The dangers of Islam!

Ha- thought I’d catch your attention with that one- and it caught my attention when I saw it on Fox News.

Some anonymous suited, grey haired “experts” were talking about the dangers of Islam, and how they thought it was appalling that children in America were not being educated about the dangerous aspects of the Muslim faith. “Racism, or just good common sense?” asks the presenter, his intonation making his own view quite clear.

I view Fox News as an extremely dangerous propagandist channel. Owned by Rupert Murdoch it is young, good looking and cool, and outrageously right wing. Hard to believe that they then have the gall to choose “fair and balanced reporting” and “we report, you decide” as their slogans.

I believe that this representation of Islam is extremely dangerous and unfair: Muslim = fundamentalist = terrorist seems to an all too prevalent view. The real danger, I believe is in the creation of myths and a lack of understanding and acceptance of different cultures. Fear is almost always based on ignorance.

I would love to hear Muslims in the forum speak about how their faith has been represented and how they feel most people perceive it. I attend a Christian church, though I see Jesus as a messenger, not as the son of God. I believe that different faiths should coexist happily, without having to bring the other around to our own point of view.

Any thoughts?

Fox News is indeed an extremely right-wing channel. In my mind any channel which gives a voice to everyone’s favourite fascist harridan Ann Coulter has GOT to have something wrong with it.

This representation of Islam is indeed dangerous and unfair. These views have multiplied exponentially after the WTC attacks and the mainstream meida seems to be doing nothing to dispell that view. I have several Muslim friends, and not one believes in the garbage that the fundamentalists are throwing around.

The fundamentalists have been around since the mid 70’s, however, nothing much was reported of them until the late 80’s. Why? Because by then the west knew that Communism was beaten. We needed a new enemy. The Nazi’s and the Communists were gone, and the islamic world became the obvious choice.

Yes, the terrorists are dangerous. Yes, they must be stopped. but the government and media have a vested interest in overplaying the threat. They both need to have some kind of boogeyman to keep us terrified, to keep us more easily controlled, and to sell more papers.

Fox News : We distort, You comply.

Spot on, HVD.


I agree. Why must there always be someone to hate? Why is it that the government of the United States publishes this propaganda about “The Dangers of Islam”? The present state of the economy is one reason. Through the war machine, history has shown us that a country in support of a war betters the economy by presenting jobs and a will to work. World War II is what brought us out of the great depression. A better economy means a better election poll for George Bush. It’s as simple as that. The man who wants to lead this country is corrupting (not solely) it through malicious propaganda and falsicacation of the ideals of the Islamic religion. The issue is not about idealistic Islam, but about those who malpractice the word of Islam for their own personal gain, or for a cause “we” see as being wrong. Islam in it’s ideals is no more dangerous than Christianity in it’s ideals. Corrupted Islam is no more dangerous than corrupted Christianity. Both through the alleged word of God are potentially threatening if placed as the justifacation for hatred.

Gordy…I read the subject of your post and immeadiately entered ready to passionately defend the mis-understood morals and principles of Islam…! How happy it makes me reading the posts in this forum you have no idea, day in day out all I hear is Islam and terror both uttered in the same breath, one implying the other. How real the threat of terrorism is in the UK or US only God knows but the continuing association of Islam with terror is wrong, Islamaphobia is on the increase, it is the moral duty of all that entertain such large audiences, as Fox news does, to ensure that this rubbish about Islam propagating terrorism is firmly crushed. As a young Muslim the frustration this labelling causes is immense…enough to sway any moderate Muslim to the extreme, before the media accuses the likes of Abu Hamza of encouraging extremist actions, they must look at themselves and see what affect they are having on the Muslims around the world today, before it really gets out of hand.

Great post omega.

I entirely agree with The Muslim Representative about Islamophobia. Interesting that the phrase “antisemitic” is well known and used, but no equivalent seems to exist for those who bad-mouth Islam.

My father is somewhat of an expert in Christian-Muslim relations in East Africa; unfortunately the problem is not restricted to the West.

