Friday, December 18, 2009

Different Cultures, Different Mentalities and ...

...Different attitudes towards death and suicide.

Early in my unpaid career in media as Shiloh Spokesperson, I came across the classic  and common problem when my words were totally misconstrued.  As an amateur sociologist, I consider it totally accurate to say that Arabs have a different mentality from American-European.  The journalist criticized me in the article for daring to say something that could be seen as racist.  Since then I always connect such statements with historical fact which can't be denied.

I equate Arab suicide bomber terrorists who murder Jews with Japanese Kamikaze pilots.  Of course, there's a difference, a crucial one.  The Japanese Kamikaze pilots targeted military, while the Arab suicide bombers target civilians.  Regardless, that usually neutralizes any opposition to my statements.

Actually, the Japanese mentality/culture glorifies or at least accepts suicide in a way other peoples could never accept.  With western influence, this is changing.

But one shouldn't forget that we're not all the same.  We shouldn't project our feelings on others.  It's a big mistake to think one knows what others are thinking.  When I hear someone say:

"What he meant was..."

I take for granted that the person making excuses doesn't know and is only guessing, projecting his own thoughts.

When our Arab enemies say they want us gone, dead and gone, I take the threat seriously and I wish our Israeli Government would, too!


Bryan said...

While I generally agree with your post, there is (to my understanding of both cultures) another crucial difference.

The Japanese view of suicide is that it is a mandated response to shame, which affects not only you but your entire family. It is a response to a stimulus. If you shame yourself and your family (or if you will shame yourself and your family), then you commit suicide and redeem your family's honor. It is not adding honor to your family history, it is removing a dishonorable stain.

On the other hand, the Arab view is that death while "fighting" is honorable, whether the other side is fighting or not. It is not a response to a shameful action: it is honorable in and of itself. It is adding honor onto a neutral family history. An Arab needs no dishonorable stain on his family history to have motivation to blow himself up inside a cafe.

The Palestinian propaganda (mostly coming from Hamas, but also from Fatah) that encourages martyrdom in the name of "resistance" is the reason there are security fences or blockades or checkpoints. And yet they refuse to give up indoctrinating their children with hate.

Anonymous said...

If an arab tells you he wants peace, do you take him serious, too?
Or does he really mean.................

Batya said...

Bryan, your clarification makes the Arab attitude/culture even more dangerous.

a, let the Arab define it. In the article I was quoted in the Arab said we had to leave and that's that. There was no way he'd accept us peacefully.

Bryan said...

That was my intention. The Arab glorification of "martyrdom" is much more dangerous than the Japanese concept of suicide. The fact that this aspect of Arab culture is so thoroughly ignored by the Western media is probably the single most obvious example of the systematic bias in the mainstream media.

Political correctness, in that it makes pointing out obviously dangerous cultural attitudes "rude" and "unacceptable," is tainting our national discourse.

Batya said...

Yes, and the problem isn't just the media, it's the academics who fear telling the truth.