As I was growing up in my inherently Muslim social group, I have noticed that
people in my community tend to put their culture in the center of the all the conspiracy, as if other groups were nothing but a threat to the strong and glorious Islamic culture. They also lean toward explaining the cultural challenges that other groups face as a result of rejecting the Islamic social norms.
This attitude was clear through the reaction of Muslims after the Coronavirus outbreak in China. Searching for the origins and the cure of this virus was none of their concern because for them, it was obvious that the reason was mistreating God's favored group, Uighur Muslims, it was also punishment for eating Haram food. Some people even considered the name "Corona" as a conspiracy against the holy "Coran" because the two names are alike. I thought that my group was the only one that had projected this phenomenon but the more I read about history and sociology the more I understand that it isn't.
The phenomenon is known as Ethnocentrism or Cultural Superiority Complex which is defined as an attitude that one's group, ethnicity is superior to others. another definition is the tendency to view alien groups or cultures from the perspective of one's own.
Ethnocentrism is stimulated by one's education, religion, out bringing and the limited intercultural interactions. it bolsters the in-group feelings and solidarity. it shields our comfort zones but it can lead to genocides, slavery violent group
conflicts, colonialism and terrorism.
History and literature is loaded with horrifying events that were caused by such beliefs.We'll take as examples the nazi holocaust, the tale of tears, the black slavery, colonialism, and White's man burden and last but not least the Arminian genocide but the world can no longer afford group conflicts. after the invention of nuclear weapons, and warfare will lead to weeping not only our human race but all the living organisms on earth.
It is believed that this attitude is a learned behavior, therefore, it can be unlearned.
Sociologists suggested some solutions such as submerging local groups to a larger collective like nation as well as encouraging intercultural communication. I believe that solving this phenomenon is an emergency not a proposal. Humanity is now facing global challenges and I mean Climate change, and industrial pollution in certain regions.
The shift toward more efficient technology will change Earth for the better, however the climate of Earth has always changed drastically and we must coordinate solutions such as some country's proper response to Coronavirus.
Overcoming it demands our efforts to be united and we cannot be united unless we communicate. To communicate means embracing and respecting our individual rights and differences, but unite our knowledge.
Communication is exploring what it means to be the other person. Edward De Bono said in his book, how to have a beautiful mind, "A discussion should be a genuine attempt to explore a subject rather than a battle between competing egos".
The world is too big to be seen from one perspective and slavishness to group think blinds you from exploring novel viewpoints. There are more colors in the world to adhere to ethnocentrism means seeing the world in black and white.
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