THE WESTERN REGIMES DOUBLE STANDARDS AND MEDIA TERROR INTIMIDATE MUSLIMS
by Syarif Hidayat
THE WESTERN MEDIA CIRCUS DOUBLE STANDARDS POLICY
Â Â Â Â The Western mainstream media circus apply a policy of controlled news reporting on their domestic problems and at the same time they apply the lies and biased news reporting on international affairs especially on Islam, the Muslim World, the Middle East Conflict and international terrorism.
Â Â Â Â The western Media circus’ biased news reporting are terrorizing people with unbalanced news and lies that create fear and xenophobia. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people.Â It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that.
Â Â Â Â The Zionist-controlled Western Media circusâ€˜ biased news reporting on the Muslim World, the Middle East conflict and international terrorism create fear and xenophobia. This situation leads to more xenophobia including Islamophobia in the US and the other Western Countries that influence not only the general public but also the government officials in the individual western countries.
Â Â Â Â These media circus members that include electronic (TV Stations and Radios) and print media are the most powerful Hate Propaganda Machines Against Islam and the Muslim world!Â Â
Â Â Â Â If the terrorist attack anywhere on this planet was perpetrated by a Muslim, Fox News, CNN, BBC AND THE OTHER MEMBERS OF THE WESTERN MEDIA CIRCUS would be working overtime with breaking news almost every minute, COMPLETE SILENT or SO LITTLE IS SAID in the western media circus news reporting when the terrorists are Christian, Zionist, Jewish, Hindu or Buddhist fundamentalists or extremists …They simply call the perpetrators as Right-wing extremists or right-wing nuts, paranoid schizophrenic persons or a deranged persons.
The West Intimidation against Muslims
Â Â Â Â Â Â The US-led western regimes and the western mainstream media circus terrors intimidate Muslims more than anyone else on earth. After any terrorist activity, inside their houses, Muslims try to put fingers into their ears, not hear the phrase â€œanother act of Muslim terrorâ€. The level of hypocrisy in attitude of the police and the media is conspicuous. If a Muslim does, it is a terror plot but if a non-Muslim does, it is just an â€˜act of violenceâ€™
Â Â Â Â Â Â Immediately after any incidence of terrorist activity, the mainstream mediaâ€™s immediate reaction – pointing the finger towards Muslim extremist groups – shows the mediaâ€™s inherent bias against the Muslims.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Outside, in non-Muslim countries, they avoid eye contacts with others to avoid giving possible explanations that â€œit need not be an act of Muslim terrorâ€ or â€œI wasnâ€™t a part of it.â€ For a terror-attack anywhere, Muslims everywhere have to hang their heads in shame.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Muslims are the first suspects in almost all cases of violence, the world over. The Western Media circus usually has â€œcredible sourcesâ€ and bigot analysts to hatch theories against Muslims and the police has â€œinformersâ€ and matrix of terror links with names of Muslim youths inscribed as terrorists-in-line. Thus, investigation, forensic analysis, and fact finding, all have become irrelevant. The new logic of both the media and the police is to blame Muslims first, and investigate later.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Moments after the horrific Norway bomb-blast that killing 7 people on July 22, followed by the massacre of 85 teenagers, speculations started regarding the possible culprits. The renowned media group, the BBC – considered objective, started speculating on the following night that the Islamist group Al-Qaeda could be behind the attacks, although in the next morning they had to change their tone in front of evidence. As The Sun labeled the attacks as â€œNorwayâ€™s 9/11â€, The Guardian was not behind in their suspicion and analysis of Jihadistsâ€™ role in the bloody episode.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â American mediaâ€™s reaction wasnâ€™t different either. The Fox News Oâ€™Reilly Factor, not only suspected the Norway killing-spree as another incidence of Islamic terror, the guest host Laura Ingraham even attempted to link it with the atrocious 9/11 happened in the US, a decade ago by reminding the audience about the ground-zero mosque to be built in Manhattan. No doubt she would succeed in her effort to multiply the right-wing American hatred against the Muslims and the Islam.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Blaming the jihadists, the Wall Street Journal reported that “Norway is targeted for being true to Western norms.” Meanwhile, on the Washington Postâ€™s website, Jennifer Rubin wrote, “This is a sobering reminder for those who think itâ€™s too expensive to wage a war against jihadists.” Altogether the instant reaction to the incidence, without any pursuance of proof or evidence, was that Muslim terror must be responsible for the attack.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â However, within a day the whole story had to be changed, as the right-wing-Christian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, with a background of hating Muslims and liberals, claimed responsibility for the attacks, exposing the media-bigotry to malign the Muslim image. Once again, itâ€™s been proven that not all terrorists are Muslims.
