By: Kathy Malas
* 08:45am : American
Flight 11 crashes into the North Tower in the World Trade Centre
* 09:03 am: American Flight 175 from Boston crashes into the South
Tower in the World Trade Centre in Manhattan.
* 09:45 a.m.: American Flight 77 crashes into the Pentagon.
* 10:00 a.m.: The South Tower of the World Trade Centre collapses.
* 10:10 a.m.: American Flight 93 crashes in a wooden area in Shanksville,
* 10:29 a.m.: The North Tower of the World Trade Centre collapses.
Everyone knows the subsequent
of the events. Only one word can be used to describe this catastrophe.
A word that the Media avoids to employ when using descriptive adjectives:
I was at the College, in my Physics
class when, all of a sudden, one of my classmates rose up and said:
“Mrs. There is bombing in America. All classes are cancelled!” All
the students were evacuated out of the campus. A total chaos was
manifested. People were talking about a bombing. What bombing? I
rushed home and jumped on the T.V
CNN, CBC, FOX 44, RDI, SRC, TVA,
RDS, CTV, ABC. Just open your T.V and pick a channel. “ America
under attack” or “ Terrorists attack America” was some titles utilized.
I couldn’t believe my eyes! The scene of the two Boeing 767 booming
into the Twin Towers of The World Trade Centres in NY shown over
and over. Hundreds or maybe thousands of people were running, screaming
and crying in the street(s) of Manhattan.
I had tears in my eyes when these
pictures rolled in my head. The only thing I could thing about was:
“ Doom’s Day is approaching!” Only few hours after the tragedy,
while I was trying to understand what was happening, I heard a lady,
being interviewed on T.V, describing what she had seen and commenting
on the event. She said that these pigs that did this act of terrorism
“back there” should be punished severely.
What did she mean by “back there?”
Before the smoke was cleared from the Pentagon and the World Trade
Centre, Americans and the Media started unfounded accusing, without
even having a slight proven idea, several countries and organization.
The Gazette’s front page newspaper (Wednesday, September 12, 2001),
stated: “ But in the hours after the horrific attacks on New York
City’s World Trade Centre and The Pentagon, the head quarters of
the U.S military in Washington had no clear sense of whom to hold
responsible. Was it the infamous Osama bin Laden, holed up in Taliban-controlled
Afghanistan? Was it Sadam Hussein’s Iraq? Or Moammar Ghadfi’s Libya,
or any number of faceless Muslim extremist organizations? Or none
of the above?”
The suspicions arising in the
mind of Americans and the Media always revolve around Muslim and
Arabic countries. These conclusions are always assumptions or guesses
pin pointed clearly by the Media. They say that it may be this or
that country, organization or individual and then declare that there
is no clear evidence yet. These quick judgments results or leads
to generalization of accusation through hate propaganda and to severe
repercussions on the society as an upshot of media hysteria.
Several T.V channels centred
their assumptions on groups of the Middle East; from Palestine,
to Iraq, to Syria, to Egypt, to Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan, to
Osama bin Laden and finally generalizing all Arabs and even all
the Muslim Community. “ You can link just anybody in the (Muslim)
Sunni extremist world to bin Laden” said one former senior U.S government
counter terrorism specialist, who spoke on condition of anonymity.”
(Gazette, Wednesday, September 12, 2001). It is clear how the media
links Muslims with terrorism? Why does the Media do so? Even if
bin Laden was proven to be the person responsible of the attack,
Islam shouldn’t be blamed for that. It is the act of one individual
or small group and not the act of a whole nation or religion. Middle
East “terrorists” were blamed for the Oklahoma bombing that occurred
in 1997. It was then confirmed to be an American citizen. Islam
is totally against killing innocent civilians. The word “Islam”
means peace. Yet, the Media always portrays Islam as being the synonym
The generalization of accusation
is used through hate propaganda. The media affirms that they do
not want to blame any country, group or religion for these attacks.
Nowadays, you have to judge someone by his actions and not about
what they say because people are hypocrites. This is what the Media
is doing. It assures the public that there is no clear prove of
any responsible of the attacks but hitherto they have the audacity
to “guess” any country they want to. An article published in the
National Post (September 13th 2001) by Alan Philips says: “ Palestinians
leaders scrambled yesterday to dissociate themselves from Tuesday’s
terrorist attack in the United States, amid fears Western sympathy
for the Arab cause had suffered a blow that would be felt for generation”.
Further on, it states: “ The pictures are terrible but better than
1,000 ambassadors trying to explain how dangerous Islamic terror
is.” Do you see how the media is developing hate propaganda? Alan
Philips starts his article by saying that the Palestinians leaders
denied their involvement with these attacks. It then states a citation
said by Ehud Sprinzak, an Israeli counter terrorism expert, explaining
that Islamic terror is dangerous. Why does the media have to link
Islam with terrorism? I can’t find an answer to this question that
I asked myself several times in this article.
A spokeswoman on TV15 was talking
about uniting forces with the Americans and forming allies to fight
terrorism. She assured that the world will join this union and that
there will be only one common enemy that could be easily destroyed.
She assumed that this rival is Islam.
I was happy to hear that Tony
Blair stated “ This is not a situation in which we should see this
as a cause between the Muslim faith and the world, but between terrorism
and the rest of the world, including Muslim faith” (National Post,
September 13th, 2001)
As a result of media hysteria, several impacts on the society are
making their appearance. Everyone knows that the media has tremendous
effect on the society. By blaming, without clear-cut proof, different
Arab countries and Muslim countries, the public has then this feeling
of accusation. This feeling sinks into their minds and they start
rebelling against all Arabs and Muslims. A young Muslim girl, at
Vanier College, was verbally threatened of rape and badly insulted
by other students. A Muslim woman in Manhattan was being roughed
up by and angry and vengeful mob. (Gazette 12/09/2001). A young
boy, Thaer Assad, was expelled from Saint-Germain high school for
saying: “ It’s good that this terrible thing ….” The teacher, without
letting him finish his sentence, sent him to the principle’s office
and the young boy was expelled from his school. The rest of his
sentence was: “It’s good that this thing didn’t happen here.” The
most terrible aspect of this boy’s story, is that his uncle who
lives in NY close to the World Trade Centre is still unaccounted
for. A mosque located on Boul. Saint-Laurent was firebombed. Some
Muslims schools in Montreal even received threats from unknown individuals.
They took precautionary measured to protect their students. The
principle of the only Muslim secondary school in Montreal, Mr. Samer
Majzoub, was quoted at CBC and Radio Canada saying, “we took precautionary
measures such as asking for police protection and locking of the
school doors during day time after some of our secondary students
were verbally assaulted and the general feeling amongst them was
one of unease and anxiety ”
Conversely, Israelis took the
opportunity to increase the violence in the Palestinian territories.
Atrocities increased after the terrible assault that happened on
Tuesday. Eleven Palestinians were shot dead on Wednesday and seven
other were martyred on Thursday. “ An aide to Mr. Arafat accused
the Israelis of “taking advantage of the international situation
to escalate the war against the Palestinians.” (National Post, 13/09/2001)
To conclude, the Media has to be objective and fair and has to report
facts only. It doesn’t have to jump into conclusions and has to
stop generalizing and avoid the hate propaganda that will have negative
repercussion on specific ethnic and religious group. When a comment,
a guess, a supposition, a speculation or an assumption is made,
it is caught by the public’s minds and is hard to deny afterwards.
This good epigram that the media should take into consideration
“ Be careful of what you say; something that is said can never be
taken back.” Islam is not equal to terrorism.