Like most of humanity, I have been stunned by the sheer savagery and cruelty of the Islamic State. Yet, thousands have flocked to the ISIS forces from the West. For me, it has been a particularly shocking phenomenon. The images that repel us, attract them. Religion is clearly a release for these people. A release from the obligations of decency and humanity. Images show Islamic State fighters laughing and enjoying the torture and murder of captives. Muslim clerics with ISIS assure them that they can treat non-Muslims as lower than animals and commit rape as an Islamically pure act. It has been an incredibly depressing time for those of us who believe that humans can aspire to true greatest of spirit and caring. This Christmas, however, my daughter showed me the YouTube clip below of a man named Matt Harding who goes around the world getting people to dance with him. After watching him, my faith in humanity was restored.
What is so striking about the Islamic State and other extreme Muslim groups is that they most hate joyous expressions from dancing to singing. They throw acid on little girls trying to become educated and destroy the houses of worship of other groups.
Nothing could be a greater antithesis to the hate of these extremists than Matt Harding and people like him:
What is even more reassuring is that he is not alone. Around the world, people are spontaneously singing and dancing. These are a few clips shared by our readers this year. Watching them restores some of the faith in the future that these extremists really cannot extinguish the joy in the world.