Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Believe it or not

I get a lot of political propaganda in my in-box. I'm sure you do too. This one however, turned my stomach: a slide show of a little boy having his arm deliberately run over by a car while some adults hold him down. It contains a quote from the Qur'an that seems to be about cutting off the hands of thieves and describes how this boy is being punished for having stolen a loaf of bread. It happens every day, says the clip.

As it had been forwarded to me by someone I know, I did what I usually do, and what so few people seem to bother with -- I went on the web to see if it was a hoax. Apparently it is, although it's hard to prove. Dozens of sources claim it's a piece of street theater that people pay to watch and yes, it does happen all the time: with the same kid, whose arm is not actually broken because of the thick, rolled up blanket placed underneath it. The original video appeared on Iranian TV and the picture we are not shown shows the boy sitting up afterward, unhurt. It's disturbing that such things go on, but at least in this case, we can't use it as the blanket condemnation of Sharia or the people who live by it.

There are certainly gruesome punishments being carried out all over the world: stonings, amputations, beheadings, injections of agonizing chemicals and even electrocutions. I oppose them all, but I'm in a minority, I think, and I'm a citizen of a country that has advocated and used torture and violent intimidation for a number of years.

Of course my quickie investigation turned up this video being used as an equally vicious condemnation of Jews, Israelis and Zionists and predictable accusations by Israelis that Muslims created it for that purpose. I doubt that, but I don't know. There's enough hatred to make everything we're told suspect.

"No other religion condones such heinous acts" scrolls across our screen. Of course that's not even remotely true. Eye gouging and stoning are passionately screamed for in codes from Hammurabi to Yahweh and the Chinese, Japanese, Europeans and Aztecs have nothing to be proud of in their history thereof. For the most part such things would not go on without some religious justification and they have gone on in all cultures at one time or another.

As with all such things, what side you take here has much if not all to do with what side you were on already and less to do with what really did or didn't happen. Is this a "Zionist plot" to vilify Muslims and thus Justify Israel's existence or deeds? Is it a false-flag attack used to slander Israel or worse: all Jews? Whatever it is, it's an attempt to paint a large number of people with different ideas with the same brush. It's a hate generator and hate is the tool of the manipulator. We are none of us free from bias, but we all have more access to the truth than we customarily use. The next time you hear a report, see a video or read about some atrocity and how evil are the [ fill in the blank] who perpetrated it, take a minute to look into it before you pass it on with your blessings.


Buffalo said...

The picture is an excellent example of something I often rant about - belief without a truth check.

I received the same picture. I looked. I cringed. I deleted.
Not for one moment did I think to question.

That says something about me.

rockync said...

While strolling through the bloggerhood, I cam across an equally horrid piece of right wing propaganda - a picture of a fully formed baby covered in blood with the claim it was a "partial birth abortion." These type of abortions are rare and ONLY performed in a hospital OR AFTER it has been determined that the mother's life is in danger and the MOTHER chooses to have the procedure, which must be a heart rending, gut wrenching decision. Can you imagine how these poor women must feel to see these "reports" comparing them to crack whores that use first trimester abortions as birth control?!?
Needless to say, I have eliminated that blog from my list of places I visit. Disgusting and they actually think God loves them for their hate. What a world...
(And I only reference God here as THEIR belief in and dillusion that what they are doing is somehow pleasing.)

betmo said...

if it sounds too good to be true- i check it out. i have gotten burned a couple of times with health related stuff and safety stuff. when in doubt- i check and send the info back to the folks from whence it came.

good for you for going that extra step.

Capt. Fogg said...

I check it out anyway - twice for anything including a flag, three times for a picture of the WTC on fire and more if it's something telling me to hate somebody.

When I was a teenager, I spent a summer in NYC and staying in my uncle's apartment. He was a physician and of course I read all his medical books - I'm like that - and I remember a rather disturbing set of illustrations about what is now called PBA. The term hadn't been cooked up back then. According to the book, this was to be performed only on rare occasions and almost always to a fetus that was either dead, brain dead or had no brain in the first place. Conditions like Hydrocephaly.

Yes, they've made a political football out of a rare but vitally necessary procedure, but these are the people who told you Barak Obama caused $4 gasoline and the economy was completely sound.

Hey, find me a brick wall and line 'em up. Have Ammo, will travel and no blindfolds for the bastards!