What Happens When a Warrior Culture Meets a Cooperative, Tolerant, Peace-Loving Culture?
In the fascinating book, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (which has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam) the author, Jared Diamond writes:
On the Chatham Islands, 500 miles east of New Zealand, centuries of independence came to a brutal end for the Moriori people in December 1835. On November 19 of that year, a ship carrying 500 Maori armed with guns, clubs, and axes arrived, followed on December 5 by a shipload of 400 more Maori. Groups of Maori began to walk through Moriori settlements, announcing that the Moriori were now their slaves, and killing those who objected. Organized resistance by the Moriori could still then have defeated the Maori, who were outnumbered two to one. However, the Moriori had a tradition of resolving disputes peacefully. They decided in a council meeting not to fight back but to offer peace, friendship, and a division of resources.
Before the Moriori could deliver that offer, the Maori attacked en masse. Over the next few days, they killed hundreds of Moriori, cooked and ate many of the bodies, and enslaved all the others, killing most of them too over the next few years as it suited their whim. A Moriori survivor recalled, “[The Maori] commenced to kill us like sheep…[We] were terrified, fled to the bush, concealed ourselves in holes underground, and in any place to escape our enemies. It was of no avail; we were discovered and killed — men, women, and children indiscriminately.” A Maori conqueror explained, “We took possession… following our customs and we caught all the people. Not one escaped. Some ran away from us, these we killed, and others we killed — but what of that? It was following our custom.”
The moral to this story? It doesn’t matter how tolerant you are when you’re the target of someone with different values. You and your culture’s tolerance and cooperativeness will not win over someone who sees those as a mere weakness.
Mahatma Gandhi had no support initially but he was very strong and moved ahead with the principle of non-violence. And he did wonders. But then, it was a short-lived wonder as the British left the country but gifted much of the western living in mind and hearts of people here. Some in good cause but much eroding the cultural values and sense of pride in their self, in the nation.
Any approach you take, effects are not in control. It is important to be wise and change your approach if needed from time to time. Knowing is a different thing and doing after knowing is altogether different.
Thus knowing about this lack of reciprocity makes us acquainted with facts but then the approach has to be designed. And yet 100% results will not be in favor. But you have to take the path backing self.
Reciprocity is not discouraged in Islam. It is forbidden. Allah forbids Moslems to take as friends Jews or Christians. Anyone else is definitely out of the question.
Jesus-Christ taught “Turn the other Cheek”.
With that said, I once saw a movie which was about St. Peter, the first Pope. Peter was struck on the cheek. He turned the other cheek and was struck AGAIN. Peter promptly struck back saying that he only had “two cheeks”.
Dr. Robert Gorter: I am very impressed by the story of Maria Magdalena. When Mari Magdalena runs towards Jesus Christ, who was a rabbi at that time, pleading: “Rabbi please, save me from getting stoned!” and the Christ answers: “I will forgive you but do not do it again!” This is also a good example that we should (must?) forgive but not endlessly.