|Vox Populi Vox Dei|
Now back on track. In the years since the September 11th attacks prejudge against Muslims has increased dramatically. Workplace and public discrimination, street abuse, marginalization and media vilification and even occasional hate-killings (easily perpetuated as isolated incidents) against Muslims have become all too common.
Along with this, arson attacks, desecration, and vandalism of mosques, religious centers, schools, and Muslim homes have grown to thousands of reported incidents in any given year.
Along with this a number of politicians and political organizations have been put about a conspiracy that Europe is in danger of being overrun by Muslims any day now and being turned into an Islamic State. In reality of course the Eurabia conspiracy theory nothing more than modern version of the Yellow Peril or Judeo-Bolshevism. And more often than not is pushed by the same people, ie right wing nationalists.
Just one small example there was story which someone posted on Deviant Art called "A social experiment" (I don't think it's on here any more sadly but I have found a copy else were and I'll leave a link to it at the end of this post), which did make an interesting point. In it a young Women decided to wear a Hijab for the day to see what people's reaction would be. Throughout the day she was given the cold shoulder by shop assistants given dirty looks by passers by and generally made to feel uncomfortable and unwelcome.
The thing is for me Growing up I lived in Leyton. One of the most ethnically diverse areas of London, so many of the people I saw and interacted with on a daily bases had family roots outside of Britain. So when people whine about multiculturalism or immigration I’m not so easily taken in. But most people don't grow up in such an environment, so often they are more susceptible to xenophobic politics. This is not helped by News outlets who jump on the bandwagon of anti Muslim sentiment
Next point. You’ll offend hear people say you can’t be racist against Muslims because Islam isn’t a race. By strict definitions this is true, but let’s not kid ourselves, much of what constitutes Islamophobia is based in racism. Many of you will be familiar with the concept of dog-whistle racism.
For those how aren’t I'll fill you in. Dog-whistle racism is a form of coded language which allows someone to play to racists while be able to deny it.
Just to give an example look how many anti-Semites will use the term “Zionist” in place of Jew or Jewish, to try and cover their true message.
It is the same when it comes to hatred shown towards Muslims, rather than use terms like “Sand Nigger” or more commonly “Paki” They’ll simply use terms like Muslim or sometimes Asian. It’s a lot more abstract but the message is the same "Their different so fear them".
If you still aren’t convicted I’ll ask you this. Do you think the people who claimed and keep claim that Barack Obama is a “secret Muslim” aren’t motivated by or playing on some form of racial prejudice when they do so.
Now this is not say that you can’t criticise the Islamic faith without being hateful towards Muslims. In the same way that criticising Zionism or Israel is not the same as anti Semitism. But you must be careful to see if someone is using either of these as cover for implicit racism.
Above all of this, there is one thing that really bugs me about all this. The people who keep claiming that they can’t criticise Islam, because they’ll be accused of Islamophobia or racism.
Tell me, how many blogs, vlogs, books, films, news outlets, documentaries etc used criticism and or hatred of Islam or Muslims as a selling point.
A key part the strategy of far right parties was to drop (publicly at least) anti-Semitic ideas and hatred of all ethnic minorities and instead concentrate on striking up fear against Muslims to try and win popular support.
Remember after the British National Party took this plan up it won a million votes and two seats in the 2009 European Parliament elections. Along with this they also ended up winning 50 seats in local councils. Lucky the incompetence of their MEPs and Councillors has meant they have lost their seats in the European Parliament and all but two of their seats in local councils. But this shows it was very easily for a far right nationalist party like the BNP to gain popularity (Up to 22% seriously considering voting for them before the 2010 general election) by simply changing a few words.
Really I doubt so much fuse and noise has been by a group that keeps claiming its’ being silenced.
So in conclusion. If we are not careful we fall into the same hateful trap of those who came before. Failure to remember the past making us blind to the future.
And for those of you who thing this hatred won't affect you because you're not a Muslim, I'll paraphrase what Martin Niemöller said in 1946. If they come for others in the Morning they will come for you in the Afternoon.
Once again thanks for reading and leave your opinions in the comment section below.
A Social Experiment: www.picassodreams.com/picasso_…
Commissar of Visual Arts of the CPDA|
I am a marxist leninist Revolutionary Internationalist who thinks there must be a better way than capitalism.
apart from that there is absolute nothing interesting about me
I also support the Palestinian people.
Current Residence: The Petrograd Soviet
Favourite photographer: Alberto Korda
Favourite style of art: Constructivism
Operating System: Photoshop
Personal Quote: Revolution isn't about doing the easy thing, it's about doing the right thing.