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Islamist propaganda is live and kicking

Islamist propaganda is live and kicking

Author: Kanchan Gupta
Publication: The Pioneer
Date: September 10, 2011
URL: http://www.dailypioneer.com/component/content/article/400-coffee-break/5362-islamist-propaganda-is-live-and-kicking.html

A decade after Mohammed Atta and 18 Islamist terrorists stunned the world many, if not most, Muslims are still in denial. This day 10 years ago, Atta, an Egyptian jihadi, led dedicated soldiers of the 'Army of God' to launch a daring assault on the United States of America, bringing down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center which dominated the New York skyline, and attacking Pentagon, the symbol of America's awesome military clout. Using four passenger planes which they had hijacked with remarkable ease after they took off from Boston, Newark, and Washington, DC, they terrorised America and horrified the world on September 11, 2001.

Two of the planes were flown into the Twin Towers - the first at 8.46 am and the second at 9.03 am; the third aircraft was flown into the Pentagon at 9.37 am. The hijackers of the fourth plane had to abandon their mission and crash it into a field after passengers put up stiff resistance. The enormity of the most daring terrorist strike undertaken by Islamists till then (Mumbai, 26/11, came seven years later) began to sink in by the time the dead were counted: 2,606 at the World Trade Center; 125 at the Pentagon; 246 passengers on the hijacked planes. It had taken the evil resolve and malign conviction of 19 men, and the scheming of one man in Pakistan, each one of them driven by the belief that the cause of Islam is best served through hideous death and destruction, by spilling the blood of innocent people, to snuff out 2,977 human lives. Seven years later, 10 Pakistani jihadis raided Mumbai on November 26, 2008, laying to waste at least 166 lives. Images captured on CCTV showed them smiling and gloating as they killed with mind-numbing cruelty.

All that happened on 9/11 and what followed by way of justified retribution is well-known and does not merit either recall or elaboration. The world has changed significantly since 9/11 and there have been tectonic geopolitical and geostrategic shifts. America was momentarily humbled on September 11, 2001; today it appears humbled for decades to come with its economy in a tailspin, its military might a pale shadow of its past and its political leadership hijacked by a President who continues to lead his nation from disaster to disaster and carries little or no weight abroad, including across the pond in Europe, and its future well-being mortgaged to a resurgent China. But there's one thing that has not changed - the denial that marked Muslim response to 9/11 remains as strong as in 2001.

Even those who are now ever-so-reluctantly willing to accept that the Twin Towers were brought down and the Pentagon was attacked, are prompt to add: "But where is the evidence Islamists did it?" So who did it? "The CIA did it to justify dislodging the Taliban who had restored Islam's glory." "The Mossad did it to defame Islam." "The Christians and Jews did it to justify their war against Muslims." "It was a global conspiracy against Islam." "It was manufactured to give a bad name to Osama bin Laden, may his soul rest in peace" - or, if the person believes the Al Qaeda don was never shot dead at Abbottabad in Pakistan or Houdini-like escaped from the cast iron coffin that was dumped into the Arabian Sea - "Inshallah, he shall one day avenge this deceit". Then, there is the standard fob-off: "Nothing happened on 9/11. The Towers never existed. So where's the question of the Towers being attacked? It's all American (Christian) propaganda created by Hollywood and circulated by media, both controlled by Jews. Ha! Ha! Ha! Pass me a kebab and I hope the meat is halal."

I am reminded of a conference on radical Islam, attended by scholars from India and South-East Asian countries, to which I was invited as a participant. I spent two days listening to professors from Jamia Millia Islamia and Aligarh Muslim University, both funded by taxpayers of 'secular' India, repeating the canard about 9/11 being an elaborate conspiracy hatched by the Christians (of America) and the Jews (of Israel) to "denigrate Islam and defame Muslims". One of them questioned the authenticity of events as they unfolded on September 11, 2001, and claimed that "analyses of video images of the hijacked aircraft being flown into the Twin Towers has shown they were studio-generated". By the end of the first day of such profound discourse, I was left wondering if lobotomy was an unlisted requirement for joining the exalted faculty at AMU and Jamia.

But it would be wrong to dismiss denial wrapped in sophistry as stupidity; there's a sinister purpose to such assertions no matter how crude they may sound or appear to be in print. A lie repeated again and again, as Paul Joseph Goebbels proved through word and deed, tends to be believed by the masses. Islamofascists, both at home and abroad, who peddle the myth that "Islam is the solution" and thus see nothing wrong with the ghastly crimes committed in the name of Islam, would naturally take to Goebbelsian propaganda tactics like a duck takes to water. Outrageous lies propagated slyly at conferences and seminars, mentioned between the lines in newspaper articles, and slipped into Friday sermons by mullahs after the jumma namaaz, acquires a certain legitimacy: Fiction becomes fact after a certain period of time.

We have seen this happen on more than one occasion. When Hindus were forced to flee their ancestral homes in the Kashmir Valley by killer squads of Islamists who indulged in rapacious depredations and revelled in the slaughter of innocent men, women and children, an insidious campaign was launched, pinning the blame on Mr Jagmohan, then Governor of Jammu & Kashmir: He was accused of telling the Hindus to flee the Valley. Strangely, this fiction was believed by the 'secular' Left-liberal commentariat which, in any event, is desperate to clutch at straws to absolve Islamic fanatics of their crimes and eager to paint Islamist marauders in the most glowing of colours. Similar tactics were - and continue to be - used in the wake of the slaughter of kar sevaks in Godhra and to tar Hindus by blaming them for the violence that followed. Ironically, their bunkum finds a resonance in the utterances of Mr Digvijay Singh and his tribe of Hindu-haters: Every time jihadis strike, they see saffron.

Sitting in the conference hall listening to speaker after speaker questioning the reality of 9/11 and elaborating on jaw-dropping conspiracy theories with ersatz sincerity, it was impossible not to come to the conclusion that these are the people who would naturally be at ease with explosives being strapped to an eight-year-old girl and the button on the remote control being pushed by her mother as she reached out to take a chocolate from a soldier (not an American) as it happened in Iraq. They are untouched and unmoved by the sight of the blood of innocent victims which is spilled every time Islamist marauders strike with deadly effect. They are fully aware of Jihad's criminal deeds, but they want us to believe jihadis are not to blame. And if you dare point a finger at radical Islam and its army of Islamofascists, they will accuse you of indulging in Islamophobia. It's time we called their bluff.

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