Nastiness Diagnosis. Anthropology. Religion. Gender. Justice. A Personal Notepad For the General Public.
The Islamophobia Industry: How the Right Manufactures Fear of Muslims
From 2000 to 2001, hate crimes in the United States against people of Middle Eastern descent increased by more than 324 percent, with 354 attacks in 2000 and 1,501 reported attacks in 2001. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) noted that hate crimes against Muslims in the United States rose by more than 50 percent from 2003 to 2004. And by 2009, not much had changed. Pew Research released a report saying that “Eight years after the terrorist attacks of 9/11, Americans see Muslims as facing more discrimination inside the U.S. than any other major religious group.” Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR, said in the fall of 2010, “I have been working on behalf of other Muslims for more than 30 years and I have never seen it like this, not even after the 9/11 attacks. Hate rhetoric often leads to hate crimes, and I think that’s what we’re seeing now.”
In the summer of 2010, a rising tide of anti-Muslim sentiment and violence swept through the United States, generated by a controversy that surrounded the construction of a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan. Two blocks away from the site of the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, Park51, as the development would be called, reawakened the suppressed emotions of a nation deeply wounded by the tragedy. Opponents of the project cited its location as their primary point of contention. For them, building a “monster mosque” so close to Ground Zero was offensive because Muslims, however deviant in their beliefs, were responsible for the massacre there nine years before. And, because the developers of Park51 were Muslims too, there must have been a link—the Quran found in Mohammad Atta’s bag contained the same verses that would be preached to Muslims attending worship in the building’s mosque, they believed. The center was also, according to some, an omen that warned of a larger Muslim takeover. By infiltrating lower Manhattan, they claimed, Muslims would use the mosque as a command center for terrorism and dispatch extremists all across the heartland of the United States, uprooting governments state by state until Sharia law replaced the Constitution.
Hi, I simply want to share what I know, FYI. I agree to disagree, and I respect different perspectives. If some of my words make you feel uncomfortable, I apologize in advance.
Exegesis in Islam is a very complicated matter (e.g. some verses/sayings are more qualified by others, depending on the credibility of sources, intertextual reference and resulting interpretations), not a citation of verses = actual law that simple. The pre-modern Islamic law was NEVER a code. The codification of Sharia was actually a western influence on the codification of positive law. Even in Muslim-majority countries since the colonial period it is western law not Islamic law that handles most of the things.
Both the Bible and the Koran have internal contradictory teachings, and one can also easily cite teachings for peace (see below at the bottom.).
Also, the texts have been there for centuries (Ottoman Empire is not any bloodier than any other Empires, much less so than the western colonial empires), but the intensification of Islamophobia is recent. Without considering historical contexts and the international hierarchies of geopolitics, it is really unfair to see Muslims are essentially evil. Actually to frame Muslim terrorists as first of all “Muslim” and with “terrorists” as a synonym is a huge distortion, which easily erases all the violence and injustice occurring in the Middle East (during the post Cold-War era, in which we USA has always been a big part, or during the Cold-War ear when Muslims who fought the USSR with us were acclaimed as “freedom fighter” in the US and justifies a lot of economic interests/plans, whether failed or not). — Just because these military deployment is non-religious, so it is justifiable, whereas when its counterpart abuses religious motivations, they are just incredibly violent and blood-thirst.
This kind of double standard is utterly unfair but so naturalized. In the history of US there are white terrorists and in Europe most terrorists attacks were NOT conducted by Muslims. You wouldn’t say all Americans are terrorists simply because there are some white terrorists, and you can’t say well Christianity does not teach that whereas Islam does. Because some Christian leaders preach hate just like some Islamic leaders, whereas some Islamic leaders preach peace just like some Christian leaders. The difference — we USA government can openly ravage other people’s homeland for decades, but those who wish to challenge this hegemony and attempt to ravage our land can only sneak in the US through “back door”, which, then, becomes “terrorism.” How much chance do you think a US-hater group can openly invade US?
This is but war, and nobody’s warriors are essentially nobler than others. Any military murder is not any nobler than murder motivated by other causes that might be chosen by certain individuals.
AGAIN the following verses do not automatically translate into law.
And if they lean to peace, then leaneth thou too to it, and trust in God; Verily He is the All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
No compulsion be in religion; Indeed truth has been made manifest distinct from error; therefore he who disbelieveth the rebels (false deities) and believeth in God, hath indeed laid hold on the strongest handle no break is for it; and verily God is All-Hearing, All-Knowing.
Unto ye be your religion, and unto me my religion.”
hich Pew Research Center do you have in mind? I have reviewed quite a bit large-scale cross-country surveys, and they consistently show that the majority of Muslims around the world support democracy and condemn terrorism. We see some of that in the Arab Spring.
It is true there has been a strong anti-American sentiments in lots of Muslim-majority countries, but that is partially because of the long-term US atrocities in the Middle-East and the eternal Palestine problem (in which Israel is justified and Palestine becomes a “problem”).
Islamophobia has a much longer history, because the fanatical image of Muslims have its colonial roots. western colonizers construct a lot of image about the backward Other (while ignoring their own oppression of women and slave in their home countries) to justify their heroic position to colonize others. This deep Orientalist legacy had a patronizing and self-righteous impulse, and made some Muslims more anti-western hegemony (not anti-democracy). But the majority of people did not turn to violence; only a small part of them became terrorists, many of whom are highly-educated, natural scientists and who can coldly make a lot of military plans. Muslim terrorism is a thoroughly modern phenomenon, but the image of “Muslim the fanatic” has a deep root that can easily strike a chord and easily makes sense of things, or make it worse. A survey shows how people around the world believe that many US counter-terrorism policies would only breed more terrorist attack.
The trick of Islamophobia and westernphobia are indeed at the level a sinister game, following a vicious cycle logic. It makes even good people on both sides suspicious of each other, imagining that the ever-lurking evil force might approach any time. Well, it is quite racialized and otherized a problem. Why aren’t we afraid all the time that someone might shoot us to death in the middle of watching a movie? Because it is not essentialized as a problem of All Americans. (and because of the standard that modern non-religious wars are okay, but religious riots are insane). We psychologize the individuals and it’s done. But with the Other (Nazi, Communist, Muslims, Chinese, what have you), we don’t. We think there is something wrong with the entire people. But they really are not any more wrong than us.