Â Â Â Â Â Â The same thing happens everywhere. Minutes after the Mumbai blasts on July 13, the Indian TV channels propagated the theory that Indian Mujahedeen (IM), deemed to be an Indian Muslim extremist group, could be behind the blast, although security agencies and the Police took hours before adopting the hypothesis â€“ solely on the basis of spurious previous trends. Based on their guesswork, the Mumbai Police, as usual,Â detained several Muslims for questioning. One of those detainedâ€”Faiz Usmaniâ€”died while in police custody on July 17, sparking allegations of police brutality.
Â Â Â Â Â Â It has been more than a week, yet the investigating agencies have found no evidence to support their claims against the IM nor those detained. The tameness of the media and police administration reflects that – Muslims have been harassed, some Muslims have been detained, and one of them has got killed (all without any evidence). So what? Does it really matter? The Muslims are presumed guilty, by the unwritten rule, until proven innocent.Â
Â Â Â Â Â Â This trend is naught new. In the past, although there have been occasions in which Muslim groups have been found linked with terrorist activities, but extremist Hindutva-terrorists have also been proven to have carried out half a dozen attacks in India, such as bomb-blasts in Samajhauta Express, Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif in (2007), and Malegaon (2008), the list goes on. When the right-wing-Hindutva groups are known to have established links with the Indian military and intelligence to carry out terrorist activities, yet raising fingers against them is an anathema.
Â Â Â Â Â Â The level of hypocrisy in attitude of the police and the media is conspicuous. If a Muslim does, it is a terror plot but if a non-Muslim does, it is just an â€˜act of violenceâ€™. If a Muslim is suspected in a terror act, he is an Islamic terrorist while a proven non-Muslim figure behind terror activities is merely â€˜an accusedâ€™.
Â Â Â Â Â Â If someone bears a Muslim name, this is enough for the police to suspect him/her as a terrorist. A few weeks ago, when a Mid Dayâ€™s photo journalist – Sayed Sameer AbediÂ - was taking innocuous photographs of a traffic junction and an airplane, Mumbai police detained him. Simply because of his Muslim name, one â€œunfortunateâ€™ police officer glibly remarked that Mr. Abedi could be a terrorist. Shakespeare was wrong – there is a lot in a name, especially if it is a Muslim sounding name!
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â If this is how peopleâ€™s sentiments against Muslims are aroused, how can the 1.5 billion Muslims live in peace with others and what message we are giving to the younger and the future generations? As the facts are now revealing the truth and dispelling the conjectures, mediaâ€™s bias is getting clearer. In order to be credible, leave fairness, the media should show a little restraint before making allegations against Muslims and maligning Islam.
How to (they) write about Muslims
Â Â Â Â Â Belen Fernandez* in her article titled: â€œHow to write about Muslimsâ€ published in MWC News and MuslimVillage.com Â April 12, 2013, says the Western press and social media often seem to exercise two options for dealing with the Muslim population of the world: overt, unabashed Islamophobia or slightly subtler Islamophobia.
Â Â Â Â As Georgetown Universityâ€™s John L Esposito writes in the foreword to Nathan Leanâ€™s The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims, 9/11 and other terror attacks â€œhave exacerbated the growth of Islamophobia exponentiallyâ€ and resulted in a situation in which â€œIslam and the Middle East often dominate the negative headlinesâ€, thanks in part to the calculated machinations of â€œa number of journalists and scholarsâ€.
Â Â Â Â Â Needless to say, the aftermath of 9/11 did not yield much thoughtful consideration on the part of the mainstream punditry as to the context for such events. According to one prominent narrative, 9/11 was simply evidence of an inherent and unfounded Muslim hatred of the West.
Â Â Â Â Â A notable exception was veteran British journalist Robert Fisk. In an article published in The Nation immediately following the attacks, Fisk issued the following prescient warning:
â€œ[T]his is not really the war of democracy versus terror that the world will be asked to believe in the coming days. It is also about US missiles smashing into Palestinian homes and US helicopters firing missiles into a Lebanese ambulance in 1996 and American shells crashing into a village called Qana and about a Lebanese militia â€“ paid and uniformed by Americaâ€™s Israeli ally â€“ hacking and raping and murdering their way through refugee camps.â€
Â Â Â Â Â The sale of the â€œwar on terrorâ€, Fisk stressed, depended on the obscuration of all details regarding past and continuing devastation of Arab lands and lives â€“ including US State Department-applauded sanctions that eliminated half a million children in Iraq â€“ â€œlest they provide the smallest fractional reason for the mass savagery on September 11â€³.
