Whenever the corporate media reports about differences of opinion among secular Western politicians, institutions or academics, it is portrayed as a sign of their political and intellectual maturity.
Differences of opinion among Islamic leadership are portrayed in a negative light: as a sign of weakness, incoherence and political immaturity.
A similar negative narrative is peddled if the opposite situation arises.
When there is uniformity of methodology and strategy among Islamic organizations and leadership, such unity is presented as Islam’s totalitarian nature.
This year the corporate media eagerly jumped on the fact that in Islamic Iran, Eid al-Fitr was celebrated on two different days.
The office of Imam Khamenei announced that Eid al-Fitr would be on Sunday May 24.
The country’s other senior Islamic mujtahids, including Javadi Amoli, Makarem Shirazi and Safi Golpayegani, issued separate statements saying the holiday would be celebrated on Monday May 25.
Celebration of Eid al-Fitr on different days is a matter of varied jurisprudential methodology which Western pundits have little understanding of.
Most media reports did mention that celebrating Eid on different days cannot be viewed as politically motivated. After all, this is quite common in much of the Muslim world.
However, keen observers of the corporate media’s coverage of Muslim issues did not miss the spin of the tone of headlines.
The fact that Western corporate media often amplifies scholarly differences among Muslim jurists is either a manifestation of complete ignorance of Islamic scholarly tradition, or a deliberate attempt at distortion.
Unlike conventional propaganda, plurality is part of the Islamic legal and theological tradition.
That is why Islam organically developed various jurisprudential methodologies and tradition of critical studies.
Plurality within Islam is deliberately ignored in order to peddle the narrative of a ‘savage Muslim’ clinging to a ‘totalitarian religion’.
The corporate media bombards, on a daily basis, ordinary Muslims on alleged divisions and differences between them.
It is often done in order to justify Western interference to bring “freedom” and “stability” to the Muslim world.
It should be borne in mind that natural differences exist in every society.
Any society can be plunged into turmoil if a powerful foreign state actor chooses to exploit such differences.
What would happen if China, Russia or any other government were to take the strategic decision to use the race card in the US to destabilize the country?
Whenever there is strife in a Muslim country, the corporate media does a “great” job of exploiting the situation.
Unfortunately, lack of sophisticated Islamic media resources along with poor coordination among existing ones makes it difficult to explain in clear non-exaggerated terms the factor of foreign interference.
Today, many Muslim media outlets either take a defensive approach on this issue or adopt a fairy-tale narrative.
The latter is often utilized by the Western media to discredit Muslim media outlets and push an imperialist narrative.