Effects of Terrorism and then Over Coming Fear. From Self-Silencing for Fear of THEM, to an Unexpected Freedom. From Self-Censorship to Speaking Out.

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From Self-Silencing for Fear of THEM, to an Unexpected Freedom.
An exploration of self-censorship due to fear of Muslim retaliation -
part of the effects of terrorism. Then, getting over fear, over coming fear.
Speaking out.


not me




Something totally unexpected has happened over the past half year. I have left behind a fear - without trying, without working at it, without awareness of the shift's happening. The fear may come back, of course. The fear may have been a sensible one to have. But all I can say is, it isn't here now, and that makes many things different.

The beginning. Fear. And a desire to speak.

The time. February 2006. Muslims worldwide were protesting in massive outrage at a Danish cartoon. They were not protesting, even peacefully, against Muslim violence. Western reporters listened respectfully to the Muslim protesters, even those burning down an embassy.

I was outraged. I had to write about this.

A colleague I showed my piece to liked it, but warned me: don't let anyone know it's you who wrote it, those people are dangerous. I could feel his fear, and my partner's as well (for he too wanted me to be careful about expressing my ideas). No disagreement, but in the heart of Canada, the heart of what is supposed to be a country valuing freedom of speech, I had come up against a widespread fear.

So I created a small site for the pieces, with a drawing of a veiled woman, ThisIsNotMe. In other words, I did express my ideas, made as sure as I could they were not connected to me.

In a couple of my classes, where the ideas were very relevant, I passed out the article, letting students know I had written it - but on the article itself I used another name. We discussed the ideas in the article, but not the fear of speaking out under one's own name.


Time passed. Three months later I began to develop this site. From the start, I planned to put my idea pieces, and from the start I included a picture of ThisIsNotMe on the opening page. But it's a big step from planning to doing. The past month I have been working on The Idea Emporium. I kept getting stuck.

I wondered - is it because I am afraid of putting the pieces up? One may have good reason to fear. People who want to hurt are scary, dangerous people.

The Nazis were a scary bunch. They tortured and murdered. So were the KKK. I think of the Inquisition - and the torture and murder of so many innocent people. I think of the present, of Nigeria for example, where a young woman was recently sentenced to death for having a child outside of marriage (she was spared after millions of people wrote on her behalf). There are scary people around in every country - people who do not care if they hurt others, or even want to hurt - people who put a rigid idea above human caring, above the awareness of the humanity of others. I think of an aid worker murdered after thirty years of doing her best to help.

Still, finishing writing the pieces, and over the past week putting them on the web, I was not afraid.

When I thought of passing the article to students a couple of weeks ago, I was a little uneasy. But then, sending them the link to the article, I was exhilarated.

I hunted around inside me for the fear I had felt in February. I could not find it. Over the past half year (for it's half a year by now), somehow the fear melted away.

I didn't expect this. I didn't work at it. I didn't dare myself to put the ideas on the site. (I did have twinges of minor uneasiness).

Just this morning, my partner again asked me, why had I done things this way.

It just felt right to me, to have the parts of me, the various kinds of writing and creativity - together on one site.


I wouldn't be afraid if the fear came back. Whoops, that's a slip! Interesting. I meant to write: I wouldn't be surprised if the fear came back - because when I was afraid, the fear felt strong and solid inside me.

Would I be afraid if the fear came back? Of course. To feel fear means one is afraid.

But maybe the typo indicates that a part of me now finds the fear as hard to believe as my past self would find my less afraid self.


We will see what happens. I am hoping for the best, for many people to really listen to what I am saying, and to see that it makes sense, or if it doesn't make sense to them, to start a good discussion where we are both trying to make more and more sense.

As always, welcome into my world.




copyright © Elsa Schieder 2006, 2011 - all rights reserved
publishing house - FlufferDuff Impressions 2006

Previous - September 3, 2006

Next - September 3, 2006


To go from this blog to the Effects of Terrorism to
more on terrorism as possibly one of the Top 10 Fears,
click here

To go from this blog to the Effects of Terrorism to
The Rage of the "Righteous,"
click here

To go to To Sign or Not To Sign (One's Name), click here.

For all of Elsa's Creativity Blogs, click here.


Effects of Terrorism: Blinded by Fear,
Fears of Death, Top 10 Fears

Effects of Terrorism and then Over Coming Fear.
From Self-Silencing for Fear of THEM,
to an Unexpected Freedom.
From Self-Censorship to Speaking Out.

Effects of Terrorism: Blinded by Fear,
Fears of Death, Top 10 Fears

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Why take on the effects of terrorism in Elsa's Creativity Blog?

elsas creativity blog
     explores - effects of terrorism, effects of trying
     explores - effects of terrorism, effects of flying into things
     and more - reflections, responses, ever trying, ever trying

elsas creativity blog
     is stop and start, on effects of terrorism, effects of joy
          on and off, on effects of terrorism, top 10 fears, top 10 joys
       ever renewing

     is a wide awake
         revving up - effects of terrorism and more
         ever making up stuff - effects of terrorism and more
                 elsas creativity blog, on effects of terrorism and more and more

     a short stop to bring you along on effects of terrorism and more
                           as I'm making up the site
                           feeling my way
                           like a jungle explorer - what are effects of terrorism?
elsas creativity blog
         explores and explores ... effects of terrorism
                  over coming fear
                      fears of death, fears of silence
                            on creative endeavors
elsas creativity blog

December 18 , 2008
© Elsa Schieder, 2008 - all rights reserved




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