Fostering Violence and Fundamentalism


U.S. Army stands guard near burning oil well in Southern Iraq.

An excerpt from Humbling and Humility

“If there is to be peace in the world, there must first be peace in the heart.” – Lao Tzu

Sid strove to justify the state’s approach. “It used to be different in the past, but the pendulum has now swung the other way.” He said that certain high-profile cases, that my lawyer Mindy also alluded to, the O. J. Simpson case, in particular, had prompted a number of states to act. The states provided new guidelines, to their law enforcement cadre, to err on the side of caution. This produced large numbers of undeserving instances of prosecution of men under the DV umbrella.

A pendulum? Is that what the justice––no––legal system is, here? Something that swings to an extreme, and then back the other way, passing for a fleeting moment through the middle? It may have been just an illustrative model Sid employed, but his pendulum sure had swung hard against me, knocking any expectations of fairness and equal treatment out. This pendulum was not only an unstable system, it was, in the hands of a ruthless and single-minded collection of authorities, a hammer of social injustice and repression.

That reminded me of our many unilateral actions, arrogantly undertaken, including invasions. Actions that resulted in unimaginable suffering for innocents, as in recent wars waged to liberate countries, to teach their ancient people how to govern themselves with our laws and law enforcement. And of rough statements––“Boot on BP’s throat”––from none other than the head of the country’s administration, bringing to mind an image of violence far removed from the diplomacy hoped for. I recall emailing Lauren about this––after my matter had concluded––with not a word back in response from her.

What was most troubling was the same righteousness, with which our ways, of convenience and rampant materialism, invaded other ways of life readily, overcoming and decimating them. Is this integration and inclusion, wise and considerate cultural assimilation, or is this an extreme approach that could give rise to and foster fundamentalism?

Sid did let us out early; no one seemed to be in a mood for further education by the state.



About Rian Nejar

Rian Nejar is an Indian-American author. He trained and worked as an engineer in India, lived briefly in the Middle East, and arrived in America in the early 90's. After a Master’s degree in electrical engineering in America, he worked as an academic instructor, engineer, entrepreneur, and technical writer over the two decades since. Humbling and Humility ( is his first mainstream nonfiction. He lives and writes in the Southwest United States.
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