Engaging the concept of diversity and multiculturalism, two lenses exist from which humankind chooses to gaze upon others. The first one, in favor of coexistence, cherishes the differences of all and indulges itself with all harmless colors of variety; it celebrates. The other, coming from a less refined school of thought, tirades against difference, condescends and suppresses fuelled by a false premise that the very attributes that render our community affable and orderly are superior to one another. And all chaos and violence caused by the latter perspective proves themselves as the harbingers to this prejudice that spreads through the medium of ignorance. We live in an era of intolerance, where lives are taken because of choices, beliefs and ideas, and also an era of neglect and denial as the fundamental reasons for this turmoil are often overlooked due to the blinding ambition for profit. As oppression, poverty and the scarcity of our resources make it harder for different groups to coexist, we come face to face again with one of humanity's most timeless issue in its contemporary form; extremism.
Extremism in all forms, whether it is political, environmental or religious extremism, is one of the most socially-crippling global challenges we face in the present day. Ideas and beliefs are carried to the extreme, often to the point where they are defended at the expense of human life. A phenomenon that disqualifies all opinions on its area of concern but its own. Through this ideology, people see violence as a way to provide themselves a feeling of aliveness and derive a sense of purpose that they were denied initially. As individuals are isolated from society due to polarization and discrimination against them as minorities, are victims of political unrest, and are afflicted by poverty, their living standards decrease. More people will feel the need to take extreme measures in order to make a change and to get their voices heard. The resulting state of social distress and the disruptions it causes in the system, affects our way of life and mentality without us even realizing. Ethnocentrism arises, leaving no room for empathy and formulating the beliefs of society on the basis of prejudices. We face such issues everywhere, and as long as we can’t remove the social and economic disparities of today, or achieve cooperation at an individual level, extremism will remain as the primary cause behind all terror, violence, polarization and pain we face.
While even the thought of such destruction is troubling, perhaps the most terrifying is the possibility that one day, all these actions perceived as extreme could become the norms of our society. Only through unity and collaboration, we can win this ideological battle against extremism; and only through education, mutualism and respect, we can achieve intercultural understanding and acceptance throughout the world.
One should always bear in mind that all of us, living in the same world and sharing the same resources, should have mutual goals and by taking this on, we will not only lay foundations of a worthier world, but also confront extremism of all sorts. As the ambitious and open minded delegates of JMUN 2017, you will find innovative solutions to recent global issues through your productive debate sessions, representing countries from all around the world.
Tan Akpek Merve Özdemir
Deputy Secretary-General Deputy Secretary-General
President of the General Assembly President of the Special Assembly
Hisar School Junior MUN 2017 Hisar School Junior MUN 2017