A Comedian’s Perspective on Political Economy

Dear PITAPOLICY Consumers:

Since the PITAPOLICY blog launch three months ago, politics, interests, technology and analysis have been pushed your way regarding the area between Morocco to Pakistan. However, sometimes interests–especially the entertainment and media industry–comment on political economy issues, which ultimately affect impressions in the pita-consuming region. Last week in Washington, DC, famous comedians Preacher Moss, Azhar Usman, and Said Durrah greeted their new and old friends with satire and political commentary inserted between laughs at the Riot Act Theater in downtown Washington, DC. These three reflect a growing trend of activist comedy to address economics crises and frames of reference as discussed in the Horizons piece in May 2011.

In fact, I might argue that they represent a segment of social-entrepreneurs–irrespective of their entertainment industry. Furthermore, the socio-politico dynamic within the US also “mirrors the bird in the cage” of the MENA region–if I may borrow Azhar Usman’s term. Thus, the following piece by Preacher Moss is one interpretation and pushes forth the PITAPOLICY mission to share different viewpoints and engage in dialogue. I look forward to “breaking more pita bread” with the comedians of “Allah Made Me Funny” and would like to remind PITAPOLICY consumers that “breaking bread” with various professionals espousing unique viewpoints does not represent PITAPOLICY’s views. Simply: PITAPOLICY encourages people to share informed opinions and exchange ideas. Please feel free to comment or send your response piece for a future posting.

“The “Muslim” Problem: Clarity in the age of the Anti-Muslim Industrial Complex”
By: Preacher Moss a.k.a “Undercover Muslim”

A while ago, a good friend, and fellow thinker, Sakiya Sandifer, asked me to compose and article on the recent and tragic shootings at Fort Hood military base. As I watched the news, the words “killer,” “Muslim,” “terrorist,” and “Islamic” seemed to roll across the screen as it made its way in the context of conversation being offered by the journalist. It appeared, in a continuing trend, that the media was looking to take the actions of alleged “Muslim” gunman’s act of terror, and immediately try to connect his actions to a fundamentalist, violent, radical, but extremely profitable and marketable form of Islam. I affectionately call this making dough on the “Muslim Problem.” For those who are new to this…

Welcome to the world of the Anti-Muslim Industrial Complex (AMI Complex) my friends…or maybe not.

If you want to know what the “Muslim Problem” is I would submit to you as Example A, an interview conducted by CNN morning host, John Roberts in the time following the shooting. Roberts interviewed someone who worked with alleged shooter, Nidal Hassan. What was puzzling about the interview was the interviewee, hadn’t seen, nor spoken to Hassan in nearly five years. Roberts, oblivious to the fact the interviewee really had not contact matter, made the situation worse by asking the interviewer if he had noticed the shooter exhibiting radical Islamic characteristics or behavior. The invited guest simply answered the question by informing Roberts that he had no contact with Hassan in five years, and wouldn’t know what he was up to. I’m glad this guy got it because Roberts was caught up in the AMI Complex. The problem here extends well beyond the Roberts’ desperation to make this a terror plot of radical Islamists, and attaching Islam as the culprit in this situation. It’s more important than that. This attitude illuminates the present strategy in place that makes it not only acceptable to do this, but sadly mainstream in its nature. It is indicative of the Anti-Muslim Industrial Complex, AMI Complex for short.

Now, if you want to know what this term means, you have to invest in the history of business, and the business of profiling for profit. Stop here if you can’t think beyond the mid 70’s, because you’ll learn as great as America, and its’ citizens are, on the extreme that’s how dysfunctional, and sinister they can be as well. Scratch that. It’s all the dynamic of human existence. The AMI Complex is easy to understand if you can reason that any Industrial complex, despite what you put in front of it, uses innovation to create profitability for the market, and its’ shareholders. The Anti-Muslim Industrial Complex is no different except that the geniuses of this market have innovated on fear, intolerance, intimidation, and distortion of information to grow their market. They then maintain their market by presenting their “systemic solutions” to deal with the problems. They are a culture of experts on the problems they produce. Let’s face it hating on the Muslim image has become big business, just as terrorists have found the can make money, and expand their opportunities by attacking the U.S. Government. These terrorists would include Al-Qaeda, the KKK, militias, and those who religious folks that actively pray for President Obama’s assassination, and the uninformed chants of the uninsured, “I don’t want healthcare reform, because I don’t want government interfering with my Medicare.” I give it up to the Healthcare Industrial Complex, that’s a classic. The hits just keep coming.

