Generalization is the biggest challenge that must be dealt with if we are to create spaces for constructive dialogue where muslims feel they are welcomed. This is equally true with regards to Westerners! Not all Westerners are against muslims, and not all terrorist attacks in the West are linked to Islamic jihadists.
I lived in Saudi Arabia in the late 1970s. It was, for a Westerner, pretty idyllic. There were the religious police; there were the rules; there were the prayer times. But it was as if we were existing in two separate universes. The Westerners were just allowed to get on with their way of life.
Westerners think that all that is negative and positive is only caused from outside of themselves. They materialize and externalize their experiences, never understanding the connection between outer and inner phenomena or interdependent phenomena, looking for explanations only from objects through nihilist habit instead of from the subjective experience of their own minds.
This may seem labouring the obvious, but in Japan one meets intelligent people who claim that 'logic' is something invented in the West to allow Westerners to win discussions. Indeed, the belief is widespread that the Japanese can as happily do without logic now as they supposedly have for centuries past.
Karel Van Wolferen
In many other cultures, and certainly in the Eastern world, there's great value put on being, contemplating, and even withdrawing from the world at certain times or for certain periods of time. But we don't really have that in our culture, so it's difficult for many Westerners to learn how to sit down or lie down and just be quiet without going to sleep. We're just not trained to do it.
For us, fear comes where terror comes to others because we are anesthetized to the guns constantly pointed at us. And the terror we have known is something few Westerners ever will. Israeli occupation exposes us very young to the extremes of our emotions, until we cannot feel except in the extreme. [... ] Our sadness can make the stones weep. And the way we love is no exception.
Centuries have passed since the wars of religion ceased in Europe, and since men stopped dying in large numbers because of arcane theological disputes. Hence, perhaps, the incredulity and denial with which Westerners have greeted news of the theology and practices of the Islamic State. Many refuse to believe that this group is as devout as it claims to be, or as backward-looking or apocalyptic as its actions and statements suggest. "Their skepticism is comprehensible. In the past, Westerners who accused Muslims of blindly following ancient scriptures came to deserved grief from academics-notably the late Edward Said-who pointed out that calling Muslims 'ancient' was usually just another way to denigrate them. Look instead, these scholars urged, to the conditions in which these ideologies arose-the bad governance, the shifting social mores, the humiliation of living in lands valued only for their oil. "Without acknowledgment of these factors, no explanation of the rise of the Islamic State could be complete. But focusing on them to the exclusion of ideology reflects another kind of Western bias: that if religious ideology doesn't matter much in Washington or Berlin, surely it must be equally irrelevant in Raqqa or Mosul. When a masked executioner says Allahu akbar while beheading an apostate, sometimes he's doing so for religious reasons.
It is not an unusual life curve for Westerners - to live i n and be shaped by the bigness, sparseness, space clarity & hopefulness of the West, to go away for study and enlargement and the perspective that distance and dissatisfaction can give, and then to return to what pleases the sight and enlists the loyalty and demands the commitment.
We are living in a culture that if you criticize immorality you could be branded as a "bigot". I am going to lose a lot of support just by saying this. I am not a politician and I am not running a popularity contest. My job is to defend our world from Islam. You asked why the westerners convert to Islam and I must tell the truth as I see it. If that offends anyone, let him be offended.
When I lived on the Bluff in Yokohama I spend a good deal of my leisure in the company of foreign residents, at their banquets and balls. At close range I was not particularly struck by their whiteness, but from a distance I could distinguish them quite clearly from the Japanese. Among the Japanese were ladies who were dressed in gowns no less splendid than the foreigners', and whose skin was whiter than theirs. Yet from across the room these ladies, even one alone, would stand out unmistakably from amongst a group of foreigners. For the Japanese complexion, no matter how white, is tinged by a slight cloudiness. These women were in no way reticent about powdering themselves. Every bit of exposed flesh-even their backs and arms-they covered with a thick coat of white. Still they could not efface the darkness that lay below their skin. It was as plainly visible as dirt at the bottom of a pool of pure water. Between the fingers, around the nostrils, on the nape of the neck, along the spine-about these places especially, dark, almost dirty, shadows gathered. But the skin of the Westerners, even those of a darker complexion, had a limpid glow. Nowhere were they tainted by this gray shadow. From the tops of their heads to the tips of their fingers the whiteness was pure and unadulterated. Thus it is that when one of us goes among a group of Westerners it is like a grimy stain on a sheet of white paper. The sight offends even our own eyes and leaves none too pleasant a feeling.
