There is something that has baffled me time after time again, and it’s begun to somewhat get on my nerves. You see, people regularly agree that media outlets consistently misrepresent the truth in order for it to sell. You’ll find these consensuses all over Facebook and Twitter and so on; these posts and tweets normally attracting thousands upon thousands of likes and retweets. Yet, the public still display the tendency to swallow up and regurgitate every headline that catches their attention. This hypocrisy needs to end. You should not have to wait till someone tells you that there are two sides to every story for you to question the validity and transparency of any publication or news report.
The newspapers, magazines and radio stations moulded the minds of the masses in Nazi Germany. Nazi propaganda, in conjunction with drastic censorship, was a psychological weapon that impressed anti-Semitism onto the consciences of the people. Modern society recognises and condemns how the media was abused during Hitler’s reign. I mean, the large majority of us learnt about this during our high school History lessons and our thoughts on the matter were evident from the looks of disgust on our faces. We would have all agreed, more or less, that the media should never again be utilised in such a way to spread hatred and prejudice.
So, why is it that Islamophobia is being perpetuated throughout contemporary media like wildfire and massive portions of the western population are being caught in these hate-filled flames? Why is it that when a Muslim person commits a crime, the weight of the blame is placed on the shoulders of Islam, but the Christian faith isn’t held to account for the sickening actions of the KKK? The majority of the billions of Muslims alive today condemn the actions of ISIS, just like virtually every Christian denomination officially denounced the Ku Klux Klan back in the 19th and 20th centuries, so why the double standards?
You see, I can’t and won’t give you deeper answers to these questions, for fear of slipping into the shady area of conspiracy theories. However, my guess is that Islamophobia just sells well and makes the shareholders of that specific media outlet just that little bit happier. These organisations are vultures that feed off the fear of the public; their strategies designed to provoke emotional responses from their readers – these normally being scorn and contempt.
Now, I do understand that many news stories may have an element of truth to them, no matter how big or small. However, that isn’t the point. The point is that one of the fundamental flaws of modern society is illustrated quite clearly in cases like the ones I’ve just mentioned: the lack in our ability to think independently. It seems like we rejoice in our constitutional freedoms to live and work and speak as we please, yet we voluntarily surrender our firm human right to think for ourselves when we let the media think for us. The paper comes in through the letter box and common sense goes flying out the window.
I ask you this: Will 5 million Muslims have to be massacred in cold blood before we open our eyes to the truth around us? Will modern, Muslim-based renditions of ‘The Pianist’ and ‘Schindler’s List’ be the only things that can right our moral compasses and unearth our true human nature of empathy and understanding? How much more blood must be shed before we stop holding billions of members of an intrinsically-peaceful faith group to account for the radical actions of a handful?
To leave you with food for thought, I quote a lyric from my favourite political rapper – Lowkey:
“Kill a man from the military, you’re a weirdo. But kill a wog from the Middle East, you’re a hero.”