AMMONNEWS - By Abdulillah - When is ones concern about his well-being founded? Well it is founded when you know you have an adversary wanting to instill harm, willing to use whatever means he has in his power to either hurt you physically, mentally or besmirch your good name or cast doubt about your integrity, views, etc.. by fostering lies and gossip that is not true.
That is exactly how nations work against each other as well. It matters not how they go about this, be it in private (i.e, spying), be it in waging actual warfare, or by simply passing fake news about you.
In the old days it’s used to be done by creating false news stories placed strategically in the countries news-papers, radio, or television and editorials and commentary by its staff. Most of those newspapers were not local papers of the target country, but those of the perpetrating country. Things started to change when news wires started to establish themselves. These wire agencies were where most newspapers, radio, television got their material to publish stories. Most wires services were legitimate, because not confirming stories and putting them on the wire to be picked up by their clients, meant they could be sued for slander, or even just expelled from the country where these false stories were aimed at. This meant losing business and money. This kept false stories to a minimum and in fact when things did slip by and stories were rejected, retractions were immediately issued.
Not long ago we started getting 24 hour news, first with CNN, followed by many others where we were and are still bombarded with TV news stories, with pictures from helicopters, war trenches, and even camera’s glued to participants helmets, bodies etc… to the point of ad nauseum.
Presently, we have internet service. With this service, anyone with a keyboard/phone/camera could easily post a story to his web page, Instagram, Face-book, Twitter, you name it account. These services do not police themselves much, as they were initially meant for social communication, where some individuals, most of whom I like to refer to as “Voyeur’s”, troll sites of others looking to pass gossip, or even to post their own gossip or prevarication.
Here many innocent people fall prey to these trolls and evil people. Some of these are so evil such as the practice of some men in our society who have issues with their wives, and in having these issues, are passing on pictures meant for their eyes only to the public so they can besmirch their reputations and win civil cases against them in later court proceedings. This practice has gotten so bad as to have some government agencies issue warnings to women and individuals not to post any pictures or writing about themselves, specifically those which have sexual content. Why anyone would post some pictures or sexual content on the internet is beyond me, but it is obviously ignorance of how the system works and education in our public channels, schools about social media is very necessary.
How we as a society have slipped so low is beyond me. But in truth this was done long before the advent of the internet, it just was not so easily done. It was more word of mouth or in the form of verbal gossip, or in paper print, where culprits can be easily caught and punished.
The above practices are typically one individual against another, or a small group against another. Today, we are seeing the expansion of this evil behavior. You have all probably read about fake news, yes fake news, this is where internet web sites, social media accounts, and individuals are set up by governments to pass along fake news about even the most trivial of issues.
The old word for this behavior was “propaganda”; however, today it is used more to instill discourse amongst the public, countries institutions, and in some cases even in its selection of leadership.
According to a paper written by Mr. Jay Black called the Semantics of Ethics of Propaganda, “the term propaganda, when it was first used in the sociological sense by the Roman Catholic Church, was to the spreading of ideas that would not occur naturally, but only via a cultivated or artificial generation. In 1622, the Vatican established the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide, or “Congregation for thePropaganda of Faith,” to harmonize the content and teaching of faith in its missions and consolidate its power. As Combs and Nimmomaintained (1993, p. 201), this early form of propaganda was considered by the Church to be a moral endeavor.” Not so much anymore!
He continues to state in the same paper “Over time the term took on more negative connotations; in a semantic sense, propaganda became value laden, and in an ethical sense, it was seen as immoral. In 1842W. T. Brande, writing in the Dictionary of Science, Literatureand Art, called propaganda something “applied to modern political language as a term of reproach to secret associations for the spread of opinions and principles which are viewed by most governments with horror and aversion”.
Russia and the US are having a diplomatic spat about this very thing now, with Russia being accused of hacking into the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) web site, stealing emails and giving them to WikiLeaks in an effort to sway the US Election results towards the new president elect Mr. Trump. US intelligence agencies are confirming this and now a diplomatic ‘tit for tat’, ‘you did it he did it’ is taking place with some serious consequences between both countries.
