Europe: Racist dialogue!

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The echoes of the recent World Cup in Russia continue, especially on the European continent, and these echoes have implications worldwide. People still talk about the size of the contribution of immigrants to the victory of the French team in the World Cup, and that the team reflects a new reality for France as Africans and Muslims contributed to putting a smile on the faces of the French people in achieving one of the most important victories French sporting history. There are those who say that the team reflects the natural diversity of humanity.

While in Germany (the team that won the previous championship) there was a different situation, as the star of the team Mesut Özil, who is of Turkish origin, announced his retirement from international football because of a “racist attack” on him. He said: “I am a German when we win, but I am an immigrant when we lose.”

Recently on a business trip to Europe, I was involved in a conversation with two businessmen – an Austrian and an Italian. The Italian said: “We the people of the Mediterranean gave the world Greek philosophers, such as Socrates, Aristotle and Plato, along with democracy, theater, literature, the Renaissance, Da Vinci, Michelangelo and Dante.” The Austrian replied: “Hey my friend, we gave the world Hegel, Marx, Kant, Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Wagner, Freud and Jung.”

I tried to intervene to calm the situation by referring to common values, goals and meanings, but to my astonishment I received a stormy response from the Austrian, whom I later found out had studied the Arab world. He told me to please not interfere. He said “You are the last to talk about tolerance, as racism is rampant among you, and you are the most racist people in the world, dividing people by their religions, ethnicities, regions and so on.” I tried hard to defend Arabs and Muslims, but he was able to cite actual examples of racism and social extremism.

It seems clear to me that racism is an acquired disease. Misguided social beliefs and ego may be the main reasons for generating hatred, discrimination and militancy. No matter how fine words may be, beautiful proverbs and cultural slogans are in the end just like a lot of cosmetics to cover an ugly face.

The current dialogue in Europe about the contribution of migrants to the continent is important in that Europe is the cradle of the civilization of the West. It is a profound dialogue that touches upon rights, regulations and laws. This in itself is very useful, because racism is a devastating cancer of social tranquility. We must not forget that World War II began as a result of a satanic racist idea called Nazism.


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