Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Is Islamophobia Racism?

The probably the last kind of "acceptable" racism, Islamophobia is just an manifestation of the unbroken chain of racism launched against a "minority" in a time of paranoia and ignorance.

During WWII, it was "acceptable" to refer to the Japanese as "Japs", a racist slur meant to degrade those of Japanese origins. The press used the term, it was used on movies and even in cartoons and no one got in trouble or feared any backlash. Many justified it as treating the Japanese as the enemy and as the enemy, there is no need to respect them.

Although America was at war with the Germans, Italians, and Japanese, only the Japanese Americans were made to suffer persecution and eventually forced into internment camps. The Japanese were seen by the ignorant and racist people as all or mostly sly and sneaky and people who cannot be trusted. German and Italian Americans did not suffer such a fate because they were white, and just from appearance alone, you cannot tell if someone is a German or an Italian or if he or she is Irish or French.

Now blacks back then were called Negro or colored. If a black person did anything or even was mentioned in the news, his race was always identified. If a white person did anything or even was mentioned in the news, his race was not identified except on rare occasions. It took many decades to fight the double-standards and racism against blacks to even come to this point where the race of the individual is not always mentioned if they are not white, and we still have a long way to go to seeing the evil of racism go away for good.

Now to the current reality. There is an acceptable racism today and it is Islamophobia. Islamophobes try to justify this in the same way and approach as the racists trying to justify calling people "Japs" or fearing racial integration because it might lead to problems between the races and what not. It's a time of war, it's a time where we need to know the enemy, it's a time where we cannot afford to be politically correct because that can cause us to have more problems from our enemies in the future and so on. The endless list of justifications continues to be the tool for trying to make Islamophobia acceptable to the public.

But the racists never learn from history. History has shown that there has been a momentum in movements that are preaching racism and paranoia of a people, but decades, and some cases centuries later, people realized the flaw and the evil of such things. But unfortunately, racism has managed to pop its ugly head out and control the minds and actions of many people who have fallen into its wicked traps over and over again. We are supposed to learn from mistakes not repeat them, thinking that someday these mistakes will no longer be mistakes.

Hate crimes have origins from ignorance and paranoia. It is a reaction to something a person thought was wrong or not good. If an ignorant person is fed with constant stream of information that are negative about a people and their culture and beliefs, he or she might react in a negative way.

But are Muslims a race? Of course not, so how can Islamophobia be defined as racism?

Simple. Nearly all Muslims are non white, while the overwhelming majority of Islamophobes are white. But that per se does not make it racism unless the pattern follows a certain trend.

You may ask, what is this trend? The trend of shifting racism from one group to the next and create a case or even a cause to justify the racism. Decades ago, whites had no problem being openly racist against blacks. Decades later, most racist would not dare to be openly racist against blacks because the fear of a backlash. Now there is a new bogeyman and it happens to be Muslims.

It would be totally politically incorrect to say blacks are more prone to crime, even though some people will say that statistics will prove that to be the case. But for some reason, it is acceptable to say that Muslims are more prone to terrorism and people will say that statistics will prove this to be the case. Why the double-standard? Because today, it is unacceptable to be openly racist against blacks and to even say blacks are more prone to crime would be politically incorrect, but to say Muslims are more prone to terrorism is acceptable. So now we see a clear shift of open racism against one minority group (blacks and other non whites) to another (Muslims).

So why when a Muslim does a violent act, his religion affliation is always mentioned, even if was not done in the name of Islam? Why did the press decades ago always mentioned the race of a person who happened to be black, regardless of what he did? The trend of double-standards and racism continue today and we must learn from the mistakes in the past and try not to repeat them.

But for some reason, we continue to repeat what is wrong instead of what is right....

5 Comments:

At 1:08 PM, Blogger WMDee said...

BREAKING NEWS BREAKING NEWS BREAKING NEWS BREAKING NEWS BREAKING NEWS

Terrorist School Teacher Arrested, as reported first onCNN

NEW YORK- A public school teacher was arrested today at John F. Kennedy
International Airport as he attempted to board a flight while in possession of a ruler, a protractor, a set square, a slide rule and a calculator.

At a morning press conference, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez said he believes the man is member of the notorious Al-gebra movement. He did not identify the man, who has been charged by the FBI with carrying weapons of mathinstruction.

"Al-gebra is a problem for us," Gonzalez said. "They desire solutions by means and extremes, and sometimes go off on tangents in search of absolute value. They use secret code names like 'x' and 'y' and refer to themselves as 'unknowns', but we have determined they belong to a common denominator of the axis of medieval with coordinates in every country. As the Greek philanderer Isosceles used to say, "There are 3 sides to every triangle."

When asked to comment on the arrest, President Bush said, "If God
had wanted us to have better weapons of math instruction, He would have
given us more fingers and toes."

 
At 4:53 AM, Blogger b33m3r said...

Another "Orwellian" presentation of history.

