Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Responsibility of some commenters for fanning the flames of Islamophobia based on their religion

It's been pretty widely recognized what the role of right-wing, rural, or at least red state, bloggers and writers in demonizing Islam has been....yet what gets almost no attention whatsoever is the role of bloggers and writers who are Jewish in fanning the flames of Islamophobia through projecting their anti-Palestinian and pro-Israel bias onto the whole world. It's not polite to talk about, but some of the most strident voices aimed at destroying any sort of positive image of Islam in the United States, such as Pamela Geller, are not only Jewish but proudly wear their support of Israel on their sleeves, or on the sidebar of their websites, as it were. Yet, while the stereotype of the rural, idiotic, very white, male, conservative anti-Islam commentator gets traction, the prospect of people who are educated, sophisticated, and from the east coast (to use a stereotype), also having beliefs that are on par with those cave men is something that people in general are less likely to confront.

Yet it's extremely important to point this out, because, quite frankly, one group's conflict going on in the Middle East between their beloved country and Arabs should not be an excuse to promote the demonization of a whole religion as well as the promotion of wars against members of those religions. This isn't abstract--we invaded Afghanistan, we invaded Iraq. The people who took their anti-Palestinian sentiment and wove it into animosity against Islam as a whole, and the Arab world in general, supported both of these whole heartedly, and still do. Part of the conservative caucus out there believes that Muslims are secretly on a Jihad to destroy the United States, for example with the fictional "Ground Zero Mosque", interpreted as a signal of Islamic dominance in the United States. These words have consequences, and have had consequences in contributing to tens of thousands of lives lost in Afghanistan and Iraq, both directly and indirectly in the form of internal struggle.

They should not be given a pass because of their religion. 

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