I found that thought to be very strange, since I usually love travelling to different countries and I don't remember thinking the same about any other country. I was even thinking of going to israel at some point !
Another friend is currently in iran seeing the sights and staying with people. Though I feel sometimes a tinge of tension, I would actually love to visit iran. This acceptance of iran is quite recent. As a person who lived through the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war. I grew up on a steady but continuous diet of propaganda against anything iranian or Persian. One interesting thing is that since iraq was at the time a secular socialist regime. Religion didn't feature prominently in said propaganda. I vividly remember comics and cartoons of angry hateful iranians (always referred to as Furce, meaning persians) living a life of violence and paid amongst themselves with the tacit understanding that they want to export that paradigm of hate to iraq.
I remember reading a warped version of history in which Iraq was invaded was those hateful alien Furce when the arabs kicked them out at the battle of Qadisya. A completely Arabcentric secular perversion of history completely blotting out the persian civilisation, islam, the centuries of shared culture or the shia sunni issue. I am still impressed by the iraqi government's Orwellian control of young iraqi children's minds through this control of history and media.
I even remember there was a species of ants which were especially large which also were able to bite quite painfully. We used yo call them naml farisi-persian ants.
Eventually later on as I developed a passion for rereading history, and of course my migration from iraq to New Zealand and then australia. I started recognizing the propaganda patterns more clearly.
All the while though, due to the cold war. There was a much more subversive and powerful propaganda campaign launched by the US against Russia (the soviet union) during the cold war. This wasn't some small third world effort with second rate cartoons and some history books. THIS WAS A GLOBAL EFFORT TO DEMONIZE A MORTAL GLOBAL ENEMY. So the world's most prolific producer of propaganda and movies gave us such jewels as Rocky4 and Rambo3 and countless other movies and television programs making sure that all Americans and anyone watching those high budget overly simplified black/white good guy/bad guy movies would always root for, and love, and seek to iemulate Americans while at the same time hating, fearing and wanting nothing to do with Russians.
It doesn't matter that the cold war is over now. It only matters that at the end of the cold war i am still not at peace with my Russia phobia. And that's what it is. A phobia caused by years of watching American movies. Since then I've tried to read up about Russian history and culture. Yeah...
This brings me to the next wave in American propaganda movies against Arabs and Muslims. Since the 1980s a new campaign of anti Arab anti Islamic propaganda has been gaining momentum. Then after 9/11 it got that catalyst that has catapulted anti Islamism to new heights. Now it's not just movies, magazines editors, writers, academics and failed politicians have found that demonizing Islam and Muslims to be the ace card they need for fame and fortune. Much of what is said is full of misinformation, inaccuracies and sometimes blatant lies, but in a society made fearful for its safety and identity. That is of little importance. It's only important to rally passionately around what we determine as us against this (again) Orwellian orgy of hated and fear.
So now there are expression and terms which are hated and feared whithout a clear understanding of what they mean. Terms like sharia, jihad, khilafa etc..
So now people are scared of me(not so much me because i don't satisfy the look of the classic evil Muslim ). People are scared of my sister when the call her a fucking terrorist at a shopping center or my wife who got told to fuck off with her bomb somewhere else as she walked by a bus stop. This happens everyday to thousands of Muslim around the west because of this sustained islamophobia campaign. Fueled again by Hollywood movies.
I apologise to Russians if i caused you offense. I promise to visit Russia at some point, after i visit Iran of course.
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