Monday 20 November 2017

Video: Culture of 'collective guilt' challenged by Dutch children apologising for terrorism

One of the children was forced to say sorry five times
One of the children was forced to say sorry five times

Jack Simpson

A new thought-provoking video from The Netherlands attempts to challenge the idea of "guilt by association" by getting children to apologise for recent acts of terrorism.

Shot by filmmaker Abdelkarim El-Fassi under the title #Letsunite, the video shows several young children being told they need to apologise for terrorist attacks committed by people from the same ethnic group.


In the film, a child wearing a Spider-Man costume is forced to apologise five times for crimes committed by Moroccans, while a blonde toddler is forced to say sorry for the actions of Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik.

This is followed by one father telling his hat-wearing son that the Charlie Hebdo killers also wore hats and therefore he had to distance himself from the shootings and apologise on behalf of everyone who had ever worn a hat.

Read More: Paris attacks have led to decline in trust of immigrants here

The video also deals with the consequences of "collective guilt", showing how children's identities and confidence can be damaged from this culture.

This is shown by one boy who has aspirations to become a superhero but is quickly persuaded by an adult into seeing himself as a villain.

According to El-Fassi, the video is aimed at getting people to think about the growing culture of "guilt by association" and the impact this can have on individuals and groups of people in society. He said: “I’ve never felt this uncomfortable while directing a video. Sure, it’s totally unethical and pedagogically irresponsible, and yet as a society we’ve practiced this on the macro-level for years."

Read More: Europe faces a terror problem, not a Muslim problem

He added: “This has to stop, otherwise the problem will fester on for generations to come. I don’t want my nephew Hamza, who can be seen in the film, to be held accountable for matters that have nothing to do with him."

"He is a third generation Dutch-Moroccan. There is no justification whatsoever for him being treated differently from his white peers."

Independent News Service

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