Sunday, March 23, 2014

Islamophobia as McCarthyism 2.0

Islamophobia is not a new phenomenon. It has a long and craven pedigree.

Those promoting Islamophobia compete with each other in their willingness to turn a blind eye to the desecration of civil liberties. They do this in the name of national security. This is what McCarthy did.

Those engaging in Islamophobia strive to secure domestic political advantage by making an Other where none exists. This is what McCarthy did.

Those in the mainstream media who are profiting from Islamophobia create an open-ended, paranoiac ideology that is free-floating, as McCarthy's was. They tend to define "extremism" as "anything upon which Muslims are about to agree."

The reality that there are
mass-murdering Christians in Norway, the reality that there are mass-murdering Jews in Palestine -- these realities have never made us launch national campaigns to identify the pernicious influence of Christianity or Judaism in this country. Nor should they.

The Muslim community in the US is a peaceful community, its members less likely than the average citizen to brandish guns, and more likely than the average citizen to promote civic engagement. We respect and abide by the laws of this country, and we vigorously defend Constitutional safeguards protecting freedom of conscience and expression. Senator McCarthy, alive and well in his 21st-century progeny, views that very defense of the Constitution as evidence of subversion.


 

For an excerpt from my novel JIHADI, click here.