Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pretty sure the Koran doesn' say...

...That you should violently kill everybody who says something about the Prophet you don't like hearing.

Okay, if you don't know what I'm referring to; it's nice to see you crawled from under your rock. Let me give you a little rundown. Recently some people from the US made this really low quality movie about the prophet Mohamed. Portraying him as a killer, rapist, child mollester and every other kind of villain you can think of. I have to admit, I haven't seen the movie myself, but on the news they showed some clips. And boy, is this one badly made movie. It was published on YouTube.
There's been a lot of commotion about the movie, nobody knew who made it, no motive for as why it was made. And I am wondering why these actors would actually want to be in such an extremely badly produced piece of (f)art.
There were all kinds of rumors ranging from the conspirational "Muslim extremists made it to evoke violent actions in the US" to "Some kids wanted to make some prank and get as many hits on YouTube to make a lot of ad-words money". As it seems to turn out, some nutcase who was denied any internet activity in the past made the movie and his motives are still unclear, as far as I know.
Needles to say that all over the world there were violent uprisings of Muslims, roaming the streets killing everybody who even remotely looked American. Or so CNN and the likes would like you to believe.

Okay, first of all I am completely convinced that there has been a significant amount of Muslims who felt offended by the way their religious icon was portrayed. Pretty much the same way Christians were offended by the Hollywood blockbuster "The Last Temptation of Christ" and recently there is a controversy about Paul Verhoeven's initiative to turn his biography on Jesus Christ into a biopic. I think you agree with me that it makes perfect sense that people find it offending when their religion and religious icons are ridiculed.
There's always freedom of speach and freedom of press as well. And when you're opinion is that some icon is a whack-job, you have the freedom to express this opinion. When you state something as a fact, you should be able to substantiate this as well, IMHO.

Where was I going? Oh yes, Muslims killing all Americans because an American made a movie about the prophet Mohamed being a villain. First thing that springs to mind is what about Americans that are Muslim? You see, there is a very distinct group of Muslims that you can depict as Muslim by just looking at them. And this group was not on display in the clips on the news about people violently attacking US embassies all over the world. There were also no interviews with members of these mobs to ask them if they were devoted Muslims. So no way in telling these violent people were Muslim at all. Thank you international press to check your facts.

Ah, you see, I'm in Cairo and on TV there were riots in front of American buildings and I live close to a large compound with only Americans I have let to believe. So of course I was fearing for my life. I could be violently killed any moment. To prevent this, I started speaking English with a thick Dutch accent. Pro-actively taking away any idea that I am American. My survival instinct kicked in and I started mimicking the way Egyptians walk and behave in the streets. Say 'jani' every other word,
gesturing with my hands all the time and act like a jerk while in a car and extremely friendly and considered while not in a car. Then I realized, Cairo is a city of 20 million population, on the news there where maybe 200 riotters. Take any Dutch footbal (soccer) match and you'll have about
10,000 fans out of which 500 will start riotting and attacking the fans of the other team when one of them says something bad about the opposing team's star player. Just to put stuff in perspective. And these people are clearly football fans as they are wearing team colors.

But just to be sure, I went onto the streets wearing orange clothes, the Dutch flag as a cape and using my Dutch accent big time when speaking and I asked my Muslim friends whether or not they were going on a killing spree in the night when they were not praying or smoking shisha because that is
what Muslims do when you offend the Prophet because it's what the Koran says you have to do as a devoted Muslim. Guess what, it's not in the Koran. Yup, I was as surprised as you are right now. So I asked these same friends of mine, with less of a Dutch accept, dropping my cape, why these mobs were on the streets of Cairo killing every Westerner crossing their paths. Their answer; these are most likely ignorant under privileged men and women that are considering the West as the reason for their misery and now have a reason to express their grudge. They have no clue as to who to address in the first place but now they can with the excuse of that YouTube movie go on a violent parade through Cairo.
Huh? You didn't mention Muslim or Islam at all? I asked. Nope, that most likely has nothing to do with it. Maybe they're all Muslim, but about 85% of the Egyptians is Muslim.
Aha, just like football hooligans are mainly Christians, their violent acts during the matches have nothing to do with all the cursing that comes with the match. Interesting.

You see, the point is that it's so easy to just generalize and the media help us in this. Not all Americans are Islamofobes or think that Mohamed is a villain, I would dare to say that the majority doesn't and is quite the opposite. Not all Muslims are violent rioters that go and kill everybody as soon as you say something bad about their religious icons. Actually again I would dare to say that the majority is quite the opposite.
And because somebody belongs to a specific group, their actions are defined by this group. Typically most people belong to different groups, demographics. In many cases media are not taking their responsibility to inform the public correctly, they're always biased and violence, just like sex, sells. A public that is in fear wants to stay informed and the media will have a larger public. The biggest downside to this is that we, as the public, are not enticed to learn and understand more about 'the others', instead we fear them, want to stay away from them. Want to make them stay away from us. And in a day and age where information has no boundaries anymore and is there in abundance, it is even more important that we want to learn and understand more about each other, only then we can live side by side in relative harmony. After all we are all humans, predators and killers by nature. We only started collecting later in time.

I hope you agree with me that we should try to love one another, it is so easy to hate each other. Let's challenge ourselves, shall we.


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