I must admit this concerns me, though I find it entirely understandable. If I were a Muslim myself I have no doubt I would be feeling the same way.

What I would say is- don’t believe the media. You hear all day long about those who oppose the war in Iraq being an isolated minority (at least you do if you watch America tv), and yet the vast majority of the European public are against the war. The media distorts reality to its own ends. I believe the antidote is free open discussion and friendship between people from different cultures.

What a refreshingly enlightened group of people we are on! In recent months I’ve read/watched/listened to no end of alarmist nonsense about the “Dangers of Islam” as highlighted above; mumbling to myself in impotent frustration at this apparent breakdown of tolerance in the liberal West.

Islam is a tolerant faith, its philosophy a peaceful one, its focus on spirituality, faith and prayer. I’ve been brought up practising the faith, and that’s how I - and most Muslims - understand it. Some people choose to understand it differently and use it as an excuse for terrorism, but be assured that these peddlers of deception are as remote from normal Muslims as, say, Hitler was from normal Christians (to use a crude, populist comparison…!).

The big problem, as I see it, is the role of the media. They need to be clearer in their presentation of the facts. They need to give less coverage to cranks like Abu Hamza, and start presenting majority Muslim opinion. On the BBC 1 War on Iraq special tonight, they interviewed a ‘representative’ Muslim family and asked them their views on the war. They didn’t hold back from condemning it, but could barely string together a coherent sentence backing up their views. And this is the view of British Muslims which the armchair viewer will take from this. Give the educated, informed British Muslim population a voice. Interview ME for chrissakes! Only then can we begin to repair the damage which recent events have inflicted on race relations in this country (and no doubt in the USA too where I hear that all Muslims now have to register with the authorities - whatever happened to the land of the free?).

Finally, can I just say that I completely disagree that the current strain in race relations is influencing ‘moderate’ Muslims to become more extreme. If anything, based on my experience, the reverse is true. To be honest the whole ‘moderate’/‘extreme’ labelling exercise really annoys me. The term ‘moderate’ suggests that you practise ‘Diet Islam’, some watered down sham…in my view you either are a Muslim or aren’t. Those who believe in killing innocent people, are not extreme Muslims - they are simply NOT Muslims at all, their belief system lies outside the scope of Islam and this is the message that the press must convey if present tensions are to be overcome.

Surely not :astonished: Do you have any more info on this?

I always considered it ridiculous that you can’t be a communist in the “land of the free”.

(Diversion from thread)

I recommend you have a look at our Pim Fortuyn debate, and maybe resurrect Jawaad’s ‘Liberalism’ debate, both on PolEcon.

(End of diversion)

Gordy, I dont think ALL Muslims have to register with the authorities. However, arrivals from certain listed countries (Iran, Iraq, etc. But strangely, not Saudi arabia) have to register with IND (under the auspices of the HSD) on arrival in the US.

Jawaad…I agree with most of what you’ve written and see most of it as none other than common sense the idea of either being a Muslim or not is wholly accurate, in my post when I discussed the idea of moderate and extreme I was not writing about it in respect to religion I was focusing more on the attitudes that are developing in relation to the environment around us and the nature of these attitudes. What the media is doing is almost like a wholesale criticism of every Muslim and connecting them to every terrorist act in the Western world. Young Muslims, again according to my experience, are now turning and questioning the underlying motives of these rich Western countries who feel the need to bomb poorer countries who happen to be Muslim. This is where the extreme attitudes develop and the chants like ‘Death to America’ and what not, which I whole heartedly condemn, stem from the inner frustration that is building up right now in the minds and souls of young Muslims around the world partly due to this inaccurate and unfair presentation of Islam by the media which directly feeds and fuels the increase in Islamaphobic attitudes, this is where the extreme/moderate attitudes of different Muslims can be discerned. Muslims are now asking the question: Which Muslim state will next be targeted by the US ?! Iran…Pakistan…I await with baited breath.

gotcha bro, I see what you mean when you say moderates have been pushed to more extreme positions in a non-religious sense…I misunderstood what you said before. You’re absolutely right.

