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glo
10-12-2012, 07:18 PM
This afternoon something happened in this forum, which has been on my mind ever since.

The traces of the incident have been (rightly) removed by the mods and I don't want to say anything which refers in detail to the deleted posts in question – so I will try to keep it general whilst conveying the issue I want to raise.

* * *

Somebody posted a reference to a video that touched on a topic which has been very close to my heart recently and which I feel quite emotional about.
At the same time the same video called for violence in response to this emotive issue – something I would normally never, ever condone.

And yet, because I feel so passionate and supportive of the emotive issue, all I could see was what I AGREED with and at the same time I simply ignored (or went along with) the things I totally DISAGREE with …

I felt so convinced about it that I not only agreed with the one who had posted the reference, but went as far as putting up the offensive video MYSELF!! :phew

I have apologised and I have mulled the ensuing criticism and responses over ever since.

* * *

It occurs to me that this is a good example of how propaganda works: it captures the feelings and emotions of its audience and couples it with a suggestion or idea which may not have occurred to the audience initially.
Then, by association, the two (feeling and idea) become intertwined and – before we know it – we adopt a belief or a suggestion, which wasn't ours to start with!

I feel very humbled, because I had believed that I was beyond such mind games.
Clearly I am not ... :embarrass
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Aprender
10-12-2012, 07:21 PM
A'uduhu billahi minash shaytaan ir rajeem.
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Hulk
10-12-2012, 07:29 PM
I believe there is a hadith about the end of times where the Prophet pbuh said that if you were to see dajjal(anti christ). Run the other way. Do not think that you will not be affected by his tricks(something along those lines).

Anyway.. I really think people are like sheep sometimes. A lot of times they just follow the crowd.. I find it interesting that many Prophets(pbut) were at one point in their lives shepherds..
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Scimitar
10-12-2012, 07:41 PM
Originally Posted by glo
This afternoon something happened in this forum, which has been on my mind ever since.

The traces of the incident have been (rightly) removed by the mods and I don't want to say anything which refers in detail to the deleted posts in question – so I will try to keep it general whilst conveying the issue I want to raise.

* * *



Somebody posted a reference to a video that touched on a topic which has been very close to my heart recently and which I feel quite emotional about.
At the same time the same video called for violence in response to this emotive issue – something I would normally never, ever condone.

And yet, because I feel so passionate and supportive of the emotive issue, all I could see was what I AGREED with and at the same time I simply ignored (or went along with) the things I totally DISAGREE with …

I felt so convinced about it that I not only agreed with the one who had posted the reference, but went as far as putting up the offensive video MYSELF!! :phew

I have apologised and I have mulled the ensuing criticism and responses over ever since.

* * *



It occurs to me that this is a good example of how propaganda works: it captures the feelings and emotions of its audience and couples it with a suggestion or idea which may not have occurred to the audience initially.
Then, by association, the two (feeling and idea) become intertwined and – before we know it – we adopt a belief or a suggestion, which wasn't ours to start with!

I feel very humbled, because I had believed that I was beyond such mind games.
Clearly I am not ... :embarrass
you nailed it sis.

Forgive yourself - you're human... we make mistakes, but if we can recognise them, and learn from them, then we can be doubly sure not to fall the same trap twice, right?

Sis, you're one of my favourite people on this forum because I applaud your honesty, and humanity... and humanity is never perfect is it? :)

I don't know what thread this was or what post - I'm not visiting here as much as before because I've had major visa problems with the indian high commission and embassy here, so I've been running around like a yoyo, back and forth between home and Islington, trying to get this mess sorted (hard knock life)

Had I known, this crap was going down on the forum, I woulda posted my 2 rupees worth... not sure if that would count for something, (considering that the rupee is weak currency lol - sorry bad pun) but I got your back, you dhimmee (ok another crap joke) :p

Just trying to make you smile sis :) my humour is silly - but you know I mean well.

Scimi
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sister herb
10-12-2012, 08:24 PM
We all find a lot of propaganda from internet - this is more than half full of it. We all may spread some kind of propaganda as knowing it or without knowing. People whose send it are professionals in some matter and level and they know how to put it to peoples´ mind.

:nervous: May Allah forgive us all, specially if we do it by mistake.

