Original Radioactive Jam

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Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Contrast And Brightness

think of it as intermission
(Note: a reader's comment prompted me to review this post. Looking with "afternoon" eyes I saw an unintended stridency, unfounded opinion and a fairly strong bias. So I changed a few things. What's here now is better, I think; hope so anyway. If you want to see the post in its original form - too bad. It's gone┬╣. Eaten by monkeys, of course.
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Around here we promote and enjoy silliness, mostly. But sometimes "real" and/or serious items deserve a look from our admittedly limited attention span. Case in point: some stories on the subject of terrorism.

First up is this article titled "Terrorism, Islam, reform: thinking the unthinkable." The writer - Maruf Khwaja, a journalist living in the UK - gives what looks to me like a clear and compelling assessment of what must be done by "only Muslims themselves" to bring about a "long-term answer to terrorism in its Islamic guise."

I admit to having felt a glimmer of optimism after reading his essay; then I saw this bit of news: "Iranian president praises suicide terror." The article linked to another from early July, titled '40,000 time bombs in Iran', a story about Al-Arabiya TV station broadcasting an Iranian suicide bomber recruitment drive.

Goodbye glimmer, I thought. Then I considered some things. First, the two arguably inflammatory articles were posted on ynetnews.com, part of "Israel's leading web news site." Please understand: I pretty much can't be anti-Semitic (think it over, you'll get it). I call attention to the source not to disparage but to suggest considering the impact of perspective on any story. Israelis and Arabs share at least one thing: a deep, lifelong distrust of their enemy.

I watched the video clip, with its translated subtitles. I saw its gathering of would-be suicide bombers. Then again I might have been watching a wholly-staged propaganda film, "leaked" to adversaries for God only knows what hidden reasons.

Here's what I do know, or rather who: a number of Muslims, none of whom attended the videotaped rally. Do you understand what I mean by this? I hope so. Are there volatile, dangerous problems challenging people the world over? Yes. Do suicide bombers attack innocent people? Yes. Does "something" need to change within the Muslim world to end these attacks? Maruf Khwaja says yes. Do Muslims as people and Islam as faith define, personify and exist as the embodiment of The Problem?

Let's just say people who think that last statement is true scare me way more than the aforelinked video clip. No offense but if you think "Muslims" are The Problem, I feel sorry for you and kind of hope you're interested in starting your own colony on Mars. Soon.

Compared to a mindset intent on blaming entire societies for the heinous acts of an empowered few, a saga chronicling the antics of a wild toy monkey starts to seem not only tame...but sane.

┬╣ This is where I encourage you to accept small disappointments and get on with life, not where you find the earlier text. Sorry.

6 Emissions:

Blogger A emitted...

I hate to sound defensive when something like this comes up which is why I usually refrain from comment/discussion. All I can say is it isn't that bad but niether are you biased.

8/02/2005 12:39:00 PM  
Blogger Radioactive Jam emitted...

I apologize. I see now how this could trigger defense mechanisms, and that wasn't my intention. I'm going to update the post to try and correct my error. Thanks - seriously - for commenting.

8/02/2005 12:47:00 PM  
Blogger Lou (a.k.a. rainpuddles) emitted...

I have to admit that I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to all of this stuff. I don't watch the news on tv nor do I read newspapers. I read most of the articles you posted and watched the video clip... I still don't know what to think of it... but I'm also really tired right now. I'll come back to this a little later when I can think things through.

But I do agree that Muslims are not the problem. When I was in Japan I watched an episode of the West Wing and one of the main characters said something along these lines:

Muslims are to muslim extremists as Christians are to the KKK.

That kinda put things into perspective for me.

Thanks for posting this Jam. It's good for me to think these things through.

8/03/2005 12:04:00 AM  
Blogger Nadia emitted...

rain - That's a good quote. Will probably use it.

RaJ - I appreciate this post. I'm off to round up the Mars-bound ignoramuses now...

8/03/2005 12:17:00 AM  
Blogger Syar emitted...

this was a good post. as a muslim myself, I agree we can't just sit back while our religion is being torn down by both inside and outside forces. sometimes it seems almost impossible with so many ppl willing to blow themselves up along with hundreds and maybe thousands or scarily, even more innocent lives in the name of Allah. but you gotta have faith, eh?

rain, that was a good quote. =) I'll be off helping nadia now, I'm supplying duct tape.

8/03/2005 09:54:00 PM  
Blogger Syar emitted...

in response to your comment on my other blog :

when I say pointless banter, what I really meant to do was to illustrate that the adults hung with the adults and the kids hung with the kids. the adult talked about things important to them, and the kids talked about things important to us. there's this uote from calvin and hobbes I truly love :

"I'd hate to think that all my current experiences will someday become stories with no point." - Calvin

most times, I'm already spouting off pointless banter to both younger and older ears. :-)

8/03/2005 11:09:00 PM  

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