Islamophobia, or how I learned to miss propaganda

The highest ranking officer in my shop sent out a shop-wide email this weekend about “The Perfect Day.” For those not familiar with the concept, the bulk of the email is from this column:

The cliffs notes version is that Islam has a historical precedent for planned (yet somehow spontaneous) violent uprisings all coordinated to take place on a single “perfect day,” where every citizen of Islam does their part to murder their oppressors. As evidence of this ludicrously far-fetched theory, he cites the Indian rebellion of 1857, an event which was not really about Islam, did not take place on a single day, and was notoriously uncoordinated. He also references some story from the bible.

Proof enough for me, right?

He then goes on to say that this hasn’t happened in Israel (nevermind that it hasn’t happened anywhere) because Israel is an armed nation, and America’s oppressive anti-gun laws will render us all helpless on the day the Muslims finally decide to kill us all. The takeaway message is supposed to be, I guess, that every Muslim is a potential enemy and we all need to be armed and ready to kill 'em dead.
This mailing angers and frustrates me to no end. Not just because it’s anti-Islamic tripe, but because this came from a high ranking officer on the pretext of being official military subject matter. In fact, anti-Islamic sentiment seems to have been growing around the office ever since Obama was elected.

And then it hit me. When I first joined the military back in 2002, we were flooded with propaganda attempting to explain that we were at war with Al Quaeda and terrorism (and later Saddam), not with Islam. Bush seemed to say this all the time. I’m actually starting to miss the guy. We heard that message a lot when he was in office, and it seems to be completely absent now.

So, now that our war efforts are (slowly) winding down, so too is the propaganda machine that was, I think, tempering some of the Islamophobia in the military.

America’s oppressive anti-gun laws? Guy should see what it is like to live in Canada.

The Indian rebellion of 1857? Is he referring to the nation of India or the Native Americans here in America? Because either way it makes zero sense. I’m really sleep deprived but isn’t India mostly Hindu?

This kind of shit reminds me of the guy in The Most Horrible Therapy Group In The World, who decided that having PTSD gave him carte blanche to indulge every grudge he’d ever had. In therapy, he expressed his hatred of Muslims, and how offended and angry he’d been to see Muslims at the table next to him in the chow hall…in their turbans. Yeah, he’d been sitting next to some of the Sikh workers who of course worked at the hospital.

I haven’t looked it up, but that was before Pakistan and Bengal split off, so it may have been more Muslim than it is now, but your larger point is true. India was a mixed-bag of religions and the uprising had everything to do with independence from Britain and nothing to do with Islam. Many (most?) of those rebelling would have been Hindi.

It’s the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the rule of the East India Company in India. Both Hindus and Muslims took part in the revolt.

I guess England, with its very low gun ownership and comparatively high number of Muslims, is doomed then.


The gun cartridges! I remember reading about that somewhere----I think it was in some doorstop of a English-lady-writes-decorous-romance novel.

Well, on the lighter side, at least the letter didn’t mention ‘crusade’ did it? I hope?

I’m fairly certain that the number of radical Muslims with guns here in the U.S. is dwarfed by the number of non-radical-Muslims who’ve also managed (despite our oppressive gun laws) to acquire guns, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

So what, we’re afraid they’re much better shots?

Yeah, wasn’t that the rebellion that was partially sparked by the rumor that the gun cartridges were sealed with pig fat, angering both Hindus and Muslims, because they had to bite them open? I think I first read about that in the relevant Flashman book.

Nope, no mention of the crusades. Yet.

Although, it just dawned on me… one example was from a largely Hindu populace, and the other was from the bible. And anything in the bible pre-dates Islam by at least 600 years, right?


How could this make sense to anyone? How on earth could you coordinate every single Muslim on earth without tipping off positively everyone? I mean, even if you assume every Muslim is devout and has no doubts, and would be willing to kill their countrymen, it’s a plan defeated by just a single person who’s masquerading as a Muslim on the entire planet.

Not only this, but if gun laws are so oppressive, how are all of these Muslims going to get guns? I mean, we outnumber them in the US, so if it’s going to come down to fighting with a board with a nail in it, we’re still pretty much OK.

It’s pretty concerning that someone able to buy this for a minute – let along mass-distribute it – is in a position of military leadership.

Hindu. Not Hindi.

The first soldier to rebel was Hindu, as was the officer who refused to execute him. The rebellion itself grew over a period of months; it’s as far from being a single-day event as you could possibly get.

It took more than two weeks for things to get rolling even in Meerut, the town where the whole thing started.

ETA: this dude supposedly taught psychology at West Point. No wonder we can’t win in Iraq or Afghanistan- our officers are being instructed by morons.

Well, you can’t blame those poor sepoys for that. They probably couldn’t afford cell phones on the wages that the Company was paying them, so they couldn’t tweet each other as the rebellion progressed.

Oppressive gun laws in the US? What’s he want, every single US American walking around with a machine gun strapped across their chests at all times? Well, it would probably go a long ways towards reducing the population of the US…

Christ that dude is a moron to the nth degree.
Maybe we aren’t quite as well armed as Israel per capita but we also aren’t sharing borders with Syria and Lebanon or having to deal with the Palestinians.
I guess we need to keep a closer eye out for those pesky Canadians though.

Yes, actually, this guy probably DOES want all Americans to be armed. But only WASPS, and probably only male WASPs. He don’t want none of those mud people having guns! They might rise up!

Shouldn’t this guy be kicked out of the military? It displays such bad judgement that it is beyond belief. If I were to have sent mail like that to my my colleagues back when I worked at a large corporation I would have been walked out the door.

Yeah, but they’ll probably have bigger boards, with bigger nails! :stuck_out_tongue:

Well, that was amusing, in an admittedly sick way. I was particularly taken with the author calling his column “The Bullet Proof Mind”. Er, quite.

Also, from Lt. Col. Grossman’s bio:

It was at this point that I began to think this was some sort of April Fool’s prank.

The article describes him as Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, U.S. Army (Ret.), so I assume he is already out of the military.