The Chinese are not programmed to make decisions quickly, and attempts to force them to do so, wittingly or unwittingly, invariably backfire. Instead, they view things from all angles, over and over again, and while doing so make judgments about the sincerity and trustworthiness of the people they are dealing with. The more impatience Westerners demonstrate, the less trustworthy they are judged to be.
So many indigenous people have said to me that the fundamental difference between Western and indigenous ways of being is that even the most open-minded westerners generally view listening to the natural world as a metaphor, as opposed to the way the world really is. Trees and rocks and rivers really do have things to say to us.
It seems more than a little patronizing for Westerners to lament the loss of the good old days when life in the Khumbu was so much simpler and more picturesque. Most of the people who live in this rugged country seem to have no desire to be severed from the modern world or the untidy flow of human progress. The last thing Sherpas want is to be preserved as specimens in an anthropological museum.
Although yoga has its origins in ancient India, its methods and purposes are universal, relying not on cultural background, faith or deity, but simply on the individual. Yoga has become important in the lives of many contemporary Westerners, sometimes as a way of improving health and fitness of the body, but also as a means of personal and spiritual development.
The Jews caused us a great injustice, the greatest injustice. They have expelled our people, stolen our land, shed our brothers' blood, and are still shedding blood, and there should be no contact between them and us....we will not agree to meet with them until our problem with the Zionist entity and those Westerners and Christians who support them, is solved.
If ISIL were to substantially increase the priority it places on attacking the West rather than fighting to maintain and expand territorial control, then the group's access to radicalized Westerners who have fought in Syria and Iraq would provide a pool of operatives who potentially have access to the United States and other Western countries.
James R. Clapper
Westerners often laud their children as 'talented' or 'gifted', while Asian parents highlight the importance of hard work. And in fact, research performed by Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck has found that the way parents offer approval affects the way children perform, even the way they feel about themselves.
Thai food ain't about simplicity. It's about the juggling of disparate elements to create a harmonious finish. Like a complex musical chord it's got to have a smooth surface but it doesn't matter what's happening underneath. Simplicity isn't the dictum here, at all. Some westerners think it's a jumble of flavours, but to a Thai that's important, it's the complexity they delight in.
So was it cultural imperialism for Westerners to criticize foot-binding and female infanticide? Perhaps. But it was also the right thing to do. If we believe firmly in certain values, such as the equality of all human beings regardless of color or gender, then we should not be afraid to stand up for them; it would be feckless to defer slavery, torture, foot-binding, honor killings, or genital cutting just because we believe in respecting other faiths or cultures.
Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
She wanted to ask about the McCaffreys' children, but the question seemed too personal. Westerners were private sorts, in Evangeline's judgment, with more than their share of secrets. "It scares me a little, " she confessed. "The idea of being so alone, I mean." June-bug favored her with another smile. "Bein' alone ain't necessarily bad, you know. A person can come to understand herself real well that way. Some folks pass their whole lives without learnin' a thing about their own minds and spirits, but out here, all you've got to do is pay attention.
Linda Lael Miller
Americans and other Westerners who want their families to enjoy the blessings of life in a free society should understand that the life we've led since 1945 in the Western world is very rare in human history. Our children are unlikely to enjoy anything so placid, and may well spend their adult years in an ugly and savage world unless we decide that who and what we are is worth defending.
The fact is that Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable-even legally actionable-to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, "Hey fatty-lose some weight." By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of "health" and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self image.
