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.