This article addresses Amartya Sen's argument that people should control their identities rather than let identities control them. This assumes the need to dispel the illusion that identities are given and cannot blend or integrate with each other. Dispelling this illusion, in turn, dispels what may be seen as an inevitable clash of identities/civilizations, and the resulting outbreak of violence. The research discusses a number of contemporary ideas related to the relationship between identity and violence, the risk of closed identities, and the role of both personal and public identity in the lives of individuals and communities. The research also discusses the question of whether violence breeds racism or whether racism breeds violence.