How the Western media shapes perceptions of Muslims.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by dogbone, Jun 24, 2007.

  1. dogbone macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #1
    I have already tried to discuss this but it got derailed. So I hope the title is clear.

    This is not an I/P thread.

    I am mindful that Muslims in the West complain that they as a whole get lumped in with the nutter terrorists. That because of the media, ordinary Muslims feel they get perceived as supporters of terrorism just because they might wear a burkah or pray at a mosque.

    On the whole I think it's a legitimate complaint. The muslims I know are just like any other Australians I know, including my Iranian landlord who I just converted to mac. (So now he has a dual religion.)

    But when I see that their top religious leaders give sermons in the biggest mosques, that say the most provocative statements that they can legally get away with, and this is reported and it's only ever excused, then I really wonder how these people are able to get such respect from their community. Respect to the point where there is no opposing voice.

    Hilaly (the No1 Mufti in Australia at the time) for example deliberately picked a recent case where some Lebanese Muslims were convicted of a pack rape that fell under the category of the "Worst Case" which is how judges work out sentencing. These people were given jail sentences of 54 years, that's how bad it was, but Hilaly used this as an example of Muslim victimisation, he said the sentence was unfair and in the same "sermon" made his famous accusation that women who stray from the house or are not covered top to toe are like "uncovered meat" "you can't blame a cat for eating meat you leave out".

    I don't believe that Hilaly is a fool. And I don't believe his audience are fools either. People like Hilaly are the 'face of Islam' if you like, here in Australia. What is the average Australian (Muslim or not) supposed to think when he finds out that this is the sort of sermon that a Mosque full of people are listening to.

    Now take that weirdo in Finsbury Park mosque, who I now believe is in Jail, British Muslims were quick to disassociate themselves from him. But this doesn't happen in Australia, the most we usually get is that "he was mistranslated" but this wears a bit thin after the 10th time.

    Now we have the new Top Immam in Australia saying that Hamas do not use terrorism even though Hamas themselves claim every single school bus they blow up. In other words he deliberately gives the sort of impression that is the precise opposite of what he claims is true.

    OK we can all see that this is some sort of game whereby one tries to say one thing while in fact saying the opposite, and there's nothing wrong with that if he wasn't one of the people who represent the face of Islam to the media.

    Why do not the Muslims who attend the mosques put up with people who create such divisiveness.
     
  2. zap2 macrumors 604

    zap2

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    #2
    The same reason Xtians allow people to hijack their religion.
     
  3. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

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    #3
    Good point. In every religion there are different beliefs. for some reason, the negative side gets more attention (or they are the more vocal side) and create stereotypes that are difficult to distinguish.
     
  4. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    #4

    How can they? The evil ones are the ones with the money, and money gets them airtime to preach their propaganda, put up ads, etc. Same with christians. You don't see the sane ones speaking out, because they don't have the resources to go up against the Phelps and the Haggards and the Fallwells who sh*t money and can have TV shows, travel to funerals across the nation to protest and hold huge festivals to preach their hate.

    And, we care about the nutjobs more. Face it, they're more entertaining than the good ones, and even though they preach such disgusting hate, they're more fun to make fun of in the political/religious forum of an Apple rumor site :D
     
  5. Kamera RAWr macrumors 65816

    Kamera RAWr

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    #5
    Hmmm... I just spend about 15 minutes writing a reply and decided to delete it. I don't think I could properly articulate a "short" reply to even only 1 point in the original post, rather complicated subject. :eek:
     
  6. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #6
    I'm not up on loony Christian preachers so can you give me an example where the top or even very near the top Christian church leader in say, the US, says something that is so inflammatory as to border on illegal? You see Hilaly and the now top guy in Australia cannot be compared with maverick TV preachers, Hilaly is a bona fide world wide recognised Mufti of Australia.

    I've done the same many times. I fully understand.
     
  7. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #7
    Just to add to the first post...

