DISCLAIMER: My blogs are meant to be thought and conversation provoking. They are not intended to be political or religious in nature. They are not intended to start fights. They are not intended to have people hate me.
Commercials on TV work. Whether you believe it does or not. If commercials did not change our opinion then companies would not spend hundreds of millions of dollars a year on marketing and promotion. Commercials change our minds as well as how and what we think.
Governments and media have their own form of commercials. Its called propaganda. It works too. Too well. Like commercials, propaganda sell us on concepts and ideas. Sometimes (most of the times) the concepts and ideas redefine our logic.
Iranians are well versed in propaganda. They have somehow convinced everyone (meaning themselves) that everything comes from Iran. Almost on a daily basis my Baba tries to convince me that the most everyday inventions are actually Iranian in origin.
However Americans are also excellent at propaganda. It might surprise you to know that the same EVIL EMPIRE of Communist Russia in the 80s was ran by our dear friend “Uncle Joe” Stalin in WWII. Bringing new meaning to the enemy of my enemy is my friend. The media spins more stories than a spiders web and most of us get trapped.
The biggest media spin today is the creation of an Anti-Muslim America. Months ago Americans were outraged at the building of a planned run of the mill mosque in New York. Organizations threatened to burn Qurans and mosques in protest. The belief of course being that a Mosque in New York would be a terrorist headquarters. All Americans know that Muslims are terrorists at least thats what we are told.
So lets examine some of the myths that Americans believe regarding Muslims and Islam. Most of which defy logic. Worst of all, some of it even WE believe.
During the height of the Ground Zero Mosque Crisis (haha) Glenn Beck had the audacity to make the claim that 10% of Muslims are terrorists. 10% exclamation point!Conservative Americans were outraged. They would be more outraged if they actually did math and realized that 10% of all Muslims would mean about 150million terrorists. If 150million terrorists were able to come up with a plot to kill just 40 people each that would eliminate ALL Non-Muslims in the world. Beck was not able to prove that 10% of Muslims were terrorists but he did manage to prove that 10% of Americans are idiots for believing him.
Recently in France, burqas were banned. Big deal in the Muslim world considering that all Muslim women cover. France for example is a nation of over 3million Muslims women. The law must have affected so many women…right? Depends on your definition of “so many women.” So many women turned out to be 367. No not 367,000. Just 367 women were affected by the ban. The same ban in Belgium affected 12 women. Turns out that wearing a veil is NOT mandatory in Islam and most Muslim women DO NOT cover. In fact, a recent Harvard study shows that more Muslim countries ban covering than those that enforce it. Countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia that mandate covering also have less than 5% of the worlds Muslims. Covering is more a cultural phenomenon and a custom. There is no mention of covering in the Quran or any other true religious writing. Thinking that all Muslim women cover is the same as thinking that all Christian women dress like Mormon nuns (no such thing but you get the point).
Women’s oppression is a serious issue in the Muslim world. However, the media forgets to point out that while America has never had a woman President or Vice-President, 4 of the 5 most populated Muslim countries in the world actually have elected women heads of state. That’s right. Women run the Muslim world, at least at the United Nations.
With so much Anti-Muslim sentiment in the United States you would think that it was always this way. I mean the Founding Fathers were all Christian. Some Americans even believe that they would never have put “Freedom of Religion” in the Bill of Rights if they knew about Muslims. However, those same people would be surprised to know that the founding fathers respected Islam, based several principles in the Constitution on Islamic law, and even admired Muslim countries. Thomas Jefferson (the 3rd President and Founding Father extraordinaire) not only taught himself Arabic just to be able to read the Quran, he hosted Presidential Official Iftars at the White House during Ramadan. John Adams (President number 2) is quoted saying that Mohammed
was one of the “great inquirers of truth.” They were probably very thankful that the Muslim nation of Morocco was the first nation to recognize the United States as an official country.
Most Americans equate the word Muslims to the word Arab. The equation being Arab = Muslim. Once again the math is wrong. FOX News uses the word Muslim and Arab interchangeably as if it were “tomato” “tomatoe” (english accent). The fact remains that only about 20% of the worlds Muslim population is actually Arab. Thats not the majority and no reason to assume that ALL Muslims are Arab. In comparison 22% of Christians are African. But when one thinks Christian you don’t imagine Nelson Mandela or Shaka Zulu. 62% of all Muslims don’t even live and aren’t even from the Middle East at all. 200million Muslims live in Indonesia. 500million Muslims live in India. If all Arabs are Muslim then what about the 10% of Arabs that are Christian? 10% means 15million Arabs are Christian. Thats more than the worlds entire Jewish population. Arabs = Muslim is like saying 1 + 1 = 3. Just doesn’t make sense.
Muslim Myth # 1. Obama is NOT a Muslim. Despite his name Barrack Hussein Obama is a very sincere Christian. Sorry Tea Party.
Commercials make us choose Coca Cola over Pepsi, Nike over Reebok, Wal-Mart over K-Mart. They use techniques to persuade us consumers make us need things we don’t want, make us want things we don’t need, and make us believe that we need and want what we don’t have. By manipulating our senses commercials sell us on concepts and products everyday for profit.
Propaganda manipulates our very being. It makes us believe the unbelievable. It leads to stereotyping and prejudice. We consume the very lies that governments profit off. We tell our children to not give in to peer pressure and to think for themselves everyday. A lesson that most of us need to learn ourselves.
The world is full of lies. Sometimes it’s nice to see the truth for what it truly is. We don’t all need to live beneath the veil.
Not a sermon, just a thought.