A good day for shaking prejudices

27.11.2012 - Silvia Swinden

A good day for shaking prejudices
(Image by Wikimedia Commons: Sesame synchrotron)

The interesting thing about a piece of good news that defies apparently established prejudice, discrimination and even a state of undeclared war is that it can “shock” us out of our acceptance that “things are the way they are”, people hate, fear, exclude and attempt to destroy others in all kinds of conflicts. This we call “normality” and it seems to validate a creeping belief that human nature is rather nasty. We must be grateful, very grateful, that from time to time good news, the human spirit, shows itself and brings the light at the end of the tunnel, in other words, there is no fixed human nature, we are intentional beings, and if others can leap over fear-inducing and stereotyping propaganda, so can we.

 Lessons in multiculturalism from India

India has appointed its first Muslim head of the Intelligence Bureau in 125-year history. Syed Asif Ibrahim’s appointment has been hailed as a breakthrough against centuries of prejudice. As the country has been accused so many times of discrimination of its 14% Muslim minority (clashes are published in newspapers, harmony between communities is not) the Media decided that this is a great development. Which it is, but the fact that it is considered to be so unexpected speaks a lot about the prejudice against the country itself.

In the meantime Shadab Faridi, Sufi singer in the Bollywood blockbuster “Dabangg 2”, seems to be getting ready to make it into the Guinness Book of Records with the adoration of his fans, again showing clearly that India is prepared to entrust not just its security but also its entertainment to “minorities”.

The strange case of the Middle Eastern Sesame Synchrotron

“A multi-million-pound synchrotron particle accelerator, known as Sesame is developing with the support of …several Arab nations, together with Turkey, Pakistan, Cyprus, Iran and – astonishingly – Israel as well. The Iranian government is publicly committed to Israel’s destruction and Israel has threatened to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities. And most recently Israel accused Iran of supplying Palestinian militants with the missiles launched at Israeli cities.” (BBC report). BBC News witnessed scientists and officials meeting for lengthy discussions in Jordan earlier this month. It is reported that scientists expressed their enthusiasm at being able to use the language of science to bring about the language of peace.

UK appoints new Head for the Bank of England, er… a Canadian

Apart from bad jokes nobody could accuse British people to really discriminate against Canadians. And yet the appointment of The Bank of Canada Governor Mark Carney as the new Director of the Bank of England came as a bit of a surprise. He will become the first foreign head of Britain’s central bank in its 318-year history. In spite of some unknown qualities (used to work for Goldman Sachs but he is famous for fighting old banking associates for the benefit of ordinary people and he is in favour of tough banking regulations, something very much opposed by the British Financial Sector) he has been welcome by both Conservative and Labour politicians as the best man for the job. Perhaps when things get really desperate some people start to see the need to do something different.

If it all started from school we would see more examples

Violence is not something we are born with; nor is Nonviolence. Groups of activists in different countries around the world have been taking nonviolence teachings to schools and wish to form a network available to anybody who requires resources (courses, workshops, different ways to organise campaigns and support teachers who wish to install a culture of nonviolence in their schools, as well as youth projects).

See their Facebook page

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