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Jordanian Bloggers Promote Dialogue With U.S.

Jordanian bloggers continued to contemplate the “Ground Zero Mosque” and Quran burning incidents in the United States by calling for greater dialogue with the US. Jordanians discussed how Arabs and Muslims can best respond to the misconceptions of Muslims by U.S. citizens. Many bloggers, like Natasha of Mental Mayhem, have posted the story of young Muslims who planted flowers at a church in Amman rather than respond in protest.

Jaraad, among others, circulated the video of a minister from Columbus, OH, who called for understanding and patience from both Muslims and Christians.

These bloggers blamed the American media for focusing on provocative figures. Natasha wrote:

Sadly, for the US media this was a non-story. Who cared about a small, stable country like Jordan? Who cared about a handful of young Muslims delivering flowers when there were others demonstrating violently? Which one would get readers’ attention, violence or flowers? Sadly, the US media chose violence. Who can compete with death and blood? The sexier always wins…

The disappointing fact is that the US media failed twice in this case: first in blowing the story of the Florida priest out of proportion by giving this isolated, planned act (which never happened) more than its share of coverage, and bringing it to the attention of the global audience. The second was in ignoring acts of Muslim goodwill that would have clearly showed that while some Muslims might burn flags and effigies, there are others, like this group of young Jordanians, who would simply deliver flowers.

Jaraad, referring again to the Ohio minister, wrote:

She was very accurate of blaming the media accusing it of spreading fear among Americans.

But Jaraad also bemoaned the lack of respect for religious people in American politics. He wrote about the interview of Christine O'Donnell, the conservative Delaware Tea Party for the Senate.

The mockery, in the video, on O’Donnell is that she didn’t believe humans are an evolution of monkeys so she is stupid. Bill Maher even wonders how such person “could be in the senate” . In another word, he can’t imagine that someone who believes in God could be in the senate…According to seculars you can’t be a scientist and believe in God.

Ali concludes that the best way forward is not through U.S. media, but through direct interaction with U.S. citizens to explain to them the rationality of Islam and the moderation of most Muslims. He joined a group on Facebook called Arab Voices Speak to American Hearts. Through this group, he has explained his viewpoint on Islam and Jordan to American individuals who are curious for answers. For Ali, the purpose of this exercise is not to provide an alternative to U.S. media depictions. Instead, it is a way to directly oppose negative images of Arabs and Muslims.

If you ever thought of changing the world. Well here is a very reasonable way to do so. All you gotta do is talk with a American and in your way turn his/her thoughts away from what the media are telling them and then you will be convinced that at least you changed one mind and you'll be more encouraged to change another and another.

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