For a minute, let’s examine Nidal Hasssan. There are those who would say that his religion made him commit these horrible acts. Here’s a question. What ever happened to the idea of “crazy?” It’s still happens you know. Check this out. Nidal Hassan chose a career in mental heath industry. Anyone knows that the Mental Un-Health Industrial Complex has a market, and mission that make mental illness profitable. Prozac anyone? Could it be possible that Hassan made the short walk from physician to client? I say, “yep.”

Would anyone be surprised, or care, if a drug dealer somehow wound up hooked on drugs? How about a doctor that prescribes medication, Oh My God! getting hooked on prescription drugs. Did you ever hear about the white kids that hung with black kids, and wound up calling themselves niggers? Let’s stop choking the “proverbial chicken” here and fess up.

The level of defense contracts, celebrity punditry, profiling, and other actionable negatives against the Muslim Image, and the concept of Islam as a religion of terrorism, as opposed to submission to God, is PROFITABLE for everyone…that’s not Muslim. IF Muslims every find a way to get in on the AMI Complex, and make money off their negative image, we’d be able to build more mosques than there are McDonalds. Seriously, the AMI Complex is profitable. It’s comparable in a way that the industries that produce hair products for black people is profitable…for everyone who isn’t black, and doesn’t have black hair.

Let’s get back to facts and reason. The recently executed John Allen Muhammad never got full value in the AMI Complex, because he wasn’t the right kind of Muslim. He was Muslim but by all accounts wanted to kill his wife, not attack the United States. He was of no value to the Anti-Muslim Industrial Complex. According to market segmentation, he was a just a crazy nigger that wound up going into the “Prison Industrial Complex.”

And now for my dismount…

As far as Nidal Hassan’s situation, he was a troubled individual. His peers in the military knew it, documented it, but didn’t fully address it as a mental health issue. Being real, isn’t mental health their business? I mean psychiatrist have to have psychiatrists to keep each other in check; so I’m not sure what went astray in this situation. The cost of looking the other way, or possibly just the Muslim way, cost the lives and well-being of innocent people, and their families.

I’m Muslim, but I ain’t crazy. If I were crazy, wouldn’t it make sense to address my mental state verses my religious beliefs? Oops forgot. I’m not the right kind of Muslim (Black) so I don’t have significant value to the AMI Complex Folks either.

This idea of a profitable market for treating Muslims, and Islam in a negative way should not be new to anyone that understands, and has a faint grasp of historical context. The tendencies of any selfish, and non-humane Industrial Complex, regardless of the noun you put out in front of it, are dangerous. Let me refresh your memory.

1. Drug laws of the mid-eighties gave rise to mass arrests and mandatory sentencing to insure deliverance of inmates for the “Prison Industrial Complex.

2. Manipulators of education initiatives conspired to guarantee a poorly trained workforce feeding the “Cheap Labor Industrial Complex.”

3. The constant, and healthy doses of fear of invasion, and more terrorist acts helped fuel the billions of dollars to feed the “Military Industrial Complex.”

4. The devaluing of Africans as objects rather than human beings, or creations of God gave the permissible oppression to grow the “Slavery Industrial Complex.”

In closing, I grieve at the senseless loss of life, and health attributed to Hassan’s actions. After due process, if he’s guilty he should be punished, and will be. The one thing we can’t lose is our sensibility to look comprehensively at the situations in front of us. To do this we would acquiesce that inside all of we to harbor a/an (place your type of complex here) Industrial Complex.

The truth my brothers and sisters, when you really think about it…It’s not that COMPLEX at all. Oh and hey, if you every think I’m losing my mind, you’re free to join me.

P.S.- I wonder what new complex will claim Tiger Woods’ latest situation. Let’s just wait and see hmmm.

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