by Skip Conover~Copyright 2010 Donald L. Conover (Twitter: @skip_conover)
Essentially all of my Muslim friends are cynical about the prospects of attitudes towards Islam changing in the West, as well they should be! Today, when I shared my views about Rev.? Terry Jones, one acquaintance responded by simply sending this link, with no comment. I infer that he is saying to me that I am on a fool’s errand, because I’m up against western politicians. After reading the article I ask, “What do you expect?” Rupert Murdoch and his ilk have been allowed to present $100s of Billions of dollars of free PR to Muslim haters with no counterpoint from the Muslim world. I have suggested to my influential Muslim friends that they acquire media outlets in the West, just as Murdoch has done, to present a more balanced view of the Muslim world, but almost without a response. Al Jazeera English is barely noticed at all in the USA. They have a bureau in Washington, but it is almost impossible to find, and its product is only beamed to the rest of the world. I know of no place that anyone can subscribe to it as a cable channel in the U.S. market. They will tell you that you can get it over the Internet, but I know of few people that would do that, including me.
My perception is that my Muslim friends think a more balanced view of the Muslim World will come from immaculate conception. They are happy to leave the heavy lifting to a handful of Muslim spokesmen, me, and Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf (a *Sufi* cleric, apparently). We know what’s right is right, and we will do what we can I suppose, but if minds are going to be changed about Islam in the West, it will take a countervailing effort to balance Murdoch, Glenn Beck, and the likes of them. That will take a concerted effort and a huge pile of money. Until that happens, nothing will change. I would be happy to work on such a project with anyone, but honestly, my efforts to date have fallen on deaf ears.
I want none of my Muslim friends to come to me with hurt demeanor and whine that the West does not understand that Muslims believe in living in Peace until the same amount of PR value as Murdoch has spent, well over a Trillion dollar’s worth I feel certain, is invested in countervailing PR. My Saudi acquaintance seemed afraid to even say that he thinks Angela Merkel was wrong. He just gave me the link and expects me to intuit the offense he takes from it and act to soothe his emotions. Yes, I will, but I cannot change the attitudes of most Americans, according to CNN today 70% believe that Islam is bent on world domination. Unless some Muslim, or a group from the Muslim world, is prepared to counterbalance Rupert Murdoch, with the same level of investment, nothing will happen. The message must be heard in America and Europe, not in Riyadh, Doha, Karachi and Jakarta. When that happens, we will start to see change. Until then, Muslims can play the “victim” of intolerance all they want, but they will get little sympathy from me on that score.
What’s right is right, and I stand for justice and the 1st Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, which I swore to defend to the death. I don’t need to be convinced, but at least 70% of the rest of America and Europe does need to hear a counterpoint to the propaganda they have been fed for a decade. That is a big job, and it will take a long time, but that is what needs to be done. Sitting in the Muslim World and feeling hurt by attitudes in the West will get us absolutely no where! Why are Muslims so reticent? Please examine your behavior. It takes courage to change World opinion. Who has it?!