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I Heart the Media

December 17, 2007

kr’s note: Gotta love the media. I was referred to this article by several people, and some of them were quite happy at the positive media coverage we Moslems were getting. They were pleased that the Hajj was being covered and written with a glowing angle.

Please. This article is one of the most biased, slanted, agenda-filled piece I’ve ever read it makes me wonder if this was just copied from FoxNews.com instead. I love how much of it is very subtle and shapes people’s perceptions without them necessarily even being aware of it. Then again, the devil is a genius at subtlety.

What follows is the article, and my commentary in italics. Oh yeah, I think I said something about not posting till January 2008… but then I did. Go figure.

http://www.cnn.com/2007/WORLD/meast/12/16/saudi.hajj.ap/index.html

Muslims gather for Hajj pilgrimage

  • Story Highlights
  • Saudis announce tougher security precautions as Muslims gather in Mecca
  • An estimated 2.5 million pilgrims will move out of Mecca to Mount Arafat
  • Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad among guests invited by Saudi king

MECCA, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Millions of Muslims
from around the world gathered in Mecca Sunday for the start of the
annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage, as the Saudi Interior Ministry
announced tough security precautions (Amazing how the first qualifier they use for Hajj is to talk about security, as if security is the biggest issue each year when Hajj rolls around. Anyone who’s been to Hajj can agree that even though you’re surrounded by millions of people, security is the LAST concern on you’re mind. You can walk around without a fear in the world. This isn’t like some rock concert or sporting event wherein they have to get like 10,000 security people for 90,000 attendees. But then of course, we Moslems are rowdy, barbaric — probably haven’t even discovered electricity yet–so of course, we’re going to need tough security precautions. Is there a color coding system for Hajj like they have at US airports? Is the threat advisory saffron or elachi colored this time of year?)

Men and women draped (I like how we’re ‘draped’, instead of just ‘clothed’… draping conjuring up images of cults like the KKK also draped in their white robes, and also full of hatred towards anyone part of their society) in
white robes circled the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest site, seven times in a
ceremony anticipating the official start of the pilgrimage on Monday.

King Abdullah has invited 1,000 guests to this year’s Hajj, including Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (of course, mentioning the latest ‘most dangerous man in the world’ will always get a rise out of your audience)

During
the next two days, an estimated 2.5 million pilgrims will move out of
Mecca to Mount Arafat for Tuesday’s climax of symbolically stoning the
devil (first off, that’s quite inaccurate since the climax of Hajj is Arafat itself, and the stoning of the devil occurs on the following day. On top of it, apparently that’s the climax of Hajj, as if to say that even our most religious rite involves some act of violence, and specifically in this case, stone throwing, conjuring up subconscious images in the minds of readers of Palestinians throwing stones against their invaders.) .

By Friday, more than 1.6 million pilgrims had arrived in
Mecca, according to the Central Hajj Committee. The Health Ministry
said about 254 pilgrims, many who were elderly, have died (I’m sure the health ministry mentioned many other things, but notice how its only the numbers of people who died, even though, statistically speaking in that large of a population, especially with so many elderly people, people will die… that’s how the world works. Go look at the stats of any major metropolitan city, and the number of deaths for that many people will be quite similar) of natural
causes since arriving. VideoWatch what’s entailed in the large security effort     (yippee, we get to watch a video of the barbarians too?!)

The
pilgrims are massed in tent cities on the outskirts of Mecca. For many
believers, the Hajj is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to cleanse their
sins in what is one of the most important rites for Muslims.

This
year’s Hajj takes place amid increasing worries across the Islamic
world over the bloodshed in Iraq and Afghanistan and recent terror
attacks by al Qaeda-linked groups, including last week’s twin suicide
bombings in Algeria that killed at least 37 people. (more references implying that all we Moslems are good for and known for is violence and killing… how about how many lives were saved by Moslem doctors in the last week, maybe we can mention something like that instead? But that doesn’t sell newspapers.)

Tensions also
have increased between the two main sects of Islam, Sunnis and Shiites,
who come together in the five days of Hajj rituals centered around
Mecca, the traditional birthplace of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (again implying violence, as if whenever Sunnis and Shi’ites get together, violence always ensues, since Moslems are violent people, and that’s the only thing they know how to do even when they’re around their own kind. Never mind that for generations these political differences have never been a real issue during the pilgrimage)

Saudi
Arabia and other Gulf Arab countries — who are all U.S. allies — have
been worried over Iran’s increasing regional influence (again implying that Moslems are so unstable that we fight and quarrel with each other, and therefore we need enlightened countries like the United States to steal the oil–I mean, keep the peace). But the king’s
invitation to Ahmadinejad appeared to reflect a readiness from Saudi
Arabia, a majority Sunni country, to reach out to its Shiite-dominated
neighbor. It comes about a week after a U.S. intelligence report said
Iran had ended a nuclear weapons program four years ago.

Saudi
Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz said the kingdom is
capable of maintaining security and preventing any attempt to threaten
the safety of the pilgrims.

“We will not allow for the problems
in other countries to be reflected here during this Hajj season,” he
said in a news conference late Saturday.

Maj. Gen. Saleh Mohammed
al-Shihri, commander of the Central Control of the Hajj Security, said
1,150 cameras have been placed in several areas to monitor the area.
Several helicopters, fitted with these cameras, will also hover over
the pilgrims.

Nayef said no extra security precautions will be
put in place for Ahmadinejad. The Iranian leader was scheduled to
arrive in Mecca on Monday, Iranian state media has reported. (blah blah blah, more statistics to explain how such measures have to be taken to accommodate these barbarians… give me a freakin’ break)

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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4 Comments
  1. I dont know Kamran… you sound like you are getting deep into cynic territory.  Look, I don’t expect a fair shake from the media just as much as you do, but the draped thing was reaching.  I thought it was a romantic word choice.  =PHow have you been?  I still love you even though you unsubscribed me a while back after I called you on your redneck tirade about… brown people, I mean, mexicans.haha… long time bro.  I hope you haven’t let the world make you bitter.  It wasn’t created to do so, it was created as a test.  The more you realize the more fortunate you are.  Salaam.

  2. thanks for the article share.i have pretty exciting news, myself. remember when you wrote the entry about how masjids should create their own venues for money rather than asking the community to contribute at fundraising dinners? well, i had cousins who stayed over on their way back from hajj and they were telling me about their local masjid in CA – it actually does just that! this masjid has an islamic school, bookstore, library, (free) medical clinic, legal clinic, community service program, workshops, a fitness center, youth counseling,etc. …my cousin was even telling me that there is a female muslim revert who even leads hiking expeditions! check it out for yourself – http://www.mcabayarea.org/is this not exciting?

  3. Hello KR,You worked hard to make your site simple yet elegant. I see that you have a wide variety of interests and observations here! I like to write articles about God and religion on my site to help people to really get to know God, especially in these troubled times. “All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won’t have to bother believing a Truth they can’t see…” (2Corinthians 4:4) (Message Bible) I hope you get a chance to look at them.

  4. Its funny how the security over there is advertised so much, yet once one goes there…to bleep with security. Other than the blue garmented workers, there is no one else who even dares to care for the next walking pilgrim. But at the same time I dont think anyone really cares about security anyways; everyone is too busy worrying about the afterlife that forgiving kind of comes second nature (though not always).
    But how come in your last year’s Hajj memoirs you never mentioned the drastic changes they have done…? I couldnt believe they actually sealed the well area. It was like ‘the thing’. Man to be able to see the actual thing was just incredible…and now they sealed it up…grr.

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