Better Not Believe It
2 min read

The media is telling us what Islam is, like if we know nothing about it. 

A couple of months ago, I watched the Netflix documentary 13th. I watched it again a week ago. And what shocked me the first time gave me a matter to reflect on the second. 

The 13th Amendment

The documentary is a historical look at why African Americans are filling the US prisons. 

The 13th amendment abolishes slavery with one exception: criminals. 

African Americans were the victims of an economic system that needed them to remain slaves. 

The 13th amendment turned past slaves into future criminals. 

African Americans were chained up again and used for labor. 

They were arrested in mass for minor crimes, for things as ridiculous as loitering or vagrancy. 

The result was the birth of the mythology of black criminality. 

From movies to newspapers passing by TV, the black man was depicted as out of control, an animal, a rapist, a super predator, a threat. 

Labeling a population as criminal allowed all kinds of abuses. 

Black people weren’t just good at filling prisons and providing cheap labor, but they also helped at winning elections. 

Nixon, Raegan, Clinton, and many others used African Americans to gain voters. 

The media became this connector between the greed of the politicians and the fear of the population. 

If you want to understand politicians’ strategies, take a moment to reflect on this.  

Here’s what John Ehrlichman (President Nixon’s advisor) said to the writer Dan Baum:

“You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings, and vilify them night after night on the evening news. Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course, we did.” 

Sounds familiar? 

All that I said before about African Americans is heart-breaking, but it’s not what shocked me the most. 

For decades in the US, we educated the public that black people were criminals. White people believed it. But the worst part is black people too. 

Many African Americans started supporting the policies that criminalized their children. They ended up terrified of their own self. 

Better Not Believe It

For decades now, Islam has been associated with terrorism and extremism. The worst that can happen to Muslims is to believe in the narrative Islam=violence. 

Islam has been around for centuries. It settled on different continents and lived along with Jews, Christians, Hindus, and Buddhists. And all of a sudden, Islam has become a violent religion! 

Politicians and media will carry on their campaigns against Islam. And you, Muslim, better not believe it.