Information Warfare: Truth To Die For

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February 19, 2015:   Opinion polls conducted among Moslems after the January Islamic terror attacks in Paris, France that left 20 dead found that most Moslems in the Middle East believed that the attack was actually carried out by Israeli intelligence to punish Europe for it growing support of the Palestinian effort to destroy Israel. Over 80 percent of Palestinians believed this. The logic of this attitude was that the only one to benefit from the attacks was Israel so it must have been planned by Israel.

Such conspiracy theories are nothing new in the Middle East. Many Moslems there still believe that the September 11, 2001 attacks were carried out by the Israelis and the American CIA. In fact just about any catastrophic event that makes Arabs or Moslems look bad is not only blamed on Israel, the Americans or some other Western state but most Moslems actually believe it and have no problem expressing those beliefs to foreigners (especially from the West). These conspiracy theories extend to the belief that the Taliban, al Qaeda and ISIL were all Western inventions meant to discredit Islam and Moslems in general as well as provide an excuse to attack Islam and kill Moslems.

This inability to accept responsibility has long been a big problem in the Islamic world. In part it’s cultural, as degree of belief in these delusions varies from one Moslem community to another. But Islam itself doesn’t help because the Islamic scripture and commentaries encourage the belief that Islam is constantly at war with a hostile non-Moslem world. Pointing out that the non-Moslem world doesn’t really care about what self-inflicted problems afflict Islam simply perplexes observant Moslems who believe Islam is the center of the universe and even non-believers must be aware of that. Out of this comes the immediate belief that any purported act of Islamic terror attack in the West could not involve Moslems and must be some bit of theater put on by infidels (non-Moslems) to give the West an excuse to attack Moslems. Thus Moslems see Western assertions their military efforts against Islamic terrorists as an act of Western self-defense as just another Western lie.

A growing number of Moslems know this ancient attitude is wrong. But that awareness only comes to Moslems who have moved to the West and bothered to understand their new neighbors. Moslems who are educated in the West tend to become aware that attitudes back home need some serious updating. But these now “bi-cultural” Moslems also know that sharing their newfound insights with the folks back home can get you killed. Despite that, awareness of reality is coming, slowly, to the Islamic world. In the meantime the killing continues.

 

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