Western Propagandists versus Mideastern Truthfulness
J’Accuse (I Accuse) Part IV
By Jacob Thomas
Readers of this website (www.6thcolumnagainstjihad.com) know of my daily readings in the Arab Press to learn about their portrayal of the West, and especially of America. I am naturally attracted to those articles that evidence a sense of objectivity that transcends the usual anti-Western bias that afflicts most of the Arab media. So, here again, and to my great delight, I noticed in the 21 September issue of Al-Sharq al-Awsat, an article with this intriguing title, “Are Three Hundred Terrorists a Small Number?” by Abdel-Rahman Al-Rashed.
After reading the article, I began to think: how I wish that those Western leftist ideologues would read this article! It may cure them of the virus that has contaminated their thoughts vis-à-vis their countries and societies. They would discover the errors of Edward Said’s book, “Orientalism” that blames the West for the ills of the Muslim lands.
Too bad, that many of them are either unwilling or unable to consult the writings of those honest and objective Mideastern writers who have taken a clear stand against jihadism.
Unfortunately, one day after “Are Three Hundred Terrorists a Small Number?” appeared, I noticed an article in FrontPageMagazine.com by Joshua Prober, with this title, Ways of Propagandizing. It referred to the use in some colleges of a composition textbook, “Ways of Reading,” that had appeared in 1987, and which was actually nothing but a propaganda tool. Mr. Proper wrote:
“As Thomas Kerr, an assistant professor of writing at Ithaca College” put it, this textbook was not “only of reading but also of proselytizing and subverting the mind-numbing, consumer/capitalist/fascist/sexist/rascist/classist ideologies that surround us in the form of American mythologies and mass culture.”
“One of the ways that the two editors of “Ways of Reading” … of the University of Pittsburgh achieve this is by promoting Edward Said’s ideology, attacking his critics, and presenting a warped version of Middle East history.”
Enough of such trash that comes out of the writings of Western Propagandists parading as educators! Let me now share with you this honest op-ed article about the real criminals that feed the minds of the jihadists. They are just as responsible for the crimes committed by their disciples. The writer began by asking, “Are Three Hundred Terrorists a Small Number?” He then gave this answer:
“The problem with statistics is that they don’t always tell the truth. Take for example the number of Saudi terrorists active within Iraq. Some have opined that a mere 300 Saudi combatants in Iraq is relatively small when compared with certain previous estimates. It had been claimed earlier that there were around 16,000 Arab and Iraqi fighters in Mesopotamia ready to fight the “Kuffar,” (Infidels.) A mathematical comparison may seem to be a simple matter. However, in political calculations even 100 fighters is a big army capable of destroying an entire society. We must remember that those who have ben recruited by Al-Qaida have only one desire, that is, death! They are engaged in guerilla warfare and not in a conventional war. They find shelter in civilian areas among women and children, and hide their weapons in mosques; their clothes do not differentiate them from other innocent civilians.”
I don’t recall reading such words in many of the dispatches that appear in the mainline newspapers or hearing similar reports on the major TV networks, or PBS, or NPR stations! So much of what goes on under the banner of reporting is nothing but propaganda emanating from anti-Western, leftist worldview. Let’s go back to the Arab columnist:
“Actually, three hundred (Saudi) fighters are rather a large number, not to mention those recruits who failed to make it into Iraq, or many others who were killed in their confrontations with the multinational and Iraqi forces. In order to deal properly with the numbers of the mujahideen, the question should be rephrased: how were so many young men recruited from Saudia, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, as well as from the other Arab countries? They are very busy killing people and destroying the infrastructure of Iraq. This is the real question that must be asked.”
“After all, those who have recruited these young men and transported them to Iraq will also be able to launch them against their own societies. Thus, what must be feared are not only the mujahideen who remain as a real problem both today and tomorrow, but equally those ideologues who have trained them, both mentally and militarily. In our confrontation with Irhab (terrorism), we tend to pursue only the terrorists themselves and bring them to justice; since they are the ones who took up arms and committed capital crimes. However, the masterminds of Irhab, who stand behind the acts of terrorists, are left to live in peace. It is rather strange that in the current definition of this phenomenon, only those who are the perpetrators of terrorism are considered guilty and deserving of punishment.”
Mr. Al-Rashed proceeds to the heart of the problem, and excoriates the Du’aat, i.e. the Preachers or Propagandists of Irhab:
“It is very important to take note that many of the Du’aat of terrorism regard anyone with a different ideology as a Kafir or Infidel. Such preachers use religious terminology in their recruitment of young people, thus inflaming them with the glory of Jihad “in the Path of Allah.” Thus, these young jihadists embark on bombing mosques, schools, civilian, and military institutions. Why should we deal only with those who commit atrocities and not equally with those who had called for such acts? How are we to approach the jihadists who have been convinced by their teachers, that those Others [reference here is to the U.S. and British forces in Iraq] are invaders and Kuffar (plural of Kafir) and must therefore be fought? How can we convince them not to engage in their attacks, when they believe that in performing them, they gain entrance to Paradise? Can we blame them without first dealing with those who had indoctrinated them to commit their crimes?”
“To deal with this phenomenon in a proper manner, we must realize that the mujahid is not a lonely soldier, but behind him and backing him stands a group of ideologues, promoters, financiers, and lawyers. They are the ones who must be held responsible for the actions of the mujahideen. An indication of the seriousness of Irhab that is afflicting Iraq, is that its leadership has succeeded in recruiting young men from various Arab countries after subjecting them to a brainwashing on a massive scale. This is continuing to this very day. Should these leaders of Irhab succeed in using Iraq as a base for assembling their recruits, they would use the Jihadis as a weapon against their own societies under the banner of fighting the Kuffar, just as they had done that in Afghanistan, Kashmir, and Chechnya, for the last twenty years.”
By the way, the intensity of these words is rather attenuated by their translation into English. It is as if I had reduced their “voltage” from 220 to 110 volts! Read back in their original Arabic, they are powerful denunciations of a plague that it is totally of local origin. This is a fact that is being ignored by Western Propagandists who have swallowed the Saidian theory of the supposedly warped and distorted views of Islam and the Middle East that had been propounded by our Orientalists. I cannot help here, having spelled the name of the father of this anti-Orientalist school in the usual way, to differ radically from its transliteration, since it does not even approximate the way his name is pronounced in Arabic. Properly done, the name should be spelled, “Sa’eed” and not “Said.”
To go back to the article in Al-Sharq al-Awsat, I would like to add a further note. This website daily gives its readers the opportunity to respond. Of the six responses to this article, not one disagreed with the main thesis of the writer. Most of them sounded enthusiastic in their evaluation of the timeliness of the piece. “The article was more than excellent, greetings to my brother who manifests his awareness of the troubles within his nation,” wrote an Arab resident of Canada. Another resident of the US wrote to express his thanks, and predicted that the radicals will lose in the end. The very day that the article appeared, a reader in Saudi Arabia sent a lengthy letter of admiration, pointing at the same time to the Arab media that are failing to deal with this vexing problem.
Another correspondent, this time from Egypt, wrote to show his disappointment that the Arab nations seem to be lagging in their efforts to deal with the tragedy that is unfolding in Iraq.
While I see some rays of hope coming sometimes from within the Arab media, I mourn the fact that the true nature of the malaise that plagues the entire Muslim world is, quite often, not being actually explained by our mainline media, nor objectively taught in many of our colleges and universities. What a pity!