Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Libyan flower

Someone who abuses or discriminates in terms of sex is called a sexist. Someone who wrongs or tortures because of the race is called a racist. However, how is it called someone who differentiates or hurts for the sake of this or that religion?

There is no name.

Quite significant, there is no name to those who despise or massacre others because the latter are Jews, Christians or Buddhists and, however, the most appalling genocides have been committed on behalf of religion. It is normally talked the other way around, though, about fanatics who kill or destroy in the name of religion. Again, how do you call someone who makes someone else cry because this latter is a Muslim?

There is no name.

My dear friend R. has been wronged by certain "co-workers" in the department because she is Muslim. She steps in the office and finds a sticker on his desktop: "fuck you, R. and fuck all Muslims". Of course, it was meant to be a joke. This gruesome episode had a terrible effect on her and some on me, not least because she is indeed a smart and fine girl of whose friendship I am fond of.

All aspects of this story are awful. First: the story itself. I have spoken many times here about the low regards in which I hold the Western higher-education institutions, their officials and, particularly, the unwelcome and pretentious London intelligentsia. I will not come again to that. Second: although some actions have been taken (bullshit, anyhow, should have been more severe), the episode has been silenced -Not many people in the department knows. I thought that a true PhD community should know because some support for R. could stem from there. I have no experience on this and, for sure, I am quite naive, but C. tried to convinced me that is better to go quite about it. It was somewhat surprising but interesting, since C. is a woman.

The third aspect has to do, precisely, with the woman thing. R. got a lot of help and support from one of the female lecturers, who, to some extent, tilted the offense towards the side of the genre discrimination (some other people made part of story a claim for racism as well). There are probably grounds for that but, in my view, the solid prove is whatever is written in the sticker and there is nothing pointing out to that. On the contrary, it is sick and wrong to obscure support to an individual for the only true reason -because he or she is a person- and to present it in more ambiguous terms, feel aghast and grow conspiracy about it. How often we forget that the human rights scattered into live after painful labor in 1948 are individual rights. How often they are taken as a group, race or sex re-affirmation rather than as intangible principles above any human classification or social network.

I am an idealistic, almost Utopian individualist who, nevertheless, believes in the wonders and riches of human fellowship. I would like to live in a world where I can offer my whole support to R. as my dear friend and let her drive her own canoe of religion (as it is a intimate dimension of the individual). At the same time, I want to be allowed to question everything, utterly reject terrorism as pure evil with no justification whatsoever and to insult and spit on those -men or women- who practice it. Why not? In my little head there is no contradiction at all. We, as people, are just much more than mental schemes. Schemes and ideas are jails of vanity.

And, finally, the issue of control. It was my boss in Madrid who, unintended, tough me the virtue of the good salesman or the good leader: someone who offers, helps, influences without getting in the way, like a good soccer referee. The contrary leads to slavery. What are we without our freedom? What is lovelier than a young woman following her own way, being different from me, being independent from me? The God I believe in blew his breath on his creation and made it free and independent. Who are we to do otherwise? There is true joy in seeing good people around going their own way. It is written in the last chapter of St. John. Sometimes you only have to be there and smile, reconcile yourself and go your own way.  From individual freedom, human collaboration and love will spring. Fellowship will stand up from the garbage and from the barren soil, like daisies in the dump... Like the lonely and proud flower of the desert.