Yemen’s Unrest (RELS 348)

The article “Fighting grips Aden as Houthis continue to push South” published by AlJazeera, reports that fierce fighting is taking place in the coastal city of Aden where rebels known as Houthis are pushing South to claim power. At the same time Saudi Arabia has started air strikes to stop the advance, but this hasn’t stopped the rebels, and neither have the loyal fighters of the current president of Yemen, who are also battling the Houthis. In the past few days, 100 people have reportedly been killed due to the violence. Saudi Arabia has stated that the air strikes will continue until the Houthis put down their weapons, while the foreign minister said that their options would remain open on sending troops into Yemen. He went on to state the current objective is being achieved through air campaigns. Some of the air strikes being conducted are targeting the Houthis air defense capabilities. The article further talks about how air strikes were halted for a few hours to allow non-citizens to evacuate the country. The past president of Yemen stood down from his position after a violent uprising in 2011, but he still has a wide influence over Yemen. He appealed at the Arab leaders meeting in Egypt to halt the attacks and resume talks on political transition. He also promised that neither he nor anyone from his family would try to seek power within the country. His son also aired a proposal on television where he spoke about a plan to break with the Houthis, but it was rejected by the powers in Saudi Arabia and the air strikes have been continuously occurring.

The current emerging conflict that is taking place in Yemen can be seen as a religious war. Two different types of Muslims (Sunni and Shia) are causing this fight. Saudi Arabia is getting heavily involved because they do not support the Shia Houthis taking power in Yemen. Saudi Arabia prefers the power in Yemen to be Sunni, because most of the Arab states are Sunni. Yemen is also a strong religious symbol in Islam, and hence Saudi Arabia is very involved in this fight. The country has been divided politically into the North and South, with peace possibly only being possible with a full split.

The heavy involvement of Saudi Arabia and other nations, reminds me of the Vietnam War that is discussed in The Triumph of the Absurd. In this book the author speaks about how so many lives were lost just because of different countries stepping in and trying to reach peace. US and West Germany tried to help Vietnam, but instead lost its battle at the end and many lives as well before disappointingly leaving the country. The current situation seems like a reliving of this scenario, with foreign countries under the guise of “help” invading Yemen, primarily Saudi Arabia trying to keep a Sunni influence in Yemen. The story of Vietnam serves a good lesson that it is best to not step in and let the country sort out its own battle that exists within its own people.

#uwreligions

Apology Accepted (RELS 348)

Nirpal Dhaliwal’s story “Britain has no need to make an apology to India for Empire…Daily Mail, 30 July 2010 presents an unconventional perspective regarding the empire that Britain once held over India. Dhaliwal does not believe that an apology is required from Britain to India for their imperial rule years ago. He back up this statement by pointing out various pieces of evidence that prove that India is now a better place as a result of the British Indian empire.

According to the article, India has the second–largest growing economy in the world and produces more English-speaking graduates than the rest of the world combined. This legacy left by the Raj has been profitable to India’s economy and has helped create jobs in sectors such as call-centers and software industries. The article goes on to state that India’s access to the rest of Europe is also improved by having a close relationship with Britain. This is important to India similarly to the way the British Empire made India more modern and civilized; it will mark how prominent both countries are in the modern world. Dhaliwal then goes on to express his admiration towards India’s tolerance, freedom, and engagement with the world. He does this by recollecting his visits to St. Thomas’s Cathedral in Mumbai. He goes on further to prove that Christianity is accepted in India when he saw a sign outside the Mahalakshmi Temple that proclaimed “Merry Christmas” to its Hindu worshipers. Dhaliwal boldly declares that modern Indian state simply would not exist without the callous and profiteering British Empire.

Although Dhaliwal raises some valid points in favour of the British Empirical rule over India, I disagree with him on account that India does not deserve an apology from the British. Yes, Indians have built upon what Britain has introduced to them such as the English language, parliamentary democracy, the rule of law, and the protection of individual rights, which are all given credit where credit is due by Dhaliwal. However, I believe that the negative affects of the British Empire outweigh the positive legacies.

As mentioned in class, India held one of the largest economies in the world thanks to the spice trade, before the British East India Company seized control. Colonization and the British rule caused economic growth in India came to screeching halt. Colonization transformed India’s economy into a colonial economy. This resulted in deindustrialization that unemployed hundreds of thousands of craftsmen and caused farms to be working with an overcapacity of workers. The entire economic arrangement of India was in accordance with the interests of the British.

