Muslims will never rise as a strong and secure community. Western media is making sure of that.
“I want Pakistan to have a leader like Modi.” Said one of my Pakistani friends in Boston, MA. We were celebrating the launch of his new start-up that will train Pakistani youth in software development and employ them for international projects. “What Modi has done with India is incredible. How he has changed the perception of India from a third-world country to a power player on the international landscape is simply amazing.” He continued with the same pride that I see in millions of young Indians when they speak about India.
Now, I won’t blame you if you read the first four lines again because you thought there was something wrong with them. Actually, the entire paragraph may appear wrong to the eyes, ears and minds trained by the Western media. It shows Hindus and Muslims as friendly and progressive. If the Western media had any more power than merely publishing, they would have executed me and my friend for tyranny of breaking stereotypes that took years to build. Afterall, it’s the stereotypes that fuel the war-machine and feed the colonial greed. Muslims around the world are fighting the stereotype as insecure, uneducated, religious militia with every opportunity they get to contribute to society in a positive way. The chances of them succeeding lessen every time the Western media uses them as props. Currently the Western media is using Muslims in India as props to display its desperate disagreement with the results of the general elections. With every new article, they are taking Muslims to a new level of poverty, weakness, and ignorance. When in actuality, that is far from the reality in India. While the Western media continues to write a new saga of how Muslims are afraid for their lives in India every day, Muslims in India are begging for the charade stop. Noori Mohammad, a Muslim girl born and brought up Bhopal, India appeals to the rest of the world; for them to stop feeling sorry for Muslims as there are no threats for their lives, neither is there division. (Read article in OpIndia here) Muslims in India and around the world want to take charge of the narrative of their existence. The narrative that Muslims aim for is different, if not exactly opposite to what Western media wants us to believe.
The anti-Muslim propaganda started with a carefully crafted strategy of coloring all Muslims as terrorists. By design, the narrative erased a big and bold line between Muslim terrorists and Muslim civilians who are ably contributing in academia, entertainment, policy, sports, even in the US military and all around the world. They discredited all achievements of Muslims just like they did for Hindus. Then they crafted the most evil-looking aspect of anti-Hindu propaganda as “haters of Muslims”. They strategically placed Hindus and Muslims as adversaries based on hand-picked incidents from History where Muslims had posed as invaders and suppressors of India, which was predominantly a Hindu country then. Every now and then the Western media get a jolt of energy when they can actually give a face to these narratives. At those times, the Western media won’t stop until Muslim communities around the world succumb to fear, hostility and division for self-protection. Recently general elections took place in India. The Western media went overboard to dress-up the Indian elections with their anti-Hindu propaganda. Once again, they used Muslims as a prop and once again, they put a huge burden on Muslims around the world. Can Muslims ever break this cycle of deception by the media, politicians and their own people who go to extreme lengths to explain their weaknesses?
In a very well-written article in a Al Jazeera, writer Hamid Dabashi discussed various incidents of fabricated reporting by New York Times, BBC and CNN as the “case of mass deception.” Hamid Dabashi is the Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia University. In the article he describes how the “Western Media” has falsely branded against facts and created a fiction for its falsehood as truth. He calls out BBC for its bias against voice of natives in Asians, African and Latin American countries. "Western Media" is a brand, a gimmick, a commodity fetishism at the service of systemic mass deception in "the West" itself and around the globe - and BBC is a paramount example of it. (Read full article here.) BBC is also one of the frontrunners of the anti-Hindu propaganda machine, along with Time, New York Times, The Guradian, Washington Post and The Economist. The machine continues to exploit its best fantasy, “Hindu India that is anti-Muslim.” One of the common proverbs around the world means, if you shout a lie for a long time, some people begin to consider it as truth. In this case, those people who chose to believe in the false reporting also include many Hindus. What seems like a battle between secularism and nationalism, is actually a battle between belief system that fell for the lies spread by the Western media and those who saw right through them.
The Western media is angry at hundreds of millions of Indians for not responding to the call for action to stop the wave of nationalization. Actually, Indians responded in the most significant way. It’s just that they responded to the stale methods of manipulation, obvious intent of instilling hatred that spreads fear, and even more visible agenda of putting obstacles in the progress of a country that might not remain a third-world country for long. Oh, it was all properly hidden in literary scholarship and excellent penmanship. Let’s just say, Indians have developed a special vision that allowed them to see the truth. What about Muslims outside India, though? Who is going to save them from the Western media? The western media is using Muslims in the worst possible way.
The Western media has miserably failed in numerous counts of severe offenses they had committed against India and Hindus to violet India’s unity and image. Indians know better than believing the below average writers that these publications found to write articles. The writers had gathered the best of what they had to warn Indian voters to not vote for the incumbent candidate, Prime minister Modi on the grounds of embracing nationalism. According to the intellectually crippled and logically challenged beings with pens in hands and souls at the feet of Western media, Muslims in India hate Modi and Hindus. It cannot be any further away from reality. Indians, Hindus and Muslims combined chose Modi with the strongest mandate in the history. Indians have shown that they cannot be manipulated. The machine still continues to blurt out Hinduphobia and Muslims are once again at the mercy of the world to define their position. It is an extremely dangerous trend for Muslims.
