Why People Don’t Care What Muslims Say
Close your eyes. Listen to me. I want you to think about anything, EXCEPT a pink elephant. Go on……………………anything EXCEPT a pink elephant.
Most of you will have thought of a pink elephant. If you tell somebody not to do, or more importantly think of something- that's what they will think about.
Too many Muslims, with an apologetic mindset, go to great lengths to try and convince people that they’re not terrorists. It is due to this defensive stance that many believe we have something to hide. It is also due to something more powerful that has entered their brain that overpowers what we say. Take a look at these statistics.
Where do people get their information about Islam from?
• 66% TV/newspapers
• 8% no source
• 9% Muslim friends
• 6% books
• 11% other
So, the above shows that a vast majority get their information about Islam from TV/newspaper outlets. Add to that the internet and the fact that the worldwide web is difficult to mediate, people can learn and believe anything about anyone or group.
Take this real life example; at work, a woman eventually figured out I was Muslim. Being in an English countryside town in Somerset, I was happy that after a month, she finally clocked on to which belief system I followed, the give away being that I told her I do not eat pork. The tragedy is that her source of information about Islam and Muslims was none other than EastEnders. It is all very well dismissing these shows as “time wasting” and “haram”, but these are the tools being used to feed the minds of the British public information and also misconceptions about Islam and Muslims. Why can’t we Muslims have a dedicated media team to lobby media outlets every time an anti Muslim/anti Islamic sentiment is fed into the mainstream media? Why do we not monitor the very media that seeks to demonise us and make us less than animals? I am not saying every Muslim needs to watch EastEnders, but I am asking that there should be at least a team of Muslims who are on the ball with popular culture and can inform the majority of Muslims if there is a crude depiction of Islam and Muslims.
Many Muslims also do not realise that magazines such as Hello, OK, Now, Closer etc. contain a lot of creeping Islamophobia. There are articles depicting girls who have fled from their 'barbaric' Muslim families, destroyed their origins and have attained freedom by marrying out of religion; girls who apparently 'left' Islam and even Sheikh Raed Salah got a mention in one “ladies magazine.”
Now referring to the title, why don’t people care what Muslims say?
The answer is that there is a more powerful and effective source that has indoctrinated and grabbed people by their forelocks, hence destroying their ability to critically analyse information they are being fed. Combined with the fact that too many Muslims have an apologetic response to everything, it makes Muslims and Islam look pathetic.
Outlets depict Muslims as being violent, barbaric and people you can’t trust to tell the truth. Many Islamophobes of the ilk of Robert Spencer accuse Muslims of doing “taqiyyah” and those such as Michelle Bachmann accuse Muslims of performing “stealth jihad.” These Islamophobes are heavily funded and are successful in influencing popular thought. With these ideas in mind, people will NEVER listen to you, no matter how much Quran you quote or Hadeeth you utter. They are programmed to believe you are a liar and are trying to takeover their lives.
Unless we prioritise defending Islam and Muslims from injustice and be effective in media lobbying, we will continue to be attacked.