The Deeper Pattern
"For the grossly impudent lie always leaves traces behind it, even after it has been nailed down, a fact which is known to all expert liars in this world and to all who conspire together in the art of lying.”
IN MY PREVIOUS TWO POSTS, I've described a propaganda email which is an example of a frightening trend in our country.
It's the third one I've received recently which uses a series of unabashed lies to smear a religious group and brand them as unAmerican.
The first of these emails told a series of lies about Muslim Americans and their beliefs.
The second used a judge's remarks to the famous shoe-bomber to hide a hidden lie that equated Muslims to terrorism and hatred of America.
This one uses a series of lies about a postage stamp to hide a deeper lie that all Muslims are terrorists, and to inspire religious hatred against them.
And I've recently received a fourth email, which tells a different set of lies in order to convince the reader that Muslims are cruel to children. (I'll tell you about that one in a future post.)
In each case, the purported "facts" are bald-faced misrepresentations.
In each case, there's an underlying message of intolerance, hatred, and prejudice.
And, in each case, there is an attempt to conflate a handful of terrorists with all Muslims on one hand, and then to create a false "America vs. Muslims" point of view on the other.
The current propaganda email continues this process with the following list:
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of Pan Am Flight 103!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon !
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the Military Barracks in Saudi Arabia !
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the American Embassies in Africa !
REMEMBER the MUSLIM bombing of the USS COLE!
REMEMBER the MUSLIM attack on 9/11/2001 !
See how it drives the conflation home?
- It repeats the word "Muslim" in describing seven terrorist attacks spread over the last twenty years, never once mentioning that the overwhelming majority of Muslims had nothing to do with those attacks.
- It conveniently omits mention of the many acts of terrorism that have been perpetrated by Christians, or members of other religions, during that same period. (In Ireland, for example, or the United States, and elsewhere—the world is a big place.)
- And so it manages to leave the false impression that all or most terrorists are Muslims, and
- the completely baseless and worse lie that all or most Muslims are potential terrorists.
So, of course, we should be deeply offended that Muslims celebrate religious holidays. (A Christian or Jew would never do anything so strange or wicked!)
But it gets worse, because the next step, after lumping all Muslims together with a handful of terrorists, is to divide the world into two separate categories:
REMEMBER all the AMERICAN lives that were lost in those vicious MUSLIM attacks!
So, apparently, we are to believe that "AMERICANS" and "MUSLIMS" are opposites!
Never mind all the brave Muslim soldiers who have given their lives for America.
No, we are supposed to ignore their sacrifices for our safety, and treat their relatives—and our fellow citizens—back home as intruders in their own country.
Pass this along to every Patriotic American that you know and get the word out! Honor the United States of America !
And so the email ends with a call to "Patriotic Americans" to "Honor" the United States by dishonoring our fellow citizens, dishonoring their freedom of religion, dishonoring their sacrifices for this country and for our safety.
It begins with a deceptive charge of government deception.
It proceeds to slap American Muslims in the face by claiming that commemorating their religious holiday is a slap in the face to dead Americans.
It ends with a dishonorable appeal to "honor" America by denying the values our country is built on and the sacrifices her patriotic citizens have made.
And it tries to get the reader to join the conspiracy by passing the email along.
That, by the way, is not a small thing.
When someone has forwarded an email like this, they have inadvertently committed themselves to its message, and will find it harder to question that message in the future.
It's a form of brainwashing—clever enough to take in the most patriotic American.
This is a dangerous trend—an attempt to divide this country against itself, and so to destroy it.
And, given the other recent emails that have been circulated with this theme, it appears to be part of a concerted effort to get Americans hating and fearing each other.
Remember what happened the last time this kind of scapegoating was used, in Germany.
Remember where it led, and the cost brave Americans paid to stop it.
A country divided against itself cannot stand.
Every patriotic American needs to be on the lookout for this kind of manipulation, and to nip it in the bud.
At least, that's what I think today.