India underwent a series of famines and outbreaks of sickness during the British rule. Poor control and negligence by the colony is seen as the root cause of these famines. India’s growing population was largely not able to afford food because the British encouraged farmers to grow cash crops. This meant that a crop produced is for its commercial value rather than for use by the grower.

After considering the positive and negative affects of the British Empirical rule over India I am inclined to say that India at least deserves an apology from the British. Dhaliwal is quick to point out the fortuitous impacts that Britain had on Indian society but does not acknowledge the many atrocities, plagues, and lives-lost due to the empirical invasion. I believe that by recognizing both sides of an argument one is able to come to most accurate conclusion. By doing so, one can admit that the British should apologize to India.

AR

#uwreligions

Rewriting History: The Vietnam War (RELS 348)

On March 25th, The WND featured Chelsea Schilling’s (2015) article “Media’s Vicious Lies on Vietnam Finally Exploded: Eye-opening story finally tells truth of America’s most controversial war,” which addressed the release of a new documentary film: “Ride the Thunder: A Vietnam War Story of Victory and Betrayal” that attempts to shed light on the controversy surrounding the Vietnam War. Botkin, the executive producer of the movie, expresses that the negative perceptions of the South Vietnamese and their U.S. allies’ efforts in the war need to be reinterpreted by the public. The movie attempts to show a different side of the War, one that the makers claim to be more truthful than what was portrayed in the media, and one that gives pride to those who fought in the war/those who supported it.

Schilling begins her article by reminding readers of events that played out in the media during the Vietnam War, such as: a Buddhist monk setting himself on fire in protestation and an image of a South Vietnamese police chief photographed holding a gun to a prisoner’s head. She also reminds us how U.S. soldiers were often shamed and labeled as “baby-killers” and murderers while the South Vietnamese were cowardly and corrupt. Schilling (2015) asks, “But did these images and portrayals – splashed across Americans’ TV screens and newspapers – really represent the true story of Vietnam and the mission to halt the spread of communism?” – Botkin and his movie argue, no. Botkin points out that many Hollywood movies that deal with the Vietnam War are good for entertainment but not much else. Botkin believes that “they often grossly distort the reality of the warriors who fought courageously to stop the spread of communism”. Botkin hopes to rewrite history in the eyes of America, undo wrong perceptions of American soldiers and Vietnamese allies, and in the end prove that America’s presence in the war was justified/needed to combat the evils of communism.

The film uses a true story of Vietnamese Marine Maj and Le Ba Binh. The story chronicles his life in a communist camp, what the North Vietnamese called a “re-education camp”, while featuring flashbacks that show how Le Ba Binh courageously fought even in the face of hardship. Botkin argues that because Le Ba Binh was immersed first-hand in the war – he is a reliable source for information, whereas the American tabloids were not, “When the American went to Vietnam, they typically would go for 12 or 13 months… But Binh was there for the whole thing. It’s through him that we tell the story, hoping to make the Americans see that their sacrifice was justified”.

Schilling goes on to explain that many South Vietnamese and other oppositionists of communism fled the country in search of refuge. Although the U.S. received extreme prosecution for its efforts in the Vietnam War, Botkin wishes to change these allegations and show that he does not “think there’s any question that our effort was the right one”. The enemy was always communism.

This article and perspective from Botkin reminded me of Siemon-Netto and his mission to portray the South Vietnamese as the compassionate, strong and determined people he saw them to be. Botkin and Siemon-Netto also agree that the U.S. media is at fault for the misrepresentations of the realities of the Vietnam War. Throughout Siemon-Netto’s book, he is constantly frustrated by the absurdity and disconnect between the war reporters and the Vietnam War itself. Although there are many who believe that the Americans had no purpose being in the Vietnam War, it is also true that there are those who believe that any opposition to the communist forces and brutality was one that was needed.

In the end whether or not the Vietnam War is viewed as a War for the People, a colonial war, or a War Against America, I think it is safe to say that it was ultimately a war of ideologies. Freedom is defined differently throughout Vietnam, the U.S., and around the world. The Communist sought freedom from imperial control, South Vietnam sought liberty from Communist restraint and from suffering, religious followers sought liberation from belief restriction, and the American Peace Movement sought liberation from violence and the war itself. I believe that the war, in its confusion, can be summed up in a quote from Uwe Siemon-Netto (2014): “nothing, not even the most irrefutable evidence, can trump an ideologue’s fixed ideas” (p.199).

