Young French Muslim and Indian Widows

MuslimIndian Widows

After 9/11 Thich Nhat Hahn  said, “The root of terrorism is misunderstanding, intolerance, hatred, revenge and hopelessness. ”

Dalai Lama commented on Charlie Hebdo attacks: “All the wrongdoings…… awful wrongdoings….we cannot blame the person, we should blame .. their short-sightedness, anger and ignorance.”

Why are the young French Muslim suicide-bombers so filled with anger, hatred and hopelessness that they took their own lives as well as so many innocent fellow Parisians under commands of ISIS? Many blamed discrimination against their foreign names resulting in high unemployment.

Some years ago I experienced the same as a new immigrant in US except it was probably more about age than foreign name and ironically meanwhile I was working part-time to help migrants from Russia, Mexico and other countries to job hunt. Though I had advanced US degrees and high profile work experience with global brands at top fortune 500 companies in Asia, I did not have much success. I was not picky either.

Yet when I returned to Taiwan’s job or rental market, age discrimination was still the problem even though there are laws against it. Landlords would hang up after asking about age.

I watched a film “Veil of Tears” with ad copy focused on the medical student who was raped on the bus and died in India a couple years ago. It turned out to be a documentary about  injustice and hopelessness in India on child prostitution or bride, dowry, rape, caste system (Untouchables) and widows who are considered as curses.

The film was sponsored by a Christian nonprofit and reported on their mission at Widow’s Island or how they teach and help the hopeless women to earn a modest living to survive. The Grameen Bank founded by a Nobel Laureate has been successful lending to helpless Indian women to become financially self-reliant as well.

These Indian women have every right to be angry and filled with hatred. Even though there are laws banning dowry and child bride, nobody respects them yet India is the second largest democracy in the world. The NGO accepts the fact it is impossible to change the Indian mindset and focuses on modest economic change that offers hope.

Isn’t there something that can be done in the French Muslim neighborhood or community to help the young secure a self-reliant livelihood?

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