Monday, July 4, 2016

GOP Hyped Fear About Muslims and Islamic Religion: Fear Factor 101 Out of Control

GOP Sells Fear Like It’s Going Out of Style

GOPers Refuse to Believe This Message

Extracted from here >>>  (in various parts to fit the blog):

This part is the hardest for Americans to grasp in our way of thinking and seeing and hearing about terrorists over the airwaves and in our politics:

Religious fundamentalism (particularly Islamic extremism) as a causal factor in terrorism is hard for us to ignore in the western media – especially in recent times. Images of 9/11 in NYC in 2001; or Bali in 2002; or Spain in 2004; and all the rest since (London, Paris, Brussels, Baghdad, Kabul, Mumbai, and all over Syria) have all been accompanied by references to Islamic extremist groups. 

The New York Times and CNN mentioned Islam or Muslims an average of five times more often in the six months after September 11 than in the six months before.  With this in mind, it is easy for the general public to adopt the stance that religious fundamentalism is the main cause of terrorist action; however, it is important to realize that the majority of religious clerics espouse the view that their religion is fundamentally against terrorism. 

This editorial in Jordan’s main newspaper said this in the wake of the Riyadh bombing of May 2003:

“The timing of the terrorist attacks [on the eve of the prophet’s birthday] is proof that the perpetrators have distanced themselves from the message and spirit of Islam… Al-Qaeda and other groups who kill the innocent while brandishing the banner of Islam do not represent over one billion Muslims around the world.”

In a 2002 Conference discussing religion and violence, Islamic Cleric Rashied Omar pointed out that the term Jihad which is often linked to terrorism in the name of Allah was in fact more literally defined as “ effort in pursuit of a commendable aim.” 

Jihad, in the purist sense actually involves such things as peaceful persuasion and passive resistance as opposed to war and bloodshed. 

A religious fundamentalist, in Islam at least, should be fundamentally against war and bloodshed whilst fundamentally for peaceful persuasion and passive resistance. For Islamic Clerics themselves it seems that religious fundamentalism alone is a superficial reason for terrorist action. 

Romans vs. Christians and vice versa – yet we need not label all Catholics or Christians as “evil” with a wide brush, not any more than we should Muslims who practice their faith: Islam.

It may easy to do that, and in some circles even demanded we do that, like with Republicans who demand we label all Muslims as terrorists or extremists and the like, but that does not make it right to do so. To do so the way we see and hear lately is to benefit those who want to use it back against us in the PR game by saying, “See how the West and especially the Americans hate us for our religion.”

ISIS masters that as their #1 PR tool – it is effective? Ask the San Bernardino shooters or the shooter in Orlando – yes, it is effective and remember acts of terror are usually carried out by a handful of radicals. Recall that it took only two in OK City in 1994, too.

Finally, terrorism and the reaction to terrorism are sourced from the conviction that individuals misguidedly perceive themselves to be members of a moral community – a community that has the right to protect itself from the other.

The idea of a moral community conceptualizing ‘us as good and them as evil’ is useful as it helps to explain why almost anything can be justified by the would-be terrorist - he or she is merely protecting their community from the other. Take for example the slaughter of the Jews in Nazi Germany during World War II. Adolf Hitler, and his media spin-doctor Joseph Goebbels, portrayed the slaughter as the righteous defense of the Aryan Nation against racial and moral pollution.

People can and do view themselves as separate entities with different obligations and objectives. When there is a fundamental difference in these obligations and objectives then acts of violence may result.

The other illuminating feature of the ‘moral’ idea is that it shows why a community will do little to probe the real reasons behind terrorism and may in fact react disproportionately against terrorism. Once a group is defined as evil the case is closed because every ‘decent’ minded individual knows that evil is something that cannot be tolerated but rather must be eradicated. Of interest is that the supposed "axis of good" (America and its allies) has been portrayed as evil by the bin-Laden's of the world and other terrorist organizations. 

Clearly the delineation between good and evil in the world is an arbitrary one and easily modified to suit individual agendas. 

Finally, the world currently sees (through media-colored glasses in many cases) the average terrorist as an evil but poverty stricken, religious fundamentalist strapping explosives to themselves for Allah.

This however is not the reality of the situation. Neither religious fundamentalism nor poverty is the primary cause of terrorism. Only the smallest minority of religious fundamentalists and impoverished citizens choose to carry out terrorist actions. 

Furthermore, when individuals think of themselves as moral communities, with the right to protect the interests of that group against other groups, then conflict can and does result. It is when this conflict finds a public to violently voice its agenda that terrorism results. In the final analysis, terrorism is fundamentally a violent communiqué, a message of fear – fear that is designed to mold the perceptions of the frightened masses.

Well, I'm done on that topic for now... now on to more serious stuff, like: Donald J. Trump, Ruler of the U.S. and Empire-in-Chief Looking to Expand His Personal Wealth Around the Globe One Golf Course, Resort, and Casino at a Time, but Not Much Else...!!!

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