By: Faizan Haq, Editor-in-Chief
Another Halloween was here. People dressed up in unusual cloaks to be somebody else. The intentions were to either scare, or surprise others. Imagine if they were to wear these cloaks and masks, and they turned into those monsters before our eyes. And when they try to come back to their original form, the transition becomes harder. So hard, that even if they come back, they are permanently mutated.
On the grand scale, the world seems to be having a never-ending Halloween night where monsters keep raising their heads, and people willingly or unwillingly cannot come back to their original form.
The rise of Nazis in Germany and Europe. The resurrection of the white supremacist and antisemitic movements in America; the rise of, and destruction caused by, ISIS in Iraq; the Hindu extremism in India; and the violence against minorities in Pakistan. State oppression in Syria. Israel’s oppression of Palestinians. Endless tribal violence in Afghanistan.
At this time, there are visible signs of civilizations tiring of their own values. Religious tolerance, democracy, nonviolence, human rights, and free expression are the hallmarks of Western societies. The common values they relearned after suffering through the tragic history of ultra-nationalism, fascism, extreme communism, and Nazism. Two world wars, the holocaust, two nuclear bombs, and a cold war. It seems we are coming full-circle. Are we? Are we going to surrender, and cede the grounds that we have gained from the monsters of the past? Such trends always lead to historic disasters for people and nations.
Hope may stem from the millennials who have learned to work in groups across national and religious lines, and to not see or experience physical borders and nationalities as their predecessors did. These millennials seem unfortunately disengaged, but are in reality disenfranchised. They are also not privileged equally across the world. Their ability of connectivity and willingness to trust one another might just be the signs of dawn to end the global Halloween night. My urge to them is to get out and vote.
The American midterm elections will decide the balance of power in Congress. The most powerful and at times, indecisive group of people in the world. Will they cheer the monsters or shut the doors on the screams of extremism? The answer to these questions will depend on who gets elected. My friends, it depends on you and me: who do we want to elect as gatekeepers to the American civilization of decency, inclusiveness, and diversity?