A.P.

#uwreligions

The Influence of Imperialism on the Syrian Crisis (RELS 348)

Edward Dark’s article “How to Solve the Syrian CrisisThe Guardian, 13 November 2014 argues for the importance of international communities to work together to bring an end to civil war in Syria. He believes that there is no real consensus on how to resolve the Syrian conflict largely due to the international actors focus on their own self-interests as opposed to what is best for the Syrian people and ultimately the global community. The US has concentrated on toppling the current government since the beginning of the civil war, which began after the Assad regime’s brutal response to a popular pro-democracy uprising. The US approach of supporting, arming and trying to unite diverse factions to fight against the government has been largely unsuccessful.  Dark also feels that the main backers of the Syrian government, Iran and Russia, are also motivated by their own narrow interests namely Iran’s desire to increase their influence in the Middle East and Russia’s hope to prevent the expansion of NATO into areas where they have formerly been most influential. Dark notes that the unintended consequence of these political stalemates has been the growth of the jihadist movement, which is a threat to regional and global security.

Dark feels that a victory by either side is neither possible nor desirable. He also opposes the proposed break-up of Syria into sectarian subdivisions for political purpose. He proposes that in order to properly resolve the Syrian conflict the major powers backing both regime and opposition forces need to move past their own self-interest and engage in meaningful discussion that will lead to compromise. Dark pushes for the creation of conditions where ceasefires can hold and the peace process can genuinely begin. He suggests that a transitional government in Syria that is supported by the people, along with the aid of the wider international community, may eventually be able to defeat extremism in that country and help combat the spread of world-wide terrorism.

Syria is yet another example of a country negatively impacted by Imperialism. Although in the beginning Europeans may have believed that Imperialism was a policy of idealism and philanthropy it later became more accurately characterized by political, economic and religious self-interest. This is why according to Robert Irwin (2007), in his book For Lust of Knowing, there was a marked tendency for Orientalists to be anti-imperialist, even though they may initially have supported colonialism. Dark shares an anti-imperialist view in his article as he explores the impact of involvement of the current Imperialist Powers, the US and Russia in the problems of Syria.

Scott Anderson, in the article ”Why the Middle East’s Borders Will Never Be the Same Again,” The Guardian, 20 June 2014 reports that the seeds of conflict in the Middle East were planted after World War I, following the San Remo agreement of 1920, where despite the protests of Arab Nationalists, Greater Syria was divided into 4 parts – Palestine, Trans-Jordan, Lebanon and modern day Syria with the British controlling the first two and the French taking the later. He suggests that for three decades the Britain/French Imperialist Powers were able to weather conflicts of Arab rage by supporting their own complaint local leaders and employing military action when needed. In the 1950’s their influence collapsed and the Middle East came under the control of militant dictatorships. Now, after the Civil War in Syria erupted in 2011, Imperialist Powers are involved once again in order to protect their national self-interests. Interestingly, Dark points out that the US and many of its European allies, failed to grasp the full implications of their commitment to overthrowing an entrenched pervasive regime with a powerful army and unwavering support of its allies. This is reminiscent of the US involvement in the Vietnam War where Uwe Siemon-Nettto in his book, Triumph of the Absurd, clearly illustrates how the U.S underestimated the tenacity of North Vietnam.

Dark makes a valid point that it is time to move beyond these Imperialist attitudes of self-interest and work together in a spirit of collaboration and compromise if we hope to combat the growing threat of terrorism and bring greater stability to the world. Spagnoli in his book, Democratic Imperialism: A Practical Guide, agrees with Dark when he states, “Now and again, we have to look beyond the national interest. The human interest and the interest of humanity should become a fixed part of foreign policy…”(p. 100). If nations come together in a truly collaborative spirit then we may, as Kris Manjapra describes in his biography of M.N. Roy, be able to achieve the social order where the best of men could be manifest as Roy desperately hoped for.

