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Terrorism: Don’t Think Of An Elephant

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It seems as though some of the fervor regarding the Ground Zero mosque has died down a bit, but what hasn’t died down is the spewing of hate against and vilification of Muslims and Islam since Sept. 11th 2001. I know this is a very emotive subject and may not sit well with the majority of you who may read this article. This hate speech is being spewed by right wing extremist talk radio hosts.

Firstly I want to say I don’t condone any form of politically motivated violence that targets a civilian population of innocent men, women and children and is designed to meet some political end.

I’m against it, I condemn it and all such acts. It doesn’t matter who the perpetrators are. I purposely avoided using the word terrorism.

The Muslims have been apologizing for these acts since Sept. 11th. In essence they have become apologists for the atrocity that was 911 and any acts of political violence since that time and even before Sept 11th.

And the majority of people have said the Muslims need to be more vocal in condemning their coreligionists for these atrocities. Many people don’t know this, but Islamic organizations world wide have collected hundreds upon hundreds of pages of written apologies condemning the atrocity of 911 and all such acts. How much more vocal do they need to be?

Muslims are apologizing for those who claim an affiliation with Islam or, claim to be Muslims no matter how distorted and perverted their understanding of Islam is. And extremists will claim these acts of political violence are in fact motivated by their distorted, twisted understanding of Islam.

So Muslims are placed in a context that demands they apologize and condemn these acts. I would argue that by allowing themselves to be placed in this context they are allowing themselves to reinforce the dominant framework that has been put in place that Muslims are terrorist. Not Americans, not Christians, but Muslims.

If you don’t condemn the people who don’t condemn these acts then you stand to be condemned.

There is such a strong association of Muslims to terrorism and the framework is so firmly in place and the indoctrination is so deep that when someone hears the word terrorist they automatically think ‘Islam, Muslim, terrorist‘ it’s almost reflexive.

If I were to say to you don’t think of an elephant. What image automatically comes to your mind? An elephant. it’s a trick of the mind.

Now if I said close your eyes, I know that all of your life you’ve been told that an elephant is a large animal with a trunk and tusks. You’ve seen pictures all of your life of what an elephant looks like, but an elephant is really as small as a mouse with no trunk and a long tail. You could never accept my description of an elephant. Why not? because the framework is too deeply in place as to what an elephant looks like, or what an elephant is.

I would argue that the American media has systematically drilled into your heads like so many Manchurian Candidates the dominant framework of terrorist and terrorism. The media has turned the overwhelming majority of Americans into Islamophobes. Haters of Muslims and Islam. And this hate is spewed out everyday over the airwaves by right wing extremists talk radio show hosts like Glenn Beck and Jerry Doyle, Bill Cunningham and Sean Hannity.

They would have you believe that Muslims are going to mount an invasion of American shores and it will be the end of the world as you know it.

Don’t get me wrong if one person died in the World Trade Center attack that’s one person too many.

Terrorism consists of a series of acts carried out on an unsuspecting civilian population of innocent men, women and children designed to instill intimidation, panic, and fear causing death and destruction. These acts can be carried out by individuals, or groups opposing a state, or acting on it’s behalf with the amount of violence often disproportionate apparently random deliberately symbolic to hit a target to convey a message to the rest of a population.

If that is the case then the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were acts of terrorism according to the above definition which I paraphrased taken from the Social Science Encyclopedia page 851. However I would argue these bombings were maniacal murder with no real political end.

It was a series of acts beginning with the fire bombing of Tokyo after midnight on the night of March 9th and 10th 1945 when 348 B-29 bombers dropped 1700 tons of special incendiary bombs destroying an area of 16 square miles killing 100,000 people. Then on August 6th 1945 the atomic bombing of Hiroshima killing 120,000 people by a conservative estimate which doesn’t include those who died much later even years later from the effects of radiation. It concluded with the atomic bombing of Nagasaki. Political and military figures of the day were widely quoted opposing the bombings.

The Japanese were already preparing to surrender and terms were being worked out with the Americans that would call for unconditional surrender, that would allow the Japanese people to retain the Emperor. And that was the only demand of the Japanese that the Emperor be allowed to remain in place.

Until the American people can come to terms with the fact that these were in fact acts of terrorism then there is no open door for a positive discourse between Muslims and Americans about the problems that exist in Islam concerning extremist groups that distort Islam and carry out atrocious acts.

What do we see in the news today? A church in Florida wants to gather to burn Qur’ans.

Also the end of the holy month of Ramadan will probably end on Sept 11th when the Muslims will have the Eid celebration.

How will it be perceived if the Muslims do in fact celebrate Eid on Sept 11th ?

