I’m a physicist by education and few of you have actually meet me. So in your mind what do you imagine me to be like. Do you see a pimpled guy with glasses who looks like Professor Frink from the Simpson. Who has an encyclopaedic knowledge of every episode of Star Trek. Or do you see a Brad Pitt look alike. I guess the answer is a lot closer to Frink then to Brad. Yet I do not wear glasses, have pimples nor have I ever watch an episode of star trek from beginning to end. I will leave the Frink vs Brad looks comparison to your imagination.
Now while the perception people have about physicists can give me a unique edge over lets say accountants on nights out.:-) (I have been asked to explain the theory of special relativity by girls I have been chatting up for some reason) This same warping of perception is damaging worldwide peace.
If you ever read some American blogs you get to see how Muslims are seen by many Americans. They see them as a violent people, intent on the destruction of truth, justice the American way and sesame street. They saw 9/11,
So the perception both sides see is of a clash of civilisations. It doesn’t matter if it is happening on a large scale or not it is perceived to be. The British army were originally greeted by nationalist but after a while due to the actions of a few the perception changed and rightly or wrongly they became the devil incarnate. This too ,will happen to the British army in Iraqi over the News of the world video. The actions of a few will demonise all.
So why is the west and Islam turning into each others respective bogey men. In
With massive unemployment, corruption, and poor services. The governments are all very much in danger of being toppled. They all fear a cedar revolution. So what do they do. Invest in the country, open up trade, no they solidify their power by creating a common enemy. Like in Orwell’s 1984 if you tell them something often enough use what ever means are necessary to divert their attention from the true state of the country. Then patriotism will win out and the ineptitude of the government will hidden and they will come to love big brother.
Perception is distorting the worlds view of each other. Creating an even greater divide between us and the Arabs. This is not the fault of the media. They can not make up the pictures of the riots nor can they make up the pictures of the British soldiers beating up Iraqi teenagers. It is up to people to have enough cop on to separate reality from perception.