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The Islam before and after of the terrorist's acts of September 11
“ The Islam before and after of the terrorist's acts of September 11”
In this paper we are going to write about the conception of the Islam nowadays comparing these point of view with the Edward Said lectures, taking into consideration the terrorist's acts that have been happening since September 11 against USA.
Our hypothesis is that in our society exist an Islam's stereotype, and this stereotype categorize the Islam as something bad or as Anti-Americanism, and this conception has enforced since the terrorist's acts that take place the September 11 in USA.
Islam, one of the three major world religions, along with Judaism and Christianity, that profess monotheism, or the belief in a single God. In the Arabic language, the word Islam means “surrender” or “submission”—submission to the will of God. A follower of Islam is called a Muslim, which in Arabic means “one who surrenders to God.” The Arabic name for God, Allah, refers to the same God worshiped by Jews and Christians. Islam's central teaching is that there is only one all-powerful, all-knowing God, and this God created the universe. This rigorous monotheism, as well as the Islamic teaching that all Muslims are equal before God, provides the basis for a collective sense of loyalty to God that transcends class, race, nationality, and even differences in religious practice. Thus, all Muslims belong to one community, the umma, irrespective of their ethnic or national background.
The Islam before and after of the terrorist's acts of September 11
Since he last terrorist acts that happened in USA, all the eyes have turned to the Muslims, it is because of all the context in which we are living. As we can remember in the last years USA has had many problems with the Muslims, so when this acts occurred as Said says the media has an Intense focus on Muslims characterized by ... exaggerated stereotyping and belligerent hostility. xi . This statement was enforced whit the images that the media presented when the Muslims were celebrating for what happened to the Americans. Is important to say that the stereotype of the Muslims make us thing about the Islam's role in hijackings and terrorism… speculations about the latest conspiracy to blow up buildings, sabotage commercial airlines. xi
As we can see this war in its firs part ,was an ideological war, it is because the slam is a very strong religion and the Muslims do anything for their god, since the are children they are educated to obey their religion; that's why the media say that the Islam is a menace. xx . The religion of Islam is our only enemy. xxviii
Statesment dramatized by the media. xvi The media used the images to create an ideology about the terrorism, the public media has been filled with negative images of Islam. xxvi, so is important to say that the media never said that the Muslims or Osama Bin Landen was beyond all this, but they presented all the cases in which Osama was involved in the last years, and in the other hand the history about the twin towers. So with this the Islam ends up becoming a form of attack. xv. So we can say that it was a Clear victory of ideology over facts. xliv. In the first speech of Bush after the attack, he said a fragment from he bible, so we can see that in both sides they use the ideology to achieve success, so the religion is an ideological weapon.
It happens because all the images and the information that we have access to , is from the CNN, or another American channel, so is important to have the eastern point of view. Having access only to the Western point of view the Islam equals everything we must fight against. xix
Obviously our mass media are being impartial, it is really clear that they still presenting us a lot of images in which we see how the terrorist's acts affected to the Americans and in the other hand, when USA iniciated to bomb Afghanistan the media just gave us an image in green screen taken y a satellite, and the said that this attacks didn't affect to civil people but we ca not be sure of that. So as we can say our media is in the side of Western. So what one reads and sees in the media about Islam represents aggression as coming from Islam because that is what Islam is. xxii The media helped to have this idea of the Islam, because as we have say the images of USA and Afghanistan made us forget about the principal questions Who did it? And What was the purpose? So Media have been, from their inception, an institution deeply vulnerable to money and to power. Therefore, media's weaknesses are to be balanced by the maturity and strength of the more stable institutions of civil society: the trade unions, the universities, the churches, the political parties, and so on. (Ahmad).
Ahmad says: The media have always been a very easy instrument for powerful forces to manipulate because they are a very shallow instrument, very easily manipulated.
Before all the terrorist's acts we had the idea that the Arab and Muslim represented the resistance to United States dominance. xxxv, that's why we knew that they were against the Americans and when the press said that the Muslims could be the responsible of the terrorist's acts we were able to believe all these statements. Stripped of any existential or historical context, these views of Islam as a violent and irrational religion that compels people to commit aggression against Israel in effect vitiate anything like the reporting of what takes place on the ground and deny it from inhabiting a more humane and more understandable context. Xvii Is important to say that USA at this moment has three characteristics very important: the economical devaluation, the high number of immigrants and in the international context is one of the most important countries in the world. USA has been implicated in political affairs of another countries, for example Clinton in the Israel-Palestine's conflict.
