Manipulation, which literally means ‘shrewd management’, refers to the struggle to channel the opinions and behaviors of the individuals and communities to a certain direction by using biased and inaccurate information. Historical texts are replete with examples showing that manipulation has existed at personal and societal levels throughout the history of mankind. It is also possible to encounter with a variety of manipulative attitudes and behaviors in religious texts which are considered sacred, literary works, epics, philosophical doctrines, history books or other extant oral or written sources.
However, with the acceleration of technological
development and the increase in the influence of mass media on individuals and societies especially since the beginning of the 20th century, manipulation has become a major weapon in social, political, economic and cultural areas. Today, the way media reflects the cases; the attitudes, behaviors and statements of the leaders which affect the decision-making processes; international culture and arts organizations and the award preferences of the festivals; the moves of the financial institutions which affect the money market; the way the civil society organizations handle and many others can be a tool of manipulation. Such an approach, which is clearly problematic by whichever criteria of faith or doctrine it is assessed, is much used by the countries, lobbies, international organizations which claim to lead the world, in short, by the global system.
The global system aims to expand the capitalist system by encouraging popular culture and overconsumption in a bipolar world formed after the Second World War, and used the threat of communism which was identified as the centre of evil as a trump when doing this. With the end of the Cold War, Islam was chosen as the main foe and the new centre of evil at this time and a great war against Islam was launched. Actually the region which can be defined in most general terms as “Islamic World” has faced with a number of dimensions of manipulation in political, societal and cultural areas in the process of Westernization for 200 years. However it is seen that Islam has been systematically targeted in many areas such as politics, arts, academia, media and civil society especially in the past quarter century. In this manipulative process, it is also obvious that the sacred values of Islam, the notions, the symbols shaping the faith world, assumptions, practices and preferences, that is to say, efforts are put forward to wear down anything material or spiritual that shapes Muslim life. The efforts are put forward to make the societies become prone to manipulation and open to being fooled with this process of attrition. The perception management operations which we have witnessed similars througout the in history and the attrition activities targeting Islam and Muslims have constantly continued during over 14 centuries of Islamic history and have perhaps reached the most dangerous extents today.
The world we live in today which has been shaped by the Western world for the last few centuries has failed to move the humanity further from where it was yesterday. On the contrary, especially when wee look at the developments in the past quarter century, it will not be wrong to say that the current global system controlled by Western states and structures drives the world into a chaos.. Hence, the data below verify this sad reality:
• While the number of the countries which were defined as “least developed” with an arrangement made by the UN in 1971 was 25, it has increased to 49 today.
• According to the Global Wealth Report 2015, 50% of the $250 trillion-global wealth is in the hands of the top 1%.
• While more than one billion people live on less than $1 per day, the size of the total assets of the world’s largest 50 banks equals to the annual gross domestic product of 187 countries.
• According to the data cited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon at the World Humanitarian Summit held in May 2016, the need for humanitarian aid has increased 12 times in 15 years and reached $245 billion while it was $16 billion 15 years ago. The main reason of this increase is people oriented crises, in other words the occupations and civil wars.
• A new war/civil war, a new occupation or a new military operation is launched almost every year. The cost of these wars and occupations is $15 trillion annually.
• According to the International Transparency Organization report, the global companies save $2 trillion black money annually.
• According to the EU Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) report titled as “Violence Against Women: an EU-wide Survey”, one out of every three women from the age of 15 in EU countries is exposed to phsyical and sexual violence.
• Approximately 50 million animals are slaughtered by the industries of cosmetics, drug, entertainment and clothing, and the majority of the killings are carried out by global companies in Western states which adopted animal rights discourse as a policy of oppression.
• According to UN data, there are 250 million drug addicts around the world and while 6 million people lose their lives because of tobacco consumption, 2.5 million die because of alcohol each year.
• According to the OECD report, the average 50% of the children in Europe are the product of extra-marital affairs. This ratio is over 60% in some countries.
• 14% of world population which equals to 868 million people suffer from hunger and 2.3 million children die of malnutrition each year. On the other side more than one billion people majority of whom living in poor countries face the problem of sheltering.
The current system and the individuals and organizations that are the representatives of this system are to blame for the current situation of our world. All of the constituents of Islamic civilization which have the potential to provide solutions to the current problems are subject to a variety of manipulations by virtue of its peculiarities.
In our report, these manipulative processes are to be outlined and examined with concrete examples and cases.