Advertisement

Most Popular News on Medindia

P
M

Xenophobia

Rating : 12345
Rate This Article : 1 2 3 4 5
G J E 4

Xenophobia Examples in World History

The forms of racism are numerous, and it would be impossible to list all in the same space. But here are just a few examples of xenophobia in the world that have left the deep scars on the human race.

The Jewish holocaust when approximately 6 million European Jews were mass murdered in concentration camps and forced labour during the Second World War. Hitler believed in the supremacy of the Aryan race and Nazi Germany and didn’t want it polluted by Jewish occupation. It also led to Jewish exclusion from social and public life with several organizations inserting the Aryan paragraph in their statutes, a move which reserved membership only for members of the superior Aryan race. The most touching record of what could possibly be the worst example of not just anti-Semitism but state-sponsored xenophobia is the diary of Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank, a German Jew who died before the war ended.

The Ku Klux Klan was an anti-Black movement in the America of the early 1900s. (It was actually born in the previous century but it was the resurrected version that is remembered for its cruelty.) The Klan was infamous for the lynching and murder of whole black families, community leaders and Black sympathizers. Identified by their hoods and flowing white robes, their movement also took on a religious colour as it was pro-white Protestant and preached Anti-Catholicism. The Klan has remnants to this day, although a very subdued and almost inactive version.

Yet another lasting example of state-imposed racial segregation is the apartheid period of South African history (1948-1994). Blacks were denied citizenship, access to quality healthcare, public services, education and all amenities which had long been declared as basic human rights. The discrimination continued till the African National Party, led by Nelson Mandela, passed the anti-apartheid legislation.

The Indian caste system, though not a racial issue, is still related to xenophobia. The class system which later evolved into the five general levels of caste divisions continues to be widely endorsed by Hindus. Despite legislation promising them a fair share of opportunity, Dalits (lower-caste) Hindus continue to form among the poorest sections of Indian society.

Human zoos used to be a popular attraction in the West in the 19th and 20th centuries. These ‘public exhibits’ of human beings (caged, sometimes with exotic animals) introduced the West to the ‘barbarians’ of the East. Particularly popular exhibits were those of Africans, tribal pygmies, and the Philippines.

During the Second World War, especially after the bombing of Pearl Harbour in 1941, Japanese Canadians found themselves with the short end of the stick. Xenophobic public sentiment forced them out of their homes to a government-declared ‘safe zone’ where they were deprived of even basic human amenities. During the internment period, racial segregation also led to the loss of their civil liberties. Even after these war-time measures were removed, apologies were late in the coming to these Japanese immigrants. Also, those who chose to move back to their original states found that they had to rebuild their lives from scratch.

Rwanda’s infamous genocide was probably the worst humanity has ever seen. Ethnic strife, a simmering civil war and political competitiveness between the majority Hutus and the minority Tutsis led to the killing of several thousands of Tutsis in the space of a mere hundred days. Over 800,000 people are reported to have been killed in those mass killings. Even peace-brokering Hutus weren’t spared in the massacre. The genocide was also deemed a method of ‘ethnic cleansing’. Numerous Tutsi women were raped in full public view and the media has been accused of propagating anti-Tutsi sentiment during the period, especially channels like Radio Rwanda that was a dominant news source for illiterate people. In fact, it encouraged the killings in no uncertain terms, motivating listeners to kill “Tutsi cockroaches”.

Women were raped several times over and many were confined to ‘rape camps’; men and young boys were beaten to death, mercilessly; over two hundred thousand people were massacred during that civil war. Ethnic conflicts fuelled the war in the former Yugoslavia, as each tried to wipe out the other. Between 1991 and 1995, as the Croats, Serbs, Bosniaks and Slovenes fought over political domination, hundreds of thousands of civilians died.

 The 2009 records of the racially motivated attacks against Indians (particularly students) in Australia made headline news for a long period. Hate crimes were reported by the day, starting with the late night attack on an Indian taxi-driver and then further reports of attacks on Indian students surfaced.

Show More Related Topics y

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions
For xenophobia to be diagnosed accurately, two elements have to be present.

1. The first is a population group present within a society that is not considered part of that society due to their different back ground (different nationality of origin, race, religion etc). Often they are recent immigrants, but xenophobia may be directed against a group which has been present for centuries. This form of xenophobia can elicit or facilitate hostile and violent reactions, such as mass expulsion of immigrants, pogroms (extensive violence against minorities), or in the worst case, genocide.



2. The second form of xenophobia is primarily cultural, and the objects of the phobia are cultural elements which are considered alien. All cultures are subject to xenophobia, but cultural xenophobia is often narrowly directed, for instance at foreign cultures inside or outside the country. It leads to aggression against any foreign element within the country (such as ethnic cleansing in former Yugoslavia) or outside the nation (such as US lead recent unpopular war in Iraq). Such aggression can result in political campaigns (by the leaders) to justify wars against that culture or nation (recent Iraq war mentioned above is a perfect example of such xenophobia).

