I have to give props to Max Blumenthal who wrote an excellent piece detailing the Islamophobia sweeping America today, its origins and progenitors and I think he nailed it. I don’t think you will read writing with this much clarity from many people today so I strongly urge you to go to the link above to read the entire essay. A brief excerpt appears below
Erupting so many years after the September 11th trauma, this spasm of anti-Muslim bigotry might seem oddly timed and unexpectedly spontaneous. But think again: it’s the fruit of an organized, long-term campaign by a tight confederation of right-wing activists and operatives who first focused on Islamophobia soon after the September 11th attacks, but only attained critical mass during the Obama era. It was then that embittered conservative forces, voted out of power in 2008, sought with remarkable success to leverage cultural resentment into political and partisan gain.
This network is obsessively fixated on the supposed spread of Muslim influence in America. Its apparatus spans continents, extending from Tea Party activists here to the European far right. It brings together in common cause right-wing ultra-Zionists, Christian evangelicals, and racist British soccer hooligans. It reflects an aggressively pro-Israel sensibility, with its key figures venerating the Jewish state as a Middle Eastern Fort Apache on the front lines of the Global War on Terror and urging the U.S. and various European powers to emulate its heavy-handed methods.
Little of recent American Islamophobia (with a strong emphasis on the “phobia”) is sheer happenstance. Years before Tea Party shock troops massed for angry protests outside the proposed site of an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, representatives of the Israel lobby and the Jewish-American establishment launched a campaign against pro-Palestinian campus activism that would prove a seedbed for everything to come. That campaign quickly — and perhaps predictably — morphed into a series of crusades against mosques and Islamic schools which, in turn, attracted an assortment of shady but exceptionally energetic militants into the network’s ranks…..
It was evident from the involvement of figures like Gravers and Spencer that the Islamophobic network in the United States represented a trans-Atlantic expansion of simmering resentment in Europe. There, the far-right was storming to victories in parliamentary elections across the continent in part by appealing to the simmering anti-Muslim sentiments of voters in rural and working-class communities. The extent of the collaboration between European and American Islamophobes has only continued to grow with Geller, Spencer, and even Gingrich standing beside Europe’s most prominent anti-Muslim figure, Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, at a rally against Cordoba House. In the meantime, Geller was issuing statements of support for the English Defense League, a band of unreconstructed neo-Nazis and former members of the whites-only British National Party who intimidate Muslims in the streets of cities like Birmingham and London.
In addition, the trans-Atlantic Islamophobic crusade has stretched into Israel, a country that has come to symbolize the network’s fight against the Muslim menace. As Geller told the New York Times’ Alan Feuer, Israel is “a very good guide because, like I said, in the war between the civilized man and the savage, you side with the civilized man.”
Al-qaidah could only dream of being as trans global as the Islamophobic movement now charging across political landscapes worldwide. Blumenthal’s article puts a name and a face to the major players and discredits everyone. He points out how some of what motivates these ‘phobes is boredom, and greed, bringing to mind many time in my youth when were told not only is money the root of all evil, but that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop. Lots of idle minds within the racist ‘phobe community have made it a commune, caustic and for now too relevant.
2 thoughts on “Finally!”
Even though this is a case of me blowing my own horn, in case you were really wondering about the current European dimension of the Islamopobia phenomenon sweeping the world and its origins, do have a look at this short piece: “The end of multiculturalism, Islamophobia and the role of NATO” — http://tiny.cc/e0crj
Blow your own horn! I tend to do it now and then, and in moderation it’s ok, but I can’t blow mine this time, for the article you read was written by an author far more talented than me, Max Blumenthal, who has made a name for himself exposing the faulty reasoning of political zionism and in this latest piece of his, the forces behind Islamophobia in America. Your article does a very good job of highlighting Islamophobia from the European perspective which I think is slightly different from ours in North America.
Muslims have been living peacefully and side by side with non-Muslims in America for centuries. They have caused very little if any disruption to American life so the forces of hatred couldn’t point to any one act to rally an otherwise indifferent population to their hatred filled scheme….until 911. Even with that, most Americans realized the threat posed by Islam was an external not an internal one, if such a threat exists at all. Much like the threat of 1950s communism, the notion that a tiny percentage of the population can cause any significant damage to America is ludicrous; however when viewed as an international threat, a worldwide phenomenon, such ideas of conspiracy gain more ground and acceptance. That is where your piece on Islamophobia coincides with American Islamophobes’ ambition becomes more plausible. It doesn’t help too that America’s major ally Israel has linked its survival with the imaginary threat this pan-Islamic movement poses and you have the mother of all conspiracies shaping American foreign policy and Islamophobia.
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