But one positive side effect is that people have become more aware of the political system that governs their lives. Evidence of that is the turnout at the march in London today. 2 million people from all walks of life, all cultural backgrounds, young and old alike - would they all have turned up to a political rally 5 years ago? The atmosphere was amazing, the speakers were (mostly) fantastic…and Dynamite killed it with some heartfelt verse at the end! Unexpected, but damn good…even Jesse J. was dancing along when Dynamite played her song! Anyone else go along?

The march today was fantastic, and like you said the atmosphere was amazing ! The unity that it highlighted…Muslim, Christian, Jew, Atheist, Agnostic…Hindu…Buddhist…U NAME IT ! A beautiful slogan I saw being carried around on a placard showed the symbols of the three monotheistic religion all united under one banner…How often do u see that ??? It sends a clear message to Bush and Blair, how they take it, whether they go to war or not waits to be seen, but no one up or down the UK or across Europe, Australia and the US can doubt that the movement against the War on Iraq is very real, its absolutely huge and cannot be silenced by the propoganda the old war machine is churning out. What really made it for me were not the speeches (Which were incredible) but the show of strength and the unity of humanity, not the Muslims not the Christians but of humanity as one against the tide of evil about to sweep over Iraq.

Unforunatly, before the WTC there were people arguing the same kind of points “Islam has been set up as the new enemy”, etc. I even read a whole book that was showing how the US had created this spectre out of nothing. Unfortunatly they were wrong. There is a dangerous side to Islam, and that is the fundamentalist side that has appeared. Now while it may be fine to say, well the Muslims I know can’t see the side of the fundamentalists, it is akin to saying, the Catholics don’t see eye to eye with the Orthodox Greeks.

No, of course they don’t, they are different sects, they interpret the Bible differently. It is just the same with the fundamentalists, it is all a matter of interpretation.

If any of you watched the debate a few days ago, you’ll have see the Jordinian King (I think) respond to Dimbelby’s questions on the new government for a post-war Iraq. When asked a question along the lines of “What government would you want” he responded with a representative government. Asked further about this, it was quickly discovered that what he meant was a government in which only certain people could vote in. I imagine he meant Men, maybe even only Muslim men. He said Democracy disagrees with Islamic principles. Now when you have a such pro-west person saying these kind of things, is it not clear that there is a deep ideological divide between Islam and Western Democracy?

You can easily move from this to the conclusion that there is a threat to open and honest thinking posed by Islam. Certainly until the religion moves out of it’s present state into the (largely irrelevant) later stages that a religion such as Christianity is in now (where the bigoted views of the religion have been quietly rewritten to reflect the world it occupies).

jawaad the media will never interview an informed person who disagrees with what the president is doing because then they might make a logical case and we cant have that! no no no in america, the public has no power and the president is our dictator.

i hate when people call america a democracy. we dont even get to pick our president! and technically we arent a democracy we have a republic, as stated in the constitution.

anyways, back to the media vs. islam. the duty of the media is to instill deep-rooted fear into the american public, and i must say, they do their job better than anyone in our government (who all really just try to do the same thing.)

Three symbols painted on one placard huh.

Did they forget that there is only one god, and it’s damn well not the other peoples?

Matt…first of all the question ur talking about was that which was directed to Prince Turki Al Faisal, member of the Saudi royal family and current ambasodor to the UK, and he responded by avoiding the word democracy by as u correctly said using the word representative however you incorrectly assumed that he was implying that women could not vote and that only men could, Islam and the Western democratic political ideology are a tenuous link, there may well be a difference in political perception, Islamically the best idea would be that of a theocracy based completely upon Islamic rules and not political ones, Islam is a total way of life, politics, religion all included under one banner. In Islam there is only one sort of Muslim, a fundamental one, simple as that, your statement of this fundamentalist movement appearing is nonsensical, Islam is a movement based upon fundamental principles which all Muslims follow and therefore all practising Muslims are fundamentalists. Sept 11 was more to do with the interpretation of the modern day political climate than with Islam, it was in response to the political climate as opposed to in response to some teaching of Islam, again a distinction that has to be made. The state of the religion of Islam has not been watered down and shall not be watered down, society should adapt to religion not the other way round. Your final statement in the most recent post…I’m not sure I quite follow. From an Islamic point of view the one monotheistic God is the same one for all religions, the God of Abraham. My point though is that the march, the placard was for peace, unity among faiths.
Islam is not the enemy, dimwitted politicians are.

