Friday, August 20, 2004

If Only We Had Better PR !

Nobody should be suprised that the religious affairs department of the Saudi military has published an article, "Jews in the Modern Era", that states in part:

"The Fabricated Torah, Talmud, and Protocols of the Elders of Zion Command Destruction of All Non-Jews for World Domination"
"The Majority of Revolutions, Coups D'etat, and Wars … are Almost Entirely the Handiwork of the Jews."

I cite this rather disgusting evidence of Muslim anti-Semitism for two reasons. The first is to show that this kind of thinking is mainstream in Saudi Arabia and the Muslim world. The people who write articles like this are not considered nutcases with paranoid delusions. They are noted historians; important public officials and even members of the Saudi and other counties' royal families. The entire Muslim world believes this bulls**t. No, let me rephrase that--they believe it fervently, since it explains their own inadequacies. The second reason is that like all those with paranoid delusions, the people who believe and spread this psychotic BS are not open to reasonable discourse on the subject.

So, with that in mind, let's turn to the second article that caught my attention: "US Struggles to Win Hearts and Minds in the Muslim World":

"But Middle East experts -- and some frustrated U.S. officials -- complain that the administration has provided only limited new direction in dealing with anti-American anger among the world's 1.2 billion Muslims and is spending far too little on such efforts, particularly in contrast with the billions spent on other pressing needs, such as homeland security and intelligence."

You see, the thrust of this article is that the Bush Administration is not doing enough public relations to win the hearts and minds of the people in the Muslim world.

Hello?? Anybody home? Why in heaven's name should we waste our money on trying to change the way the Muslim world feels about us? Personally, I could care less about their "hearts"--who cares if they love us or not? Their "minds" unfortunately, are a repository of complete mush--devoid of any ability for critical thinking since that faculty is crushed early by omnipresent and malignant religious schools. (It is possible that the women possess a shred of intelligence, since they are not allowed to get any schooling, but there is no way to know in most countries). Many of these people want to kill us as fervently as they want to kill all Jews. As long as the Jews and Americans are the source of all evil in the world, they never have to evaluate or question themselves or their own beliefs.

Without a free press; without an educational system that teaches reason; without rulers and government who support those two goals; any money we spend on PR is completely wasted. No, President Bush has it right. We now have a real opportunity in Afghanistan and Iraq to sow the seeds of freedom and reason. That is the most cost-effective way to the "hearts and minds" of the Middle East.

But if public relations is the way to go, then I guess the "Jewish World" should just hire a better PR firm to represent it in the Middle East. That should make everything all right.


Dr. Sanity said...

Perhaps you didn't understand that this comes from a TRAINING MANUAL for the Saudi military? You know, the Saudis, who protect the shrine at Mecca for all of Islam? This is not a few individuals, this is a STATE POLICY. I am sure that there are honorable Muslims somewhere who are not anti-semitic. I don't see them in any prominent venues (even in the U.S.)or read their denunciations of such material. In fact, I am reasonable sure that the teaching materials in most mosques and Muslim religious schools have similar types of statements as the ones I quoted, because I have read some of them. Many authors (notably Irshad Manji, a Canadian Muslim, in her book "The Trouble with Islam" details some of the racism and sexism that dominates Islamic thinking today). If you caught the lack of respect I have developed for the entire religion, you are correct. I don't respect any religion that requires you to hate another group, religion, country etc. etc. If they want my respect (which I assure you they don't), they will have to denounce tripe like that, which is a psychological defense mechanism designed to spare them the difficult task of taking responsibility for their own failure to thrive. The Nazis did the same thing last century.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what the source is, you can hardly characterise the feelings of a few billion people in this way. There is a great deal that I find repulsive in many Muslim countries, but the same applies to many regimes and teachings across the world. To say "look at how vile this document is" and then say "it's proof that Islam is fundamentally hateful" is hardly QED. Islam, like all religions, is complicated: its the interpretation that tends to be the problem, rather than anything inherent in the religion itself. Many Muslims feel that Saudi law is against Islam's teachings - I have not read the Koran cover-to-cover, but its contents do seem at-odds with the actions (and laws) of many countries - yet you seem determined to think of all Muslims as the same: hard-line; fanatical and dangerous. As with so many things, it's not the religion, it's the people.

Dr. Sanity said...

Well, actually I can and did characterize them that way. And I stand by it. If you are going to believe in and practice a religion (or an ideology or any abstract idea) YOU are taking responsibility for the tenets of that philosophy. If you don't think of what that ideology or belief will inevitably lead to; if you choose to believe that you are a "religion of peace" when in your own Koran are the repeated instructions to "kill infidels";

Dr. Sanity said...

(sorry, hit the wrong button) anyway--if you choose to believe and practice a religion, then you must accept the consequences of that choice. I think an analogy to socialism/communism is appropriate here. They aren't religions (except in some people's mind; and certainly some people continue to believe in it like a religion, despite all the evidence that has demonstrated its pathology), but the idea is the same. People on the Left will say that Nazism was an "aberration" from "true socialism". People on the Left who still believe, refuse to accept that millions died under socialist and communist regimes throughout the 20th century. They say "it isn't communism's fault--etc. etc.". I think it is. I think that certain beliefs and ideologys LEAD INEVITABLY to human death, oppression and misery. Many religions do. Islam is one of them. It does not believe in personal property and individual freedom; it has no central authority or way to review its own tenets for logic or even compassion, so any thug who wants to preach hate is welcome and followed blindly. It will be the scourge of the 21st century the same way that totalitarianism in the form of communism and socialism was of the 20th century. If the events in the world today have not mobilized the decent and conscientious muslims to re-evaluate their faith and the way it is practiced, then I wonder what will?

Anonymous said...

It is depressing that you think in this way. All you have to do is replace "Islam" with "Judaism" and you start echoing the speech of those that you so despise.

The idea of anything as ambiguous as a religion being inherently evil does not really stand up: if it is prone to interpretation, then it must be the interpretation which is evil, not the original text. If the interpretation is unpleasant, perhaps we should be looking less at what they are interpreting and more at who is doing the interpretation. One should be more suspicious of the person claiming their religion defends "human death, oppression and misery" than the religion itself.

Dr. Sanity said...

I'm afraid we'll just have to agree to disagree on this. History will be the final arbiter for all of us anyway.