While each has its distinctive history; like Anti-Semitism and racism, Islamophobia is a real phenomenon that cultivates hate among communities, stereotypes a whole group for the acts of a few, and justifies transgression against the innocent. And like the rest, Islamophobia was developed and is fostered by special interest groups who often have access to power in order to reach a political, social, or an economic end.
With few exceptions, gone are the days when the perpetrators of hate would march with banners explicitly expressing their bigoted perceptions and attitudes. However, that is hardly an indication that the phenomenon has ceased to exist.
Today, hate speech and propaganda are often craftily camouflaged as talk radio punditry, political lampooning, speeches, or political infomercial.
Last year, in a bizarre outburst of bigotry that makes Islophobes such as David Horowitz, Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer as objective intellectuals, radio talk show host Michael Savage of the Savage Nation had this ranting and raving to share with his audience: "I'm not gonna put my wife in a hijab. And I'm not gonna put my daughter in a burqa. And I'm not gettin on my all-fours and braying to Mecca. And you could drop dead if you don't like it."
Spewing his hate via over 1200 radio stations owned by a notoriously right-wing corporation Clear Channel, he continued his provocative diatribe: "You can shove it up your pipe. I don't wanna hear anymore about Islam. I don't wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I'm sick of you."
Along the same path, albeit more artistically, the July 2008 issue of the New Yorker Magazine had on its front page a political caricature of Barack and Michelle Obama. The couple is standing in the middle of the Oval Office. Obama is wearing a traditional Islamic dress with turban and sandals. He is approvingly fist-bumping with a militant looking Michelle as his sinister left eye gazes away. Michelle is wearing Angela Davis style afro and a guerilla fatigue with an M-16 hanging from her back. Looking over them is an Africa-American looking picture of Usama Bin Laden...hanging over the fire place where the American flag is set on flames.
Then came September 4, 2008-- the Republican Convention --where the merchants of fear and paranoia found their ideal platform. Inadvertently or otherwise, the underlying theme seemed to be to broaden the definition of the enemy from a cult-like Al-Qaida to a much broader indeed more fluid definition that indicts all those who practice Islam as suspect or worse.
Rudolph Guiliani, the former New York City Mayor, condemned the democrats for being "politically correct" and avoiding the use of the term 'Islamic terrorism'" to describe the enemy.
Taking the politically synthesized Anti-Islamic mantra to the next level by directly speaking to the race-conscious voters, former congressional leader Dick Army, who now leads one of the most powerful lobby groups in Washington, had this to say. Barack Obama's "funny name" could "give people concerns that he could be or has been too much influenced by Muslims, which is a great threat now." Obama is Christian.
It is a shame that the media is less interested in what Mr. Army and others who routinely use more provocative and broadly condemning terms such as "Islamo-fascism," "Islamic terrorism," and "Jihadism" to describe the enemy send to the 7 million Muslims in United States and 1.2 billion around the world.
During the recent elections, many localities around the U.S. were hit by a new "swift-boating" campaign. This one, targeting swing states, is aimed to induce paranoia by distributing "28 million DVDs" of the propaganda film Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West.
The film, like any Goebbelian piece of propaganda, conveniently exploits the human tendency to surrender their capacity to think critically when their emotions are stirred or fear is instilled in their hearts. The film does this successfully as it is made of selective footages from various parts of the world of individuals expressing hate, training, and committing acts of terror and the bloody scenes of their crimes. It is a dangerously effective way of collectively demonizing Muslims as the so called experts featured in the film use all the aforementioned hot button terminologies to describe the terrorists and interlink all these cases with their subjective narrative.
This latest campaign is carried by an obscure New York based group named The Clarion Fund whose funders are not known.
In pursuit of their goal to effectively disseminate the DVDs and secure subliminal legitimacy, this group has selectively targeted the newspaper distribution apparatuses of various cities in critical states. Here in central Ohio, the Columbus Dispatch has distributed 10,000 copies of the DVDs through its most widely read issue- the Sunday Dispatch. The same was done by the New York Times, the Miami Herald and a host of other newspapers.
Venomous hyperbole aimed to stir fear and paranoia and indict all Muslims continues despite the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties' conclusion that "Words matter" and its recommendation that U.S. officials and representatives should "...avoid inflating the religious bases and glamorous appeal of the extremists' ideology." According to a memo from the said department, the terminologies used should depict the terrorists as the dangerous cult leaders they are.
Abukar Arman is a freelance writer who lives in Ohio. He maintains his blog at FrogScorpia
Muslim organization were to make such an idiotic statement, there is no one organization that speaks for Islam and Muslims. If you are sincere about knowing
what Muslims think read Who Speaks For Islam?: What a Billion Muslims Really Think by John L. Esposito & Dalia Mogahed. Here is a quote from an article for you to reflect on .. "Extremist Hindu groups offered money, food and alcohol to mobs to kill Christians and destroy their homes, according to Christian aid workers in the eastern state of Orissa." http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/asia/article5186703.ece Alex-
My recent work/comment "TOP 10 Reasons Why the U.S. is the sickest nation on Earth" has not yet been posted.