There are all these new books out there portraying Asian mothers as scheming, callous, overdriven people indifferent to their kids' true interests. For their part, many Chinese secretly believe that they care more about their children and are willing to sacrifice much more for them than Westerners, who seem perfectly content to let their children turn out badly. I think it's a misunderstanding on both sides. All decent parents want to do what's best for their children. The Chinese just have a totally different idea of how to do that.
The argument now that the spread of pop culture and consumer goods around the world represents the triumph of Western civilization trivializes Western culture. The essence of Western civilization is the Magna Carta, not the Magna Mac. The fact that non-Westerners may bite into the latter has no implications for their accepting the former.
Samuel P. Huntington
The world has a very serious problem, my friend' Shiva went on. 'Poor children still die by their millions. Westerners and the global rich - like me - live in post-scarcity society, while a billion people struggle to get enough to eat. And we're pushing the planet towards a tipping point, where the corals die and the forests burn and life becomes much, much harder. We have the resources to solve those problems, even now, but politics and economics and nationalism all get in the way. If we could access all those minds, though...
The speech fascinated him. His ear caught the rhythm of it and he noted their idioms and worked some of them into his patter. He had found the reason behind the peculiar, drawling language of the old carny hands-it was a composite of all the sprawling regions of the country. A language which sounded Southern to Southerners, Western to Westerners. It was the talk of the soil and its drawl covered the agility of the brains that poured it out. It was a soothing, illiterate, earthy language.
William Lindsay Gresham
Many Westerners forget that when the Prophet spoke of four wives as the maximum allowable number, he had in mind a reduction to four as compared to the number then often prevailing; moreover, Mohammed specified that a man should acquire more than one wife only if he could treat them all with equal justice - obviously a difficult feat for even the most diligent man to achieve. In effect, then, the Prophet curtailed the number of wives.
Mohammed Reza Pahlavi
It is recorded how towards the end of the eighteenth century a Muslim visitor to England was taken to see the House of Commons at work. He later wrote of his astonishment at finding the that the British Parliament actually made laws and fixed punishments for their infraction - because unlike Muslims the English had not accepted a divine law revealed from heaven and therefore had to resort to such unsatisfactory expedients. Muslims still understand the expression 'the rule of law' very differently than do most Westerners.
In the West we have a tendency to be profit-oriented, where everything is measured according to the results and we get caught up in being more and more active to generate results. In the East-especially in India-I find that people are more content to just be, to just sit around under a banyan tree for half a day chatting to each other. We Westerners would probably call that wasting time. But there is value to it. Being with someone, listening without a clock and without anticipation of results, teaches us about love. The success of love is in the loving-it is not in the result of loving.
Why do people often feel bad in good environments and good in bad environments? Why did Mother Teresa think that affluent Westerners often seemed poorer than the Calcutta poor, the poorest of the poor? The paradox comes to pass because the impoverishments and enrichments of a self in a world are not necessarily the same as the impoverishments and enrichments of an organism in an environment.
Why Westerners are so obsessed with "saving" Africa, and why this obsession so often goes awry? Western countries should understand that Africa's development chances and social possibilities remain heavily hindered due to its overall mediocre governance. Africa rising is still possible - but first Africans need to understand that the power lies not just with the government, but the people. I do believe, that young Africans have the will to "CHANGE" Africa. They must engage their government in a positive manner on issues that matters - I also realize that too many of the continent's people are subject to the kinds of governments that favor ruling elites rather than ordinary villagers and townspeople. These kind of behavior trickles down growth. In Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe is the problem. In South Africa the Apartheid did some damage. The country still wrestles with significant racial issues that sometimes leads to the murder of its citizens. In Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya the world's worst food crisis is being felt. In Libya the West sends a mixed messages that make the future for Libyans uncertain. In Nigeria oil is the biggest curse. In Liberia corruption had make it very hard for the country to even develop. Westerners should understand that their funding cannot fix the problems in Africa. African problems can be fixed by Africans. Charity gives but does not really transform. Transformation should come from the root, "African leadership." We have a PHD, Bachelors and even Master degree holders but still can't transform knowledge. Knowledge in any society should be the power of transformation. Africa does not need a savior and western funds, what Africa needs is a drive towards ownership of one's destiny. By creating a positive structural system that works for the majority. There should be needs in dealing with corruption, leadership and accountability.
