/piece of furniture/idiot with it. The idea that an action executed that does not relate to a person or group could be a direct offense to that person or group is completely preposterous.
For those of you who might be a bit lost – as I tend to get prolix and confusing at times – I will illustrate with a recent example:
Yesterday, I was checking my usual news websites: CBC first, then BBC, and so on. I got to the BBC International Homepage, and saw an article titled: UK’s ‘deep concern’ over Rushdie. I immediately got annoyed: Muslim people (not all of them, of course, but some) seem to think that the Queen’s having knighted Salman Rushdie (author of The Satanic Verses) was somehow an affront to Islam; the decision has sparked protests and much opposition from the Pakistani and Iranian governments, and goodness knows who else. I immediately wanted to write some sort of comment on the story, and I almost did, but a few other people had beat me to it. I am obviously not the only one with this opinion, which makes me feel a little better. This is one comment I particularly liked:
I am so, so, so sick and tired of insecure, scared and apparently “ultra-sensitive” Muslims being “insulted” at the slightest, most innocuous gesture.
Mr. Rushdie’s award is an award for Mr. Rushdie. I fail to see how it is an insult to Islam and that it shows “Islamophobia”. Such great leaps of logic!
I am a Muslim, but I am quite sure that all these very, very angry Muslims around the world haven’t even seen a copy of the Satanic Verses, or any of Mr. Rushdie’s other works, let alone read and understand them.
It actually makes me wonder at the lack of logic that the masses seem to have, and the poorly informed assumptions that they make on a regular basis. This sort of thing happens everywhere, of course. I certainly don’t mean to imply that the Muslim community is unintelligent or judgmental, but I do think that sometimes their passion for Allah makes them paranoid. To think that an award given to one man is somehow an attack on the Muslim faith? That takes some seriously illogical thought. “My God and all of my friends are insulted because you gave some Englishman an award for his writing! Oh, woe is us!” This, to me, is another case of: walk the other way; turn the other cheek; that sort of thing. And, oh yeah, remember that Allah is much more powerful than some balding Englishman, and could strike him down if he saw fit. If I were to say something to these people, it would be: stop giving Salman Rushdie the power to make you upset. He’s one man, and he cannot strike down one of the world’s strongest and most established belief systems. He is not a threat to you. End of discussion.
That’s not the end of my discussion, however; I have another dimension to add: the relationship dimension.
We all have had the discussion, at one point or another, with one person or another, about how our inaction caused grief or was perceived to be an attack on that person’s character, or was malicious in some way or another.
Come on, you know you have.
It’s frustrating, because it’s a self-centred, selfish attack made on you for a degree malice of which you are not guilty. I learned the unfortunate and heart-breaking effects of these sorts of accusations the hard way, and I can tell you, I brought it on myself. Defining yourself by someone else’s actions, and being so paranoid and self-conscious will destroy your current relationships, whether they be with family, friends, or even colleagues; slowly, but surely, you will end up alone if you do not see past your own plight. I’m not going to give advice on this one, but I will say that it doesn’t do you (or anyone else around you) any good to be too self-centred. You are really not so important to the world that everyone will consider you in every decision they make.
So, excuse me if I don’t consider your feelings when I make a decision that has nothing to do with you.
I’m only human.