Was asked about how I felt about Bali. Being Australian she believed I would have a sense of kinship over and above common humanity. I didn't understand that this was the direction of her question. I answered that I was very nervous. Australia was a right wing enough, racist country as it was. I was afraid for the levels of Islamaphobia and 'revenge' attacks. Only after I'd given that answer did I realise I was meant to say something different - something more like I knew someone who was injured or killed. Something about how disgusting Indonesians are, something like that...

Being Hindu, she felt it was an attack that went even further than on 'western' tourists. Bali has a predominately Hindu population so this was an attack on the religious front as well. I can see how she might come to that conclusion.
But I also know that Bali is the only place in Indonesia which has a fully developed tourist industry. It is so distinct from Indonesia as a whole that many tourists aren't even aware it is Indonesia. There may be many reasons why Bali.
I refuse to take it personally, I refuse to see it as an attack on me as an Australian or as a westerner or as a non-Muslim. I refuse to be polarized by international events into defining the world into US and THEM. Clearly Al-Qeda activists see, in place of human beings with individual stories and lives, they see signifiers of wealth, oppression, neo-colonialism, etc. But I resist the temptation to see all Muslims, all Indonesians as simply terrorists. I am not going to reduce other human beings to 2D stereotypes - a reaction that, despite appearing to be comforting, simply feeds fear.

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