Reaping the Seeds of Islamophobia

Glenn GreenwaldWhat happened in Irving, Texas, yesterday to a 14-year-old Muslim high school freshman is far from the worst instance [of systemic Islamophobia], but it is highly illustrative of the rotted fruit of this sustained climate of cultivated fear and demonization…

The behavior here is nothing short of demented. And it’s easy to mock, which in turn has the effect of belittling it and casting it as some sort of bizarre aberration. But it’s not that. It’s the opposite of aberrational. It’s the natural, inevitable byproduct of the culture of fear and demonization that has festered and been continuously inflamed for many years. The circumstances that led to this are systemic and cultural, not aberrational…

But perhaps the worst of all harms is how endless war degrades the culture and populace of the country that perpetrates it. You can’t have a government that has spent decades waging various forms of war against predominantly Muslim countries — bombing seven of them in the last six years alone — and then act surprised when a Muslim 14-year-old triggers vindictive fear and persecution because he makes a clock for school. That’s no more surprising than watching carrots sprout after you plant carrot seeds in fertile ground and then carefully water them. It’s natural and inevitable, not surprising or at all difficult to understand.

—Glenn Greenwald
Arrest of 14-Year-Old Student for Making a Clock: the Fruits of Sustained Fearmongering and Anti-Muslim Animus

4 thoughts on “Reaping the Seeds of Islamophobia

  1. Oh, you could fill a book with examples of post 9-11 insanity and it goes well beyond anti-Muslim bias. Besides the looming examples like the TSA and Patriot Act you’ve got

    A wine merchant vandalized for selling French wines.

    Sikhs assaulted for wearing a turban.

    “Freedom fries” (still on the menu where I live).

    “See something, say something” doctrine, behaviour for which we used to deride the communist bloc.

    “Border” stop and search stations 100 miles away from any U.S. border.

    Random police seizure of personal electronics.

    And worst, a whole generation that’s grown up without experiencing anything different. Like I say, you could write a book.

    • Yeah, that’s how disintegration happens. One step at a time. Reminds me of the 90-year-old lady I knew who said she was sure her smell was going because she cooked some hamburger for the first time in decades, and “it smelled bad, I thought I remembered it smelling good.”

      No. It smells like cow shit. There used to be much less cow shit in hamburger. She was right.

      When Rush Limbaugh, etc., began calling liberals “traitors” he was laughed off as a joke; even when the 1994 Republican Congress saluted him for delivering the election. When Ann Coulter went further, people kept laughing. Now you can read comments sections saying things like “stop whining you liberals I promise your problems will be over very soon.” People are actually hoping to stack minorities up against the wall and shoot them. It’s not a joke; it’s getting worse.

      • Although Limbaugh and Coulter are at times funny, their acts are not meant for humor. Their acts are to say really vile things and then claim that when people get upset that they have no sense of humor. So they are just trolls. Of course, it wouldn’t work is they didn’t show some wit some of the time. I can’t actually remember anything funny from Limbaugh, but Coulter has her moments. In fact, she’s far too smart to honestly hold the beliefs she does.

    • I remember there was a store in San Francisco called Aids Electronics. When the AIDS crisis finally hit the media, the store was vandalized. It doesn’t surprise me so much that we are hateful. It’s the pure stupidity that’s shocking.

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