Thursday, February 21, 2013

Mind Control

"(Gaaaasp) Are those drones?!" my 11-year-old daughter asked as a formation of fighter jets flicked on giant screens while the national anthem played before a girls college basketball game we attended last month.

Whether it's through sporting events, politics, news or even entertainment (like NBC's reality show "Stars Earn Stripes"), we are constantly being bombarded by pro-war propaganda, paving the way for continued American imperialistic military engagements around the world  (of late: Afghanistan, Chad, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Mali, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen).

Recent news that such psychological indoctrination is getting cranked up a few decibels indicates more of the same is in the pipeline.

According to the latest U.S. Army field manual released publicly in January, public relations (which has always been a part of the military) will now be front and center. New "Inform and Influence Activities" have been added to traditional war responsibilities to keep not only troops and Americans aware of what is going but also to brainwash foreign audiences' into supporting U.S military exploits (like the ever expanding War on Terror) in their own lands by working through fifth columnists.

Already, the military-industrial-complex has co-opted mass media--one of the most powerful tools used to manipulate the masses--throughout Muslim lands. Two glaring examples are Western puppet Qatar's Al-Jazeera (Former Al-Jazeera Germany correspondent Aktham Suliman: "We at Al-Jazeera were always proud to say: 'We're financed by Qatar, but the state never interferes with our reporting.' Now we suddenly find ourselves in a situation in which our reporting is precisely aligned with Qatari foreign policy.") and Pakistan's Geo News, which was launched by the help of former U.S. Navy officer David Hazinski of Intelligent Media Consultants.

Indeed, more journalists are being prepared to continue this work. USAID Pakistan and National Geographic Society last fall sponsored a "photo camp" for 15 young aspiring journalists from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), which is, ironically, the target of most U.S. drone strikes in that country.

"This USAID-funded photo camp is yet another expression of the United States' commitment to ensuring that the citizens of Pakistan are well informed about the events and policies that affect their daily lives," according to Jock Conly, USAID Mission Director.

Muslims as well as all others struggling to free themselves from imperialist rule must protect themselves from manipulation by: tuning them out.

God: “O Believers, if an unrighteous person comes to you with information, you should verify it or else you might inflict harm on a people in ignorance and then end up regretting what you have done.” (Quran 49: 6)

A study of Islamic history reveals how destructive false propaganda can be in society, especially when it comes from the mouth of "Muslims."

Muawiya, who vehemently opposed the rule of fourth caliph Ali, spread so many lies about Ali from the pulpits that when Ali was martyred in a mosque, people asked: "What was Ali doing in a mosque?" (Even today imperialist/Zionist influence over mosques can be heard loud and clear when imams laud U.S. military operations in Libya and pray for Western-backed rebels in Syria.)

To win the war of words, Muslims must take the lead in countering the lies with the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

"Ultimately, all media is propaganda, and that's not necessarily a bad thing as long as the propaganda corresponds with the truth," says Roshan Muhammad Salih, former head of news in London for Tehran-based Press TV.  After Press TV was censored off the air in Europe, America and the Middle East last month, Iran announced it will launch three of its own telecom satellites in the next five years.

In America, Imam Abdul Alim Musa of Masjid Al-Islam in Washington is doing his part by heading the Islamic Institute of Counter Zionist American Psychological Warfare and urging people to promote truth, peace and justice by calling others to God, performing righteous deeds and cultivating friendships with fellow Americans.

"We do not call you to any kind of physical or military confrontation in America," Musa says. "We only ask that you stand up for justice and fair play."

In fact, even one person can make a difference in the battle for truth. While Muawiya succeeded in spreading lies about Ali, when Muawiya's son Yazid tried to do the same against Ali's son Hussain (who gave up his life fighting against the oppression of Yazid), Zainab, daughter of Ali, single-handedly countered the lies by exposing the truth, which has been passed down and inspired people of conscience from generation to generation.

Zainab to the oppressors: "O you deceivers!...You have done that which could tear down the skies, open the earth, and make the mountains vanish...Indeed you have done the ugliest, the most grievous and gruesome deed!"

Friday, February 8, 2013

Power of Women

European imperialists realized hundreds of years ago what eludes too many of us even today: Women are the most powerful and influential element in society.

That's why colonizers invading new lands and worried about local resistance focused their energies immediately on breaking in the native women, whose natural identities were systematically stripped and replaced with a psychology that accepted economic exploitation by the new masters and taught her children to do the same for generations to come.

Willie Lynch, a successful West Indies slaveowner:

The female "is the most important factor for good economics," Lynch told a gathering of slaveowners in Virginia in 1712. "When in complete submission, she will train her offspring in the early years to submit to labor when they become of age. This is a perfect situation of sound sleep [no worries about slave rebellions] and economics."

Indeed, modern-day imperialists continue this "breaking process" of women around the world albeit through more sophisticated means, whether it be Three Cups of Tea author Greg Mortenson's secular schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan (Mortenson: “If we educate a boy, we educate an individual. But if we can educate a girl, we educate a community.”), the newly founded Malala Fund for the education of girls (in honor of Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan, who was purportedly shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting female education), or the NeXXt Scholars program that then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton rolled out last year "to provide women from Muslim countries with a 'world-class' education."

So the question is: Are most of us operating under the Willie Lynch program? Do we continue to raise generation after generation of laborers who keep the capitalistic system running eventhough it oppresses us and others?

God has given us clear instructions on how we're supposed to educate and train our kids, and it involves much more than ensuring they become valedictorians, get into prestigious colleges and land high-paying jobs. Scholars say women have not been given prophethood because each one of us is tasked to do the same job inside the house as prophets do out in society.

God: "God did confer a great favor on the believers when he sent among them an apostle from among themselves rehearsing unto them the signs of God, purifying them and instructing them in scripture and wisdom, while before that, they had been in manifest error.” (Quran 13: 164)

Hence, the goal of a well-rounded education should be to produce sound human beings who have developed mental and spiritual powers that help them move towards moral perfection within themselves and social justice in their communities.

"Education is indeed very important, but the significance of... a balanced personality must not be overlooked," says educator Tahera Kassamali. "The world is producing a generation that knows a lot but is greatly deficient in moral and spiritual values."

Consider this: When we visited relatives recently, the mother didn't ask her children to come out of their rooms to meet us even though we were guests from overseas.

"They're working on school projects," she had explained matter-of-factly.

Prophet Muhammad (S) told his Companions that he was baree (far) from such parents of latter times because they would emphasize secular education but neglect religious and moral edification.

The good news is that if imperialists have implanted a Willie Lynch chip inside women, women can deactivate it through knowledge, awareness and virtues.

We have superb examples of women throughout history who raised their children by example (gulp!) to be intelligent, upright and compassionate people who use their knowledge and skills to not only make a living but also oppose systems of oppression and struggle for the establishment of peace and justice on earth.

Fatima, one of the four perfect women of all times and mother of Imams Hasan and Hussain and Zainab, is one whom Islamic thinker Allama Iqbal praises in his poetry:

The character, the essential purity
Of holy children from their mothers come.
She was the harvest of the well‐sown field
Of self‐surrender, to all mothers she
The perfect pattern, Fatima the chaste.

Imam Khomeini, leader of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, repeatedly emphasized the important role mothers play in the correct education of children and betterment of society:

"Respected ladies!  You are responsible for the upbringing of the children; you have the duty of nurturing virtuous children in your care to hand over to society.  We all have this duty, but it is in your care that they receive a better upbringing.  A mother’s lap is the best school for a child.  You can train your children so that one day they make the country flourish. You can train children to uphold the aims of the prophets!"