MMW thanks Jessamy for the tip!
Recently we were directed to a series of television commercials airing on Egyptian TV. These commercials, made by Terrorism Has No Religion, are aimed at countering terrorism and Muslim extremism. In their words, Terrorism Has No Religion’s message is:
To reveal the true and ample doctrines of Islam, and expose the contempt these terrorists hold for the spiritual essence of our religion. These terrorists and their ungodly way are the ones responsible for making Islam an easily marked target in the eyes of the world, as well as causing Muslims to be the subject of criticism before the world community.
The ad campaign has a series of 6 commercials within it. Although none focus specifically on women, and thus this entry may digress from our usual theme, the inhumanity of terrorism for all is clearly emphasized. Each commercial focuses mainly on terrorism within Iraq and its impact on Iraqi people – men, women, and children. The images are graphic and emotional and descriptively portray terrorism.
What makes these commercials so graphic and so emotional? Sure the visions of blood and death paint a gruesome picture. But it’s the human face of terrorism that makes this series seem so grisly. The families shopping happily in the market, the women bartering with the vendors, the children playing in the streets – all before a horrific terrorist attack. Or the father who is kidnapped, and then murdered, by terrorists while his family cries out in anguish over his disappearance, not knowing his fate. Or the little boy who is tying his shoe shortly before a bomb blast, the same shoe which flies on to the roof of a car from the blast. Or the one which I found the most emotional and disturbing – a middle aged mother, in her home, wiping dust off the pictures of her soldier son, her graduating daughter, and her husband, all of whom are dead. All very human, and all very devastating. (See commercials
Terrorists are very obviously the bad guys in these commercials. Portrayed as cruel and heartless murderers in contrast to the going-about-their-business average Iraqis. The message that they do not represent Muslims is perhaps most poignant in the first of the 6 commercials in which a large group of Iraqi men form a human barrier to a group of terrorists. Although a little unlikely and unrealistic, the message of opposition to terrorism was delivered.
Overall, these commercials are powerful. Their message is one with which we all agree. However, I still wonder of their impact when so many Iraqis are being killed not only by terrorists but by Americans and other allied forces. Therefore, the fact that terrorists who claim to be fighting for Islam kill so many innocent people might be diluted by the fact that the reason they are there is because of an illegal American invasion.
Perhaps, a better manner of propagating the message of Islamic peace would have been to demonstrate where in the Qur’an and Sunnah Muslims are encouraged to live peacefully with all and to abhor the killing of innocent people. Perhaps, the true messages of Islam should have been perpetuated through these commercials rather than showing the havoc wreaked by people who bastardize the religion – or along with it. Perhaps if ayats from the Qur’an and true messages of peace that our Prophet spread would have been displayed on the screen it may have intensified the message that these terrorists do not know nor represent Islam.