Â Â Â Â Â Outlets such as Fox News took advantage of the opportunity to impute mass savagery to select Arab populations via de-contextualised post-9/11 headlines like,Â â€Arafat Horrified by Attacks, but Thousands of Palestinians Celebrate; Rest of World Outragedâ€.
Â Â Â Â Â The demonisation of Muslims by certified sociopaths such as Pamela Geller comes, of course, as no surprise. However, the subtler dissemination of similar sentiments in Western mainstream discourse underscores the fundamental utility of the sociopathic sector in making institutionalised prejudice appear more rationally benign.
Â Â Â Â Â For example, according to Dr Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed, executive director of the Institute for Policy Research and Development in the UK:
â€œ[a] study commissioned by the Greater London Authority of 352 articles over a randomly selected one week period in 2007, found that 91 percent of articles about Muslims were â€˜negativeâ€™.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â As it turns out, a little journalistic trick called â€œthe invention of informationâ€ may come in handy in the proliferation of negativity. A 2008 article by Peter Osborne in the British Independent â€“ titled â€œThe shameful Islamophobia at the heart of Britainâ€™s pressâ€ â€“ catalogues some of the news industryâ€™s more egregious deviations from the truth, such as a front-page story in The Sunannouncing that a â€œMuslim hate mobâ€ had vandalised a home and left a â€œFuck offâ€ message in the driveway.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â As Osborne notes, The Sun quoted MP Philip Daviesâ€™ opinion that â€œ[i]f thereâ€™s anybody who should fuck off, itâ€™s the Muslims who are doing this kind of thingâ€. Osborne adds:
â€œBut there was one very big problem with The Sun story. There was no Muslim involvement of any kind.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Other instances of scaremongering discrimination and deceit cited in the Independent report include:
1. A front-page newspaper headline implying that â€œMuslim Sickosâ€ were to blame for the disappearance of a young girl. The corresponding text reportedly revealed that the so-called â€œMuslim Sickosâ€ merely suggested on the internet that the girlâ€™s parents were involved in her kidnapping.
2. A Daily Express article â€œclaim[ing] that NatWest and Halifax had removed images of piggy banks from their promotional material in an effort to avoid offending Muslim customersâ€.
3. A story about a Muslim bus driver commanding passengers to disembark at prayer time.
Beards and civilisationÂ
Â Â Â Â Â John L Esposito highlights some of the disconcerting repercussions of pervasive Islamophobic rhetoric in the US in his foreword to The Islamophobia Industry. According to a 2006 USA Today-Gallup Poll of non-Muslim Americans, Esposito writes:â€œ[f]ewer than half the respondents believed that US Muslims are loyal to the United States. Nearly one-quarter of Americans â€“ 22 percent â€“ said they would not like to have a Muslim as a neighbour; 31 percent said they would feel nervous if they noticed a Muslim man on their flight, and 18 percent said they would feel nervous if they noticed a Muslim woman on their flight. About 4 in 10 Americans favour more rigorous security measures for Muslims than those used for other US citizens: requiring Muslims who are US citizens to carry a special ID and undergo special, more intensive, security checks before boarding airplanes.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Itâ€™s not enormously difficult to see how such a climate would spawn record levels of anti-Muslim violence in the country.
The de facto criminalisation of certain types of facial hair and other signifiers of Islamic piety is meanwhile aided and abetted by certain journalistic manoeuvers such as references to â€œbearded savagesâ€ and the like in the mainstream press.
Â Â Â Â Â Â A 1998 New York Times feat of Orientalist travel writing entitled â€œExotic Oman Opens Its Doorsâ€ begins:â€œThink of the Persian Gulf and what do you see? Gulf war soldiers, burning oil, bearded fanatics, polluted seas and flat, bleak desert.â€
Â Â Â Â Â Â Luckily for the author-vacationer, Judith Miller, â€œexoticâ€ Oman defies stereotypes and proves itself to be an â€œexquisitely civilised countryâ€. As for less fortunate Persian Gulf locales, the same Miller subsequently expanded her talents from providing the Timesâ€˜ readership with detailed descriptions of the turtle egg-laying process on the Omani coast to falsified reports of an Iraqi WMD programme.
