The Sunday Times II - 10 April, 2011
Islamophobia: Is There a Sinister Motive?
Hameed Abdul Karim
‘85% of American Muslim community leaders are an enemy living amongst us’
U.S Representative Peter King (R-NY)
A video doing the rounds on the internet claims that Muslims and Islam will take over Europe in the near future. Muslims, it said, would outnumber the non-Muslims and Sharia will replace the liberal values. The narrator, in a sepulchral voice, announced that it was too late for Europeans to turn the clock back because the birth rates of Muslims far exceeded that of the natives. Muslims went ecstatic on hearing the ‘news’ and in their triumphalism did not bother to check the ‘facts’ mentioned in the documentary or the sources. In the process, they missed the real motive behind the documentary which was to generate fear and hate among Westerners for Islam and the Muslims.
This documentary is not the only piece of propaganda that has emerged. Day in and day out the media in Europe and the US dish out negative tales of Islam and the Muslims to an unquestioning and gullible population, which is all too willing to let the media do their thinking for them. In England the British National Party (BNP) went on a public campaign to lambast the Muslims for anything and everything even though they (Muslims) constitute less that 2% of the Population of over 61 million. It’s true a group of Muslims committed an act of terror in London, but then so did the IRA. Were the Catholics treated the same way the Muslims are being today? Or are Muslims being seen as the ‘other ’in and ‘us and ‘them’ milieu?
It gets worse. In a recent haughty display of virulent nationalism, the extreme rightwing Villa Park Councilwoman Deborah Pauly in Orange County in California said, at a public function, (shown only on al Jazeera) that a fundraiser for women’s shelters sponsored by the Islamic Circle of North America Relief USA (ICNA) was ‘pure unadulterated evil’ adding ‘I know quite a few (U.S) marines who will be happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise’. Her remarks were received with loud applause. Later, in a scene reminiscent of Nazis jeering Jews, her supporters went across to the event and cast nasty remarks at Muslim women who were conducting the project and frightened them out of their wits. Judging by the behavior of U.S. Marines in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan her threat should not be taken lightly. Republican U.S Representative Peter King thought it was very American to initiate a Congressional hearing on what he claims is the radicalisation of Muslims in the U.S. If either of these two worthies ever tries to do even a less than similar attack on Jews they would be out of jobs and probably in Jail. What must come as heartbreaking for Muslims and all decent folks everywhere were the absence of any condemnation from the eloquent man in the White House or America’s mainstream media. Compare these remarks to the innocuous ones made by Helen Thomas, a long time employee of the Hearst media group and Octavia Nasr, a veteran at CNN, and you’ll get the point. Both Thomas and Nasr were sacked from their jobs for the comments they made.
The good news is that there are those who speak out against these discriminatory attacks against Muslims. Rabbi Haim Dov Beliak, member of the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinic Council and founder of Jews on First, said the hearing conducted by Peter King ‘is profoundly offensive to me as a Jew, a Rabbi, an American and a human being’. He added ‘these hearings come on the heels of a string of shockingly racist attacks against Muslim in the United States’ and that ‘it is painful to see some Jewish groups promoting this hatred and fear because they mistakenly believe it will help Israel’. Going further he said ‘It is also deeply distressing to see this disturbing trend of ‘scapegoating’ Muslim-Americans being echoed at the highest level of our (U.S.) government’.
It doesn’t stop there. Europe, like the U.S, is in an anti-Muslim frenzy at present. Switzerland has banned the construction of minarets and France has banned face veils for women.
All the anti-Muslim hostility resembles the anti Jewish hysteria before the European war culminating in the extermination of millions of Jews by the Europeans. What is ironic is that certain Jewish groups have joined the anti-Muslim bandwagon and are all too happy to proclaim the Muslims as the harmful other and the source of all evil.
The anti-Muslim spectacle we see in the Western world raises a critical question. Are the Europeans scheming to expel Muslims from Europe like they expelled the Jews? Those of us who say ‘no’ might do well to remember French President Sarkozy’s expulsions of Roma Gypsies just a few months ago. Sure there were protests from a few European leaders but these looked like as if they were made for public consumption. The fact is nobody could stop Sarkozy. Was this a trial run on a micro level?