Dunvegan jihad

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Sat outside the 18th century gardens of Dunvegan Castle, owned for 800 years by the Macleods, I am nestled by one of the few areas of solidity in highland history. What makes the people’s history here, different to the present of those suffering now? When leaders with lust for power turn the unthinking populations against each other, what is the difference from then?

When the highlands was a land to be feared and its people rejected in newlands as they were cleared.

As lands were carved up by people from distance and political vacuums filled with violence.

And where did they go to?

The enemies we are told about come from far away places, more foreign, less known, just as easy to create fear.

They’re darker, stories of suspicion in their eyes, veiled threats of danger from a people with culture so unknown we missuppose all of their intentions against us.

Religious beliefs intent on the destruction of us. Do we talk about the 21st century Syrian coming to bomb or do we talk of the 17th century Highlander rising in arms?

These histories were never too different to what people are going through now. But like we won’t be taking a plane to Aleppo, folk were once to scared to trot to Applecross. Use the history to inform the now. Unknown humans aren’t as scary as you think.

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