Â Â Â Â Â Â In the end, media characterisations of Muslims kill two birds with one stone, justifying oppression at home and imperial devastation abroad. *(Belen Fernandez is the author ofÂ The Imperial Messenger: Thomas Friedman at Work, released by Verso in 2011. She is a member of theÂ Jacobin MagazineÂ editorial board, and her articles have appeared in theÂ London Review of Books blog,Â The Baffler,Â Al Akhbar EnglishÂ and many other publications.Follow her on Twitter:Â @MariaBelen_Fdez)
The Westâ€™s New Religion
Â Â Â Â Â Â Robert Fisk*in his article titled: â€œWar on Terror is the West’s New Religionâ€ published on February 25, 2013 in “Information Clearing House“says Â Mohamed al-Zawahiri, younger brother of Osama bin Laden’s successor, Ayman, made a particularly intriguing statement in Cairo last month.
Â Â Â Â Â Talking to that wonderful French institution Le Journal du Dimanche about Mali, he asked the paper to warn France “and to call on reasonable French people and wise men not to fall into the same trap as the Americans. France is held responsible for having occupied a Muslim country. She has declared war on Islam.” No clearer warning could France have received.
Â Â Â Â Â And sure enough, one day later, suicide bombers attacked occupied Gao, while, exactly 10 days later, France lost its second soldier in Mali, shot dead by rebels in a battle in the Ifoghas mountain range. That’s where, according to the tired old rhetoric of President Hollande, there had been a battle with “terrorists” who were “holed up” in the area during an operation which was “in its last phase”.
Â Â Â Â Â Â The phraseology is as wearying â€“ you could listen to the same old wording in almost every US pronouncement during the Iraqi war â€“ as is the West’s incomprehension of the new al-Qa’ida.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Only Baroness Orczy’s Scarlet Pimpernel could match this. “They seek him here, they seek him there, those Frenchies seek him everywhere â€¦” But who, exactly? The leader of which particular groupuscule of al-Qa’ida-inspired gunmen in Mali? Indeed, our lords and masters seem to have not the slightest idea who they are talking about. A few weeks ago, when many of us didn’t even known the name of the Malian capital â€“ admit it, O readers â€“ we were all under the impression that al-Qa’ida’s resurgence was in Iraq, where it’s back to almost daily suicide bombing against Shias.
Â Â Â Â Â Then out came “al-Qa’ida scholar” (as his publishers call him) Gregory Johnsen with a book entitled The Last Refuge: Yemen, Al-Qaeda and the Battle for Arabia. Yes, folks, it was the Queen of Sheba’s ancient kingdom that had lured the hard guys; the book had not a single reference to Mali. And then â€“ blow us all down â€“ it turned out that the dodgy lads of al-Qa’ida were in northern Syria (see La Clinton and our own plucky little Foreign Secretary).
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Needless to say, we were back in Mali again on 12 February, when al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (headquarters supposedly Yemen, remember) were calling for jihad in Mali against the “crusaders”. Well, at least al-Qaida had narrowed down one of the European nations which really did participate in the original Crusades. The Western press, as usual, generally went along with this nonsensical narrative, quoting the usual mountebank “terrorist” specialists in London, Paris and all places West.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Thank heavens, then, that we have Arab writers such as Abdel Bari Atwan â€“ who knew the real Bin Laden better than any other journalist â€“ with his volume After Bin Laden: Al-Qa’ida, the Next Generation. Atwan â€“ admission: an old friend of mine â€“has structured exactly how al-Qa’ida metamorphosed after Bin Laden’s execution and recalled how in 2005 he received by email a document entitled “Al-Qa’ida’s strategy to 2020″, which contained seven “stages” towards a world Islamic caliphate.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Stage one was to “provoke the ponderous American elephant into invading Muslim lands where it would be easier for the mujahideen to fight it”. Stage two: The Muslim nation wakes from its long sleep and is furious at the sight of a new generation of crusaders intent on occupying large parts of the Middle East and stealing its valuable resources.