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About Joe The Blogger

  • @Jeannie
    911 was an atrocity for all peoples of all religions. I think the media both the electronic and print media ramped up a campaign of FUD to propagate a war on Islam.
    After the Berlin Wall came down, after the Afghan army in which bin laden was a war hero staved off the Soviet army for 10 yrs America claimed communism was defeated. So America needed a new enemy.
    It is true that according to the text book definition of terrorism the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were terrorist acts. They weren’t even acts of war. Read the quotes from the leaders of the day.
    The men that flew those planes into those bldgs. were not Muslims. They were maniacal murderers.
    And I ask where was the ‘let’s roll’ patriotism on Sept 10th 2001? where was all the flag waving on that day?
    How can men with box cutters over power a plane load of people? box cutters! if five people manned up they would have received stitches at best and those planes don’t hit anything. I find it hard to believe you can go to some flatland flight school and receive enough instruction to pilot a 737 or 727 into a building with such precision! It would take expertise to do that and veteran pilot.
    There are so many unanswered questions about Sept 11th. None of us will ever know the truth of those events.
    And you’re right not all Muslims are terrorists. I’ve spent the whole day reading and reading such terrible comments by people driven by hatred.
    My position is not a popular on either.
    Jeannie I left a comment on your blog I wish you would take a look. And thank you.

  • I agree with you, Joe,

    The media has become the self-anointed-fourth arm of this country, and they have pushed this divisive issue to the limit.

    News for America, the world didn’t change after 9-11, it was a bad world out there all along. America’s hands are just as soiled as any other government(she just wont admit it).

    And we know that not all Muslims are terrorists, but we are pounded day in and day out, to believe that we are better and they are out to get us for our freedom, bull.

    I said once, that I felt empathy for ALL of the souls that perished in NYC,Wash DC, and Ohio. The poor saps flying those plains were just as brainwashed as any KKK members or hate group. Also, they have been persecuted by this bully country for so long that they, snapped.

    Not a popular position, but it’s mine.

    JD- Good article.

  • Ruvy

    Just couldn’t resist, Joe. ;o))

  • Ruvy

    but your pints are well taken

    I’m glad you enjoyed them, Joe. In future, the pints won’t be free. Regular will be NIS 13.00, lager will be NIS 15.50. Heinekens will be sold at a lower price, as the firm marketing the beer supports Israel in the face of boycotts and attempts to delegitimize our country.

  • @AB Caliph

    This was my first article and I admit it was not a very good one. I know talk radio is not the cause of Islamophobia, but it also propagates it. Of course it was the former presidential administrations. I don’t know if you’re from America originally, but America is a country that always needs an enemy and it’s claim of defeating communism it needed a new enemy and the enemy is Islam. America fears Islam. Of course Osama and the others you mention have spread radical Islam.

    The point of the article I think is not to talk about Islam in explaining what Islam is, but your pints are well taken and in future articles I certainly will explain Islam and that all Muslims are not the same as goes for other religions.

  • @Ruvy

    You’re absolutely right. I get I was a bit zealous and was remiss in mentioning and clarifying the points you mention. This is my first ever article. IN futures articles I will keep in mind what you have stated. I thank you for reminding me of what I failed to do. Your comment is enlightening. Continued success to you Ruvy

  • The media has turned the overwhelming majority of Americans into Islamophobes. Haters of Muslims and Islam. And this hate is spewed out everyday over the airwaves by right wing extremists talk radio show hosts … They would have you believe that Muslims are going to mount an invasion of American shores and it will be the end of the world as you know it.

    Joe, I remind you that over the past decade, two successive administrations have waged wars against Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan under the pretexts that (a) Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction with which he was about to cause the end of the world as we know it; and (2) al-Qaeda and the Taliban represent continuing threats to mount 9/11-style attacks on American shores.

    Right wing extremist talk radio hosts are not responsible for Islamophobia. Instead, blame Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, et al. Or blame George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, et al.

    You’re simply wrong about the media brainwashing us “like so many Manchurian Candidates.” They didn’t have to. We were already persuaded by Muslim terrorists, and by the words and deeds of our highest elected and appointed government officials, that Islam is our foremost enemy in today’s world.

  • Ruvy

    Joe, your article does not bother to mention that there is more than one kind of Muslim, or that there are Muslim heretics, or enlighten the reader about Islam at all.

    All Christians are not the same; all Jews are not the same; all Hindus are not the same; all Buddhists are not the same – and all Muslims are not the same. So long as Americans look at Muslims like the Borg – there will be a generalized and wrongful hatred of them in the States.

    Unfortunately, your article does nothing to address that issue. A shame.