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My take on stereotyping

Reader comment on item: Advice to Non-Muslim Women against Marrying Muslim Men
in response to reader comment: Racism

Submitted by Shömi (United States), Oct 27, 2019 at 23:17

Hi Didi

Middle East and Africa are not necessarily safe for tourism. To say these lands were "only beautiful thanks to Western nations" is however ignorant at best and couldn't be further from the truth. Having travelled the world a fair bit (as a white european woman), I'm surprised we're even merely welcome in these parts of the world. The West discriminates against refugees and migrants while playing war games in their region TODAY. We claim their archeological findings (such as entire pyramids relocated to Europe), profit from their natural resources and take credit for their scientific discoveries STILL TO THIS DAY. There is a huge economical gap between our continents, which many of us still take advantage of today. Including sex tourism. Illegal adoptions. And so on. I will skip the atrocities of the past, which would probably add up to a gazillion characters. Nevertheless, I agree with you Didi. The historical context is real, often contemporary or even ongoing. It's convenient, but extremely naive to take it out of perspective.

Does it make it ok to take revenge on individual level? To sort of steal from the thief? I'd think not.

I come from Eastern Europe and my country has never directly profited from colonialism. On the contrary, we were to some extent exploited and, in some areas, still are exploited by the West. We haven't been the best of immigrants either to be fair. During the cold war our salaries were 1-2% of what our western neighbors were paid. Everyone craved freedom and honestly earned, decent existence. On the other hand, romance/visa scam blossomed. So did the prostitution. If there was internet and I was old enough to have an opinion, I'd be the first one to advise against marrying women from my country. It's not because they were all bad. It's because a casual tourist had close to zero chance of meeting an honest one. The good ones would simply never engage with a foreigner. Being seen flirting with a foreigner, or even working in a hotel or wearing suspiciously expensive clothes, could possibly label them as sex workers. Or scammers, same thing in disguise. It had nothing to do with religion or education. It was all about greed and lack of morals on individual level. I see the same dynamic in other cultures I experienced. Whether it's Morocco or Cuba, it takes time to get past layers of corruption. Honest, open minded, loyal people exist everywhere. But we are here on this forum discussing a very certain type of relationships. And those happened to be an epidemic in ME and NA, it's a fact. No matter how much I sympathize with the poor, born on the wrong side of the world, I still believe dignity is a virtue everyone can afford. Scammers hurt their victims equally to hurting their own families, their own people, their own culture and religion. They contribute to the generalizations equally to the people who spread them. Trust me, eastern european accent has not done me any favors. Decades after our borders opened I'm still at times perceived as someone who belongs in porn section or at welfare office. Look above at Jessica's post. "White women are easy". Hahaha, I'm fairly sure my boyfriend would disagree with that statement. Such stereotypes are unfair, but not entirely unfounded. Negative generalizations do lead to racism, a learned mind set in my opinion, yet our cognitive process is based on logic, hence we tend to sum up experiences into rules... Am I right? I guess it's best to keep mind and heart open to every single soul which appears on our path. And I mean, heart open and BRAIN working at the same time ;)

Best,
Shömi

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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