Race Hate Towards Muslims

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by Edward Strong

Demonizing 'The Other'

Terrorism has long been the chief demonizing marker that Israel and the United States have used in their wars against Islamic states and peoples who have stood in the path of their imperial ambitions.

Original image: Racist Propaganda

Israel has led the way in charting this course. With massive propaganda, the Zionists succeeded in equating the Palestinian resistance with terrorism.

In no Western country did this propaganda encounter greater success – including Israel itself – than in the United States. Most liberal Americans – and a few leftists – argued that Palestinian terrorists threatened Israel’s existence.

Demonizing 'the other', which is a virtual requisite for waging an unending war against 'evil Muslim extremists', is easily achieved by the American media establishment.

Demonization and vilification are the ideological pillars of America's "war on terror". They serve as a casus belli for waging the battle for oil. [1]

Rampant Racism in the West: This Time It's the Muslims

The American Empire needed to find a new "enemy" to replace the 'commies'.

Much of the soft power employed by the leaders of America’s "top down democracy" stems from psychological manipulation of "the mob".

Mobilization of the masses against a common enemy "threatening the very existence of the American Way" has long been a staple in the United States’ ruling elites’ ongoing push to monopolize the world’s wealth, power,and prestige.

And who better to vilify than Islamic people? Many are dark-skinned and live in developing nations, meaning their lives are inconsequential in the prevailing moral calculus of the West.

The Middle East is predominately Islamic, its sands are oozing with crude oil, and it is home to Israel. From the perspective of the Empire, what better region to target than the Middle East?

If the corporate media had a shred of moral decency they would focus their efforts on informing their viewers, listeners, and readers of the vast number of war crimes committed by Israel and the United States.

They would start portraying the "terrorists" as the resistors of oppression they truly are. They would make a distinction between the various Middle Eastern resistance groups’ legitimate attacks on their occupiers’ militaries and the war crimes they commit against civilians.

And they would devote most of their remaining substantial resources to the inundation of news consumers with stories, photos and video footage depicting the tragic and gruesome civilian suffering and death.

As it is, the Western corporate media shamelessly serve the Neocons by perpetuating a virtually endless cycle of hatred and violence. They incite and feed Islamophobia and they fabricate a plethora of false justifications for the malevolent actions of Israel and the United States.

But then in a fascist nation, corporations are wedded with the state, militarism is the state’s primary focus, scapegoats and enemies are essential, and the function of the Fourth Estate is to provide the propaganda to control the masses. [2]

Muslims, Jews & Anti-Semitism

Today the Middle East is the focus of a challenge to American political and economic hegemony, which is being presented as a "civilisational conflict with Islam".

Nearly a century ago, the Russian revolution sent shockwaves through western states and financial markets.

Anti-semites argued that Jewish involvement in revolutionary politics was part of a conspiracy by "the homeless wandering Jew" to replace European states with their "Hebrew nation".

Winston Churchill wrote that Jews were part of a "worldwide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and for the reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development".

Jews were the first non-Christian, yet monotheistic, religious minority in Britain. They are also one of its earliest "racialised" people.

Despite important differences, the treatment of British Jews provides an illuminating comparison with contemporary anti-Muslim racism.

Pnina Werbner, professor of social anthropology at Keele University, argues that Jews are predominantly racialised as an assimilated threat to national interests emerging at moments of crisis.

Muslims are now being represented as a different kind of "folk devil" - a social group that is openly and aggressively trying to impose its religion on national culture.

This partially explains the recent concerns about multiculturalism. "Anti-fundamentalist images provide racists with a legitimising discourse against Muslims," as Werbner puts it, which is used by "intellectual elites as well as 'real' violent racists".

The Jewish-Muslim comparison reveals another recurring pattern in recent British history: the rapid collapse of security fears associated with a religious minority into a racialised discourse of "civilisation versus barbarism".[3]

America's Crusade in Central Asia and the Middle East

In the eyes of public opinion, possessing a "just cause" for waging war is central. A war is said to be Just if it is waged on moral, religious or ethical grounds.

America's Crusade in Central Asia and the Middle East is no exception. The "war on terrorism" purports to defend the American Homeland and protect the "civilized world".

It is upheld as a "war of religion", a "clash of civilizations", when in fact the main objective of this war is to secure control and corporate ownership over the region's extensive oil wealth.

The Just War theory upholds war as a "humanitarian operation". It serves to camouflage the real objectives of the military operation, while providing a moral and principled image to the invaders.

In its contemporary version, it calls for military intervention on ethical and moral grounds against "rogue states" and "Islamic terrorists", which are threatening the Homeland.

Possessing a "just cause" for waging war is central to the Bush administration's justification for invading and occupying both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Taught in US military academies, a modern-day version of the "Just War" theory has been embodied into US military doctrine.

The "war on terrorism" and the notion of "preemption" are predicated on the right to "self defense." They define "when it is permissible to wage war".

A vital part the Armed Forces command structure is to convince the troops that the enemy is "evil" and that they are fighting for a "just cause". More generally, the Just War theory in its modern day version is an integral part of war propaganda and media disinformation, applied to gain public support for a war agenda.

Demonization is a PSYOP, used to sway public opinion and build a consensus in favor of war. Psychological warfare is directly sponsored by the Pentagon and the US intelligence apparatus.

It is not limited to assassinating or executing the rulers of Muslim countries, it extends to entire populations.

It also targets Muslims in Western Europe and North America. It purports to break national consciousness and the ability to resist the invader. It denigrates Islam. It creates social divisions.

It is intended to divide national societies and ultimately trigger "civil war". [4]

Thomas Friedman: Racist Bigot

In the lead up to the Iraq War, New York Times columnist Tom Friedman was one of the invasion's strong advocates.

Friedman has now figured out why the war has gone so badly and so in a rather remarkable piece appearing in the Times this week, he offers advice to President Bush.

Never known for humility or apologies, here's what Friedman has concluded: it's the Arabs' fault. I said the article was remarkable, and it was, not for its wisdom, but for its shameless self-serving bigotry.

Here's why.

The article "Mideast Rules To Live By" makes the following observations:

* Arabs are dishonest (they say one thing in private, another in public);

* Arabs are illogical (prone to conspiracies);

* Arabs are weak-kneed, without principles ("moderates", in particular, are dissemblers, with no backbone);

* Arabs are more violent and vengeful than "we" are;

* Arabs are petty and tribal, and so on.

The Friedman lesson for the President appears to be, "It's not your fault, sir, it's theirs. You and I weren't wrong about the war; they weren't ready for the gift you were giving them."

I have often been disturbed by Friedman's dismissive tone coupled with his weird obsession with all things Arab. With this piece my reaction went from disturbed to outrage.

As I read through Friedman's 15 rules for dealing with "Middle Easterners" (as he terms the objects of his condescension), I wondered, "what if an Arab had written a comparable piece about Jews?" The reaction would have been swift and justifiable condemnation.

European imperialists wrote this way about their subject natives. And whites, at one time, wrote much the same was about blacks.

But, this is the 21st century and here, in the "enlightened" New York Times, is bigotry and condescension on display - passing as enlightened analysis. [1] Ed Strong
[2] Jason Miller
[3] Maleiha Malik
[4] Michel Chossudovsky
[5] James Zogby

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