Henry Johnson Jr
Political correctness is a major defect of the western ethos. Some Western countries have even passed blasphemy laws that would put you in legal hot waters if you say anything negative about Islam. This means that the truth about Islam cannot be said but Muslims are given total freedom to spread their religion with lies. Islam thrives were truth is suppressed. That is one reason that westerners convert to Islam. They are lied to. How do you expect a society to survive when truth is banned and lies are allowed?
Earlier in the morning Company A, 1st Battalion, 5th Marines had attacked eastward into the ruins of Shuri Castle and had raised the Confederate flag. When we learned that the flag of the Confederacy had been hoisted over the very heart and soul of Japanese resistance, all of us Southerners cheered loudly. The Yankees among us grumbled, and the Westerners didn't know what to do. Later we learned that the Stars and Stripes that had flown over Guadalcanal were raised over Shuri Castle, a fitting tribute to the men of the 1st Marine Division who had the honor of being first into the Japanese citadel.
Eugene B. Sledge
Many well-meaning Dutch people have told me in all earnestness that nothing in Islamic culture incites abuse of women, that this is just a terrible misunderstanding. Men all over the world beat their women, I am constantly informed. In reality, these Westerners are the ones who misunderstand Islam. The Quaran mandates these punishments. It gives a legitimate basis for abuse, so that the perpetrators feel no shame and are not hounded by their conscience of their community. I wanted my art exhibit to make it difficult for people to look away from this problem. I wanted secular, non-Muslim people to stop kidding themselves that "Islam is peace and tolerance.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
The philosopher Edmund Pincoffs has argued that consequentialists and deontologists worked together to convince Westerners in the twentieth century that morality is the study of moral quandaries and dilemmas. Where the Greeks focused on the character of a person and asked what kind of person we should each aim to become, modern ethics focuses on actions, asking when a particular action is right or wrong... This turn from character ethics to quandary ethics has turned moral education away from virtues and toward moral reasoning. If morality is about dilemmas, then moral education is training in problem solving.
Outside, milling under the ubiquitous gaze of security cameras, are bright splashes of colorful souls wearing crystals, beads, and Native American Indian paraphernalia; middle-aged academics with "Erowid" drug website t-shirts; and passengers that give you that odd conspiratorial smile that says, "yes, we are here for the conference." And here we are chowing down on McDonalds and donut King, getting our last hits of civilization before hitting the jungle city of Iquitos and shamanic boot camp. It feels like some whacked-out reality TV show, a generational snapshot of a new psychedelic wave just before it breaks. Bright-eyed Westerners about to die and be reborn in the humid jungles of Peru, drinking the hallucinogenic brew ayahuasca...
And yet, as you all know, joining humanity is never a simple matter. By beginning to live the same temporality as Westerners, the Japanese now had to live two temporalities simultaneously. On the one hand, there was Time with a capital "T, " which flows in the West. On the other hand, there was time with a small "t, " which flows in Japan. Moreover, from that point on, the latter could exist only in relation to the former. It could no longer exist independently, yet it could not be the same as the other, either. If I, as a Japanese, find this new historical situation a bit tragic, it's not because Japanese people now had a live in two temporalities. It's rather because as a result of having to do so, they had no choice but to enter the asymmetrical relationship that had marked and continues to mark the modern world-the asymmetrical relationship between the West and the non-West, which is tantamount, however abstractly, to the asymmetrical relationship between what is universal and all the rest that is merely particular.