    I try to imagine myself as an ordinary Muslim living in Australia, not particularly religious but nevertheless subject to random prejudices when say, looking for accommodation. I understand that other religions do not have this very peculiar position where worldwide terrorism is claimed as motivated by their particular religion. And the other problem is that all the largest most media sensitive terrorism in recent years, Bali, Madrid, London, WTC, are all Islamic based.

    So it's not a level playing field. The Pope says some pretty outrageous things but as there's no terrorism associated most sane people just ignore his ramblings.

    If I were a Christian and homosexual, for example I'd not care about what the Pope said about homosexuality because I wouldn't perceive that it would make any difference. I mean anyone can and does mock the Pope, but mocking Muslim leaders just isn't on for some reason. But if I were a Muslim and wanted to express my religious freedom, I'd feel like the constant stream of lunacy that emanates from the top Mufti in Australia, to be impinging on the quality of my life with regards to how I may be perceived.
     
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #8
    You mean something like, "...Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson's call for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez..."

    I think it's safe to say that the church's views on abortion fuels the prolife/prochoice fires and is the 'cause of clinic bombings and the perpetual harassment and death threats that cause doctors to stop performing the procedure.


    Lethal
     
  9. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    #9
    No, I actually meant what I said. I did exclude looney preachers although not very clearly I admit, I meant someone at the top or near the top of the church hierachy. I'm talking about people who are seen as top dogs in the Religion. Hilaly is/was considered to be a qualified scholar of Islam and the Most senior Muslim Cleric in Australia, not a person analogous to Pat R.

    I agree, but you won't find the pope making excuses for clinic bombers.
     
  10. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #10
    Maybe not, but others do.

    Muslims are to terrorists as Christians are to the KKK and NeoNazis. That's the way I think of it. If others did too, we wouldn't have this issue. But we do. I don't know what to tell you.
     
  11. dogbone thread starter macrumors 68020

    dogbone

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    Of course, but I'm interested in people who have some genuine claim to speak for Muslims. I think Hilaly and the other current top muslim cleric in Australia because these are the people who shape public opinion. If the pope suddenly started to justify clinic bombing then there'd be a bit of a problem.
     
  12. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #12
    But when it comes to Christianity, excluding the Catholics, it is so fractured w/various denominations there really isn't a structured hierarchy like that. The people that own/run the "super churches" and the TV shows are seen as being at/near the top of the food chain because they can reach and influence the most people (Falwell, Swaggart, Robertson, etc.,).


    Lethal
     
  13. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #13
    Jerry Falwell and the Pope are of differing religious sects. Falwell's group does not recognize the Pope as the head of their religion. QED, there is not much higher you can go then Falwell. Like it or not, he is (or was) one of the leading spokespersons for that branch of Christianity.

    Evangelicals (Protestants) != Catholics.
     
  14. Swarmlord macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    There's a big difference between the televangelists and the hierarchy of the established protestant sects like Lutherns, Episcipaleans etc.
     
  15. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

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    #15
    It doesn't even have to be illegal does it? I believe the majority of people see Christianity as something that it isn't simply because certain public faces of Christianity say and do things that don't have a Biblical foundation. This probably happens to many religions and organizations.

    It is hard to put the "proper" face on something, especially since the world is full of individuals who don't all think alike...
     
  16. Queso macrumors G4

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    Muslims in our countries are small minorities. They are afraid to fracture their group unity because it makes the entire minority weaker as a whole. Any criticism of the leadership in our countries goes on behind closed doors, where their image of a united front cannot look broken.

    I wonder too whether our closer association with Christianity means we see the dissent in places we'd miss in Islam. If the perception is reversed, how united does Christianity look to a Muslim? Do they hear Pat Robertson and think he speaks for all, not hearing the criticism of him from your own side?
     
  17. adrianblaine macrumors 65816

    adrianblaine

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    #17
    This is what I was really trying to get at. It is amazing how many cultures and sub-cultures there are. There is no way for anyone to know the "real deal" with all of them.
     

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