Mnicole11

Eastwood’s Sniper: The American Messiah (RELS 348)

For my third blog I have chosen an article by Lee C. Camp titled, “Clint Eastwood’s Sniper, and the American Messiah,” Huffington Post, 27 January 2015. The article discusses the recently released movie American Sniper directed by Clint Eastwood. More specifically it discusses how movies like American Sniper set the standard for the virtues people follow within the community that the movie is viewed in. Camp goes on to discuss how this sets a dangerous precedent for society as it prevents them from asking important questions. An example of one these unasked questions that Camp provides is what role the American nation’s violence contributes to the development of violence of other nations? Camp discusses imperialism towards the end of the article when he refers to the New Testament and how Eastwood’s portrayal of the main character Chris Kyle carries it around when going about his killing missions. Camp states that the New Testament is subversive to imperialist agendas as it refuses to prioritize a good guy versus bad guy narrative. He then goes on to say that the New Testament “insists that we are all caught up in some sort of politically realistic, patient and suffering good-will for all, brought in not by an overbearing Messiah bearing the sword, but a suffering Messiah bearing a new way of life.”

I found this article to be very interesting and in my opinion the way in which Camp connects the New Testament to imperialist agendas relates very well with our studies of imperialism and religion. Although I lack a thorough knowledge of the stories found in the New Testament I found Camp’s interpretation of it and the way Eastwood uses it in his movie to be unique. I do agree with Camp’s arguments when he is discussing how movies like American Sniper mould the virtues of the communities that the movies are viewed in. To be more specific I agree with Camp’s argument that it is dangerous how movies like American Sniper lead people to believe that the world is neatly divided between good and evil. American Sniper only portrays the story from one point of view and as the old saying goes there is always more than one side to every story. The danger here is evident as people are being led to believe that there is only one side to the story and that side is the good one. From what I have read the danger doesn’t seem to end with this one sided thinking. As Camp states important questions like what role the American nation’s violence plays in contributing to other nations violence are being forgotten. In turn forgetting to ask questions like these suggest that movies like American Sniper are leading people to turn a blind eye to Western Imperialism. Although my opinion should not be interpreted as only pertaining to American Sniper and Western Imperialism as I’m sure there are movies like American Sniper being shown in other parts of the world that are having the same effect on the communities in those countries.

-AKN

#uwreligions #348

The Influence of Kenya’s Religious Colonial Past (RELS 348)

Melanie Lidman’s “In Kenya, Catholic Nuns Train Women to be Local Peacemakers in the Midst of Tensions“ was originally published on Global Sisters Report and can also be found on The Huffington Post (26 March, 2015). Lidman’s article explains that in Kenya, “tribal tensions simmer just below the surface of every conflict.” The Association of Sisterhoods of Kenya’s Justice and Peace Commission have been supporting a decrease in tension between tribes with the help of local women. Since 1999, Catholic sisters have trained 340 women from across the country to act as local peacemakers and mediators. The trainees returned to their communities across all 25 dioceses of Kenya and shared the knowledge and tools necessary for defusing local conflict in “peacemaking circles”. Many people within the communities can be displaced, illiterate, without work, and affected or caring for a loved one with HIV. The circles offer a supportive community in which women have the chance to learn about resolution, empowerment and health. Lindman expresses that women’s education to problem-solve and mediate is important to the entire society because they have the power to instigate change.

This article demonstrates the impact of a colonial past. The first Europeans to establish themselves within Kenya were from the Christian Missionary Society in 1848. Soon thereafter, Kenya was deemed a British colony. European settlers greatly influenced Kenyan politics, culture, economy and religion. Christianity expanded quickly in the 19th century during the time the British colonized the country. Today, more than two thirds of the population is Christian, primarily attending Protestant or Roman Catholic churches. (Britannica.com) Christian mission stations offer medical and educational facilities as well as religious, such as the Sisterhoods of Kenya’s Justice and Peace Commission mentioned in Lidman’s article. The commission is working towards educating and empowering women positively within society, not just religiously. A lot of political and economic problems, conflict and displacement can be attributed to Kenya’s colonial past, but it can also be argued that some of the western influence has had the power to do good.

#uwreligions

Hongo Ominde, Simon. “Kenya.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. Britannica, 3 December 2015. Web.     31 March 2015, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/315078/Kenya

Lindman, Melanie. “In Kenya, Catholic Nuns Train Women to be Local Peacemakers in the Midst       of Tensions.” The Huffignton Post 26 March 2015. Web. 31 March 2015,  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/26/kenya-nuns       peacemakers_n_6941906.html?utm_hp_ref=religion

Statues of the Past: Should Colonial Icons be Removed? (RELS 348)

British imperialism in Africa has had both positive and negative affects on the African landscape. The British improved sanitation and education in the colony by building hospitals and schools. However, these advancements do not justify the atrocities that occurred with the colonial movement. Now the statues of past colonial figures, like Cecil John Rhodes, are the center of debate. In Wandile Goozen Kasibe’s article “No middle ground on genocidal Rhodes,” Cape Times, 17 March 2015 he states that the result of this debate can only go one of two ways. In his opinion “…either the statue comes down to be relocated to Rhodes Cottage in Muizenberg or UCT risks being revealed as the last fortress of academic colonialism and racism that privileges white power at the expense of human progress and the country’s constitutional demand”.

