Friday, 19 June 2009

Welcome to Solkhar's World

As a starter it is worth clarifying some points to allow you to understand my drift....

For the last 28 years, I have had a passion in trying to understand what allows a person to go "extreme" or "fundamentalist" in the life. Certainly there are psychological reasons, and that I can understand, but I am referring to how an average person in the society they are in, close the door to rational thought, chose a "side" and do what they can do paralyze, embarrass or destroy what is opposed to that view they have. Politics, religion, culture, race and business all suffer to various degrees from agenda based bigotry. I find it fascinating and as I have suffered from it, I am to a degree angry enough to have studied it for the purpose of doing my bit to fight it.

Being a liberal-Sunni Muslim by choice since the age of 17, I have watched in particular the purposeful misinformation, bigotry and exploited hatred from both extremists and fundamentalists in the Muslim World and outside it. What I have noticed most of all, is how the first thing that suffers from extremism is truth and facts as the agenda is more important that that or simply it gets in their way.

In trying to gauge how bad it is, I played a game. Joining many forums and blog-sites under differing names and personas I role-played the conservative, someone from outside the west, as a westerner-liberal, European, Australian, American and so on, all with a little bit of truth or half-truths of my own real persona; to test the reactions. I was simply amazed at either the lengths agenda based groups and individuals will get as well as the narrow-mindedness that exists out there. Certainly I was mostly debating (or arguing) with a minority and my goal is to the more articulate blog-owners and websites, but still it was rather a shock. I can understand emotions, filled with bad experiences and lack of access to real quality information makes for many rather extreme in their views, but that is normal. But the collective manipulation of those feelings and the direct propagating of them to the masses is another thing.

So my goal is clear, I will place items that for me are interesting and related to extremism and fundamentalism, both my own Muslim world and from those who attack it for their own agenda based and bigoted reasons. There may be a few other items or subjects that I feel interesting, after all this is my blog-site. I should point out one more thing - I am a centrist in the political spectrum, neither leaning to the right or the left nor I can swing a little either way as it attracts me. It will become evident though that I have probably more annoyance and less patience with the far or extreme right, and I participate in forums and blogs and battle their views which quickly turn bigoted and dangerous. So though I will pick more often on them, I am not from the left and it is worth noting that the extreme-far left by its nature is as destructive and oppressive as the worst that religious fundamentalism can dish out.