Sunday, November 8, 2009

America's muderous double standards

There are some people who believe that things happen for a reason, and that everything has meaning. Such people reject the idea that things happen by mere coincidence, or that events and happenings have no relevance in respect to life’s big picture. Whether meaning is derived from the immediate emotional impact, or the symbolism conveyed through the details of such events, many people believe that everything has meaning and that understanding the meaning is where we draw benefit from even the most tragic circumstances.

When several young men attacked an American high school in Columbine Colorado years ago, killing many of their own class mates in a brutal massacre, the media acted in a way that at least appeared responsible. It distracted us from our natural desire to know more about the killers, and to hate them. The media did not dwell upon their religious beliefs or their cultural roots. In respect to the Columbine killings, the media kept our attention focused on the horror of the event, and how bullying and persecution of people can lead to tragic outcomes, like what happened at Columbine.

Very little main street media attention was given to the fact that the Columbine killers had trained, like young men on a mission, seeking proficiency in how to kill human beings with different types of weapons. They even recorded their preparation, and rehearsals as if they wanted to leave a how to book for other tormented souls supposedly seeking revenge against classroom bullies, while spitting into the face of society by killing our children in a coldly calculated, yet gruesome way, then committing suicide, denying society its right to choose to either take revenge or to forgive. The killers judged themselves and executed themselves, leaving the country to wonder who the real victims were, and then to conclude that we were all victims of a tragic set of events that seemingly began with hurt feelings and humiliation based upon a high school social hierarchy that is welcoming only to certain people, and extremely cruel to others.

It was not until several reporters published interviews they conducted with witnesses and parents of surviving victims, that we learned that the there was perhaps more to the Columbine story than what met the eye. As it turned out, the killers did indeed seem to have an ideology and a purpose. As more was learned about the killers, it also seemed that the meaning went far beyond how hatred, powerlessness and resentment can boil over into violent rage. As time passed we learned that the meaning of Columbine perhaps reached back into the religious culture of the killers, a religious culture whose primary feature is the mythical “chosen” status of its adherents, and the supposed gross inferiority, in fact inhumanness of all others.

The victim’s parents, survivors and witnesses told a different story of Columbine than the media. They told a story of heavily armed young men who stalked the halls of the school like mercenaries, questioning victims about their religious beliefs before killing them. One of the survivors said one of the Columbine killers walked up to her and asked “Do you believe in Jesus?” and when she answered “yes,” he shot her. Others said they also heard victims being asked before they were killed, if they believed in Jesus.

From the media we learned that the perpetrators were troubled youths who were victims of bulling and persecution. The media explained to us that these were young people who had perhaps been forced to the fringes of society because of the way they dressed, their choice of music or poor social skills. Listening to the media, it was obvious that its controllers wanted us to feel that in some way, we were as guilty as the perpetrators because we had not as a society acted to end bullying and to address the hazing that is all too common as rights of initiation among our young people, and especially in our high schools. It is also clear that the media did not want us to know that the Columbine murderers were Jewish teenagers who killed non Jews because they believed in Jesus.

Several days ago, an army officer and soldier of the Muslim faith was blamed with carrying out a massacre on a Texas military base. It was a massacre that left 13 American soldiers dead, and 30 injured, some with life threatening injuries. In stark contrast to how the media treated the Columbine story, this event was immediately given a meaning. The media wanted us to know that the alleged perpetrator is Palestinian, that he is Arab and that he is supposedly a devout Muslim. This information was the first and only information that was revealed about the accused shooter, aside from the fact that he was a psychiatrist, and that he was scheduled to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Immediately following the initial reporting of the incident itself, we were told that the perpetrator was killed and that two other suspects had been detained for questioning. After the FBI arrived, we learned that in fact the alleged perpetrator is still alive, after hours of being mistakenly dead, and that he is Arab, and Muslim. We also learned that the other suspects had been questioned and released, prior to an investigation. Was the real shooter killed, and an Arab and Muslim scapegoat, or rather sacrificial lamb, put in his place?

For hours following the supposed death and later the hospitalization of the alleged Fort Hood perpetrator, the media was saturated with anti-Muslim and anti-Islamic innuendo that while careful not to be too obvious, made it very clear that the media wants us to understand that the meaning of the event is that Islam is a violent ideology that leads its adherents over the top to the commission of violent acts against non Muslims, which is a lie. The tragic incident was also used to make the point that President Obama must send more troops into Afghanistan, that the Patriot Act is still necessary, that it is right for the FBI to send informants to poison the spiritual environment in the mosques, and to entrap young Muslim men into suspected FBI schemes aimed at creating and sustaining fear of Muslims and Islam, and that it was right to kill Imam Luqman. These were all issues our country was deliberating the week that the tragedy at Fort Hood took place, while a UN resolution to send the Goldstone Report to the UN Security Council, charging Israel with war crimes and possible crimes against humanity in Gaza, was also being debated and subsequently passed.

Later, on the day of the tragedy at Fort Hood, as a footnote to the bigger story, we were allowed to know that Fort Hood’s alleged killer was not dead, and had also been a victim of bullying and persecution, and that he did not fit the description of a terrorist or a person acting out for political reasons. We learned that previous to the killings, he had shown signs of anger about plans to be deployed to Afghanistan.

Moral of the story: If you are Muslim or Arab, there is a segment of the US population that wants you to live in fear and to feel guilty for crimes you had nothing to do with and no prior knowledge of. They want you to hide, and to feel ashamed and to be scared. They want you to surrender your Constitutional rights and to self censor, or fear their wrath. They want you to worship their false gods. They are bullies and persecutors mostly with political and even anti-religion agendas. These are the same people who did not want us to know about the possible real meaning of Columbine.

Columbine explains the double standards that we see increasingly in US society. We are a country whose standards of justice differ depending upon your skin color, your economic standing, who you know, and what you claim to believe, and who your victims are. Just as Columbine was very likely a cold and calculated act of religiously motivated terrorism against Christians and those who believe in Jesus, so too the media perpetrated demonization, and vilification of Muslims and Arabs and the subsequent violence resulting from these media stereotypes, against Muslims in the US and abroad.

1 comment:

ALSHARIF said...

well said. thank you, the truth must shine regarless all th eman made clouds. truth will previal.