Now most of the educated would say, fake news about countries can easily be dispelled with the country being attacked simply by issuing a notice to all the news agencies that this is disinformation. They would be correct, but today many young individuals or even innocent or ignorant people believe that if it is posted on the web it must be the truth no matter what it says. Some nefarious people have been so good at this that you can type in a web query about a subject and believe it actually came from a credible source or entity which it never did.
If you still don’t believe this, try reading about the son of the new USA President Elects National Security Advisor’s son (Michael G. Flynn) whom earlier this month had to be fired from the transition teams staff of the US President Elect for continuing to pass on false news about a pizza shop in Washington DC being used for sexual traffickingwhom the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton supposedly patronized. In fact he kept posting after the election with this story including many other lies on twitter, that it was very hard to keep a straight face about his lies by the transition team, and when the clamor got to a very high pitch about his lying and continued lying, he was jettisoned off the team.
In history classes we were taught that Hitler in his “Mein Kampf” argued that the most convincing propaganda is to appeal to the “feelings of the public rather than their reasoning ability” to repeat any false statement enough times and people will believe it while using words like “right and wrong, love and hate”. Such rhetoric can be convincing to the ignorant or innocent, especially those who feel they have been marginalized or believe that their status has been lowered to accommodate someone they find not worthy of that status or position.
It however becomes very dangerous when used to demean, disenfranchise another human being or to topple or change the views of the masses against their government.
Hyperbole is the word for it now a-days. Take a small situation be it right or wrong and inflate it with false news or accusations’, hit repeat and watch it grow into civil unrest. Almost every imperial power tyrant or megalomaniac has used this procedure to justify his existence, his desire to aggrandize, or simply to rip off the people or diminish another.
According to E.D. Martin who along with James Warburg tried to explain the difference between education and propaganda stated the following “Education aims at independence of judgment. Propaganda offers ready-made opinions for the unthinking herd. Education and propaganda are directly opposed both in aim and methods."
So to my brothers and sisters does this mean we go about censoring? I say no, because as James Warburg states “the purpose of propaganda is to mobilize certain of man’s emotions in such a way that they will dominate the reason- not necessarily with evil design”.
The way we win is by teaching and education. Teaching that certain things said need to be corroborated by reliable sources, and by education of the people to reason when what is said or written can be right or wrong. It is to avoid repeating what they know little about, or putting something that can be used against themselves believing that they are secure, or it will never be used against them” Mostly; it is always by enjoining what is good and leaving what is evil.
As every Muslim knows and is taught in the Quran the following verses: (English translation):
"Why do not the believing men and women, whenever such [a rumor] is heard, think the best of one another and say, “This is an obvious falsehood”? ... When you take it up with your tongues, uttering with your mouths something of which you have no knowledge, you deem it a light matter. Where-as in the sight of God it is an awful thing!" (Quran 24: 12-15).
"Oh you who believe! If a wicked person comes to you with any news, ascertain the truth, lest you harm people unwittingly, and afterwards become full of repentance for what you have done (Quran 49:6).
"Oh you who believe! Let not some men among you laugh at others; it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former). Nor let some women laugh at others; it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former). Nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames. Ill-seeming is a name connoting wickedness, (to be used of one) after he has believed. And those who do not desist are (indeed) doing wrong. Oh you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin. And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would abhor it...But fear Allah. For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful" (Quran 49:11-12).
“"If they hear gossip, they walk away" (Quran 28:55).
And every Christian knows and is taught from the Bible the following verses (English Translations):
Proverbs 20:19 says, “A gossip betrays a confidence; so avoid anyone who talks too much.”
Proverbs 26:30 says, “For lack of wood the fires goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases.”
Leviticus 19:16 says “You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.”
Knowing the above,one must be careful with what is being said or written. Educate yourselves, if you don’t know ask the most knowledgeable, or refrain from repeating what you are not familiar with. We are people of the truth and love to be known for this. So let’s all make sure we continue speaking it, admonishing those who are out to propagate false news or gossip, and always challenging what is said for its veracity, knowing that evil exists is some people hearts.
God Bless Jordan and its People.