Don’t Be Fooled by Propaganda
by Charley Reese InfoWorld firstname.lastname@example.org
There is an ongoing slander campaign against Islam, claiming that it is a
religion that promotes violence and hinting that it seeks world conquest.
Before you buy the malarkey that is being produced by people with their own
agendas or prejudices or who are just plain ignoramuses, follow these few
Compare the history of Islam with the history of Europe, which for centuries
was called Christendom. An objective look will show you that Christendom
wins by a landslide when it comes to violence and wars. After all, Europe
and its offspring did not come to dominate the world, including the Islamic
countries, because they practiced the gentle virtues of Jesus.
As for the common practice of cherry-picking Scripture from holy writings
and presenting it out of context, just check out what Christians call the
Old Testament. There you will find God advocating a double standard of
morality, condoning slavery, ordering the Israelites to commit genocide and
committing infanticide himself on a mass scale. I don’t believe you will
find anything comparable in the Quran.
The word “jihad,” which is so over-used these days, has, like a lot of
words, more than one meaning. It means basically to struggle, but this can
be personal or spiritual, or a peaceful political struggle. Only if Islam is
attacked are Muslims required to defend it. As for that obnoxious propaganda
term “Islamo-fascist,” just recall that fascism is a European invention by
nominal Christians. To my knowledge, the only fascist governments ever to
exist on this planet were all European and nominally Christian.
Another canard is that Islam promotes forced conversion. Not so. Even when
the Arab empire was expanding, rarely were any of the conquered people
forced to convert. The Quran even forbids it, as I recall. Naturally, once
Muslims were in charge, a lot of people decided it was in their own
self-interest to convert, but this is just one of the sleazy aspects of
I remember when Florida elected its first Republican governor of the 20th
century. I saw plenty of people crawl out from under their rocks and convert
to the Republican Party, drawn by the smell of patronage. With some rare
exceptions, human beings always act in what they perceive, rightly or
wrongly, to be in their self-interest.
It was Christian Europe that slaughtered the Jews, and nothing remotely
resembling the Holocaust is to be found in the history of Islam. In fact,
during the past, when Jews were being persecuted by Christian Europe, they
frequently fled to and found sanctuary in the Muslim countries. Until Israel
was established, practically every Muslim country had sizable Jewish
populations dating back centuries. And there are still Jews and Christians
in some Muslim countries.
A final suggestion is that when you hear some individual radical Muslim
being quoted, just remember he is one of a billion people and speaks only
for himself and his small following. And be wary of the quotations he uses,
for they are often deliberately fabricated or distorted.
If Muslims really desired to conquer the world, don’t you think it’s strange
that we’ve been living in peace with them for nearly a millennium and a
half, except for those times when we attacked them (the Crusades, the
European colonial movement and our invasion of Iraq)? Don’t forget either
that some of the countries the Bush administration calls allies are
themselves Muslim – Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, etc.
You have nothing to fear from Islam. The al-Qaida movement is a tiny
percentage of Muslims and wouldn’t be the force it is except for the fact
that the Bush administration has gone out of its way to make all of Osama
bin Laden’s propaganda become true.
May 5, 2007