Do You Think The Wrong Thing?!
Western democracies have a great and serious problem: larger and larger swaths of people, when asked their opinion on certain matters, keep coming back with the wrong opinion. Surely, something must be done about this!
The other option is to de-link Islam from violence by ensuring that people stop carrying out acts of violence in the name of Islam; or to create ways for people actually to acquire quality healthcare at affordable prices; or seriously to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, or to stop those in power from 'making up the rules as they go along', which as Daniel Hannan puts it, "means, in short, that there is no effective rule of law."
We must face up to it. The Western democracies have a great and serious problem which appears only to be growing: the general public is developing views highly questionable to those in positions of power. Larger and larger swaths of people, when asked their opinion of certain matters, keep coming back with the wrong opinion. Whether it is opposition to the EU in Europe, or to Obamacare in the U.S., or to a hopeless deal with Iran to keep it from producing nuclear weapons, something, surely, must be done about this!
Take the latest example, a different matter that came to light with a school in Glasgow, Scotland. The institution was recently forced to call in a crack-squad of head-scarf wearing Muslim women to help correct what the school felt was a "racist" view of Islam held by some of its students.
When the school asked the pupils to say which which words came to mind when people talked about Muslims -- and the response included "terrorist," "oppressed," "a threat" and "scary" -- re-educating the pupils was found to be necessary. Some pupils even, outrageously, said "9/11."
After the BBC and other media promptly picked up this disturbing story and asked what more can be done to "educate" Scottish youngsters, the school apparently corrected this problem.
But what to do about the recognition that problems like these may well be more widespread?
The reaction to the Glasgow story was reminiscent to that which followed the publication of a poll carried out by BBC Radio 1 in June of this year. When it was released in September, it transpired that of 1,000 young people polled, 27% said that they did not trust Muslims, with 44% saying they thought Muslims did not share the same views as the rest of the population. On that occasion, too, the BBC and other media went into overdrive to work out what had gone wrong and how Britain could better "address" the problem that so many people thought this way.
Conversely, when the same poll showed that 15% of young people did not trust Jews, 13% did not trust Buddhists and 12% did not trust Christians, those facts were not deemed figures of significance.
As so often is the case today, a poll is carried out on public opinion and when it turns out that the public has the wrong views on whatever is the Dictate of the Day -- the question then is asked, 'What can people in positions of power do to ensure the public is made to think the right way?'
What is striking, is that despite the attempts to re-educate and otherwise alter the attitudes of the majority of the population, the population continues to understand -- in ever larger numbers -- that the problems lie not with them but with what is happening around them. As Daniel Pipes pointed out recently, for example, across much of Europe, Islam appears not to be growing as fast as negative perceptions of it.
As Pipes also cited, in Germany last year, a poll revealed that only 7% of Germans associate Islam with "openness, tolerance or respect for human rights." 64% connect it with violence; 68% with intolerance towards other faiths, and 83% with discrimination against women. A poll in France earlier this year revealed that 67% of people believe Islamic values to be "incompatible with those of French society," 73% view Islam negatively and 74 % consider it intolerant. If the problem of perception of Islam were limited to Dundee, that would be one thing. But the Dundee schoolchildren clearly perceive something which a growing number of people across Western Europe also perceive -- as other people do about other problems surrounding them.
Of course, as some of us continue to try to point out, there are really only two ways to tackle these "problems." The first is to change the opinions of all of the public. This could be tricky. It would require suppressing stories, misrepresenting events, possibly covering over the occasional beheading, the nuclear cheating, the circumvented law, the cancelled doctor, the terminated insurance policy, the high-handed directive, the repeated deception, the unequal application of the law, the unworkable economic model, the contorted cover-up, the inferior product, the false accusation, and generally trying to ensure that the general public stop noticing what is happening in the world around it.
Except that there is the internet of course, which is a nuisance. Although it is possible that some way could be found to shut down all social-networking and news sites and also persuade Google to bring up "daisies" and "recipes for apple pie" whenever anyone types "beheading" or "redistribution" or "uranium enrichment" or "Greece" into his search engine.
