We, the Islamophobes

One of the biggest and overall overlooked stories in this election season is how in the world stubby armed John McCain, resident war hero and economic expert, has managed to keep this race competitive: he is within 3 points in the latest Gallup poll. One would think, after arguably the worst presidency in the history of this nation, that a candidate that campaigned extensively for said president would be down by a larger margin. Hell, Bush even endorses McCain (it goes against Bush’s honor code to support a man of color), and McCain’s still putting up a fight, whether he realizes that Iraq and Pakistan share a border or not. Suddenly, it seems like the American people aren’t really that angry about the Bush presidency anymore, or perhaps, they just can’t bring themselves to vote for a black guy who has a Muslim sounding name, and, here’s the kicker folks, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard for his J.D.! What an elitist, pompous snob! It’s not like we really want a guy who might run the country better than we ourselves could in office, right? Right?

Well, there’s bigoted America rearing its Bible toting head again.

What I don’t understand is how the media has the time to run the same stories over and over (Rev. Wright, “Muslim Schooling”, New Yorker cover, et al) without attacking the real issues, like how the general public is so afraid of Muslims, for example. Case in point: the Muslim women getting removed from Obama’s speech by volunteers just because of their dress, and by extension, their religion. All the media did was sit around saying how it was “terrible” that such a thing happened and it threatened to cast a shadow on the Obama campaign (suggesting he wasn’t tolerant of Muslims), when the media was already accusing him of being a “closet-Muslim”.  How much sense does that make?

Since they can’t ask the hard questions, I will: where are we at in a society when normal people volunteering for a politician’s campaign force people out of the picture because of their religion? Where are we at when a politician has to reaffirm that he’s not a Muslim because of the Islamophobia that pervades our culture? Why should somebody be afraid of having a certain religion because of unfair stereotypes that exist in the public’s conscience?

The obvious conclusion is that we’re really not much further along than we were 40 some-odd years ago. There is still a very large population of people who are intolerant, or, at the very least, suspicious of people that are of a different religion/ethnicity. That’s going to get us in some trouble down the road (it already has, one could argue). So, instead of getting a glimmer of hope in the form of an Obama presidency, we could very well end up with a McCain presidency because people think Obama’s a so-called  terrorist/Marxist/”job killer”/elitist/black man/Muslim. Let’s just hope we don’t turn into what we proclaim our enemies to be: hateful, militant folks who are out destroy other religions, as on a crusade. We call the people we’re fighting agents of Islamo-fascism. Our behavior has led us down a path that may let us become a fascist nation ourselves. In the words of Orwell’s Animal Farm:

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and looked from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Is the general public’s fear and hate of Muslims no different than their fear and hate of us?

  1. I like your Blog. Humorous and peppered with very witty lines. I like:)

  2. Craig Berger

    This is a good post.

    I like that you covered the paradox that permeates our political debate: we hate the Islamofascist governments, yet we act just like they do by rejecting and fearing and sometimes hating people based on their nationality and religious choice — which is supposed to be a hallmark of American freedom.

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