Now calm down there; take hot cup of tea, maybe some chocolate and remember we all are just humans - not perfect all the time.

(not sure if my humor is any less silly than Scimis´)
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sister herb
10-12-2012, 09:37 PM
Maybe we should talk here also what is propaganda. By wikipedia (not best channel of my mind) tells is as

"Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes."

More: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda

We all are its victims by some way and part of us spread it too.

Non is innocent. In internet or outside.
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glo
10-13-2012, 07:03 AM
Originally Posted by sister harb
"Propaganda is a form of communication that is aimed at influencing the attitude of a community toward some cause or position by presenting only one side of an argument. Propaganda is usually repeated and dispersed over a wide variety of media in order to create the chosen result in audience attitudes."
The question is, how do we shield ourselves from propaganda? And how do we recognise it in the first place?

It is quite easy to observe other people jumping on the emotional propaganda bandwagon ... but much harder to recognise when you have fallen into the same trap!

When it happened to me, somebody posted how uncharacteristic is was for me to express such a thought - and that caught my attention! I was doing/saying something, which people who know me saw as uncharacteristic. That was meaningful!


Looking at your description propaganda is not necessarily harmful in itself.
But it is manipulating - which means it tries to sway people's opinion and channel their feelings into particular actions.
Perhaps if you use propaganda to encourage people to become active in their communities and do positive things, it can be justified.
But when it is used to incite hatred and call people to kill and seek revenge, it can not ...
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sister herb
10-13-2012, 08:40 AM
Manipulating is used in everyday advertisement. Those adverstisements in TV or magazines are same. They try to get you to buy something as "you really need this and that". It is part of my education I did years ago. Manipulation of minds use similar ways. As affect public opinion. All media use it, also internet. I don´t say I am innocent at all. I too send information what is one-sided of those whose are at other side.

;D
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glo
10-13-2012, 12:27 PM
Originally Posted by sister harb
Manipulating is used in everyday advertisement. Those adverstisements in TV or magazines are same. They try to get you to buy something as "you really need this and that".
You should see my husband when the adverts are on the TV. He gets so annoyed! ;D
But seriously, we are a pretty non-consumerist family ... but it can be hard to free yourself from those manipulations and suggestions!


Originally Posted by sister harb
Manipulation of minds use similar ways. As affect public opinion. All media use it, also internet. I don´t say I am innocent at all. I too send information what is one-sided of those whose are at other side.
I was thinking about the idea that propaganda is not necessarily negative.

At the moment there is a programme on the TV about how farmers lived in Britain during the WWII years and how they were encouraged (or forced) by the government to increase their production. Growing enough food to feed the nation without having to rely on imported food was very important. Especially with Britain being an island nation.

Propaganda played a huge role during WWII to keep people's morale and resolve up. I don't think many would argue that this propaganda was not for a good cause.

But to keep people to stay focused and determined to do all they could to keep up the fight, it was important to maintain the image of Germany as the enemy.
Of course Germany as nation was the enemy. But part of the propaganda was to make sure that people kept that image in their minds.

If British people had started to think of Germans as ordinary people, who also tried to survive in wartime situations, who were also bombed and also suffered hunger, fear and loss - in other words, if they had allowed themselves to be compassionate ... I wonder of they could have kept the fight against Nazi Germany up in the same way?

So what I am wondering is if we want to hold on to those enemy pictures in our minds in order to keep up the fight?
And if, once we think of our enemy as another human being with the same feelings and desires as ourselves, we cannot fight him/her any longer?
And if, if we all thought of each other as fellow human beings, we would have no desire to fight at all?


I think it is important to not let yourself be swept away by emotions and to try and look for the facts in order to be able to make as informed and objective an opinion as possible.
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joesixpack
10-13-2012, 01:31 PM
Propaganda is a powerful tool, and whether it is good or bad all depends on the aim of the user. Anti-smoking ads, for example, are beneficial. Wartime Propoganda is another thing. If a nation is fighting to protect itself from an invader, I suppose it's important that the enemy be portrayed in a negative light. But what is it really about? It is the dehumanization of another people. But these people are mostly just like yourself. They are workers. They work on farms or in factories or in offices. They don't personally want to kill any of the workers in your country. After they are fed the same propaganda diet about what terrible people you are, they will now suport the leaders of their nation in feeling that you are a threat to their way of life.

