Friday, August 31, 2007

God's Warriors

In senior year in high school there was a college/career day where we met with different university representitives and talked about our hopes and dreams for our careers. During that time I wanted to be an International Correspondant. I told one of the representitives that and he said, you'll be the next Christiane Amanpour. The truth is at the time I did not know who she was but I smiled and nodded at the representitive acting like I knew who he was talking about. But after that, I watched Christiane Amanpour in all the different places she reports from in awe. Sure enough I went to College and studied Journalism.
Nine years later, here I am hoping to be as far away from Christiane Amanpour and her likes. Through my experience with many I realized they have preconceived notions about our part of the world (the middle east) and simply act on it.
Last week, CNN featured Amanpour in a three part, 6 hour, documentary called "God's Warriors." Covering the three major religions in the world, Judaism, Christianity and of course Islam. In this documentary she had people talking about how they fight in the name of their religion.
Thinking finally someone will show terrorism has no religion and show Islam in a proper light.
I was thoroughly disappointed when I saw the documentary. All Amanpour succeeded in doing was bring out all the superficial topics that are controversial to people around the world about Islam showing them to be the core of the religion. While the documentary on Judaism was somewhat sympathetic to the "Jewish cause," showing that the terrorist activity that goes on by Jewish extremists was all in retaliation to Islamic terrorism, the completely unbalanced report did not miss a chance to paint Islam as the religion that calls for terrorism, violence and death.
During a segment in the part on Islam, she talks a lot about an Islamic personality who was sentenced to death in Egypt during the 60's. This person visited the US at a time in his life and then returned to his country saying the American Culture is dangerous and we must save our youth from this culture with the way the women dress and the drugs and alcohol. This man is portrayed as a terrorist who calls for the death of these he calls infedels. His call to keep Muslim youth away from popular American culture was translated into a death threat, which is not true. Meanwhile, Amanpour shows religious Christian groups all around the US saying the same thing about current American culture. Yet, when they say it it doesn't sound as violent, its actually portrayed as a form of cultural reform.
Amanpour when talking to the Muslims, is very aggressive pointing fingers of accusation and openly attacking certain beliefs. She does not do that with the other religions.
She also shows a lot of violent rituals done in Iran that certainly do not represent mainstream Islam, yet to an ignorant viewer they would seem to be normal Islamic practice.
Anyhow, the whole documentary was extremely disappointing and once again, Islam was wrongfully represented in the media adding fuel to an already uncontrollable fire against a religion that for so many years brought peace to a large part of the world.