April 23, 2004

A CHANGE IS GONNA COME:

Image mirrors reality (Razi Azmi, April 2004, Pakistan Daily Times)

A good object will always sell itself, while a bad product will flop even with the best packaging and the finest advertising. Image is always a reflection of substance, however distorted or imperfect
Muslims of all hues and lands protest their so-called image problem, blaming it not on themselves, but on their detractors and perceived enemies, specifically the much-maligned Western media. It does not occur to them that their negative image could, by and large, be a reflection of reality. They should know from daily experience that a good object will always sell itself, while a bad product will flop even with the best packaging and the finest advertising. Image is always a reflection of substance, however distorted or imperfect. Why blame CNN, BBC, New York Times or Le Monde? One only needs to read a Pakistani newspaper on any given day, or the editorials on March 23 or August 14, to get Pakistani perspectives on the state of the nation. I mention Pakistan because it is one of the few Muslim countries with a relatively free press.

Take the most recent example of the image problem, although I doubt that Muslims would have seen it in this light: armed Iraqis holding daggers and knives to the throats of three abducted Japanese civilians, including a woman who went there to help Baghdad’s homeless children, and threatening to slit their throats amid cries of “Allah-o-Akbar.” It was no figment of the “infidel” West’s imagination, the film having been made by the abductors themselves and proudly passed on by its producers to the Arab Al-Jazeera television to be shown to the world. Ten thousand speeches about peace and tolerance in Islam will not be able to undo the damage done by this odious sight projected worldwide as wished by its Muslim producers. [...]

No, the negative image of Muslims is not the result of malicious Western propaganda against Islam. On the country, all the documentaries concerning Islam and Muslim lands shown on the mainstream western television channels — and there have been many in the last two years — present a very sympathetic picture of Islam as a religion and of Muslims as people. The image Muslims find unflattering reflects the larger reality of the Muslim world, steeped in dictatorship, corruption, ignorance and illiteracy, and characterised by the repression of women, honour killings, child abuse, sectarian and religious violence, persecution of minorities and a general and pervasive denial of basic freedoms and human rights.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 23, 2004 7:31 AM
Comments

When you act like Orcs, don't be surprised when the Men of the West start thinking of you as Orcs.

Posted by: Ken at April 23, 2004 12:40 PM
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