Home Concepts Concepts of Leadership Cross Cultural Analyses Encounters with “The Other”: A History and Possibilities

Encounters with “The Other”: A History and Possibilities

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A Sample of 20th- and 21st-Century Catastrophes

NOTE: The following summary of 20th- and 21st-century catastrophes is incomplete and potentially subject to much dispute. My research was based on internet searches; Wikipedia was a very helpful source. Source estimates of deaths and expulsions vary widely, yet the precision of numbers is not the primary point. What does matter is recognizing our human capacity for reacting viciously and lethally to the “other” in the service of one form of Purity Solution or another.

* Myanmar (2017 and continuing). In the service of creating a Clean and Beautiful Nation, Muslim Rohingya, although having lived in Myanmar for generations, are treated as separate, non-citizens, illegal immigrants, “Bengalis.” As such, they have been driven from their homes and country, forced to live in squatter camps and slums and have been subject to rape, torture, and arson.

* Darfur (2003 and continuing). Government attacks on the villages of Sudan’s non-Arab, darker-skinned farmers commonly began with Air Force bombings. These air campaigns were often followed by Janjaweed militia raids in which surviving village men, women, and children were either murdered or forced to flee. It is estimated that this purification campaign has resulted in four million people being displaced and two million dead.

* ISIL genocides (1999 and continuing). A caliphate was created aimed at creating a pure Islamic state which would follow the prophecy and example of the prophet in precise detail. The goal of ISIL is to purify the world by destroying all who do not live by these principles; this has included Assyrian Christians in Iraq, Yazidi, Shiites, and the heads of every Muslim country who have elevated man-made law above Sharia. Ongoing worldwide attacks on civilians in many countries are further acts of purification through the deaths of “infidels.”

* Rwanda (1994). Over a one-hundred-day period, an estimated 500,000 to 1,000,000 Tutsis, approximately 70% of the Tutsi population in Rwanda, were slaughtered through the actions of the Hutu majority government. Soldiers and police officers encouraged ordinary citizens to take part. The extremist Hutu regime appeared to believe that their only hope for maintaining power demanded the complete destruction of ethnic Tutsis.

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