The reality of war is that it is no more than the arguments of the wealthy settled with the blood of the workers. War is almost never about freedom, t's about access to resources for the privleged.

My rule of thumb, if propaganda promotes public health, I'm all for it. If propoganda promotes philanthropy, I'm all for it. When propoganda starts to tell me that some of my fellow human beings are murderers and baby killers because they live within the borders of another country, then I will treat it like a lie, because that's what it is.

Remember that Art is a very powerful tool. Dictators and tyrants know this and we see that artists are considered dangerous and they do their best to control them. People do most of their thinking with their emotional brain. Good art speaks directly to the emotions. This is why propaganda often uses art to advance itself. Here in America, however, it seems that the news media is the biggest disseminator of propaganda. Americans fancy themselves "rational thinkers", so propaganda is dressed up as journalism. But it still contains an obviously emotionally laden narrative. It's still propaganda, though.
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glo
10-13-2012, 02:39 PM
Originally Posted by joesixpack
Wartime Propoganda is another thing. If a nation is fighting to protect itself from an invader, I suppose it's important that the enemy be portrayed in a negative light. But what is it really about? It is the dehumanization of another people. But these people are mostly just like yourself. They are workers. They work on farms or in factories or in offices. They don't personally want to kill any of the workers in your country. After they are fed the same propaganda diet about what terrible people you are, they will now suport the leaders of their nation in feeling that you are a threat to their way of life.
Yes. Looking back at the propaganda used on both sides, it is very easy to see that.

In fact, I think it took a while after the war for both sides to realise that the other side (Germans/Brits) were just the same and just as human.

My question is, without having that 'enemy image' and stirring up hatred against that enemy, can one maintain the momentum of hating and fighting?
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sister herb
10-13-2012, 03:11 PM
Originally Posted by glo
My question is, without having that 'enemy image' and stirring up hatred against that enemy, can one maintain the momentum of hating and fighting?
Actually no. Nations need to make public picture of enemy. As has mentioned WWII in my country enemy and those bad people were Russians, not nazi Germany (as my country co-operated with Germany).

Now this propaganda is different, like those caricatures and films about prophet Muhammad. That is sort of propaganda too. Meaning is create some kind of opinion about islam.

:nervous: "We are blood-thirsty monsters whose invide peaceful west."
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joesixpack
10-13-2012, 03:22 PM
Originally Posted by glo
My question is, without having that 'enemy image' and stirring up hatred against that enemy, can one maintain the momentum of hating and fighting?
Could you kill your neighbor? Of course not. How about a stranger? I sincerely doubt it, as well. It goes against everything we are taught, as well as every instinct we are born with.

We must be told that the people we are to kill are a direct threat to our lives, or the lives of our children. The propagandists appeal to our highest ideals and our most tender emotions and use them against us. We see a child is threatened by a monster, our empathy is stirred, our sense of justice is outraged and it inspires in us the instinct to protect that child and stop the beast. The "other" is portrayed as anything but fully human. He is leering or scowling, his hands are dripping with the blood of innocents, he is imagined as the personification of all the differences between your culture and his. How could we be brought to murder otherwise?
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glo
10-13-2012, 04:51 PM
Originally Posted by sister harb
Actually no. Nations need to make public picture of enemy.
Originally Posted by joesixpack
We must be told that the people we are to kill are a direct threat to our lives, or the lives of our children. The propagandists appeal to our highest ideals and our most tender emotions and use them against us.
All the more reason for us to be extremely vigilant about what message we listen to and internalise ...
And to ask ourselves "who really is my enemy here?"
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sister herb
10-13-2012, 05:17 PM
Originally Posted by glo
And to ask ourselves "who really is my enemy here?"
To us most enemy is inside of us - we make image of enemy in our imagination (partly when listen propaganda and follow it).

My worst enemy is me.
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glo
10-13-2012, 09:56 PM
Originally Posted by sister harb
To us most enemy is inside of us - we make image of enemy in our imagination (partly when listen propaganda and follow it).

My worst enemy is me.
Reminds me of this verse:

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
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Muezzin
10-13-2012, 10:36 PM
Propaganda is effective because humanity needs monsters.

We need something to rally against. In a violent crime, who gets the most passionate, energetic attention?

