, , ,

I recently watched The Square. An award winning documentary that used film to win back Egypt. Throughout the documentary, I could not help but notice the need to identify the Other. In order to perpetuate the division, the constant need to identify with the other or to identify the Other in order to draw contrast with your enemy was a matter of life and death. In the end, they were all Egyptians, Egyptians with different viewpoints, viewpoints that both sides were willing to die for.
This constant need for humans to identify is visceral. We strive to socialize, fit in, and belong to a group, because we feel that being part of the group is necessary to our survival. We seek out others with whom we want to associate ourselves by sending out feelers to see where they stand on issues closest to us, and we look for visual cues on others like what political statements they are trying to broadcast like wearing crosses on their necks to broadcast that they are Christian. These can either work against you, or work for you.
If you simply acknowledge this potential, and strive to avoid it, then it can neither work for you nor against you. You eliminate the possibility for conflict by disallowing the conditions for conflict to persist. If Christians are interested in identifying a Muslim, and once they do, they generalize the entirety of the Movement onto that one person whom they were able to identify. Vice-versa, if Muslims are interested in identifying a Christian, and once they do, they generalize all of their negative experiences about Christians onto that one person they are able to identify as a Christian. Especially when there is strife between the two groups of people. I suggest practicing cooperation, not conflict. Conflict is a breeding ground for the spread of evil. Cooperation opens the door for understanding and mutual benefit.