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Deciphering Corporate News 26 November 2007


Generally speaking, when we see something in the News, we are seeing something that is out of the ordinary. If it was ordinary, it would not be “news.” Even among those non-ordinary stories, it is “news” if it is somewhat relevant. That is not to say that the news is without bias. Everything has a bias, as does the news.

In our corporate media, there is an additional element: profit. To sell itself, the “news” often engages in stories that have no relevance to our lives, but have the ability to catch our attention. Of course, the easiest way to catch our attention is to speak of scandal. Gossip. Nevertheless, we are drawn into something that is out of the ordinary. If it was not, then it would not be the subject of gossip.

Now, in the case of Islam, it is generally easy to decipher truth from fiction. If something gets a lot of attention on the News, you can be sure that it represents an anomaly and not the mainstream. It represents scandal, and not normal life. The anomalies within the news are the stories of the local Muslim going through his/her day. The anomalies within reality are the Muslims fulfilling any of the above categories.

Thus, when we watch the News, the topics we see most often are:

1- Muslim preaching or practicing Terror. The general character here is the person preaching vicious “us vs. them” rhetoric in purely symbolic, ideological language. And, of course, it includes real terrorists.

2- Former Muslim preaching against Islam. The general character here is the Muslim who was ostracized from an already oppressive environment, and found freedom in the West, and that “freedom” required that s/he drop Islam and start attacking it.

3- Muslim divided from Muslim. The general character here is the Muslim who kills other Muslims. Generally, it is the Sunni killing the Shi’ite or the Shi’ite killing the Sunni, or the shadowy Muslim killing the popular Muslim.

If you want to “make” the news, meaning, if you want to be the center of attention in a news story, then take one of the above routes.

If, however, you want to learn what Islam is not, then watch the news.



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