Do you feel your blood pumping for the helpless, battered woman or child? You feel tears flowing, maybe.

But the anger, the will to act, is often only roused by the wrongdoer. 'Get that animal, make him pay' and so on.

And if you want to unite a people to your own ends, quickly, with no difficult questions asked, you don't give them both sides of a story and invite them to think for themselves and come to their own conclusion.

You simply give them a monster.
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glo
10-14-2012, 06:58 AM
Originally Posted by Muezzin
And if you want to unite a people to your own ends, quickly, with no difficult questions asked, you don't give them both sides of a story and invite them to think for themselves and come to their own conclusion.
Very true. Muezzin.

Is this ever a justifiable thing to do? If the desired outcome is beneficial? (Although it may be debatable if it is beneficial and for whom ...)
Or is this approach (always) wrong? (Or does that depend on whether you have been stuck in the group of 'monsters' or not?)
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Muezzin
10-14-2012, 07:41 AM
Originally Posted by glo
Very true. Muezzin.

Is this ever a justifiable thing to do? If the desired outcome is beneficial? (Although it may be debatable if it is beneficial and for whom ...)
I don't really think it is ever justifiable, because it involves oversimplifying complex issues in order to manipulate people to one's own ends. You don't say 'what that criminal did was wrong and he should be punished, but what is even worse is the poor, desperate environment he grew up in that contributed to that behaviour, and the powerful people who allow new criminals to be created every day and fail to improve the situation must also be held to account' - you just say 'all criminals are evil, burn them'. Basically, it usually involves deflection of issues of even greater importance.

Or is this approach (always) wrong? (Or does that depend on whether you have been stuck in the group of 'monsters' or not?)
Well, I think it's best to err on the side of honesty. Leaders especially have a duty not to lie to or otherwise deceive their people.

Of course, the election process is built on making false promises, so what do I know?
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glo
10-14-2012, 07:48 AM
I like your thinking, Muezzin. :)

Spinning this further ... if we had no 'monsters' and all looked for the shared humanity in our enemies instead, would this be the end of wars and conflict?? (Utopian, I know, but would this be the ultimate consequence?)
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Muezzin
10-14-2012, 08:00 AM
Originally Posted by glo
I like your thinking, Muezzin. :)

Spinning this further ... if we had no 'monsters' and all looked for the shared humanity in our enemies instead, would this be the end of wars and conflict?? (Utopian, I know, but would this be the ultimate consequence?)
Theoretically. In practice, unfortunately, it cannot work. Have you heard of Dunbar's number? Basically, it's a theory that any one person is only capable of caring for a finite amount of people before they become indifferent or even hostile. Usually, this number is suggested to be 150.

So, most people, including me, are only capable of caring for this sort of 'tribe', and anyone outside of it is not worth thinking about. On the basis of this, it is very easy to stereotype people of other 'tribes' to make them easier for us to process.

The strength of this age of instant communication is that it allows us to hear the other side's perspective, and expand our horizons. But you have to be willing to fight your baser insticts.

Fighting baser instincts also happens to be the foundation for all major world religions, and funnily enough, it leads to civilisation.
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sister herb
10-14-2012, 08:54 AM
What makes manipulation so easy is of my mind nature of humans. We are the most as "heard animals". We want to live in heard as community with others and please others by our behaviour as well we want that heard has leader. Leader or party of leaders decide behalf of us what is right way to think and behave. I made before work also in political matters and learnt a lot how leaders behave and how they keep they leadership.

Most of people were as sheeps whose had one strong ram.
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Jedi_Mindset
10-14-2012, 12:00 PM
''clever and persistent propaganda can make Heaven look like Hell and Hell like Heaven'' - adolf hitler

So, why we still read newspapers, watch TV and so on? The same nazis who were brought from germany to the US by a CIA-operation called; ''operation paperclip'' (http://www.operationpaperclip.info/)

These same nazi-scientists have worked along with american scientists and CIA to build a new system in which they can bring out a deception so great that it can make a person believe what it tells, and to affect the person's emotions. This ended up to be the TV - television or to sum it all up: MK-ultra.

Today, the television provokes people to support wars, to hate on a group being demonized, today its the muslims, before it were the communists, in world war 2 it were the japanese and the germans and tommorow it might be someone else.