WWII: I'm pretty sure the "Japs" had equally if not more offensive terms for us. The Japanese where hell bent on taking over the world with blind, forceful imperialistic fervor. They had complete, utterly blind & unreasonable faith in their emperor (sound a little familiar?) They indoctrinated their soldiers to fight to the death & their people to believe that the Americans would slaughter them all & rape all the women (also sound a little familiar?). In the Philippines Japanese soldiers would toss Filipino babies into the air & catch them on their bayonets. The Japanese never signed the Geneva Convention & thus many POW's where severely & horribly mis-treated unlike the "detention" camps many American Japanese where placed in. We had very good reasons to dis-trust the Japs. The Italians & the Germans suffered racism in this country too. Every nationality did. We also hung several Germans for plotting to blow up some factories; we even hung the German that turned his partners in.

"...they were white, and just from appearance alone, you cannot tell if someone is a German or an Italian or if he or she is Irish or French." You do realize that this comment wreaks of racism? You trying to say we all look alike? Tut-tut-tut; Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.

What happened to black Americans was wrong. But we have spent the past 50 years making great strides in this department. 50 years is not all that long considering we are only a 250 year young nation. It's been over 2000 years for the Middle East & they still can't get their proverbial shit together. Shi'a vs. Sunni, everyone vs. Israel & the Kurds. Clean up your own backyard then tell us about ours. I'm also pretty sure that most African Americans would find it insulting that you would compare the Muslim American's current situation to theirs. I'm pretty sure no Muslim has been lynched so far due to his or her religious background &/or color.

The reason they imply that Muslims are more prone to terror is because we don't see many Catholics, Christians, Jews, Hindu's or Buddhists strapping c-4 to their chests & taking out innocent people. We also do not see many moderate Muslims speak out against the ones that do. If Muslims are being so severely mistreated by Americans then why live here? I think Americans have handled themselves remarkably well--all things considered--a lot better than those who go out & shoot a nun in the back & burn Churches down over a mere comment made by the Pope. A comment that was proved to be true by the consequent actions of the Islamic community abroad.

When I was 13 in Catholic Grade School we went on a trip to a Mosque to learn about Islam, as Catholics we where taught to respect & accept other peoples religion, till this day I still do; can you say the same of Muslim children being taught by the Mullah’s today? America has been more than welcoming to the Muslim people; you have no right to compare your plight to any others that came here before you.

I admire Muslim faith & culture so much so it aggrevates me to no end all this "hate America" crap that prevents me from planning trips to the Middle East to see your culture & history up close and personnal. And if we ever see a day when I could travel in the Middle East without fear of being be-headed because of my nationality the one thing I would never do is disrespect the people living their by telling them how crappy their country is.

 
At 7:32 AM, Blogger Mahdi Ahmad said...

No amount of justification can condone calling the Japanese as "Japs" or putting them into internment camps.

By the way, I am black and born and raised in America. I have several strikes against me: black male and Muslim in America. Can it get any worse for a brother?

As always, your main retort is dismissing what I say as "Orwellian". You can't please everyone...

Sure, Muslims got problems and the cause of it is because we have strayed from the true teachings and correct understanding of Islam, not the other way around. That is why Muslims like myself and others need to call for a change by making Muslims realize how far they have strayed from the path and understanding and trying to make them come back. It is an effort that I am determined to work for.

 
At 7:37 AM, Blogger Mahdi Ahmad said...

And one more thing.

After 9/11, the rash of attacks against Muslims has been epidemic, and this includes everything from assaults to even rape and murder. Plus, I know what racism is since I am black man in America and I know for a fact that Muslims today are the new blacks; you can get away with being racist against them just like a person could get away with being racist against blacks a few decades ago.

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger b33m3r said...

I am not a racist. I am however a realist. In my world a duck is a duck. If you act like street trash, you should be treated as such. White, black, hispanic whatever. If you act like a decent human being with respect to others around you then You should be treated as such.

When I lived out in California, I found the brothers to be far more racist than any I encountered down south in Georgia or back in New York.

I will not apologize for the vicous misdeeds commited by other white people any more than you would or should apologize for the racism I received & witnessed by blacks in California or the hispanics in the neighborhood I grew up in NY.

My point being everyone is racist to some degree. I have been around the block a few times to realize by now that everyone screws everyone over regardless of race, color or creed. Blacks take advantage of other blacks, whites do it to whites and everyone does it to each other. You do not seem to be doing so bad for yourself, it does not appear that "whitey" is keeping you down. You have your film company, your free speech but still you play the race card. We have come a long way since the 1950's & we deserve some credit for that. I have never judged a man by his color or religous background but I have judged men by their actions.

In a perfect Utopian society we would have never placed the Japanese in camps but in a perfect Utopian society we would never have need for a Geneva Convention. You are "Orwellain" because you put forward only the information that makes you appear right. In essence you are performing the same job Winston had at the Ministry of Truth. We where at war with the Japanese, a war they started. War is hell but if we had to place a bar on the level of rightousness each side had; the Americans would be a lot higher than the Japanese. Both sides did things they regret.

You also have a very loose definition of the word "epidemic". What "rash of attacks" are you refering to? Names, dates, etc. would be appreciated. If the problem where that "epidemic" I would imagine many more Muslims would have blown some more Americans up.

 

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