Video generates fear, hate, not information about Islam
I received my copy of the 'Obsession' DVD with the Sunday Oregonian and decided to watch it last night. There are many inaccurate statements in the video, sandwiched between a lot of exaggerations and sprinkled with some facts. For one, we know that radical groups within Islam, such as Wahabi's (Osama bin Laden belongs to this group) consider Shiia's branch of Islam as infidels, and as such are worth extermination, just like all other infidels in the West.
Let me not get into the particulars of every clip or interview in the video, and let's focus on the general, and very familiar, message of hate and fear.
Just as the Muslim extremist groups teach hate to their kids through messages, texts, and yes videos of Americans killing Muslim children in Iraq and Afghanistan, this video is trying to spread hate as well. It attempts, however, to distinguish between radical Islam and moderates, but who's going to pay attention to this 'subtle' distinction. Not the American who's already suffered during 9/11, nor the one that is getting his/her facts mostly from TV nor the boys that attacked the mosque in Ohio yesterday. This incident is a proof that messages of hate do entice common individuals to act against not only radical muslims, but against all Muslims, and yes, sometimes against Hindus who are dressed like Muslims, and even Christians and Jews who come from the Middle East who look like they might be Muslims.
The video is trying to encourage the viewer to act by inserting messages of fear. 'The terrorists are coming with their suicide bombers and weapons to take over the western civilization' is the kind of message you hear repeatedly.
The video also draws similarities between radical Islam and Nazi Germany. The fear is that if we don't do something, then they will come and destroy us.
If you stop and think about it, Hitler used the same strategy of fear from the Jews to justify exterminating them.
Fear has been the single most powerful tool that all tyrants throughout history have used to attack another nation or people. We all know how much of our civil liberties we have lost in this country by using the fear factor of terrorists and Alqaida. Terrorists will not fight us with traditional weapons and armies. They know they will lose! They will fight us by spreading messages of hate and fear to brainwash the masses and have them rise against anything and everything American. However, their first victim in this strategy is their own people, not America. It's their people that will pay for being killed, or lose all aspects of a descent, productive life.
Do we really want to fight the terrorist then with this same weapon? Hatred and fear?
This video is not educational. It is well scripted, directed to show you an enemy to fear and one that deserves to be hated.
Finally, several questions come to mind that make one stop and think.
This video was completed in 2005/2006. Why send it to 28 million people now? Is there something about the timing? Who's behind paying and distributing this video? And, what are they trying to accomplish by spending so much money?
Alan Bazzaz is a resident of Lake Oswego.