I wasn’t sure it was the Jordinian King, I did put I think in brackets, thankyou for correcting me.

Hmmm, well you might know your religion better than I do, but I can bet you that there are some Muslims who interpret the written word differently to others and from that comes disunity, misunderstanding and fundamentalism. Don’t twist the meaning of the word fundamentalist, some Muslim socities require women to stay inside their houses (e.g. Taliban) while Muslims in England wouldn’t. So you’re wrong. There are big differences in interpretation.

And a theocracy is not representative government, it does nothing to represent other points of view and doesn’t allow anyone but clerics to rule. It is an outmoded concept belonging more to the middle ages than to the modern world. I wouldn’t say this out loud if I were a politician, but I’m not, so I can. The whole idea of religion ruling a country is repugnant, it is evil, religion is a tool of supression which can be twisted to justify attacking innocent people. There were plenty of Islamic ‘scholars’ who were coerced by the Taliban/Al’Queada into justifying the attack on the WTC using Islamic texts. And questioning this fundamentalist view results in heresy accusations and probably a stoning to death or something nice like that.

So try saying that my statement is nonsensical again please, but think about it more this time. If you think there’s no difference between a Muslim in some little village in England and the ones that were running around in Afghanistan, then you’re the only person who can’t see it. And it is a distinction between fundamentalist and liberalist (religion wise).

Matt I’m not willing to get into a posting match were you write I’m wrong and I reply that you are and so on and so forth, there are some Muslims who interpret the texts differently, granted, and that may cause disunity and misunderstanding but where does this ‘fundamentalism’ you write about keep popping in. Fundamentalism is a media term, it is a nonsensical term when referred to Islam, ask Jawaad, ask any educated Muslim, a Muslim and a Fundamentalist are ONE AND THE SAME, SIMPLE. People may act in certain situations in different ways, but that has nothing to do with Fundamentalism. If you would like a lesson on Islam just ask, don’t assume and propose.
The nature of a theocratic govt is not to be representative, and what comes through is for the good of the people via the scriptures. Is it a perfect system, no, because at the end of the day you have imperfect human beings implementing it, religion as a distinct and seperate entity is a pure and good thing.
There was a MASSIVE minority of Muslims who thought that Sept 11 was good and justified, again I agree, a huge majority didn’t, but not once did I ever here of a scholar picking up an Islamic text and justifying it using it, could you provide some evidence ?!
‘And questioning this fundamentalist view…’ this is not a fundamentalist view, this is an extreme response to a given situation it has nothing to do with fundamentalism, it is not fundamentalism.
And Matt…if you actually knew anything about Islam and the Muslims in either Afghanistan or a little village in England you might be surprised how similare they actually are.

The real problem is not a difference in beliefs- it is an inability to express differing opinions tactfully, and an overwillingess to condemn despite a limited knowledge of different cultures. You have provided us with an example of this arrogant intolerance only too well, Matt.

I don’t get your one God comment. When Muslims, Christians and Jews refer to God, they are all referring to God- simple as that.

There will always be intolerant people; people who use violence to impose their views on others. Sometimes that violence is physical- other times it is verbal, and disguised in academic language.

I marched in Glasgow this weekend, and like everyone else I have heard from I was very moved by the experience. The political issue behind the march is a whole separate thread, but as Jawaad and TMR have said, it was wonderful to see people from different faiths speaking with a common voice.

Hairy guy is spot on about the media, and democracy.