When watching G.I. Joe as a kid, I knew Cobra Commander was an inherent baddie. Of course, I was about 20 years too late for the propaganda to have any effect on me; the Cold War was long over.
G.I. Joe would never survive today. And for that I feel a little at loss knowing my son will probably never grow up with a show that clearly demarcates goodies from baddies. As a responsible parent, I’d teach him of course that nothing is black and white, that compassion and empathy are important, but that (above all) you have to have to know what you’re up against.
Perhaps liberal media could use a similar talk, which ten years after 9-11 is clearly that lingering drunk dipping into the progressive Muslim Kool-Aid. The result – an even more dangerous propaganda through an over glorification of all things Islam.
Liberal media outlets aren’t interested in Muslim narratives aside from these two: (1) the Muslim victim and (2) the trend-setting stereotype busting Muslim that’s doing everything to shine a liberal facet of Islam but doing nothing to challenge what’s wrong with it. Most Muslims also play into this willingly…it’s safer and doesn’t challenge a faith that is ripe for a reformation.
Their overwhelming support for a strict template is demonstrated by…
- Discrimination against works critical of Islam as book publishers continue to get cold feet over taking on a dissenting Muslim voice.
- Hollywood’s emphasis on narrow Muslim narratives including The New Muslim Cool, Mooz-lum, and Fordson: Faith, Fasting, and Football among others. But with topical themes and shallow story telling, they’re nothing more than trinket stories that feed the hype rather than move beyond it.
- Romanticizing Islamic culture as seen with the emphasis on hijabs as fashionable.
This is just a sampling. Major media outlets are also guilty of painting realities, such as Newsweek’s February 22, 2010 issue of How Bin Laden Lost the Clash of Civilizations which included a piece on “How Moderate Muslim Leaders Waged War on Extremists – and Won.” I’m not saying these accounts are fictional, but they aren’t exactly looking at the whole picture either.
Art, and its juggernaut potential to offer society a transcended level of consciousness, is also deeply nested within the media machine. Where news media is society’s ego, art is its subconscious readily believing whatever it’s fed. “If art is meant to reflect what we hold dear as a society, and what represents us,” then clearly there is “no such thing as a great 9-11 work of art.”
Most Muslim artists (regardless of their medium) delve into themes of culture and identity rather than tackling the core issue – which is the Islamic faith and it’s bastardization by Wahhabi/Salafi ideology. It’s great that American Muslims feel more secure in their identity, but that does nothing to change fundamentalism with Islam, to address the wavering interpretations between radicals and secularists.
But Muslims aren’t the only ones burying the real issues. Events and exhibitions like 1001 Inventions, hosted by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation, cause an immense amount of harm to the overall dialogue. Their theme, “Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World” keeps Muslims in a safe cocoon that fractures a reality we haven’t really developed a whole lot since then.
“Look at how great we are. See what great things the Muslims did,” is the common boast I hear in association with epic feats achieved by other Muslims in the past – the question is what have YOU done? It’s delusional and it’s systematically pushed into our thought-sphere by media that would be better suited to write bed-time stories of how wonderful everything really is.
Next… Government and Politics Ten Years Later