Tuesday, August 02, 2011

John Esposito: Norway Attacks a Wakeup Call

There is no lack of hate speech in the media, in print and on the internet to empower Islamophobia. The mass murderer Breivik was heavily influenced, as his writings demonstrate, by the writings of a cottage industry of American and European Islamophobes. Many of these preachers of hate are interconnected, notes John L. Esposito.

 Middle East Online, August 1, 2011

The terrorist attacks and mass killings in Norway are a wakeup call for a world that has ignored xenophobic far right extremism in Europe and America and the exponential rise in prejudice, bigotry, and hatred.

Post 9/11, right wing preachers of hate (far right politicians, anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim political parties, hardline Christian Zionist ministers, and the media) have in the name of freedom of speech deliberately conflated the actions of a small but deadly minority of militants with the religion of Islam and the majority of Muslims. Political and religious extremism and Islamophobia have run rampant clothing themselves in the first amendment. As a result, a social cancer, which has threatened the democratic fabric of American and European societies, has metastasized, impacting not only the safety and security of Muslims but also, as the attacks in Norway demonstrate, all citizens. Like anti-Semites and racists, Islamophobes have long protested that their stereotyping, scapegoating and fear-mongering are not anti-Muslim prejudice.

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