So we can say as Said say that the Islam as is used today seems to mean one simple thing but in fact is part fiction, part ideological label, part minimal designation of a religion called Islam. When we listen about Islam in any media, our fist thought is the anti Americanism, the terrorisms that can damage us, that has damage the most important country in the world, we don't thing that it's a religion that is followed by some countries as Afghanistan in the Eastern. But what happen with all the innocent people that live in that countries and that they don't have another option. Be an Muslim is more than a religion, is a way of life.
No less fearsome are the guerrillas, commonly referred to in the American media as terrorists. xiii We are afraid of the guerrillas because they are more powerful than the army because they can hide more easily and even they cant be found so easily because they don't have a military base or something like that. The very word "terrorism" increasingly mendacious as well as racist. Of course - despite the slavish use of the phrase "war on terrorism" on the BBC and CNN (Fisk)
Reporters take hold of cliché. And based on it they give us the information and the images, as Jean Brudillard said: the mass media don't need information, the want signs and images, the people don't have a personality….. so we adopt a personality and an ideology that the media give to us. All the messages have a dominate meaning that try to legitimize, transmit worth's, culture and believes. So it lead us to enforce the idea that the Islam has always represented a particular menace to the West. As Ahmad says: when they think of fundamentalism, they always think of Islam and Muslims and not of other very menacing fundamentalist movements.
But is important to listen to the innocent people as Fisk Say :These people are terrified of our "war on terror'', victims as innocent as those who were slaughtered in the World Trade Center on 11 September. So where do we stop? Now as Fisk argument : is an important question because, once the winter storms breeze down the mountain gorges of Afghanistan, a tragedy is likely to commence, one which no spin doctor or propaganda expert will be able to divert. We'll say that the thousands about to die or who are dying of starvation and cold are victims of the Taliban's intransigence or the Taliban's support for "terrorism" or the Taliban's propensity to steal humanitarian supplies.
We can see that the idea of Islam as the Anti-Americanism has been enforced since the terrorist's acts that took place the last September 11, this was possible thanks to the mass media that talked about the Islam as a bad thing, as a ideological problem that we have to fight against to. And in the other hand the idea of the USA as the country that needs to get back, in order to stop all this kind of attacks.
So our point of view, is that it is the most important war in this century, because it is an ideological warn and this is more dangerous than a normal war. The Muslims are people that are under an ideological indoctrination, so they don't see and don't know anything else but what their religion says. And in the other hand all the world had the idea that the USA were one of the most secure olaces in the world, but this idea has fade away and know is time to demonstrate that the good is over what they thing that is the evil, so they have to fight against the Islam.
Many of the accepted Islamic religious and cultural traditions were established between the 7th and 10th centuries, during the classical period of Islamic history. However, Islamic culture continued to develop as Islam spread into new regions and mixed with diverse cultures. The 19th-century occupation of most Muslim lands by European colonial powers was a main turning point in Muslim history. The traditional Islamic systems of governance, social organization, and education were undermined by the colonial regimes. Nation-states with independent governments divided the Muslim community along new ethnic and political lines.
Today about 1 billion Muslims are spread over 40 predominantly Muslim countries and 5 continents, and their numbers are growing at a rate unmatched by that of any other religion in the world.
Despite the political and ethnic diversity of Muslim countries, a core set of beliefs continues to provide the basis for a shared identity and affinity among Muslims. Yet the radically different political, economic, and cultural conditions under which contemporary Muslims live make it difficult to identify what constitutes standard Islamic practice in the modern world. Many contemporary Muslims draw on the historical legacy of Islam as they confront the challenges of modern life. Islam is a significant, growing, and dynamic presence in the world. Its modern expressions are as diverse as the world in which Muslims live.
Said Edward, “ The pen and the Sword” Conservations with David Barsamian. Common courage press.
Said Edward, “Covering Islam” How the media and the experts determine how we can seee the rest of the world. Vintage.
Braudillard Jean, “Pantalla Total”, Serie de Argumentos.
Fisk Robert, www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm. Blame someone else.
Eqbal Ahmad, www.zmag.org/ZNET.htm. India, Pakistan, Bosnia, etc. Interviewed by David Barsamian. August 4, 1993