Voluntourism and Postcolonialism

From my time abroad and learning from educated friends, the reality of the world is quite eye-opening compared to what I used to think.

It’s kind of disturbing to learn this, actually. But I think it’s important. It’s basically become a business. Abusing children abroad to collect donations from back home, which may just wind up in one guy’s bank account. Or even basically buying or kidnapping kids to sell abroad for adoption (!).

And this type of behavior is an iconic remnant of colonialism and imperialism. The race to Africa and American imperialism in Latin America, for example. These colonizers brought Western Christian missionaries with them (most folks in the West have never even heard of “eastern Christianity,” like the Syriac Church, but whatever), along with Western racism and “white savior” mentalities. The reality is, though, Africa and India were actually way ahead of Europe before the colonists trashed the place. Their societies were more stable, more equitable, more egalitarian, more balanced, more free, had higher economic mobility, and were more pluralistic. India under the Mughal Empire actually had a stronger economy than Europe before Britain arrived—they held over 24% of the entire world’s GDP when the East India Tea Company arrived at Bombay Harbor. By the end of British rule, it dropped to 3.4%.

After destroying country after country, the West looks down on the “brown folks” in those “third world countries.” Most Africans you meet who are Christian were converted by force by their colonial masters: the Brits and French stole their land and resources, building churches literally on top of homes of evicted families, took over their government and public services and sold them back to the people for the price of their religion: convert to Christianity, or you can’t do anything. In South Africa you had to get a British birth certificate to go to school or buy a house or do anything basically—and a white Christian name had to go on that birth certificate.

What’s crazy is they even lied that North Africans and Native Americans were “rampant homosexuals” to justify their colonialism (which is utter nonsense). My friend Patrick Bensen who graduated from Harvard wrote about that on his blog: https://patrickbensen.me/islamophobia-homophobia/

Now this voluntourism, white people getting pictures taken for sweet memories “helping the poor brown folks overseas,” is basically a remnant of colonialism (“postcolonialism”). And the cycle of poverty continues: much of their cropland and natural resources are still controlled by foreigners, as are almost all of their governments. No democracy for you to complain to, that was taken away long ago. Now shut up and smile for the tourists.

Even Saddam was originally a CIA plant (after a 1963 coup https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/revealed-how-the-west-set-saddam-on-the-bloody-road-to-power-1258618.html). That culminated into the war I participated in.

These supposedly “inferior” people used to be wealthy and had amazing civilizations, now ground to dust and kept there. The roots of most of our sciences, like math/astronomy/biology/scientific method/medicine/psychology/etc., comes from North Africa, Islamic Spain, The Ottoman Turks, the Arab world, and India. The first degree-granting university in human history was started by a Muslim Tunisian woman in 859 CE, still running today. But all that was intentionally excluded from our grade school history books (check out “Lies My Teacher Told Me,” written by a history professor).

This reminds me of a personal experience:

On the note of the orphans mentioned in the article, one disturbing thing I saw on visiting Catholic Charities (in Texas) was about a dozen or more adoptive parents of Muslim children from abroad. The kids are what US refugee services called “URMs,” unaccompanied refugee minors. Kids without parents abroad, or whose parents turned up missing, or were killed in conflicts. God knows exactly how they became “orphans.” Maybe they were kidnapped? Who knows.

What’s disturbing is almost all of them hated Islam except one parent, who told all of us, and who said the other parents don’t let their kids pray or fast or anything and force them to eat pork. These kids have never seen a mosque since they were adopted, except that one single parent. I found it extremely disturbing to abuse children like that. I tried many times through many channels to ask them to give Muslim kids to Muslim parents, and they all ignored me and dodged phone calls or told me that’s not their policy because they promote “Christian values,” and then they even went to Governor Abbott and got him to pass a law shortly after which would make it even harder to change what they’re doing. It’s like they’re basically kidnapping Muslim kids from overseas and trying to convert them. I broke down in tears several times in frustration. What else can I do? They have so much money and political power, and there’s so little awareness, and a such a deep web of collaboration, I can’t do anything. The whole system is working together. Those kids are screwed basically until they’re 18 and, by then, fully “converted” and brainwashed. So much for a “free country.”

My imam got a phone call a few years ago of a teenage orphan girl who was asking if she can pray in the bathroom because her Christian adoptive parents don’t let her pray. He said of course you can. They were so psycho they took the door off her bedroom to make sure she isn’t secretly praying. Then she stopped calling shortly after—apparently they took her phone and was never heard of again.

I will note that all throughout history, this is exclusively a thing of Western Christianity. No other religion does this type of behavior. The Eastern Christians (like in Ethiopia, Iraq, and Lebanon) didn’t do this. The Muslims in history never did this. They always respected other religions and lived in peace with each other as neighbors, for over 1,300 years to this day. Lebanon is still like half Christian, half Muslim, for over 1300 years. Only Western Christians do this type of forced conversion. And what’s disturbing is they lie and say others do it, like “Islam was spread by the sword” (utter falsehood, it was mainly honest traders), when Western Christians are almost exclusively the only ones ever doing it throughout all of history. The only other example I can think of is the genocide of Champa by the Dai Viet in Vietnam a few centuries ago (South Vietnam used to be the “Champa Kingdom,” a Muslim country, who were mostly wiped out in a genocide). And I have dozens of friends who are university professors with PhDs who say the same thing.

Anyways, too many lies to deconstruct in one post, here’s the article with an interesting excerpt:

According to a report by Lumos, a London-based group founded by JK Rowling that seeks to end institutionalisation of children, one orphanage in Haiti, established by a US religious organisation after the earthquake in 2010, kept children malnourished and living in filth, with no stimulation. Yet it collected donations averaging $10,000 (£7,700) a year per child – much of which ended up in the director’s bank account, a former staff member alleged. That institution, which Lumos believes was engaged in trafficking and selling children for adoption to families in wealthy countries, recruited children using a baby-finder, who convinced poor parents their children would be better off in the institution. “We’ve seen it in Kenya, Uganda, Cambodia – eerily similar patterns,” says Alex Christopolous, deputy chief executive of Lumos. “Child-finders go into communities. They are paid $50 to $100 to identify [needy] families.”

In Cambodia, 40 years after the Khmer Rouge genocide, the number of orphanages has been growing, according to the UN. The reason is demand – but not from abandoned children. Instead, it comes from a huge rise in Australian tourists willing to pay to work in them.

https://www.theguardian.com/news/2018/sep/13/the-business-of-voluntourism-do-western-do-gooders-actually-do-harm

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