Thursday, December 15, 2011

Media helping to create the Western Muslim Monster

There's a particular type of "official Muslim" that the media turns to for comment whenever they need a reaction or comment about "the Muslim perspective." It's not just true for Muslims, it applies to Jews, Catholics, Hindus and any other group that has community organizations.

Mainstream media, being what it is, will go to the same people over and over. That's because, with rare exception, news media is lazy and more interested in forming policies and ideas than reporting on them,  So media people tend to rely on a small clique they know they can count on for a predictable response that also have the ostensible imprimatur of being from a "recognized" organization.

Sometimes that predictable response in inflammatory, which generates controversy and gets eyeballs on the news in their papers, websites and broadcasts. There's nothing wrong with that from a business standpoint. But a great many people are influenced by the media and don't realized that "official" people from "recognized" organizations are generally self-interested and not necessarily representative of the majority of people on whose behalf they claim they are speaking.

This dilemma of spokespersons giving their views and having them emerge as being representative of a community surfaced again in the idiotic comments of Calgary Imam Syed Soharwardy, who said Canada's treatment of Muslims compares to pre-war Nazi Germany's treatment of Jews.

Anyone with a cursory knowledge of history understands that Mr. Soharwardy would have to be an imbecile to make such a comparison. But the larger problem this highlights is that people like Soharwardy, radicals with offensive concepts of Canada and an apparently poor understanding about the responsibilities of the individual with regard to the community and the state, are presented as being Muslim spokespeople.

The perception of Muslims throughout Canada is damaged not just by the stupidity of such people or even more egregious examples as provided by the leadership of organizations such as the Canadian Islamic Congress and the Canadian Arab Federation. The media has done more than its share to create, in the mind of the public, the concept of the western Islamic monster, which must cause the average Canadian Muslim to cringe.

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