Islamophobia is a mental and spiritual affliction. And our Western
ruling elites bear the responsibility for inflicting it upon the psyches of
Now that the Stalinist/Maoist regimes have collapsed or evolved toward capitalism
and no fascist states with imperial ambitions exist (besides the United States
and its few allies), the American Empire needed to find a new "enemy”
to replace Stalinists and Nazis. 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?
And whether one believes that 9/11 was a false flag operation perpetrated by
the US government or the work of radical Islamic Fundamentalists, the members
of the Bush Regime obviously shed their crocodile tears publicly while privately
celebrating the event as their Pearl Harbor. 3,000 civilian deaths and the demolition
of a powerful symbol of the Western “value” of avaricious Capitalism
whipped the American public into a furor against the “evil Muslims”
who “hate our freedoms”.
Never mind the fact that the United States and Israel have undertaken a nearly
unparalleled program of military aggression and ethnic cleansing throughout
the Middle East since the formation of the illegitimate colonial nation in Palestine.
Given the premises for founding Israel, someone needs to remind Great Britain
and the United States that it is incumbent upon them to create a homeland for
homosexuals and Romani people. After all, they were also Holocaust victims and
are people without a nation. And like the Palestinians, the other inhabitants
of the Middle East are more akin to animals than human beings. So why not establish
two more colonies on their land?
On August 13, Sixty Minutes aired a segment that revealed
a great deal about Islamophobia and the role the corporate media plays in its
In his recent open
letter to Mike Wallace, Michael K. Smith declared:
Your interview with Iranian Prime Minister Ahmadinejad was a disgrace
to the journalistic profession. You began with the condescending manner of a
school principal lecturing the class clown for immature behavior and squandered
the entire interview on hypocritically accusatory questions. If gall were an
Olympic sport, you'd take the Gold Medal.
Michael made some fine points throughout his letter. However, I opine that
he was too generous when he called Wallace’s vituperative verbal assault
an interview. What I witnessed was Mike Wallace, the Ugly American. Brimming
with contempt, impatience, hubris, and belligerence, he more closely resembled
the Grand Inquisitor than a journalist.
Did Wallace truly fail to grasp that he was acting as an apologist and cheerleader
for bellicose, heartless, and ruthless perpetrators of war crimes on behalf
of Israel, and thus is a Zionist (as Ahmadinejad suggested)? Through its grossly
biased coverage of the “War on Terrorism” and mindless perpetuation
of the inane myth that Israel has the right to annihilate an unlimited number
of civilians to protect its “right to exist”, CBS News
has joined the squad of corporate media cheerleaders which has been shamelessly
complicit in the Empire’s egregious crimes against humanity. I submit
that one can be a Zionist and a journalist. Mike Wallace is living proof.
Yet in spite of Wallace’s tenacious efforts, the “devil incarnate”,
Ahmadinejad, remained composed. At times Ahmadinejad seemed to thoroughly enjoy
Wallace’s obvious “flustration” in attacking him from what
has become an absurdly untenable position, both morally and logically. For those
of us who don’t believe the Western media fairy tale that the United States
is a force for good engaged in a noble struggle in its bid to rid the world
of the evil of Islam and defend Israel’s “right to exist”,
Wallace’s ill-fated attempt to expose the malevolence of the “enemy”
was quite entertaining.
Just as Wallace scrambled madly in a hopeless attempt to prevail intellectually
in his interrogation of Ahmadinejad, the debt-ridden, aging American Empire
and its allies are flailing wildly in a desperate attempt to claim military
victory in the Middle East. And like Ahmadinejad, those who comprise the resistance
to occupation and exploitation in the Middle East are facing down their occupiers
with a deft persistence, filled with a confidence born from the knowledge that
recent history has not been kind to imperial invaders facing a people determined
to expel them (i.e. Vietnam, Lebanon, and Iraq).
In the perverse worldview of the Neocons, Israel, and AIPAC, Iran is considered
to be a part of the “Axis of Evil”. Since Wallace championed the
cause of the “benevolent” United States in his Sixty Minutes
interrogation of the leader of one of the members of the “Axis”,
it is instructive to consider the “evils” Iran and resistance groups
like Hamas and Hezbollah have perpetrated.
While various resistance groups in the Middle East have certainly committed
war crimes by killing civilians, the “leader of the free world”
and its counterpart in Palestine have annihilated hundreds of thousands more
civilians than have the so-called “terrorists”.
Yes, militant Fundamentalist Islamic individuals wield much of the power in
Iran. But let’s put on our thinking caps to discern how that situation
evolved. In 1979 hard-line anti-American Islamic clerics assumed control of
the Iranian government when they ousted the Shah (the corrupt US puppet who
tortured and killed tens of thousands of Iranian “dissidents” during
his reign of terror). Ironically, the Iranian government the United States loves
to hate exists because the CIA and MI6 facilitated the Shah taking power from
Mohammed Mossadegh in 1953. The significance? Mossadegh was a democratically-elected
secular prime minister who had had the audacity to nationalize the oil industry
because the British oil companies were grossly exploiting the Iranian people.
By acting in typical fashion (by taking out a populist leader and replacing
him with a vicious tyrant), the United States provided an incubator for powerful
anti-American sentiment. Thus the United States and Great Britain are responsible
for the theocracy in Iran which they fear and despise.
Corporate media pundits like Michelle Malkin and Anne Coulter are the vanguards
in spreading pernicious distortions which fan the rapidly spreading emotional
flames of fear, prejudice, and hatred comprising Islamophobia. Two of the most
disturbing and inflammatory perversions of the truth the Western media entities
disseminate are that all adherents of the Islamic faith are radical fundamentalists
and that Sharia Law is universally harsh and grossly inferior to the Empire’s
system (which provides “liberty and justice for all”).
