In “Info jihad” in the Tehran Times, Hamid Golpira calls for an “information jihad” against the fiendish Zionist Islamophobia that supposedly dominates the Western media. It makes for ironic reading in light of the fact that irenic whitewashes like this actually dominate the mainstream Western public discourse about Islam:
It has long been said that knowledge is power, but now, in the Information Age, information is power, and the side that best projects information is the victor.
Information projection is a new concept modeled on the military concept projection of power. Information projection basically means the ability to disseminate information.
The battle of ideas currently underway in the world has been called information war, and Islam is under siege in this info war.
This, of course, comes from the same mindset that the Washington Post manifested when it assumed that any rise in negative perceptions of Muslims or Islam must be the fault of wicked non-Muslims, and not have anything to do with the actions of Muslims themselves.
This is especially ironic when one remembers that this article was published in the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Thus, the Islamic world must step up its information projection in order to win the info war. Muslims must do info jihad.
The enemies of Islam control vast media resources such as television networks, news agencies, newspapers, radio stations, Internet sites, magazines, music companies, film studios, and publishing houses. They conduct psychological operations with their media to depict a negative image of Islam and to undermine the Islamic movement.
Yes, these enemies of Islam blow themselves up in mosques, they conduct suicide attacks against civilians, they commit honor killings, they boast about how they’re going to take over Western countries and insitute Islamic rule — I tell you, these Islamophobes are fiendish.
We Muslims must build up and refine the Islamic world’s media in order to counter these psyops.
And from the looks of this article, Hamid Golpira knows a lot about psyops.
We should establish professional satellite television networks, newspapers, Internet sites, and other news outlets. We should also concentrate on educational entertainment such as films and music.
Look at how the Zionists dominate the media. They have propagated their message, to the detriment of the Palestinians and the Islamic cause in general, and introduced terms like “Islamic terrorism”.
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain — the one using copious Qur’an quotes and Islamic theological arguments to justify his acts of violence. Don’t believe your lying eyes. Just remember: the conccept of Islamic terrorism was invented by the Zionists.
We must get the message out that there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism. A Muslim can never be a terrorist because terrorism is haram, which means forbidden in Islam.
A better expression to describe some of the phenomena currently occurring in the world would be pseudo-Islamic terrorism….
In fact, Hamid, people make this argument in the Western press every day. It is taken for granted by the mainstream media and even, to a great degree, by the government. The only people who don’t take it as axiomatic are, if you’ll pardon the expression, Islamic terrorists. If you can get it across to them that what they are doing is wrong on Islamic grounds and that they should lay down their arms, more power to you. But before I crown you Caliph (or perhaps Mahdi would be more appropriate) of the Moderate Muslims, let me ask you: what’s your opinion of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, your neighbor there in Tehran? What do you think of his statements of imminent Islamic supremacy? Never mind about terrorism — tell me what you think of the idea that all must ultimately be subjugated under the rule of Islamic law.
Why does Islam mostly have a negative image outside of the Islamic world? The answer is obvious — because the enemies of Islam are using expert media manipulation to influence world public opinion. They are conducting a very sophisticated info war against us….
I think it may be useful at this point to repeat my five-point plan for how Muslims can improve non-Muslim perceptions of Islam:
1. Stop committing violent acts.
2. Stop justifying those violent acts by reference to the Qur’an and Sunnah.
3. Stop saying violent or hateful things in private when you think no non-Muslims are around.
4. Begin comprehensive international programs in mosques all over the world to teach against the ideas of violent jihad and Islamic supremacism.
5. Actively work with Western law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend jihadists within Western Muslim communities.
In Iran, Muslims peacefully coexist with Zoroastrians, Christians, and Jews, and all three religious minority communities have MPs in the Iranian parliament, but this is usually not reported by Western news outlets.
Yes, and those minorities have it great there in Iran. Here’s how great they have it, from the State Department’s 2005 Religious Freedom Report on Iran:
The Constitution states that “within the limits of the law,” Zoroastrians, Jews, and Christians are the only recognized religious minorities who are guaranteed freedom to practice their religion; however, members of these recognized minority religious groups have reported imprisonment, harassment, intimidation, and discrimination based on their religious beliefs. Adherents of religions not recognized by the Constitution do not enjoy freedom to practice their beliefs. This restriction seriously affects adherents of the Baha’i Faith, which the Government regards as a heretical Islamic group with a political orientation that is antagonistic to the country’s Islamic revolution….
Non-Muslim owners of grocery shops are required to indicate their religious affiliation on the fronts of their shops….
By law and practice, religious minorities are not allowed to be elected to a representative body or to hold senior government or military positions; however, 5 of a total 270 seats in the Majlis are reserved for religious minorities….
All religious minorities suffer varying degrees of officially sanctioned discrimination, particularly in the areas of employment, education, and housing. The Government does not protect the right of citizens to change or renounce their religious faith. Apostasy, specifically conversion from Islam, may be punishable by death; however, there were no reported cases of the death penalty being applied for apostasy during the reporting period.
Members of religious minorities, excluding Sunni Muslims, are prevented from serving in the judiciary and security services and from becoming public school principals. Applicants for public sector employment are screened for their adherence to and knowledge of Islam. Government workers who do not observe Islam’s principles and rules are subject to penalties. The Constitution states that the country’s army must be Islamic and must recruit individuals who are committed to the objectives of the Islamic revolution; however, in practice no religious minorities are exempt from military service.
University applicants are required to pass an examination in Islamic theology, which limits the access of most religious minorities to higher education, although all public school students, including non-Muslims, must study Islam.
But Hamid Golpira appears to inhabit an alternate universe:
Islam and the Islamist movement are both demonized in the Western media. The West’s media spinmeisters are attempting to create enmity toward political Islam by making it appear that the model of the Taleban of Afghanistan is the Islamist ideal, despite the fact that the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt, Hezbollah of Lebanon, and most other Islamist groups have very different interpretations of Islam.
How different? Do they renounce the jihad ideology and advocate peaceful coexistence as equals with non-Muslims under non-Islamic governments? I didn’t think so.
Muslims lament the fact that the Zionists and other enemies of Islam dominate the world media, but most do nothing in response. Some Muslims even believe that nothing can be done about the situation because they think the enemies have total control of the media….
Yes, that’s why you read my articles in the Chicago Tribune, while Islamic apologists like Cherif Bassiouni have to resort to starting blogs to get their message out.
Muslims will surely succeed if we make serious efforts to counter the Islamophobia of the Western media. The Holy Quran says that the truth always triumphs over the lie.
Indeed, most of the non-Muslims who currently hate Islam would probably have a change of heart if they had access to the real facts.
I don’t hate Islam, Hamid. I hate the institutionalized subjugation of woman (cf. Qur’an 4:1, 4:34, etc.) and non-Muslims. Things like that. Show us the real facts that establish that those things are non-Islamic, Hamid. Show us why we non-Muslims shouldn’t be concerned that the Qur’an calls us the “vilest of creatures” (98:6) and directs that we be warred against until we submit to the Islamic social order (9:29). Give us the real facts. Go ahead.
Info jihad can even be used in dawa, which is the Arabic word that describes the efforts to invite non-Muslims to Islam.
In light of all this, info jihadis should work hard to get the message out.
Oh, they already are. And, Hamid, you’ll be happy to know that they’re meeting great success.