Wow! I ran into Ella, formerly of this parish, at a SL party (more of which next week) and asked her if she was missing the blog and blogging. ‘Not really’, she said, but the next thing was this post landed in my lap.
Happy Christmas, Donald Trump, by guest columnist Ella Keng
Throughout 2015 we’ve witnessed scores of images wherein people fleeing the conflict in Syria have arrived in Europe, thereby sparking a humanitarian and political crisis across the continent.
Were these people refugees from a war? Or economic migrants looking for an easy way into Europe and a better life? Did Europe (does anywhere?) have the infrastructure to accept numbers of them?
The ‘one Europe’ idea also foundered on the refugee crisis as various countries closed their borders to them, refused to accept them or rushed them through their land towards Germany who said they would accept them. Some were, clearly, chancers. ‘We want to escape war but we’d rather not escape it in Serbia. We want to make Germany (or Sweden, or France, or the UK) our home’. Kosovo already has a majority Muslim population, (about 90%) so surely it makes sense to seek refuge in a country with a similar (religious) culture and moral outlook. Albania? Bosnia & Herzegovina? (B&H is about 40% Muslim, not a majority of its people, but the pre-eminent religion). But no, the need to push north and west is the over-riding attitude of those arriving.
Secular, western Europe regards this with suspicion, warranted or not. And for many reasons, it has tested Europe’s tolerances throughout the year. Of course, Europe (and the west in general) must bear its share of responsibility for creating this humanitarian crisis, one too complex to lay out here. The fact is, it is here, and it’s a problem we collectively face and need to resolve.
Turkey, too, is problematic. It wishes to join the E.C. while its president, Erdogan, diminishes Ataturk’s secular vision with a shallow slide towards it being a Muslim, as opposed to secular, state, and has issues with the Kurds, with there being evidence that it has attacked the Kurdish population in Syria.
All of this is far too complex to explain in a blog posting about Second Life.
The simple fact is that there’s a crisis, with events creating tensions and leading us in a very bad direction. This was made worse by events in Paris a month ago, 130 dead at the hands of radical Islamists.
In turn, this gave French President Hollande the excuse to bomb ISIS in Syria, and for the UK’s parliament to vote in favour of joining in, even if it means UK residents are exposed to greater risk by a theoretical revenge attack.
The internet became alive with ‘proof’ that the refugees were merely fifth columnist jihadists now in our midst.
The photograph above went viral, showing ‘refugees’ attacking German police with ISIS flags. It was eventually proven that the photograph originated in Bonn, 2012, rather than this year (there’s still no excuse for German-domiciled Muslims waving ISIS flags, though).
Governments joined in ‘the fun’, using it all to promote their own agendas, either at national or party political level. ‘The truth’ got lost somewhere along the line and the root of the year end’s problems disappeared behind something else. We’re talking less of refugees, more of ISIS, more of ‘a war’, more of the need to bomb the Middle East back to an even bigger stone age than it already is as a ‘solution’. We forgot being human along the way.
We need to address the issue of why thousands are fleeing Syria. Oh yes, that’s right! ISIS! These (Muslim) Syrian people are fleeing the inhuman excesses of this inhuman (Muslim) group. It’s not about ISIS versus the west. It’s about all of us -Syrian refugees included- fleeing this barbaric cult. (But remember, too, that in recoiling from the horror of ISIS beheadings videos, ‘a medieval death cult’, we number Saudi Arabia amongst our ‘allies’, despite them being another medieval death cult who hold public beheadings. Maybe they’re a superior sort of death cult. Who knows anymore?)
Great, isn’t it?
If we stop making guns, or selling guns, then radical jihadists couldn’t attack Paris, or London with the same ferocity. But an arms trade valued at $76bn in 2012 doesn’t want that. And so it goes on.
America has been celebrating Thanksgiving since 1621 and celebrated its most recent Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago.
It’s a country founded by waves of immigrants, made increasingly great by subsequent waves of immigrants, now raised to ridicule by the son of immigrants (he has German/Scottish ancestry) claiming that America should shut out Muslims. Just how do you do that? Oh yeah…we’re back to the era of big yellow stars and pink triangles. Let’s sew on some crescent moons in….whatever colour you like.
Some ‘Muslims’ arrive in Second Life in a refugee boat
Just how much leadership material are you, Donald, when Jeb Bush is getting a jump on you in his analysis of your analysis?
Last week we read that 54% of Republicans support Trump’s view on a total ban on Muslims. Perhaps more worryingly, 30% of Republicans said in a poll that they were in favour of bombing Agrabah.
I don’t think they’re clouds in the sky over Agrabah. Maybe cruise missiles
Houston, you have a problem that Tom Hanks and a roll of gaffer tape isn’t going to fix if one third of Republican voters favour bombing a fictional city from Disney’s ‘Aladdin’. And in doing so, makes Jeb Bush look like an intellectual colossus in his political analysis.
When I started in Second Life there were mosques and Islamic sims a-plenty, something I favour as several had an educational spin on them, so it was interesting to read Muslims (presumably the sim builders) take on their history (the toothbrush, marching bands, the guitar, magnifying glass and spectacles, coffee and hospitals). Islam gave these to the world. Oh, they also gave us algebra, but I’ve not forgiven them for that yet.
Marching bands, guitars, algebra and coffee, eh? Pretty much your average US university morning (oh yeah, the Islamic world invented the university too). And Trump wants to keep them out.
America, as I said, was made great by waves of immigrants, and the warm welcome they received, subsuming themselves into ‘the American way’ and aspiring to ‘the American dream’.
These sims also gave us an insight into their religion, a theme that dominated many Islamic/Muslim sims. Where are these sims now? All but gone. How much briefing, do you think, they endured from people with a similar intellect to those who would wish to bomb Agrabah? I could only find one, Ross Mosque, and the situation is so bad that it’s non-Muslims who’ve taken it on themselves to build it in order to, as they say, because ‘since a number of mosques have disappeared from SL, we thought one of the world’s great religions should be represented in SL.‘
It’s not just me who has noticed their disappearance, evidently.
The global nature of SL means that we can and do encounter people of other cultures and nations we would otherwise not have the pleasure of meeting. We can learn from them, and them from us, in an atmosphere of mutual understanding. SL can sometimes, in a small, very minor way, do that.
There have to be a large number of Muslims playing SL. When I ran this blog I could see where players came from (just the name of the country) and I can tell you that most of the Middle East and Asia tuned into Second Life, and SLN, in decent numbers. Let’s not treat our fellow SL players from the Muslim world feel as if they’re arriving by boat, almost like refugees in an online game. Let’s make sure that SL and its community get the message across that they’re welcome here in SL and we encourage them to make their presence, as proud Muslims, known. Let them know that refugees from war-torn lands are welcome in Europe, in America. Let them know that we all think Trump is an idiot.
Please, if there are any prospective sim builders from the Muslim world out there, get building! We want to see your religion represented in SL. We want to wander a great mosque and learn about Islam.
Apologies. This has been a long, meandering and possibly rambling post (I’m out of practice 🙂 )
We enter a week of peace and good will to all men (from a Christian perspective). Let’s make it known that the peace and good will extends to everyone, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh and those of no religion.
Happy Christmas. May 2016 bring us a more peaceful world and anyone other than Trump in the White House.
Trine adds… ‘Shortly after publishing Ella’s post I found this on my Facebook feed.