That is the start of one option. The other option is to de-link Islam and violence by ensuring that people stop carrying out acts of violence in the name of Islam; or to create ways for people actually to receive quality healthcare at affordable prices; or to seriously prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, or to stop those in power from 'making up the rules as they go along', which as Daniel Hannan puts it, "means, in short, that there is no effective rule of law." Those options are not easy either, but they are far easier than the first option, and ever less frequently tried.
Reader comments on this item
|A third way [53 words]||Sol Kashberg||Jan 24, 2014 04:42|
|Erratum [10 words]||Ron Barak||Dec 17, 2013 13:20|
|From Clarity to Murkiness? [184 words]||Ron Thompson||Dec 15, 2013 14:14|
|Right of free speech. [19 words]||Mr. Reality||Dec 13, 2013 09:32|
|If at first you don't succeed try try again........ [140 words]||Ephesian||Dec 13, 2013 03:32|
|Perhaps It's Our Masters Who Need Re-educating. [77 words]||Newspaniard||Dec 13, 2013 03:28|
|Do You Think The Wrong Thing. [80 words]||Barbara Griffith||Dec 13, 2013 00:40|
|Once again [11 words]||Andrew||Dec 13, 2013 00:37|
|Please reconsider [30 words]||Glenn Dupuis||Dec 12, 2013 14:11|
|The real problem... [77 words]||Gnarlodious||Dec 12, 2013 13:19|
|Islam's bottom line:The Caliphate [328 words]||glenn dupuis||Dec 12, 2013 11:47|
Comment on this item
by Burak Bekdil
Where Turkey stands today is a perfect example of how, when Islamists -- mild or otherwise -- rule a county, even the most basic liberties are systematically suppressed.
"A climate of fear has emerged in Turkey." — Hasam Kilic, President, Turkey's Constitutional Court.
The prosecutor demanded a heavier penalty for the victim than for her torturers.
The European Commission identified government interference in the judiciary and bans imposed on social media as the major sources of concern regarding Turkey's candidacy for full membership.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
To understand what drives a young Palestinian to carry out such a deadly attack, one needs to look at the statements of Palestinian Authority leaders during the past few weeks.
The anti-Israel campaign of incitement reached its peak with Abbas's speech at the UN a few weeks ago, when he accused Israel of waging a "war of genocide" in the Gaza Strip. Abbas made no reference to Hamas's crimes against both Israelis and Palestinians.
Whatever his motives, it is clear that the man who carried out the most recent attack, was influenced by the messages that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority leadership have been sending their people.
by Richard Kemp
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The Iranian regime remains dedicated to undermining and ultimately destroying the State of Israel. The Islamic State also has Israel in its sights and would certainly use the West Bank as a point from which to attack, if it were open to them.
There can be no two-state solution and no sovereign Palestinian Arab state west of the Jordan, however desirable those things might be. The stark military reality is that Israel cannot withdraw its forces from the West Bank.
Fatah leaders ally themselves with the terrorists of Hamas, and, like Hamas, they continue to reject the every existence of the State of Israel.
If Western leaders actually want to help, they should use all diplomatic and economic means to make it clear to the Palestinians that they will never achieve an independent and sovereign state while they remain set on the destruction of the State of Israel.
by Louis René Beres
The Palestine Liberation Organization [PLO], forerunner of today's Palestinian Authority, was founded in 1964, three years before Israel came into the unintended control of the West Bank and Gaza. What therefore was the PLO planning to "liberate"?
Why does no one expect the Palestinians to cease all deliberate and random violence against Israeli civilians before being considered for admission to statehood?
On June 30, 1922, a joint resolution of both Houses of Congress of the United States endorsed a "Mandate for Palestine," confirming the right of Jews to settle anywhere they chose between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea. This is the core American legacy of support for a Jewish State that President Obama now somehow fails to recall.
A sovereign state of Palestine, as identified by the Arabs -- a Muslim land occupied by "Palestinian" Arabs -- has never existed; not before 1948, and not before 1967. From the start, it was, and continues to be, the Arab states -- not Israel -- that became the core impediment to Palestinian sovereignty.
by Timon Dias
It looks as if this new law is meant to serve as a severe roadblock to parties that would like to dismantle the EU in a democratic and peaceful way from within.
A rather dull semantic trick pro-EU figures usually apply, is calling their opponents "anti-Europe."