The Place of History in Multicultural Education, pp. 11 of 15

As a default answer, globalisation has been a highly efficient but deficient explanation to the complexities of imbalanced global economic practices and its associated issues. This can include among others environmental degradation, exploitation of cheap transnational labour especially from economically vulnerable economies and the growing global economic inequity. Looming large over all these concerns and intrinsically linked to the sense of global insecurity economically and militarily is the “race for what’s left” (Klare, 2013) of the world resources. From the battle lines being drawn in the Arctic, the below the radar militarisation of the African continent, the naval chess game in the South-China Sea, the acceptance of a “race to the bottom” of transnational labour and the naked re-colonisation of Iraq and Afghanistan are being executed and girded by politically expedient political and military justifications that exhibit both covert and overt forms of global racism.

As discussed by Donaldo Macedo and Panayota Gounari (Macedo & Gounari, 2006), globalisation with increased opportunities for more interactions across multiple differences did not enrich our appreciation of the value and worth of other cultures and thus human diversity. Globalisation unfortunately had facilitated the “globalization of racism” through global economic practices, dominant discourses and hegemonic control on how origins, implementations, outcomes and “interpretive” explanations have resorted to age-old but still useful narratives that appeals to simple, accessible but racist paradigms. This is the previously mentioned age-old “deficit theory” of interpreting difference with the “other” being played on a global scale and not for the first time. Unlike before, to provide an alternative perspective of a complex narrative would invite charges of being a communist, the current smear is “terrorist” with a particular, unquestioned terminological but religious equation to Islam or being a Muslim (Said 1997; Ismail, 2007).

As such the seemingly innocuous term of Islamophobia is a convenient all-purpose term to mask reprehensible “explanations”, attributions and suggestions on the entire global Muslim population. Whether to insist that Muslims should apologise for acts of violence by fanatical adherents, or to be judged exclusively on standards not asked of other religions, or to speak of the faith, its people, its practices in terms not tolerated by other communities are not questioned but accepted as a “truth”. Islam and the global Muslim population is an evolutionary case study of an institutionalised narrative by hegemonic powers that has made global racism and its outcome not only acceptable but seductively preferred: hence the casual indifference and disturbing silence on the violence of neo-imperial occupation and the terrorism of drone warfare on civilians in West Asia and the Middle East. Unless of course if such acts are committed by Muslims, and that requires no interrogation of complex historical, political and economic reasons as the answer of “Islam” or “Muslim” not only will suffice but accept as “natural”. The “success” of this example on the globalisation of racism is never more evident that the acceptance that Arabs or Muslims can be described as individuals of “terrorist descent”.

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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