Xenophobia can be based on various aspects. It means fear and hatred of another race, nationality (excessive patriotic feelings or national self esteem, Jingoism), religion, gender (same or opposite gender), status, culture, ethnicity, political belief and so on.
Generally it applies to people who look different or believe differently than oneself. Therefore, we shall confine ourselves to the four most important elements that contribute to xenophobia. These four elements (Nationalism, Racism, Ethnocentrism and Religionism) are a form of four evil institutions or disciplines that have been plaguing humanity for thousands of years.

Syed shahid MD

Diplomat:

American Boards of Psychiatry and neurology
American Boards of family practice
London institute of Tropical medicine and Hygiene

For comments and questions please write to:

syedshahidmd@yahoo.com.au



S.Shahidmd Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Xenophobia

Xenophobia is an intense dislike and/or fear of people from other country, race, ethnicity and religion. It is defined as "a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of strangers, foreigners, or of people significantly different from oneself".



In a relative term xenophobia has been described as a form of severe” mental illness" for it creates psychosocial problems for its sufferers and the people around. At a national and international level it may be akin to a "mass hysteria". Once in motion the consequences of xenophobia can be far more serious at global level than at individual level.


Syed shahid MD

Diplomat:

American Boards of Psychiatry and neurology
American Boards of family practice
London institute of Tropical medicine and Hygiene

For comments and questions please write to:

syedshahidmd@yahoo.com.au








S.Shahidmd Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Sociological Explanation of xenophobia

Xenophobia if considered in the range of dislike against the genetically dissimilar out-group and nepotistic favoritism towards the genetically similar in-group) are analyzed by many sociological researchers. Some see it as an innate biological response on the part of the evolved human organism in inter-group competition. Favoritism towards ones own ethnicity is an evolutionarily based, "objective" value.

However, from a psychological and political science perspective it can be dangerous. Objectivity has to be defined in the light of fairness to all, without infringing upon "others" rights. Therefore, a "universal nationalism", (in which all planetary ethnic-based communities or nations have the right to preserve their own heritage and distinctiveness, without disenfranchising and out-casting the genetically dissimilar and foreign elements) is what humanity needs to project as a distinguished and civilized human behavior.

The four institutional philosophies mentioned above (nationalism, racism, ethnocentrism religionism) are the hallmark of xenophobia. These institutions perpetuate deliberately (and sometimes subconsciously) a flurry of xenophobic ideologies.

It is important, therefore, to flag these flamboyant (but misguided) institutions and describe in depth their origin and background. The glorification of these institutions is unjust since it only creates further enhancement of xenophobia.


Syed shahid MD

Diplomat:

American Boards of Psychiatry and neurology
American Boards of family practice
London institute of Tropical medicine and Hygiene

For comments and questions please write to:

syedshahidmd@yahoo.com.au



S.Shahidmd Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Xenophobic emotions have always played a major part in the outlook of groups and communities. These emotions have created wars and blood shed at mass scale through out the history of human civilization. Recently, however, these emotions have become so intense that WW I and WW II have been direct result of these negative emotion (hatred). Never before loss of life had been as enormous as we saw during WW I and WW II. Well over 100 million people lost their life in these Two World Wars. If there ever going to be a Third World War (which is quite imminent if xenophobia continues at its present alarming scale), it is predicted that the loss of life will be well over 3 billions or even more. Some anthropologists even predict extinction of human species from this planet.

Persistence of xenophobia (in spite of what is mentioned above) defies the ideological universalism of most of the dominants of ideas, such as humanitarianism, scientific humanism and liberalism which we have idealized by the humanity in the past few centuries.

Nationalism, racism, ethnocentrism and religionism are the four evils of our civilization. At individual level they are not so dangerous. However, when they are adopted at the national and international level, they drive the more doctrinaire political phenomenon of Xenophobia. It is the political aspect of these institutions that will eventually consumes humanity within next 20-30 years.

All the four of these evil institutions (racism, nationalism, ethnocentrism and religionism) create divisions in human ideologies. These institutes pitch liberalism and scientific humanism against conservatism. Liberal ideas are dynamic and accommodate any reasoning that is subject to scientific scrutiny.

Syed shahid MD

Diplomat:

American Boards of Psychiatry and neurology
American Boards of family practice
London institute of Tropical medicine and Hygiene

For comments and questions please write to:

syedshahidmd@yahoo.com.au



S.Shahidmd Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ask an Expert

C
If you have a question about health related issues, you can now post it in our Ask An Expert section on our community website Medwonders.com and get answers from our panel of experts.
s Xenophobia - Conclusion
Xenophobia - Conclusion
S Xenophobia - Present Context
Xenophobia - Present Context