Statistically it is impossible for Modi to get the majority that he has without the support of Muslims in the country. Several Muslim leaders have worked in support of Modi campaign. We interviewed a few of them while they were celebrating the victory along with thousands of Indians. We asked, “They say Muslims are afraid of Modi and Hindus in the country. Then why are you so happy about his victory?” One of the leaders said, “Those who claim that they are afraid, do not live in India. (So true! Most of the writers and so-called experts do not live in India.) Our support is entirely based on the economic and social reform that the government has brought in the past five years.” They added, “There are also others who oppose Modi, not because he is a Hindu but because he does not tolerate corruption and they cannot do without corruption. Those who engage in illegal businesses, terrorism, and destructive activities are afraid of Modi and they should be. They need to fear.” He was referring to Muslims engaged in illegal businesses and terrorism in India. The Muslims that are afraid of the strict stance of the Indian government against terrorism, strive to keep a part of the Muslim community illiterate and insecure to ensure unconditional cooperation. There are several Muslim leaders who take advantage of innocent Muslim youth by making them carry illegal activities. Another Muslim leader called the current times in India under Modi leadership as ‘The return of the golden age in India.’ Several Muslim women proudly campaigned and voted for Modi. Afterall, he is the only savior they had met in a long time; he freed them from the triple-talak, a provision in Islam that gives rights to Muslim men to divorce a lawfully wedded wife by uttering the word ‘talak’ three times. Muslim women in India believe that Modi’s government is the only government in the world that has ever thought of their wellbeing. They feel safe, protected, respected and encouraged to live their lives on their own terms in India. Western media has chosen to stay blind, deaf and dumb about these facts.
We see ultimate clarity among Muslims in India. They are not obsessed with religious finitism as Western media wants us to believe. They share the nationalist sentiment with Hindus. Muslims in India shared with us that they feel safer than ever before.
Next year the citizens of the United States will elect their new president. Terrorism and foreign policy regarding terrorism remain at the center of debates. In the US, like in many other countries, terrorism is synonymous with Islam, thanks to the Western media. We hardly see stories of millions of Muslims in the US who are educated and responsible citizens. The added edge to popular stereotype of Muslims as power hungry, uneducated and morally weak, is as a serious threat to national security that all Americans take very seriously. One of the participants of an open conversation about policies and security clearly believed the news about Muslims in India. He said, he read in the mainstream US media how the Muslims are so in control and fearful of law and leaders in India. “We should just do all that,” he said, “to make sure there are no acts of terrorism in the US.” He was referring to the ugliest fantasies of Western media that were supposed to support their claims for sympathy for the Muslims. What he read were fabricated situations to promote Hinduphobia but what he understood was the highest degree of Islamophobia. He further added, “We should just stop being afraid of Muslim terrorists and start taking charge. Read The New York Times, TIME, The Economist, The Guardian or The Washington Post. They all are saying the same thing.” Now you know where we got our list of frontrunners of the anti-Hindu and anti-Muslim propaganda.
The real question is, do Muslim writers recognize all the consequences when they create their literary ‘masterpieces’ showing their community as helpless, weak, beaten up and without future, just to trash India? Perhaps, not. The writers surely advance the colonial definition of India but at what cost? It is clear that Muslims, as a community need to make more efforts to eradicate the negative narrative. Maybe only less than 1% of Muslims are actively engaged in terrorism. Unfortunately, they are louder than the 99% that is not. Combine this silence with the latest attempts by Western media to use Muslims to spread Hinduphobia and you will see several centers of low pressures that have enough power to bring on a tsunami. Muslims can use every opportunity to use their knowledge to strengthen their position and fix the narrative. They need to work strategically instead of at the whim of Western media. Abusing India is not the way. The ignorance towards the greater good for the community makes the negative narrative stronger by the day.
As for Hindus, they can do better in dealing with the anti-Hindu propaganda machine. The machine runs on readership. The machine has understood Hindus’ affinity for literary knowledge and taking every opportunity to take sides, even for argument sakes. I It can only be compared to how much Hindus like taking exams and doing well on them. Every article proposes a new exam and millions of Indians brace themselves to prove their knowledge on issues. Offering precious personal space, brain space and sincere consideration to every right or wrong word written makes the machine stronger. Hindus need to realize that they already know all that they need to know about Hinduism and India. There is nothing new that the Western media can teach us about our religion or country or countrymen. The machine will break down for good only when it starves of fuel - the attention of Hindus.
I assessed if my proposal to ignore the Western media disables freedom of speech in any way. I realized that it is not the case. We are not asking the Western media to change in any way. We are only suggesting we make better decisions when deciding what we invest our time, intellect and expression in. We are investing in strengthening true narrative about Hindus and India. Western media presents everything but that. Action speaks louder than words. Speaking up on social media or in personal circles will not help. If you ever felt fire in the gut after reading untrue representation of India in the Western media, you know what to do. This will help our Muslim friends more than we can imagine.