Cecil John Rhode’s statue is viewed as a constant reminder of the genocide of African people during the British colonial movement in South Africa. Originally, Black Africans were treated with respect as a whole, while the original missionaries from poorer backgrounds trekked through the African backdrop. As more intellectual travelers coming out of Oxford travelled to the colony, a sense of superiority spread. The religious motion that Blacks do not believe in a higher god, and therefore do not have souls, also contributed to the general racism. Rhodes “saw it as his God given task to expand the Empire, not only for the good of that Empire, but, as he believed, for the good of all peoples over whom she would rule” (URL 1). He believed that “We must adopt a system of despotism in our relations with the barbarians of South Africa”. Now, students at UCT chant “Rhodes Must Fall!” and “Down Rhodes, Down!”

Should the statue of Rhode be taken down? Kasibe quotes Edward Said’s observation that “appeals to the past are among the commonest of strategies in interpretations of the present. What animates such appeals is not only disagreement about what happened in the past and what the past was, but uncertainty about whether the past is really past”. He believes that the only way the University of Cape Town (UCT) can move forward is to remove these symbols that continue to subject students to “psychological colonialism”. I find this mindset to be counter productive. If one strives to forget the crimes of the past, I believe this will not help similar tragedies from reoccurring in the future. It is through the evaluation of history that we can learn from such events and grow. Whether the statue is there or not, it is the willingness to transform and the understanding of events that will make the difference. Here is where the issue lies. Kasibe points out that there is an unwillingness to transform the culture at UCT from a council of mainly whites to a lack of full-time South African Woman professors. The curriculum as well has a bias towards the Global North. I believe that the removal of this statue will do little to decolonize the university if the mindset does not change along with it.

#uwreligions

AM

(URL 1): “Cecil John Rhodes”, South African History Online, (http://www.sahistory.org.za/people/cecil-john-rhodes)

For Further Reading:

Helen Bamford “Should colonial history be removed?” Cape Argus, 26 March 2015 (http://www.iol.co.za/capeargus/should-colonial-history-be-removed-1.1837206#.VRhtkDTF_pA)

The Politics of Reincarnation (RELS 348)

In summer of 2015, the Dalai Lama will turn 80. In light of this, the BBC recently published an article on his reincarnation – a subject of interest to thousands around the world, and of vital importance to Tibetans and their relationship with the Chinese government.

The article follows a comment by the Dalai Lama in December in which he “conceded that he may not have a successor.” Tibetan Buddhists believe that each Dalai Lama is a different incarnation of the same spirit, of which there have been fourteen so far. Traditionally, the role of the Dalai Lama has involved both political and religious responsibilities. However with Tibet under Chinese control, and the Dalai Lama in exile, many traditions have had to change.

For this article, four “expert witnesses” were consulted to comment on the Dalai Lama’s eventual reincarnation, or lack thereof. This group consisted of an official representative of the Dalai Lama, Chonpen Tsering; a Chinese International Studies researcher, Jia Xiudong; an American Tibetan Studies professor, Robert Barnett; and a Tibetan activist, Jamaya Norbu. All except Jia Xiudong expressed concerns about Chinese interference in the selection of the next Dalai Lama, as happened in 1995 when the Panchen Lama was identified, and subsequently replaced by the Chinese government. Norbu fears that if the Dalai Lama does not reincarnate, he will be allowing China free rein to rule Tibet by proxy through a false Dalai Lama.

Xiudong claims the Dalai Lama has “made the issue of reincarnation…a political issue.” Personally, I find that statement disingenuous. Politics and religion are often connected spheres: in many African cultures, rulers have closer ties to their gods or ancestors than do average people, and even in Europe, where politics are quite secular, major religious leaders have some political clout. The dual role of the Dalai Lama as both spiritual leader and governing authority shows that Tibetans likewise see religious authorities as politically significant. China knows this on some level, or it wouldn’t have gone to such lengths to control the Panchen Lama, or tried to legislate reincarnation. However their approach reflects a misunderstanding of religion, and why it matters.

