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 ?