Posted by: quiscus | October 22, 2010

October 22, 2010

1.  “Our Masters, Not Muslims, Are the Enemy

So I puzzle over the fear and hostility many Americans who’ve never met a Muslim nonetheless bear them.

But we all know who’s poisoning their minds, don’t we? Despite politicians’ coy protests that they aren’t battling Muslims but “radical Islam” or, even better, “Islamists,” the Warriors on Terror need more than just Al Qaeda’s paltry numbers to fight. The billions and billions of taxes they squander, the liberties they’ve stolen from us, all require more than just a few hundred terrorists overseas. There must be an active, breathing menace right here in the ol’ Homeland lest we balk at relinquishing the last bit of our money and freedom.

And so politicians and their lackeys in the servile, shameless press imply that American Muslims yearn to impose Sharia law while forcibly converting us all.

And again, I’m puzzled. Why does the threat of Islamic tyranny rile so many Americans? These are folks who shrug each time the Feds decree they’ll eavesdrop on more of our communications, who queue up at airport checkpoints despite the Transportation Security Administration’s strip-search X-ray machines, who condemn Social Security not for its communism but because its “benefits” aren’t munificent enough, who cheered as the government incinerated whole families at Waco and shot a mother holding her baby, a boy, and his dog at Ruby Ridge, who applaud the Warriors on Drug Users as they ruin life after life over a few joints or a gram of cocaine. Really, can Sharia law be any more dictatorial, merciless, or absurd?

I might also understand the abhorrence for Muslims were it directed against those who persecute our Christian brothers and sisters. But it isn’t: these emails never mention the Church militant; the authors seem neither to know nor to care that Christians under Islamic governments suffer horrendously. They are instead solely concerned for the neoconservative agenda — even if they have can’t get the story straight as to whether it’s Paris or New York that Moslem prayers endanger.

One of the State’s favorite ploys is creating threats from which it “saves” us; another is pitting us against our fellows. Rather than falling for either, let’s recognize our masters, not Muslims, as the enemy.”

2.  “The real danger from NPR’s firing of Juan Williams

But there’s one point from all of this I really want to highlight. The principal reason the Williams firing resonated so much and provoked so much fury is that it threatens the preservation of one of the most important American mythologies:  that Muslims are a Serious Threat to America and Americans.

There are too many interests served by anti-Muslim fear-mongering to allow that to change. To start with, as a general proposition, it’s vital that the American citizenry always be frightened of some external (and relatedly internal) threat. Nothing is easier, or more common, or more valuable, than inducing people to believe that one discrete minority group is filled with unique Evil, poses some serious menace to their Safety, and must be stopped at all costs. The more foreign-seeming that group is, the easier it is to sustain the propaganda campaign of fear. Sufficiently bombarded with this messaging, even well-intentioned people will dutifully walk around insisting that the selected group is a Dangerous Menace.


“The Muslims” are currently the premier, featured threat which serves that purpose, following in the footsteps of the American-Japanese, the Communists, the Welfare-Stealing Racial Minorities, the Gays, and the Illegal Immigrants. Many of those same groups still serve this purpose, but their scariness loses its luster after decades of exploitation and periodically must be replaced by new ones. Muslims serve that role, and to ensure that continues, it is vital that anti-Muslim sentiments of the type Williams legitimized be shielded, protected and venerated — not punished or stigmatized.


Beyond the general need to ensure that Americans always fear an external Enemy, there are multiple functions which this specific Muslim-based fear-mongering fulfills. The national security state — both its public and private arms — needs the “Muslims as Threat” mythology to sustain its massive budget and policies of Endless War. The surveillance state — both its public and private arms — needs that myth to justify its limitless growth. Christians who crave religious conflict; evangelicals who await the Rapture; and Jews who were taught from birth to view the political world with Israel at the center, that the U.S. must therefore stay invested in the Middle East, and that the “Arabs” are the Enemy, all benefit from this ongoing demonization.”


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