In my observation, people who are not themselves religious sometimes fall into the trap of believing that people who follow a religion do so because they are stupid and easily led. China’s mistake with Tibet seems to me an example of that error on a grand scale: assuming because Tibetans were religious, that they could be controlled through their religion. But although religion isn’t science, it is nonetheless rooted in a rational and systematic understanding of the world – an understanding in which universal processes, not armies, determine who is the rightful ruler of Tibet. As a result, China’s blatant attempts to manipulate the sacred traditions of a deeply religious people were taken as evidence of China’s disrespect for Tibetan Buddhism, and an attack on Tibet’s national identity. Just my opinion, but I suspect China’s attempted assimilation of Tibet would have gone better if they’d stayed out of the reincarnation business.

– A. Morgana

Perseverance & Power: Christianity in Contemporary China (RELS 348)

In the article entitled “Religion in China: Cracks in the atheist edifice,”the writer discusses both the rapid growth of Christianity in China and the Chinese government’s evolving response to it. According to the article, many experts both in China and abroad believe that there are now more Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party, which numbers 87 million. Religious expression, especially from the Christian tradition with its Western roots, has long been suppressed by the Chinese government. However, government crackdowns have become increasingly rare in recent years, as Christians have grown in number and influence, and the government has come to view them both as valuable suppliers of important social services and as responsible citizens in general.

It is interesting to see Christianity, which has been tied to various Western empires over the last two millennia, come to increasing prominence in China, a powerful and growing country which may, in the not-so-distant future, seek to establish itself fully as an empire. It has taken steps in that direction. As the article indicates, some Chinese Christian leaders have concerns about Christianity becoming intertwined with power in China as it has been in the West. From its humble beginnings as a fringe cult within the expansive Roman Empire, Christianity has long been a tradition that prides itself on its defense of the disadvantaged and dispossessed. In many ways, the Christianity of China today is closer to the roots of the first-century Christian church than the Holy Roman Empire ever was. It remains to be seen whether it will stay that way.

More from RELS 348: Empire, Colonialism, and Religion

Yerlikaya’s article “From Orientalism to Islamophobia” describes Edward Said’s concept of orientalism in brief relation to Islamophobia, a more modern conceptualization derived from the inherited notion that the western world discriminates against the Middle East, Islam in particular. The author starts by briefly defining orientalism as a belief or idea the West has when thinking of or speaking about the East. Accordingly, it is the predisposed idea of this mysterious eastern world that the West used to supress a variety of cultural denominations by putting ‘the east’ on a separate and exotic pedestal to be distinguished as abnormal or foreign. Thus, the term orientalism paradoxically describes the very beginnings of imperialism and the unfortunate brand it has left on the skins of both of the eastern and western worlds.

The author moves on to discuss Islamophobia and how it is generally viewed as a modern concept derived from the 9/11 attacks. He then refutes this misconceived notion towards Islam by explaining that the origins actually stem from as far back as the Middle Ages. The Christian Crusades were brutal discriminatory excursions where many Muslim`s were forced into exile so the Christians could `reclaim` the holy land that is Islam, the land of Jesus Christ. These crusades can be viewed as the very beginning of discriminatory discourse against the Jewish and Islamic peoples of the Middle East, leading to the idea of foreigners and continuing the long cycle of discrimination using Middle East war propaganda, before and after the attacks of 9/11.

The Westerners used this bizarre portrayal of the East as a strategic colonization tool so it made their efforts appear more acceptable and now centuries later postcolonial studies examine the after-effects of such demeaning tactics used by the West and are able to show that a stereotype of this magnitude has definitely carried forward. The 2014 released movie “American Sniper“ is a prime example of this display of hatred whether or not its purpose was for pure entertainment in the end this movie displayed the common West vs East predicament with little mention of the Eastern views other than the assumption that these were insane rebels out to wreak havoc for no apparent reason. Granted it was the all-American war story which is an important composition in the West, but if anyone is going to reverse this prejudiced view of the East it will start with the media, which as stated in the article has allowed this imaginary category that is the East to continue. Rather than releasing a dominating war propaganda film showing the intimate factors of war from only one side no less during a current devastating crisis in the Middle East, the media should strive to eliminate such one-sided views and work towards a more collaborative approach, at least until some of this hatred is reversed and the West gains some respect from the opponents they seemingly created so long ago.