Friday, January 23, 2009

Freedom of Speech

Candle Light by Anne VisThe events in our world are a reflection of where we are spiritually ... At least that is how I perceive it.
And I don't feel like a celebration is in order lately.
If we already are experiencing a police state, where you need to give fingerprints for entering a bar and cannot take your toothpaste on board of a plane, things are spinning out of control ... here in the Netherlands, but I think also world wide.

A woman who had carried a poster with the same text as I had on my poster in the demonstrations for freedom for Palestine, got arrested and is facing a court trial ...

Tensions between islam and the authentic population of the Netherlands are increasing, and almost as bad as in France, if not the same. Of course Theo van Gogh got murdered for criticizing islam, but now
Geert Wilders also faces a court trial for stating his opinion. I don't follow every word he says, but I must say I have never heard him say anything that would be a call for hatred.

Everyone who reads religious texts, knows that there are many calls for violence and history teaches that most of the wars on the planet have been caused by religions. It does not really matter which religion you take. From all religions I read somewhere that the Buddhists are most peaceful.

A friend of mine is teacher and she told me today she has one 4-year old (!) in the class who just arrived from Morocco and does not speak the Dutch language, but has already within one week managed to teach the entire class of preschoolers to kick each others heads in ... (just to illustrate what is happening on the ground)

In my neighborhood there are mainly arabic (islamic) women. When I go to the supermarket, I see only women with scarves. I don't speak arabic (only shukran, habibi (thank you, sweetheart), which does not get me very far ... :-))),
and I don't have much contact with them other than a short word in the stores. It may say more about being Dutch than anything else ... But I do remember times not so long ago, when there were "authentic Amsterdam people" crowding the streets. Contacts with them were mainly on the market: I used to return with cramps in my belly from laughing with them ... every week! :-)

I think one of the characteristics of people from Amsterdam from the older generation was their big heart: everyone was welcome, regardless of where you came from or what your background was.
That's why I felt so welcome in the first place in Amsterdam.

I think maybe it was a matter of too many foreigners in a too short time frame ... and we as Dutch are responsible for allowing that to happen ... just as today we are allowing to happen that any form of criticism against any religion or other groups in society is called hatred ...
If we cannot talk about these things, how are we going to manage to solve differences?

I hope the inspiration that Obama means for so many of us, will also have it's ripple out effect on the Netherlands ... hope ...

Candle Light by Anne Vis


Lynda Lehmann said...

Yes, we have to hope for peace, tolerance, respect, justice, etc. Many societies are in a sort of future-shock because they cannot organize and assimilate so many new-comers into their infrastructures. It's a sad state of affairs.

Your art is a beautiful antidote to the chaos of society.

Anonymous said...

I second the last sentance that Lynda wrote! I enjoy reading your commentaries as well as looking at your artwork. Both are very thought provoking. Have you read about the story of Mosab Hassan? I wonder how safe he is even here in the US.