Thursday, July 24, 2014


By Mansor Puteh.

American world heavyweight boxing champion, Muhammad Ali, made most Americans familiar with the name of Muhammad which is perhaps the most common of all Muslim names, like George for the English when it should have been Jesus, but it is not.    

And of course, Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Benazir Bhutto and a host of other contemporary characters whose personas were created by the western media, too, have contributed towards the greater awareness of who and what is a Muslim in their own special and unique way – also thanks to the cynics.

Worse, they were all created by America, one way or the other! They had trusted America too much and were played by them later, after what they had tried to do for America was done.

Saddam’s fault was that he trusted America too much, and thought he could get away with some ‘petty crimes’ he thought he commit with the full blessings of America. How wrong was he, for having fallen in the trap laid by America which was not known to be grateful to its allies for having done their job for them to fight the Soviet Communists in Afghanistan where their soldiers could not dare to march into on their own?  

Yes, we all know that the American aim to fight terrorism and their terrorists, which is good. Nobody can fight over that. But who are the good people of the world and who are the bad?

This is something that we have not yet decided yet. And the Muslims will never acknowledge that they are the ones who are the bad, considering that they had not caused untold miseries on any country or had destroyed it.

Terrorism in the world is not a recent activity. In modern history, it could be said to have started in the Thirteenth Century, if not earlier, when many European countries started to send out their naval fleet to wrest control of foreign countries in Asia and Africa which had long had their own civilizations and systems of government and were living at peace with each other, also in their quest to ‘discover’ the world to see if it was indeed flat. 

It is just too bad that universities in the Muslim World do not have courses on the history of world terrorism and Western colonization. They definitely cannot expect those in the West to have them. 

Western colonialism came into being and forced the world to be better engaged with each other. Unfortunately, this exercise brought more confusion, enmity than ever before, of which we can still feel its effect till today.

The reverse tide started to happen when the Americans started to seek independence from Britain which they finally got in 1776.

Yet they still failed to realize that there are some people in the world, including those in the Middle East have been trying to do it till now, without hope for a just solution.

Unfortunately, their enemies, too, want to do the same – to fight terrorism and their terrorists. The sufferings that their ancestors and even parents could be easily be forgotten despite their lands that had been forcibly taken from them.

Melaka (or Malacca as the British colonialists called it) was under the colonization and domination of the major European and English, including for a short period, the Japanese, for 400 years.

Despite that we still managed to keep our senses and forced them to leave. They have left just some semblance of their former influences which are being kept mostly in the concrete buildings that they had built to keep their power at bay and staff comfortable.

The local Malays were not their enemies, but time. They could not sustain their greed for long and soon enough the felt guilty. God had a way of punishing them until they became nauseous of their own behavior and attitude.

The world is now conveniently divided into distinct parts, the Muslim World and the West.

The Americans and the West have condemned Muslims and Islam for their own failures and shortcomings. They had wrongly assumed that the Muslims and Islam were incompatible with development and modernity and charged that they were envious with the way of life in the West.

The opposite seems to be the truth, since many people in the West were ‘envious’ that many Muslims had chosen to live simply even in caves without the use of any modernity. They were happy and contented, while their counterparts who had everything were not contented even with all the things that they had.

And we are supposed to be other's terrorists. No one can claim to be in full control over the definition of who and what is a terrorist, however, much one can be in the control of the media.

Does America and all Americans, therefore, hate such ‘extremists’ and their own brand of ‘extremism’? I doubt it.

The Muslim World always hopes that the American leaders, especially, and it’s public to be generous in their portrayal and description of the Muslims.

It is all about the war of the media and the Muslims and Islam getting caught along the way. 

It is not only a media war. It is also not a psychological war or a war over a word. It is real as well as an imaginary war.

American leaders think they have correctly pinpointed the true malaise of the world system which is to identify the terrorists, and in doing so found a face and a religion. 

How smart are their media gate-keepers and think-tankers and other policy and decision-makers and other experts for bringing out such issues, which in the past were not there before.

Otherwise, legendary Hollywood actor of the silent era, Rudolf Valentino would not have been hailed as a ‘romantic hero’ mostly for portraying Arab sheiks.

And not surprisingly, no one in America has ever brought this matter up, as thought they want this interesting and unusual aspect in its popular culture be totally forgotten, that the Arabs were profiled by Hollywood and entertainment media as such and not as ‘terrorists’.

Maybe we all should return to the age of the silent era of the cinema in Hollywood where silence spoke volumes and American lead actors are Arab sheiks again…

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