Friday, July 29, 2011

John L. Esposito: The Rising Tide of Islamophobia


The unspeakable tragedy in Norway is a wakeup call about the dangers of right wing political and religious extremism and Islamophobia which threaten the democratic fabric of American and European societies, notes John L. Esposito.

Middle East Online, July 28, 2011

The unspeakable tragedy in Norway is a wakeup call about the dangers of right wing political and religious extremism and Islamophobia which threaten the democratic fabric of American and European societies. They create a social cancer whose metastasis impacts not only the safety and security of Muslims but also, as the attacks in Norway demonstrate, all citizens. Like anti-Semites and racists, Islamophobes are the first to protest that their stereotyping and scapegoating are not Islamophobic.

What fuels the fires of discrimination against Muslims?

The legacy of the 9/11, 7/7 and other post 9/11 terrorist attacks has been exploited by far right political and religious leaders and media commentators, hard- line Christian Zionists whose fear-mongering targets Islam and Muslims. There is no lack of hate speech in the media, in print and on the internet to empower Islamophobia. The media, whose primary driver is sales and circulations, caters to explosive, headline events: “What bleeds, leads.” The primary focus is often not balanced reporting, or even coverage of positive news about Muslims but on highlighting acts and statements of political and religious extremists. Political and religious commentators write and speak out publicly about Islam and Muslims, asserting with impunity what would never appear in mainstream broadcast or print media about Jews, Christians and established ethnic groups.

Continues >>
Post a Comment