Anti-Muslim flyer offends everyone…(almost)

REVISION: I’d like to start off by saying I was entirely wrong about the intent of this flyer when I originally wrote this article. I first thought this (a flyer which appeared in George Washington University) was just another example of anti-Muslim propaganda, and failed to notice its over the top nature screamed satire. The problem, I have now come to realize, is such a flyer is entirely within the realm of possibility. I have therefore retracted my previous statements.

I would also like to point out the article upon which I based this entry also failed to make the proper fact check. If it had, it would have realized the small lettering near the bottom, which says “Seriously, do a search for the power of Nightmares”, pointed to an article exposing the use of fear propaganda for the purpose of population control.

After careful consideration, and a little bit more research, I have to admit the flyer is a bit of poorly executed satire. It was meant as a way of garnering attention to the fact Conservatives are attempting to vilify Muslims in order to increase their foothold in the political world. But unfortunately for the satirists, it seems more attention was focused on the blatent racism and bigotry of the writing. Still, what are we to think of such a piece? Although the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism is a definite concern, I can’t help but feel both sides have this all wrong. Undoubtedly, there is a significant proportion (although by no means the majority) who dislike Western civilization, but it certainly does not drive anyone to mass murder. The growing trend of suicide bombings is a disturbing trend to be sure, but it still remains a fringe movement in the religion. What most people fail to realize is the majority of targets of sectarian violence is a result of schisms within the Islamic faith, and does not come from without.

At the same time, we have to be fearful of the fact that the growing religious fundamentalist movement will continue to cause violent conflict in the world. Reminding us that we need to be more tolerant, and respectful of other beliefs, eliminates the debate over whether those beliefs are tolerable in the first place. Just what are we to do?

I admire the effort to demonstrate the fear mongering tactics of the right; unfortunately, the impact of this flyer seems to have been entirely lost on everyone, including myself (at first). I was so eager to point out the inanity of it all that I forgot to look beyond the obvious fa├žade. Still, if a studious person as myself can easily jump to a forgone conclusion, it would seem to indicate that at the very least, the satire perhaps isn’t hitting the right cord.

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Comments (1)

  • avatar

    Joanna

    This episode of satire being mistaken for “hate speech” is quite revealing. And on a campus of COLLEGE STUDENTS…imagine that! ha Always pushing the buttons of the nervous university administrators….

    Your article caught my eye because I am currently reading the book “Infidel” by Ayaan Hirshi Ali, who criticizes Islam at her own peril yet nonetheless provides the non-Muslim world a glimse of what life was like for her as a girl and woman growing up in Somalia, Kenya, and Saudi Arabia. A painfully revealing glimpse backward.

    If you haven’t heard of her, she is a woman who was formerly devoutly Islamic, but she began questioning the low status of women during her teens as she sought an education. She was severely punished for asking reasonable questions about Muslim faith and practice (as well as eventually denouncing the barbaric methods of genital mutilation she herself was traumatized by at an early age). A friend of hers was murdered in Amsterdam for his collaberaton with her on a film about this subject. Muslims can be very touchy about their world image…as we’ve all noticed….remember the Dutch cartoon incident?

    Anyway, Hirshi Ali asks the daring, controversial (and enlightened) question: “If the Quran is the spoken word of Allah, and Allah is a just God, why would the Quran promote activities like husbands beating their wives, women being worth half a man, and the killing of infidels (Christians, Jews, non-believers, alike)? Because men are weak? Because women must submit to the will of Allah as an example for men to follow? Suffering is strength?

    What keeps striking me as so alarming and disturbing as I continue to read this book is the fact that hating and demonizing an enemy (even the opposite sex) can take on the entire basis for a religious movement. Whatever enemy a group decides to pick…be it “dangerous, wanton women”, “Zionists”, “infidels”, etc etc, a feeling of hatred can just simmer and cook up the very violent activism we see in so many fundamentalist religious sects. The offshots of the “legitimate” more moderate religions becoming militant in their quest for the “truth”…seeking the truest religion, the straightest path, even if vengeance and violence are part of it.

    And who is the most offended and persecuted group? Does this measure the “chosen people” the best: The people that can prove to be the most victimized?? If God/Allah/Supreme Being punishes you and makes you suffer, it means you are truly loved??

    This makes me recall a line in a song by Depeche Mode called “Blasphemous Rumours”…maybe you’re familiar with it, too:

    “I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours but I think that God has a sick sense of humour”.

    Now THAT’S powerful and enlighening….when you get to the point of starting up a “Good Athiest” soundtrack, be sure to include THAT little number. ha Where’s your “gift store” area….we need merchandise with shock value!

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