Thursday, June 24, 2004

"Religious Exhibitionism" in Saudi Arabia and the Islamist-Media Complex

Amir Taheri writes an interesting article about the "Culture of Hate" that saturates Saudi society. (Thanks to Jon.)

Some facts:
- Riyahd has 4000 mosques
- the Saudi government employes "more muftis, preachers, teachers, enforcers, muezzins and theologians than the oil industry that produces 80 percent of the nation's income"
- Saudi universities graduate "more 'religious scholars' each year than doctors and engineers"
- the Saudi state "has spent an estimated $100 billion on 'Islamic' causes since the mid '70s"

The scale of Saudi support of the Islamist ideology goes far beyond these numbers and dollars. Taheri writes, "The average Saudi citizen is subjected to systematic Islamist brainwashing." How, you ask?

Saudi Arabia, and to a lesser extent Arab/Muslim nations, is dominated by an Islamist-Media Complex that fabricates myths. The Arab media does not exist to report facts in a Western sense. It is a network of fabulists generating stories to nurse Arab grievances for the decline of their culture relative to the rest of the world and to nuture fantasies of revenge, spefically the revenge of Arab Islamism over Western civilization.
"The Arab media, especially the satellite TV channels, presented the Fallujah insurgency as 'one of the greatest battles the Arabs have ever waged against the Crusaders'... The Arab media claimed that the United States had deployed 'all its military might' to conquer Fallujah and had failed. The 'heroes of Fallujah' fought like lions and, supported by non-combatants, including women and children (who died in thousands), succeeded in winning 'a spectacular victory,' thus 'saving Arab honor.'"
Celebration this false triumph is widespread among the fable-producer outside the mass media.

"More than a dozen Arab poets have already committed odes and sonnets to commemorate Fallujah as 'the Arab Stalingrad.' One Syrian composer is working on an opera about 'the heroes of Fallujah,' while a couple of Egyptian hacks are breaking their typewriters to produce scripts for a film and a TV series on this latest of imaginary Arab victories."
(This reminds me of another Egyptian TV series, the noxious "Knight Without a Horse", a series based on the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. These guys have quite a track record.)

Arab media (almost all of them, including those in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, are state-owned) lied about more than "this great Arab victory". More importantly, they lied about the Iraqi casualties.
"The phrase 'the Fallujah butchery' has been hammered into the Arab consciousness to justify an almost pathological hatred of the United States as a power responsible for 'many thousands of civilian deaths'.... The beheading of Paul Johnson, therefore, is presented as an act of revenge for deaths that, in fact, never happened."
Thus Islamism is the most post-modern of ideologies, using the rage at a fiction the jihadist told themselves to justify actual murder. And the Islamist demonstrate a quintessential post-modern trait, a "critique" of the idea of facts or the demand that facts should conform to the political agenda. Even to the point of creating one set of false facts and denying the existence of actual facts. Thus, "The average Arab, including the average Saudi, was never allowed to know what actually happened in Fallujah."

Here what happened in Fallujah according to the UAE Red Crescent:
"The Arab media have wildly exaggerated what happened at Fallujah. The fighting concerned only a few districts [of the town]. There never was any fighting on a big scale. There certainly was no clash involving thousands of the town's inhabitants. The number of those who died did not exceed 270, almost all fighters, not civilians. The resistance (i.e. the insurgency) was made up of former [Iraqi army] officers with a small number of [non-Iraq] Arabs representing Salafist [i.e. radical Islamist] groups."
The Islamist-Media Complex is not just broadcasting propaganda. (Oh naive infidel, if only it was that simple.) It is prepetuating and embellishing the ideology we are fighting against, the ideology that drives jihadists to butcher us. Therefore it is a target in the War Against Jihad.

Again I cry into the internet void: why is Al-Jazeera still allowed to broadcast? Why haven't their satillite dishes been sabotaged and their producers disappeared? Why aren't their reporters intimidated, brided, threatened, or extorted into reporting more favorably about the war? Or just run over by cars? If Iraq is such a dark pit of sadistic violence, it's understandable if Al-Jazeera's crews met untimely fates while over there? (All covertly and with very plausible deniability, of course).

The Islamist-Media Complex is as much our enemy as the masked gunmen in Iraq's streets or the suicide killer driving the truck bomb anywhere. We should treat it as such.

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