When you see pictures coming up in newspaper or television with for example dead bodies and the media tells that these people were killed by taliban soldiers, think twice.

Today we are facing a so horrific deception that in no doubt its best to refrain from support any conlfict and to lay down. We cant know what happens in syria or anywhere else. There is more going on there btw.

Be a good muslim or christian - dont fall in the trap and dont be decieved by the masses. the only thing we can do now is pray and pull yourself out of the matrix and the one within it. Pray to Allah and ask HIM to keep you on the straight path and that HE may give you the ability to '''see''.
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glo
10-14-2012, 01:25 PM
Originally Posted by Jedi_Mindset
Be a good Muslim or Christian - don't fall in the trap and don't be deceived by the masses. the only thing we can do now is pray and pull yourself out of the matrix and the one within it. Pray to Allah and ask HIM to keep you on the straight path and that HE may give you the ability to '''see''.
I like that, Jedi. :)

We are called to look first and foremost to God's teachings and instructions to us.
As soon as we are incited to hatred and aggressions, we should know that that's of human making and not from God!
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Scimitar
10-14-2012, 06:02 PM
Sis Glo asked one heck of an important question..........

"how do we protect ourselves from it?"

Gosh, it really makes you think don't it?

I'm a natural skeptic... yeah yeah, I know you're all rolling your eyes at that comment thinkin' "but Scimi, you make conspiracy films" :D ask yourselves, does he present "theory" or the "facts" after they present themselves???

I learnt one thing. You will never be convinced, unless the idea propagated is convincing enough. The trouble is, today, anything can look convincing. As someone who is learning special effects, I find it amazing how easy it is to fool people. And I have sworn to my self that I will never be one to mislead others. If I am not convinced, I am not going to push it out there.

But what about me then? What does it take to convince me? ...........

I aint fooled by much, I tell ya. I have to look after a group full of brothers and sisters aged between 15 and 26, and I have to tell ya, some of the members are very easily led by propaganda. And so, I have to remain vigilant in bringing them back to earth. Truth be told, it's taken it's toll on me. Getting pains in the chest sometimes from it. I don't expect anyone to understand what I am saying. I doubt any of you have been in this position I find myself in - leading the lambs group. We started something special over 15 months ago now, we've had a lot of fun, laughter, pain, heartache, and loss... and it's really worn us all down. And in this fragile state, we've all been vulnerable at times... all of us. I've had to burden that responsibility for the whole group. To keep them focused on deen - and reminding them, has helped to keep me focused too. It's not easy. It's bloody effing hard at times, especially when you have members ranting off about cannibals eating Muslims and what not (yep, more propaganda) in the midst of an important topic (things like this happen often, and it throws the whole group into disarray.

I don't really know what I'm trying to say.

(wipes tear) :(

I've never really been good with people. I'm harsh, coarse and been told I have a condescending air about me. I don;t try to be like that on purpose, I swear it. I just am that way some times.

because I know how easily people are fooled into following a false dichotomy, and I can't stand it.

No one is perfect... I always tell the group members this, and it serves to remind me also. Nobody is perfect. So before you go getting convinced about a certain propagation - ask yourself - "what right do I have to form such a strong opinion about anything? I don't have all the answers, and neither do these muppets who are selling me this story... if I believe them - what will it turn me into? Am I that fickle? That naive? that i fall for the "hype" ???

NO

Remain skeptical. Believe only half of what your eyes see, and even less of what you hear, because everyone in the effing world has some agenda or another. Propaganda... if only it was propa-ghandi instead. Heck it;s a bad pun, but it fits.

Sorry, I am making no sense here. I almost erased everything I wrote just now, but for once, I'll just let you see what goes on in my own troubled mind, just this once.

Don't judge me. I aint worth it.

Scimi
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MustafaMc
10-14-2012, 10:06 PM
Originally Posted by joesixpack
But what is it really about? It is the dehumanization of another people. But these people are mostly just like yourself.
You are exactly correct. Propaganda is always wrong because it is a concoction of lies and half-truths intended to manipulate a group of people to hate another group of people in order to commit atrocities against them. These other people are portrayed as the epitome of evil and as merely devils in human skin to be destroyed. In the end the soldiers who commit these atrocities often come to see the 'enemy' as just normal people and the images of what they did and saw haunt them for the rest of their lives.
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