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Opinion: Propaganda & Information War – O Muslims beware

Truth Arrived: Propaganda & Information War – O Muslims beware ~ Moinuddin Ibn Nasrullah

The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) said in his farewell, and most popular, sermon during the Hajj, “I have left two matters with you. As long as you hold to them, you will not go to the wrong way. They are the book of Allah and my Sunnah” (Muatta Malik 1628).

Ever since the Muslim Ummah left these two sources of guidance, we have failed to realize the correct pathway of the Creator. Not only the correct pathway, we have even failed to distinguish between enemies and friends. We have lost our qualities of visionary leadership. 

Indian Media is constantly bombarding disinformation or misinformation about Islam. Everyday Islam is being targeted. Muslims are being trialled and judgments are being passed by news anchors in their daily talk shows. From what is being witnessed almost on a daily basis, one thing is very clear: there is a massive propaganda and information war deployed on Muslims by the media. And there should be no doubt about this.

As we know, media is used to manage the perception of the masses. It also helps to create/change the mindset of the people - so much so that the governments in the world, in some or the other way, are trying to get a hold on media. Even India is not an exception to this case as we all know the status of media in our largest ‘democratic’ country.

As I have said before, the information war is being waged against the Muslims in particular, we are constantly being attacked in this war, through various means, and we have failed to distinguish between a propaganda and a correct information.

Let me explain to you by giving an example:

We receive messages on WhatsApp or other social media platforms whose writer remain anonymous. Without realizing its soul effect, we keep on forwarding it. There are some messages I have come across and while countering the narratives of such messages, I even had to explain our people who remain in denial mode. They say check the facts in the message rather than jumping on conclusion. Such discussions have inspired me to write this entire article.

In the age of social media, if we fail to realize the agenda behind any posts, directly or indirectly, we end up becoming party to their agenda. Hence, we should be very careful while accepting such messages.

For example, when the Babri Masjid issue was debated in the media, there were many messages circulated by anonymous writers. Among them was:
  1. “Let the Babri Masjid judgment come, which Firqa will take hold of the masjid? Believe me, after the judgment, there will be riots in our community bigger than Gujarat 2002 and Muzaffarnagar.” 
  2. “O People, who want to build Babri Masjid, first increase the namazi in your local Masjid”
  3. “In the grave, you will not be questioned about meat or beef but surely you will be questioned about your Aa’mal. First, correct your Aa’mal.”
There are many other such messages whose writer remains a mystery but we feel okay to forward such messages. When we try to explain our people the agenda behind such messages, we are asked to check the facts in the message rather than passing judgment. I invite those brothers to read the Quran, Surah Munafiqoon 63:1 “When the hypocrites come to you, [O Muhammad], they say, "We testify that you are the Messenger of Allah." And Allah knows that you are His Messenger, and Allah testifies that the hypocrites are liars.”

In the above verse, apparently, the hypocrites were telling the “truth” that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is the messenger of Allah. Yet, Allah called them liars. Why? Some of our people, according to their logic, they might even allege Allah of ‘being judgmental’ (Nauzbillah) and ask, why Allah called them a liar? Allah should see the “fact” in the words of hypocrites, rather than calling them a liar. (Subhanallah!)

If anyone can understand the wisdom behind this verse of the Quran, I am sure he can never be played in the hands of enemies of the Islam. He can easily counter the fake propaganda of the enemies of Islam. He can be a good warrior to counter the informational warfare.

Let me refute the above three messages here before I conclude:
  1. Sectarian riots: There is no sectarian riots in India, which can even be remotely compared to the communal riots that took place in Gujarat 2002 and Muzaffarnagar. The purpose of this message is very clear. The creator of this message is somehow trying to dilute the heinous crime which was done in those communal riots. It is being portrayed that Muslims sectarian fight is bigger and more dangerous than those communal riots. NOW YOU CAN GUESS WHO WANTS YOU TO BELIEVE IN THIS POST?
  2. Increase Namazi in your local masjid 365 days in a year: You get reminded of inviting people to masjids only when right wing people ignite Babri Masjid issue? Why do you need the issue of Babri Masjid to increasing the number of people in the masjids? The main purpose of this message is to forget what’s happening in the court of law about Babri Masjid. NOW ASK YOURSELF WHO WANTS YOU TO FORGET BABRI MASJID ISSUE?
  3. Beef issue: Bhayya…! It is not the matter of beef or meat-eating, it's the matter of my freedom. My freedom is being taken away from me. Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) has commanded us to fight for our rights when it is being taken by the tyrant regime. ONLY THE RIGHT-WING PEOPLE WANT YOU TO STOP FIGHTING FOR YOUR OWN RIGHTS.
Mental slavery and inferiority complex are the main cause to get inspired by such deviated messages which have a hidden agenda. Turn back to Allah and His Messenger, you will never go astray.

“Just because something isn't a lie does not mean that it isn't deceptive. A liar knows that he is a liar, but one who speaks mere portions of truth in order to deceive is a craftsman of destruction.” - Criss Jami

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