One of the central tenets of the Western worldview is that one should always be engaged in some kind of outward task. Thus, the Westerner structures his time-including, sometimes, even his leisure time-as a series of discrete programmed activities which he must submit to in order to tick off from an actual or virtual list. One need only observe the expression on his face as he ploughs through yet another family outing, cultural event, or gruelling exercise routine to realise that his aim in life is not so much to live in the present moment as it is to work down a never-ending list. If one asks him how he is doing, he is most likely to respond with an artificial smile, and something along the lines of, 'Fine, thank you - very busy of course!' In many cases, he is not fine at all, but confused, exhausted, and fundamentally unhappy. In contrast, most people living in a country such as Kenya in Africa do not share in the Western worldview that it is noble or worthwhile to spend all of one's time rushing around from one task to the next. When Westerners go to Kenya and do as they are wont to do, they are met with peels of laughter and cries of 'mzungu', which is Swahili for 'Westerner'. The literal translation of 'mzungu' is 'one who moves around', 'to go round and round', or 'to turn around in circles'.
Song of myself I am of old and young, of the foolish as much as the wise, Regardless of others, ever regardful of others, Maternal as well as paternal, a child as well as a man, Stuff'd with the stuff that is coarse and stuff'd with the stuff that is fine, One of the Nation of many nations, the smallest the same and the largest the same, A Southerner soon as a Northerner, a planter nonchalant and hospitable down by the Oconee I live, A Yankee bound my own way ready for trade, my joints the limberest joints on earth and the sternest joints on earth, A Kentuckian walking the vale of the Elkhorn in my deer-skin leggings, a Louisianian or Georgian, A boatman over lakes or bays or along coasts, a Hoosier, Badger, Buckeye; At home on Kanadian snow-shoes or up in the bush, or with fishermen off Newfoundland, At home in the fleet of ice-boats, sailing with the rest and tacking, At home on the hills of Vermont or in the woods of Maine, or the Texan ranch, Comrade of Californians, comrade of free North-Westerners, (loving their big proportions, ) Comrade of raftsmen and coalmen, comrade of all who shake hands and welcome to drink and meat, A learner with the simplest, a teacher of the thoughtfullest, A novice beginning yet experient of myriads of seasons, Of every hue and caste am I, of every rank and religion, A farmer, mechanic, artist, gentleman, sailor, quaker, Prisoner, fancy-man, rowdy, lawyer, physician, priest. I resist any thing better than my own diversity, Breathe the air but leave plenty after me, And am not stuck up, and am in my place.
There are many things the Chinese do differently from Westerners. There's the question of extra credit, for example. One time, Lulu came home and told me about a math test she'd just taken. She said she thought it had gone extremely well, which is why she didn't feel the need to do the extra-credit problems. I was speechless for a second, uncomprehending. 'Why not?' I asked. 'Why didn't you do them?' 'I didn't want to miss recess.' A fundamental tenet of being Chinese is that you always do all of the extra credit all of the time. 'Why?' asked Lulu, when I explained this to her. For me this was like asking why I should breathe. 'None of my friends do it, ' Lulu added. 'That's not true, ' I said. 'I'm 100% sure that Amy and Junno did the extra credit.' Amy and Junno were the Asian kids in Lulu's class. And I was right about them; Lulu admitted it. 'But Rashad and Ian did the extra credit too, and they're not Asian, ' she added. 'Aha! So many of your friends did do the extra credit! And I didn't say only Asians do extra credit. Anyone with good parents knows you have to do the extra credit. I'm in shock, Lulu. What will the teacher think of you? You went to recess instead of doing extra credit?' I was almost in tears. 'Extra credit is not extra. It's just credit. It's what separates the good students from the bad students." "Aww - recess is so fun, " Lulu offered as her final sally. But after that, Lulu, like Sophia. always did the extra credit. Sometimes the girls got more points on extra credit than on the test itself - an absurdity that would never happen in China. Extra credit is one reason that Asian kids get such notoriously good grades in the United States. Rote drilling is another. Once Sophia came in second on a multiplication speed test, which her fifth grade teacher administered every Friday. She lost to a Korean boy named Yoon-seok. Over the next week, I made Sophia do twenty practice tests (of 100 problems each) every night, with me clocking her with a stopwatch. After that, she came in first every time. Poor Yoon-seok. He went back to Korea with his family, but probably not because of the speed test.