Do we really want to help this man?

Lately I’m seeing a bit of material on FaceBook that fails the logic test in a big way.

It’s the aggressive memes that are designed to ramp up tensions between religious groups or indeed between the Public and Islam.

Are they in any way helpful? Goodness me No. And in actual fact they play directly into the hands of chaps like Abu Bakar Bashir as he tires to suck in vulnerable youth to his camps for military training.

Here’s how it works.

Bashir needs to find a way to trick kids into following his violent religion and motivating them to kill for his cause. To do that he needs to crank up the fear and hatred and in a country like ours where folk are pretty easy going, that’s no mean feat. He wants the boys thinking they are locked in a life or death struggle and it’s a hard story to push here in Oz.

But help is at hand albeit from a source that thinks they are doing the exact opposite. FaceBook has the ability to create a storm where none exists. If you can just trigger the right knee jerk response, you can create an alternate reality that can sweep away common sense in teenage boys. The trick is getting to them before their brains click in.

There is a very good reason for targeting youngsters as the military and religions well understand.

With the anti-Muslim memes, Bashir gets to point to them and add fuel to his story. The more aggressive the meme, the better he likes it. He wants these youngsters in his clutches as soon as possible. It also works on normal society as well. Folk not involved at all get the impression we are under attack and start joining in. It’s Bashir’s perfect storm.

I don’t know how many times I’ve seen the ridiculous theme of no Sharia Law for Australia even though not one single Party has any intention of promoting the idea. As we strive to give women equal rights, Sharia is the last thing we are likely to accept.

But of course it doesn’t have to make any sense. They really just want the vibe and plenty of different themes to make the “war” seem real. As it happens, it is exactly the same approach Tony Abbott used when he was Opposition Leader. Constant background noise regardless of content.

So next time you see a meme that tweaks your outrage,

  • are you really achieving anything positive by forwarding it on or commenting in ALL CAPS?
  • Do you really think the murderous clerics feel any sorrow or disappointment that you dislike them?
  • Do you really want to help their recruitment drive?
  • Wouldn’t it feel better to be doing something that undermines their recruiting tactic?

Sure you can comment calmly showing your dislike, but try and resist looking like the exact personality type these hateful chaps are looking for. Raging against one of their thoughtless followers while looking like you are the opposite side of the same coin is hardly any recommendation for your point of view.

Let’s deal with violent clerics on our own terms rather than play the game they way they have designed it.


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