Friday, 24 February 2017

What type of propaganda is successful?

Propaganda is successful if the general public believe in them. The propagandists job is to create propaganda's that appeal to the masses and design it in a way that makes it trustworthy. Most propaganda's try to influence the universal moral foundations present in humans. According to Moral foundations theory, these foundations are:

Care: cherishing and protecting others; opposite of harm. 
Fairness or proportionality: rendering justice according to shared rules; opposite of cheating. 
Liberty: the loathing of tyranny; opposite of oppression. 
Loyalty or ingroup: standing with your group, family, nation; opposite of betrayal. 
Authority or respect: submitting to tradition and legitimate authority; opposite of subversion. 
Sanctity or purity: abhorrence for disgusting things, foods, actions; opposite of degradation.

Propagandists try to influence these ethical foundations to manipulate the minds of masses. The primary goal of propaganda is to change the behavior or perception of masses in support of the interests of propagandists.

Examples of successful propaganda.


Namecalling: Trash-talking another product or defaming a person. In this case, the propagandist tries to influence the sanctity of another product or person. Let me give you a more brief example:

If there are two supermarkets in a town, people will generally buy from the store that sells things cheaper. Now the market that sells in higher prices decides to hire a propagandist to increase his sales. The propagandist then spreads rumors in the town that products of the market that sales cheap are low quality and some people got sick after eating those products. In such situation, some customers will switch to the other shop even though the prices are higher.

Recommendation or endorsement: This is one of the most common form of propaganda. Often we see politicians endorsing candidates, celebrities recommending specific products. This type of propaganda uses the loyalty of a person to change his perceptions.

What is the extent to which Malcolm X's activism was influenced by his Muslim beliefs?

Question: I have been researching the role of religion on the Civil Rights movement and while I am aware that Malcolm X identified as a Muslim it is unclear as to how this belief influenced his (and his supporters') work as an activist. I was simply wondering whether there are any interpretations or recommended texts on the subject.

Answer: Malcolm X's understanding of race was dramatically changed by his completion of the Hajj, the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. Here's a copy of the letter he wrote. He wrote that,

"I have never before witnessed such sincere hospitality and the practice of true brotherhood as I have seen it here in Arabia. In fact all I have seen and experienced on this pilgrimage as forced me to 're-arrange' much of thoughts pattern and to toss aside some of my previous conclusions....I have eaten. From the same plate...with fellow Muslims whose skin was the whitest of white, whose eyes was the bluest of blue, and whose hair was the blondest of blond – I could look into their blue eyes and see that they regarded me as the same (Brothers), because their faith in One God (Allah) had actually removed “white” from their mind,....If white Americans could accept the religion of Islam, if they could accept the Oneness of God (Allah) they too could then sincerely accept the Oneness of Men, and cease to measure others always in terms of their 'difference in color'."

At this point, his attitude changed from a perspective of an innate conflict between black people and white people to a viewpoint in which black people and white people could get along.

Reference: History.SE

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Fake News on Daily Telegraph about Muslim support for Sharia

Today when I was researching about "Muslim support for Sharia law in the United Kindom", I bumped into a article by Daily Telegraph with the title: "Poll reveals 40pc of Muslims want sharia law in UK". It says:

Four out of 10 British Muslims want sharia law introduced into parts of the country, a survey reveals today. 
The ICM opinion poll also indicates that a fifth have sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the suicide bombers who attacked London last July 7, killing 52 people, although 99 percent thought the bombers were wrong to carry out the atrocity.

 The first sentence of the report is a gross misrepresentation of the original survey. The report refers to this survey by ICM that asked the specific question, "Would you support or oppose there being areas of Britain which are pre-dominantly Muslim and in which Sharia Law is introduced?"

40% Muslims said they would support this. The question specifically asked if they "would support" the introduction of Sharia not whether they want it. Only the government of the UK can introduce Sharia to pre-dominantly Muslim areas of Britain. So, if the British government does that and implements Sharia in those areas then 40% of Muslims would support it, this is what it means.

But the Islamophobic reporter (spreading bigotry against Muslims is by definition Islamophobic) deliberately misinterpreted the report to create a negative image of Muslims. This report is reposted in many racist websites such as stromfront.org and amren.com.

According to Southern Poverty Law Center, stromfront is a white nationalist site.

Created by former Alabama Klan boss and long-time white supremacist Don Black in 1995, Stormfront was the first major hate site on the Internet. Claiming more than 300,000 registered members as of May 2015 (though far fewer remain active), the site has been a very popular online forum for white nationalists and other racial extremists.

Amren.com is also a site promoting hate according to SPLC.

Founded by Jared Taylor in 1990, the New Century Foundation is a self-styled think tank that promotes pseudo-scientific studies and research that purport to show the inferiority of blacks to whites. It is best known for its American Renaissance magazine and website.

The claim in the second sentence that 20% of Muslims have sympathy with the "feelings and motives" of the suicide bombers is also deceptive. The survey shows 8% of Muslims have a lot and 12% have a little sympathy for the motives of the attackers. The report didn't specify that.

And the claim that "although 99 percent thought the bombers were wrong to carry out the atrocity" is totally false. 96% of Muslims not 99% said the attack was wrong. 3% said they don't know. Here's an excerpt from the survey:

For Muslims to have bombed London on 7/7 and 21/7
Right1%
Wrong96%
Refuse/Don't know3%