Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Don’t take the media images for gospel regarding Islam

By
February 1, 2011 |

EDITOR:

In my letter published in the Mountain Democrat dated Dec. 22, 2010, I tried to clarify my beliefs regarding Islam and Arabs in the United States. The letter attracted a good deal of attention. Some of it positive and enthusiastic, some of it uncomprehending. But most of it (as was to be expected), very hostile.

It has never been more evident than in our time, with the mobilization of fear, hatred, disgust and resurgent self-pride and arrogance, much of it having to do with Islam and the Arabs on one side. “We” westerners on the other.

Nevertheless, it is still a source of amazement to me that my letter continues to be discussed among people. Thanks to the effort of the Democrat for publishing my viewpoint. In any case, it gives me great pleasure to note as a writer who had never dreamed of any happy fate for his work that interest in what I tried to do in my letter hasn’t completely died down.

I wish I could say, however, that general understanding of the Middle East, the Arabs and Islam in the United States has improved somewhat, but alas, it really hasn’t.

Today bookstores in America are filled with books bearing screaming headlines about Islam and terror. Islam exposed the Arab threat and the Muslim menace, all of them written by political polemicists pretending to knowledge imparted to the heart of these strange Muslims over there who have been such a terrible thorn in our flesh. Accompanying such warmongering expertise have been the omnipresent CNNs and FOX News channels of this world, plus myriad numbers of evangelical and right-wing radio hosts, plus innumerable tabloids and even middlebrow journals, all of them recycling the same unverifiable fictions and vast generalizations so as to stir up America against the foreign devil.

Worse yet, education is threatened by nationalist and religious orthodoxies often disseminated by the mass media as they focus on the distant wars that give viewers the sense of surgical precision but that, in fact, obscure the terrible suffering and destruction produced by modern “clean” warfare in the demonization of an unknown enemy, for who the label “terrorists” serves the general purpose of keeping the public stirred up and angry. Media images command too much attention and can be exploited at times of crisis and insecurity of the kind that the past 9/11 period has produced.

Speaking both as an American and as an Arab I must ask my readers not to simplify their view of the world that a handful of Pentagon civilian elites have formulated for U.S. policy in the entire Arabic and Islamic worlds, a view in which terror, preemptive war, and unilateral regime change, backed by the most bloated military budget, prevail.

These are the main ideas debated endlessly by a media that assigns itself the role of producing so-called “experts” who validate the government line.
RICHARD MISHAL
El Dorado County Jail

Comments

comments

Letters to the Editor

.

News

County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

 
General Plan workshop today

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

Two growth control initiatives get green light

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

 
Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

Fatal accident in Camino

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

By Ross Branch | From Page: A3

 
35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Bee-ing silly

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Letters

Want more water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Refugee crisis

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Letter to Speaker of the House

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD misinformation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

At the crossroads

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Schedule: July 28 – Aug. 2, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Roundup: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Camp experience is ‘priceless’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Speedway races cancelled

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

El Dorado doubles up on Pro Players

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

 
Under the Scoreboard: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Local spiker shines

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
Sports Scene: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

A beautiful day at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

By Cathy Barsotti | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

Bipolar Insights: From point A to point B

By Marcia Rose | From Page: B2

 
Cool time at Cowboys and Cornbread

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
As we were: Recreation district grows

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Cantare names new director

By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B10

 
After 5 Club to meet

By Senior Day | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

DUI Log: June 25-July 9

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 14-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Divorces

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
.

Obituaries

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Monday, July 28, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8