I bid you PEACE. This however does not mean that I must agree with your opinions or necessarily even like your actions.
"stereotypes a whole group for the acts of a few, and justifies transgression against the innocent" (from article's 1st sentence) I have performed my Hajj and then lived in the Middle East for nearly 3 years, spending time in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait. I also acknowledge there is a growing hatred against Muslims because of acts perpetrated by imposters who call themselves muslims (my opinion) to the shattering silence of the UMMA (so called Muslim Community) and ULEMA (so called Learned Muslim Community of Clerics).
As to the QUESTION of innocence.
I don't want to hear how Muslim leaders condemned 9/11 or Madrid or London or Bali and the press stifled these comments/whisper.
Until the majority of peoples who CLAIM to be MUSLIMS can accept that the acts committed in Palestine are murderous suicide bombings and not glorious martyrdom operations, they will be guilty of supporting and condoning MURDER not just Terrorism.
This DISEASE OF THE BRAIN + HEART = MIND has been festering for so long it is now acceptable for so called MUSLIMS to kill other so called MUSLIMS. All the while supported by the overwhelming majority of clerics who "are like asses carrying books, the burden of which neither benefits nor enlightens them" (Partial translation of a QURANic Ayat.
Take the scales of your eyes to see and knots on your hearts to FEEL. So that you may truly bear witness to the events worldwide in Jordan, Mumbai, Syria etc. The muslim world is tearing itself apart, not to the joy of the West but to the joy of a minority (INSHA-ALLAH) in the West and percentage ? (Only GOD knows) of people who make a false claim with their tongues to be Muslim but have no sincerity in their heart, if they have one.
IN OTHER WORDS THEY DO NOT PRACTICE ISLAM IN ANY MEASURABLE QUANTITY!
GOD alone know
My friend has a store in a community in Orlando, we were at the store about a month and a half ago, when the DVD "OBSESSION" was given directly to us. I knew right away by the picture on the cover, and the title of the film that this film was against Islam. My friend said no, he didn't think so. That was until we both viewed it. Nothing positive was shown on this video.
This is a difficult time, it is unfortunate that these events take place, even more unfortunate that people have a difficult time remembering each individual religous history - and the wars and bigotry that took place. This country was developed by the same bigotry towards the native americans, in pursuit of also religous freedom. What part of this past is in question?
Now, even worse we face being silent - just as the African - Americans had to for how many years while segregation was a way of life?
Why can't we learn to except differences? We do not have to agree with one another - but except what our faith teaches us, which definitely is not haterd. Why can't we continue to pray for eachothers happiness?
If we look at the lives of these individuals, you will most certainly notice a difference in personality, and lack of happiness - mainly because their purpose in life is to bring someone down, and so they focus on the negative, when that happens, it's hard to see the "LIGHT".
Stop pointing fingers, and take responsibility for what comes out of your mouth, from your mind - what are you teaching your children?
I want to teach my son to appreciate the diverse cultures of our world - and appreciate the positive foundations of all faiths, because no where does the word of Allah or God teach hatred - except not to judge. We will all be judged accordingly. Assalamu Alaikum.
nor would the Prophet (peace be upon him) approve of it. Hatred
of Muslims or of Islam is in NO way justified by the unIslamic
behavior of the few. Why would those who call themselves
Christians be so hateful? Jesus' message was also one of love and
not muslim. so what drives them then? i *have* read the Quran
in a language i understand, and i have also read one complete
and extremely lengthy scholarly discourse on it and related
historical scholars' opinions, spanning several volumes, and also
assorted commentary on various questions i am particularly
interested in. by no means i am a scholar, but honestly i have no
idea what you are referring to. perhaps you are the one who has
not read the Quran in a language you understand, and certainly
not the history and tafsir of it.
Why should we facilitate any terrorist group by uniting them under the banner of Islam or any religion for that matter? Instead we need to cut them off, isolate them and identify them by their own individual groups.
Terrorism has no concept of God, knows no religion and has no borders. It is illogical to think that such brutality and senseless killing can be endorsed or legitimized by any religion on earth.
see picture below:
Now they say that because Isreal does not like these people they are terrorist.
War on Terror is a fake BS.
There is no conflict or no such thing as imminent threat when Issac ( Issac - peace be upon him ) was born. Issac ( I-pbuh ) was no threat to Ishmeal ( Ishmael - peace be upon him ).
Muslims accepted Issac ( I-pbuh ) and Ishmael ( I-pbuh ) as Prophets of Islam. There is hikmah that Prophet Abraham ( Abraham - peace be upon him ) to the desert with Hagar, Ishmael's mother.
The Arabs are the descendants of Prophet Ishmael, and the Jews are from Issac.
What really is the threat here Yohan ?
When Ishmael was 14, Isaac was born and became his imminent threat. The conflict was lead behind the scene by Hagar, Ishmael's mother leading her innocent son into problem. The same figure repeats now: Israel is born to the threat of Arab Nationalists under the bond of so called "Islam" that hates the Jews and Christians and cautions its innocent adherents not to befriend them. What is it then: Rampant Islamophobia or Christophobia or Israelophobia? The answer should be found in the Quran.