Friday, September 14, 2012

Islam in the News

This morning, my wife asked why a Florida crackpot pastor with a tiny congregation and a California (convicted felon) movie maker get worldwide attention. Why would anyone pay attention to such nonsense? That's the relevant question, and interestingly, the only major news source asking that question is Al Jazeera.

Is the reaction to anti-Islam film justified? - Al Jazeera 

At issue, the media's sensationalizing drivel from spectacularly inconsequential origins. These two have nothing significant to say to the world. There are millions with more relevant and beneficial contributions who are ignored by the media, perhaps because they lack the sensational splash that helps the stations ratings.

The movie trailer went viral after it was splashed across the middle-east by the news media. It wasn't news, just sensational trash, but it was given center stage as though it was the American stance on Islam. Shallow-thinking viewers believed the media and people died.

The Florida pastor, Terry Jones, has a dwindling congregation of about 50, the church has no mission statement, and Jones has an 'honorary doctorate' from an unaccredited school in California. Jones admits he doesn't know any Muslims, doesn't know the origin of Sharia law, and has never participated in any inter-faith discussions.

He has no knowledge of that against which he protests, he's never allowed his own position to be objectively examined, he has neither credentials nor peer reviewed work to support his philosophy or his actions. And the news media makes him world-known. Nonsense. (And as a friend pointed out today, this 'Christian' pastor seems to have abandoned Christian practices such as 'do unto others...'.)

Note to self; the major media outlets seem to be less than reliable information sources.  None of the major outlets seem to offer reliable investigative journalism. Often it seems that their content leans more toward eye-catching splash.

True? Are any of these media sources objective, unbiased, and legitimate journalism? Most are not most of the time, it seems, and perhaps none are all of the time.

While the originators of the slanderous and inflammatory film are fully culpable in the subsequent violence, the greater guilt rests with the news media that sensationalized and misrepresented the film as representative of U.S. attitudes.

Not all Muslims are so foolish. 

Fortunately.  In many places, citizens have been quick to condemn the violent behavior of the fanatical few.  Libya and Egypt today, both have seen spontaneous crowds of the peaceful protestors.

We have a couple of friends in the middle of all this violence and upheaval.  This, they say, this is not Islam, and this is not the heart of the people. 
Al Jazeera goes on to warn that the religious oppression, hatred and violence is "a toxic brew that inevitably begets more of the same"