Just as Christianity encompasses a broad spectrum of people with varying ways
of practicing and expressing their faith, the Islamic world is filled with human
beings who have diverse ways of expressing their religious beliefs. There are
liberal, moderate, and Fundamentalist Muslims. And surprising as it may seem,
most practitioners of Fundamentalist Islam, like most Fundamentalist Christians,
are essentially peaceful individuals. In fact, a Muslim truly following the
tenets of Islam practices moderation and tolerance. Many Muslims are no more
willing to strap plastic explosives to their belts for a suicide mission than
most Christians would be to bomb an abortion clinic. There are radicals from
both religions, but they are very much in the minority.
Another lie deeply embedded in the barrage of communications we receive from
the Western corporate media is that the United States and its allies are morally
superior to the “evil Muslims”. One aspect of Islam they offer as
“proof” of this faulty conclusion is that many Islamic nations incorporate
Sharia into their legal systems. While Sharia can involve harsh and rigid forms
of justice, it exists to varying degrees in the many Muslim nations around the
globe. Judiciaries in Islamic nations manifest the influence of Sharia in ways
that span the spectrum from extremely dogmatic to highly secular and liberal.
While the Western media’s blistering criticism of the more draconian
actions of some Islamic nations (i.e. Iran’s execution of teenagers) is
definitely warranted, the Empire has a great deal of house-cleaning to do before
it is in a position to preach to other nations on human rights issues.
Here are but a few recent examples of the United States’ own
flagrant human rights abuses:
1. carrying out quite a number of its own executions
in a manner recently discovered to inflict a great deal of suffering on the
2. routinely torturing and suspending justice for suspected “enemy
3. funding the Israeli Apartheid and ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians
4. occupying a nation where it has killed over a million Iraqi civilians
since the Gulf War invasion (through brutal economic sanctions and military
5. funding the Israeli devastation of Lebanon
6. supporting numerous ruthless and murderous regimes (as long as they
are friendly to US corporations)
7. having cynically embraced Saddam Hussein as an ally (knowing of
his crimes against humanity) when it furthered US interests and invading Iraq
preemptively to topple him when he ceased to be useful.
8. having kept the House of Saud in power for years despite its harsh
practice of Sharia (i.e. thieves’ hands are severed and adulterers are
9. maintaining the largest prison population in the world through a
legal system so unjust that 50% of those incarcerated are Black when Blacks
comprise 14% of the general population.
10. engaging in numerous outright massacres of civilians (i.e. Haditha,
In light of the above, how long will it be before a significant portion of
the Muslim population falls prey to an extreme prejudice against all Westerners
called Anglo-Christophobia? Let’s hope it does not happen any time soon.
Speaking of Christians (at least the Fundamentalist ones), their demonization
of Islam is actually rather amusing. Christian Fundamentalists share more common
ground with the extreme members of the Islamic faith than they perhaps realize.
Some Muslim nations treat homosexuality as a crime. Abortion is illegal in virtually
every circumstance throughout much of the Middle East. Separation of church
and state does not exist in nations like Iran. Implementation of the death penalty
is common in the Middle East. How can men like John Hagee reconcile their cognitive
dissonance in advocating war against Iran, a model of the theocracy they strive
to implement in the United States?
CBS, Mike Wallace and the rest of the United States’
corporate media can continue to do the Empire’s bidding from now until
the world comes to an end (which may not be as far away as I make it sound if
sanity and humanity do not prevail over greed, ignorance, and hatred). However,
their nearly endless bombardment of intelligently crafted lies readily distributed
to nearly every corner of the globe are powerless to alter the truth.
In truth, Israeli and American lives are no more precious than those of the
Arab and Persian human beings populating the Middle East. And neither the United
States/Israel/Great Britain nor the nations and groups comprising the resistance
in the Middle East are innocent of the deep transgression of murdering innocents.
Each nation or group also commits human rights abuses against its own people
in some fashion. However, Western exploiters and invaders are culpable of far
more frequent and grievous war crimes than the Middle Easterners who are defending
themselves, their resources, and their people.
If the majority of the human beings controlling 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.
Just imagine if the mainstream media in the United States actually began fulfilling
its role (in what is ostensibly a free society) and acted as a check on our
government rather than its accomplice. If more Americans knew more truth, instead
of hating Islamic people and pushing to intensify the war in the Middle East,
the masses would be demanding that reason, justice, and peace prevail. They
would demand that the United States completely withdraw its military from the
Middle East and leave Israel to stand on its own, which would force the Israelis
to finally settle the Palestinian issue in a just manner and to cooperate with
their neighbors as equals.
If the major media entities of the West were living up to their responsibilities
as members of the Fourth Estate, perhaps 3 year old Ali Ahmad Hashim of Qana
would not have been bombed to death, the members of the Ghalia family would
not have been obliterated on a Gaza beach, 76 year old wheel-chair bound amputee
Abdul Hamid Hassan Ali would not have been massacred at Haditha, Cindy Sheehan
would not be grieving for a son lost to a war of imperial aggression, and Reuven
Levy of Haifa would not have been annihilated by a rocket attack as he was doing
his job for Israel Railways.
I am not holding my breath waiting for money-driven enablers of war like Rupert
Murdoch to start heeding the advice of Jiminy Cricket. However, I will not succumb
to their assault of malicious distortions. I refuse to fear, hate, or consider
myself at war with 20% of the world’s population simply because they choose
to follow the teachings of the Qur’an.
Islamophobia is an intellectual and spiritual malignancy. Reason and
humanity are the cures.
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