Â Â Â Â Â “The seeds of the hatred towards America that al-Qa’ida was banking on,” Atwan says, “were planted when the first bombs dropped on Baghdad in 2003.” In fact, as I outlined after the invasion, an oblique message from Bin Laden just before the Bush adventure â€“ typically ignored by the CIA â€“ actually urged al-Qa’ida members to co-operate with the hated Baathists against US forces.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â This was the first call from al-Qa’ida to collaborate with other groups â€“ hence the plague of al-Qa’ida units which are fighting alongside other rebel organizations in Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Algeria, Mali and now Syria.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Stage three is a NATO-al-Qa’ida conflict in a “triangle of horror â€¦ in Iraq, Syria and Jordan”. In part four, “Al-Qa’ida becomes a global network that â€¦ makes enfranchisement exceptionally easy”. In part five, the US military budget “is crashed into bankruptcy and economic meltdown ensues”. The sixth stage is the “overthrow of the hated Arab dictators.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Finally, “the ultimate clash of civilizations and a mighty, apocalyptic battle”. Al-Zawahiri, by the way, is always quoting the Yale historian Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers, which sees economic collapse as the basis for the collapse of empires.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Al-Qa’ida’s failures exist: no movement at all in “Palestine”, supposedly the center of Bin Laden’s heart, and really no success in hedonistic Lebanon â€“ although al-Qa’ida tried to stage an uprising in a northern Palestinian refugee camp and has its followers in the huge Ein al-Helwe camp in Sidon.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Atwan has written a disturbing chapter on digital warfare â€“ al-Qa’ida is, after all, now almost as adept at producing documentation as any newspaper â€“ and talks of the possibility of a takeover of an air-traffic control system, nuclear facility, energy grid, you name it. And al-Zawahiri has taken a personal interest in Libyan energy. Disrupt the West’s oil flows. It’s already been tried in Saudi Arabia, of course.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Atwan, less realistically, trundles out the 2008 Rand Corporation analysis of “how terror groups end”, a selection of CIA-type wish lists: all the leaders are “droned” or otherwise assassinated, splinter groups take over and break the movement, the group “joins the political process” (see “President” Hamid Karzai and the Taliban). Bin Laden had something to say about this.
Â Â Â Â Â “You mention that British intelligence said that England [sic] would leave Afghanistan if al-Qa’ida promised not to target their interests,” he wrote in a letter to a soon-to-be “droned” commander a year before his own death (the British “deal” does have a cruel ring of truth). “Do not agree to anything â€¦ but without slamming the door.”
Â Â Â Â Â Â Aha! So even Bin Laden would have settled for less than a world caliphate. I wonder if Hollande will one day receive a similar “deal” when his merry men have been burned in Mali? I suspect not. I still believe in that great John Wyndham tale, The Day of the Triffids. No one knew how the murky creatures, which visited all Earth with blindness, could be stopped. Until a lighthouse-keeper’s daughter, in a last desperate attempt to save her life, sprayed the wretched things with sea water. And they rotted in front of her.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â So why not stop spraying bombs and depleted uranium shells on the people of the Middle East? And stop sending our wretched armies to occupy Muslim lands â€“ which is exactly what al-Qa’ida wants us to do â€“ and stop bribing Arab leaders to crush their own people. Instead, can we not visit these sad lands with justice?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Justice for the Palestinians, justice for the Kurds, justice for the Iraqi Sunnis, justice for the people of southern Lebanon, justice for the people of Kashmir. If the West put its mind to this real “crusade”, al-Qa’ida, like those pesky triffids, would disappear. The people who live in the Muslim world can then decide on their own “caliphate”.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â However, justice is not made of salt water, and our lords and masters still wish to govern the world, and there is not the slightest chance that they would risk their status, their reputations, their political futures, their lives on such an odd concept. “War on terror” remains the new religion of the West â€“ and why not when the French Interior Minister declares that “there is an Islamic fascism rising everywhere”?
Â Â Â Â Â Â Saddest of all is that we did not read the obvious message: that al-Qa’ida largely failed to hijack the Arab awakening; no picture of Bin Laden and no al-Qa’ida flag graced those millions who marched through the streets of Arab capitals. But no, now we peddle the myth that elected Islamist parties are subterfuge al-Qa’idas, that â€“ deep down â€“ the Islamic world really is in an eternal “clash of civilizations” with us, that we must fear them, hate them.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â And so the war goes on. What was it the splendid Leon Panetta â€“ my favorite US Defense Secretary â€“ said in Kabul 18 months ago? “We’re within reach of strategically defeating al-Qa’ida.” And in London a few days ago? He called for “relentless pressure” on the group. Did al-Qa’ida’s press office write this stuff for him? Or is there some dark, unspoken knowledge shared by both us and al-Qa’ida? That we both, in our souls, want the war to go on. (This article was originally posted atThe Independent) *(Robert Fisk is a multiple award-winning journalist on the Middle East, based in Beirut). (HSH)