Home     Writers     Op/Ed     Book Reviews     News     Bookstore     Photoshops     Submit     Search     Contact Us     Advertise  
  You are here: 

Tue

18

Aug

2009

Fears that spring from ignorance
Tuesday, 18 August 2009 04:44
by Paul J. Balles Ph.D

Most of us have had fears of one kind or another. Some fears are quite rational. If someone threatens you, and you have reason to believe that person will carry out his threat, your fear is rational. Not all fears are rational.

Have you ever been short of breath, shaking, nauseated and lightheaded within elevators, closed rooms or crowded places? Experienced a panic attack in a high-rise building? Do you have an irrational fear of germs? Of strangers or foreigners? Of shadows? Of thunder or lightening? Of spiders? Of public speaking? Afraid of flying?

If you've experienced any of these, you're suffering from a type of irrational fear called a phobia. These are some of the most common phobias. People suffer from literally hundreds of phobias.

A relatively recent irrational phobia that hasn't even appeared on all the lists is Islamophobia - fear of Islam.

Kofi Annan told a UN conference on Islamophobia in 2004:

"When the world is compelled to coin a new term to take account of increasingly widespread bigotry, that is a sad and troubling development. Such is the case with Islamophobia."

In 1996, the Runnymede Trust established the Commission on British Muslims and Islamophobia. The term was defined by the Trust as "an outlook or world-view involving an unfounded dread and dislike of Muslims, which results in practices of exclusion and discrimination."

The Runnymede report identified eight perceptions related to Islamophobia:
Islam is seen as a monolithic bloc, static and unresponsive to change.
It is seen as separate and "other." It does not have values in common with other cultures, is not affected by them and does not influence them.
It is seen as inferior to the West. It is seen as barbaric, irrational, primitive, and sexist.
It is seen as violent, aggressive, threatening, supportive of terrorism, and engaged in a clash of civilizations.
It is seen as a political ideology, used for political or military advantage.
Criticisms made of "the West" by Muslims are rejected out of hand.
Hostility towards Islam is used to justify discriminatory practices towards Muslims and exclusion of Muslims from mainstream society.
Anti-Muslim hostility is seen as natural and normal.
    Of course, Muslims and others who have lived in Muslim countries know how absurd these perceptions are. Why, after more than a decade, do Westerners still believe these false assumptions about Islam? What are the sources of the baseless fears feeding these perceptions?


    Many of the distorted impressions come from Zionist propaganda:

    Israel’s use of words like disputed territory rather than occupied, redeeming for stealing land, terrorists rather than resistance fighters for Palestinians, anti-Semites for critics of Israel (self-hating Jews if the critics are Jewish).
    AIPAC bulletins and lobbying – AIPAC’s only purpose is to ensure American support for Israel. No matter what Israel does, it cannot do any wrong.
    AJC newsletters - despite efforts by Jewish organizations to stifle criticism of Israel and objections to Zionism, anti-Zionism is not anti-Semitism. Not all Jews are Semites. Most Arabs are.
    ZOA - Zionist Organization of America
      Western brainwashing comes from the media:

      articles by writers like Daniel Pipes, (who claims an Islamist goal is to take over the United States and replace the Constitution with the Koran).
      anti-Arab, anti-black radio broadcasts by Rush Limbaugh and Arab-hater Ann Coulter.
      TV influence of Fox News anchors, like Bill O'Reilly, labelling Arabs as anti-Semites and terrorists.
      Hollywood films have been vilifying Arabs for more than 50 years.
        As Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “Fear always springs from ignorance. “
        More from this author:
        Perfidy, Duplicity and Deceit (7286 Hits)
        By Dr. Paul J. Balles If the world will be gulled, let it be gulled. -Robert Burton Americans refuse to end the reign of the National...
        Invisible Men (6614 Hits)
        by Dr. Paul J. Balles “I am an invisible man," said Ralph Ellison in the prologue to his novel The Invisible Man, "When...
        Freedom Loved and Hated (8321 Hits)
        by Paul Balles Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press, and that cannot be limited without being lost. --Thomas Jefferson ...
        Nothing to celebrate - US elections bad for Arabs (7433 Hits)
        by Paul J. Balles Paul J. Balles argues that the Democrats' gains in the US mid-term elections will not lead to a change in US policy in the...
        A world of psychopaths - The superiority complex of psychopaths - and Israel and the US (11935 Hits)
        by Paul J. Balles Paul J. Balles considers the psychopathic phenomenon of the "superiority complex" as an explanation of...
        Related Articles:
        Why Bush wants immunity from prosecution for war crimes (239229 Hits)
        Although not as widely remarked as the elimination of habeas rights and the consecration of torture, the recently passed Senate torture legislation...
        More “Culture Wars” Gibberish from nutcase David Brooks (11531 Hits)
        Most of us know David Brooks as the balding goofball on “The Jim Lehrer News Hour” who shrugs his shoulders and giggles gleefully whenever...
        "Boiling Point" - Eroding Freedom: From John Adams to George W. Bush (13297 Hits)
        Put a frog into a pot of boiling water, the well-known parable begins, and out that frog will jump to escape the obvious danger. Put that same...
        Mosaic TV - World News from the Middle East (14366 Hits)
        Mosaic features selections from daily TV news programs produced by national and regional broadcasters throughout the Middle East....
        From Liberating Spirituality to Oppressive Dogma: The Politics of Religion (18249 Hits)
        By Mel Seesholtz, Ph.D. Spirituality is intrapersonal. It’s a liberating and uplifting awareness. It nurtures personal growth. It inspires...


        Add this page to your favorite Social Bookmarking websites
        Trackback(0)
        Comments (0)add comment

        Write comment
        smaller | bigger

        busy
         

        adsense

        Top