I am most
perturbed by the hysterical media propaganda. I would particularly
like to draw your attention to the series of articles being printed
in The Times. The leader also appears to reflect an anti-Muslim
stance. What can ordinary Muslims who are truly dismayed by this do.
How many letters can one write to point out the erroneous views as
presented by the gung-ho media ?
The media have been
trying to create a mass hysteria in favour of war but reassuringly
have not managed. Even their own letters pages did not agree with
their editorials. It is important to remember that journalists are
not paid to inform but rather to shape and create public opinion.
There is no such thing as an independent press. Opinions contrary to
official policy are usually censored or given low prominence. The
BBC, for example, apologised after its post 11 September question
time programme that this was broadcasted live rather than
pre-recorded so that the anti-American sentiment amongst the
audience could be edited out. Nontheless, it is not futile to write
to the papers or telephone phone-in programmes, even if one is not
given a platform, simply to register with the programme makers that
they are out of touch with large sectors of public opinion. At the
same time we need to work on developing and strengthening our own
channels of communication. The internet has changed the game of
propaganda, even though there are attempts at tighter control, in
that information which would never before have been voiced is now
readily available for those who want to find out.