Historical Concept: Syncretism vs. Purity
Syncretism is the mixing of two or more cultures, ideas or even religions that are ordinarily contradictory to each other. Given the globalized nature of the modern world, it is inevitable that people from different religious and cultural backgrounds will interact, either out of choice or the necessity of economic survival. There is not a single country in the world today that can exist in isolation. This is because there is an intricate web of socio-economic, political and religious webs tying all nations together. For instance, a country that produces oil will require an external market for its product since domestic consumption alone may not sustain the operational costs of maintaining oil wells and associated infrastructure. Consequently, in the course of conducting such trade, people from different cultures will exchange lessons and ideas. On the other hand, the violence that has rocked different parts of the world in recent times has resulted in movement of people out of conflict zones to seek refuge ion safer areas, including foreign land. The civil war in Syria that has pitted President Bashar al Assad against rebels who seek his ouster has resulted in a humanitarian crisis. This has been worsened by the terrorist activities of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an Al-Qaeda offshoot that seeks to establish a caliphate in the region. It is no wonder then that countries like Netherlands have received an influx of refugees in the recent past. This has not gone down well with purists who see the refugees as a threat to their economic security and their general way of being, thereby leading to clashes. This particular attack on a refugee shelter clearly illustrates the historical conflict between syncretism and purity, which conflict has at times degenerated into vile acts with tragic outcomes such as the mass murder of Jews by Hitler and the Rwandan genocide.