Islamofobie, het nieuwe antisemitisme

Kameraden en vrienden,

vandaag aandacht voor de nieuwste publicatie van prof. John Louis Esposito.
Esposito is prof. Internationale Politiek en Islamitische Studies aan de Universiteit van Georgetown, VS en directeur van het Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (zoals de naam al verraad, een door de Saudi's gesponsord onderzoekscentrum.
'Islamophobia: The Challenge of Pluralism in the 21st Century' is uitgegeven bij Oxford Press.

Voor de liefhebbers, de inhoudsopgave:

Table of Contents
Foreword Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary General of the Organization of
Islamic Conference
Introduction John L. Esposito


1. Ibrahim Kalin, “Islamophobia and the Limits of Multiculturalism”
2. Jocelyne Cesari, “Islamophobia” in the West: A Comparison Between
and America”.


3. Sam Cherribi: Islamophobia in Germany, Austria and Holland
4. Tahir Abbas, “Islamophobia in the UK: Historical and Contemporary
Political and Media Discourses in the Framing of a Twenty-First century
Anti-Muslim Racism
5. Mohamed Nimer, “Breaking the Vicious Cycle of Islamophobia and
6. Sherman A. Jackson, “Muslims, Islam(s) and Race in America”


7. Sunaina Maira, “Islamophobia and the War on Terror: Youth,
and Dissent”
8. Juan Cole, “Islamophobia and American Foreign Policy”
9. Anas Shaikh Ali, “Islamophobic Discourse Masquerading as Art and
Literature: Combating Myth through Progressive Education”
10. Kate Zebiri, Orientalist Themes in Contemporary British Islamophobia
11. Peter Gottschalk and Gabriel Greenberg, “From Muhammad to Obama:
Caricatures, Cartoons, and Stereotypes of Muslims”

Haroon Siddiqui van TheStar, uit het Canadese Toronto, maakte een lezenswaardige reeks naar aanleiding van dit boek.
Het eerste uit de reeks geven we hier grotendeels weer:

One byproduct of 9/11 has been Islamophobia — fear of Islam and its adherents, Muslims. Rather than recede with time, it has been growing in the United States and Europe, while Canada has not been immune to it.

Hardly a month goes by without some controversy over hijab, niqab, “honour killings,” polygamy, “forced marriages,” “sharia,” prayers in public places, such as at Valley Park Middle School in Toronto, or over how far free speech may be invoked to disproportionately demonize Muslims and Islam without running afoul of Canadian and European anti-hate laws.

Anders Breivik’s murder of 77 people in July to protest what he perceived as the Islamization of Europe was the most extreme example of Islamophobia. But there’s no shortage of incendiary anti-Muslim rhetoric. And there’s also little doubt that anti-Muslim demagoguery has moved from the margins to the mainstream.

Across Europe, far-right parties have made record political gains and are partners in some coalition governments. In the U.S., four Republican presidential candidates are openly on a warpath against Islam and Muslims. Twenty-three states are in various stages of banning sharia, Muslim religious law, as though its imposition was imminent.

It was not supposed to come to this.

In 2001, George W. Bush said that his war was on terrorists, not Muslims or Islam.

But he went on to claim, just as had Osama bin Laden, that his crusade was guided by God. His wars in Afghanistan and Iraq turned into disastrous occupations. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed. There was Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib, torture and indefinite detentions.

Wars, especially long ones, need propaganda that, inevitably, produce narrow nationalism and cultural warfare.

If the jihadists were on a holy mission against the evil American empire, the U.S. and its NATO partners were targeting peoples and nations in need of our democracy, even if by force, and whose women needed liberating.

Just as the Muslim world turned against the U.S. and Europe, Americans and Europeans turned against Muslims, including their own minorities, nearly half of whom were born in Europe and North America. Fellow citizens were cast as strangers and potential fifth columnists.

Thousands were arrested. There was religious and ethnic profiling, mosque surveillance and warrantless wiretapping.

Canadian Muslims avoided crossing the border into the U.S., unless they absolutely had to, and stopped flying overseas through the U.S.

As collective guilt was spread, former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher and others said all Muslims were responsible for terrorism.

Conflating Muslim terrorists with all Muslims was just the beginning.

If Muslims over “there” were our enemies, Muslims “here” must be as well. If the Taliban and others in far-off lands mistreated their women, Muslim men in the West must be doing the same. Hijabi women here had to be rescued as well, even if we couldn’t make up our mind whether that piece of cloth represented oppression or rebellion.

Not all the blame rested with Bush and Co.

Several groups exploited the fear factor after the terrorist murders in New York, Madrid and London.

American neo-cons demonized Arabs and Muslims to push their war agenda.

Evangelical Christians — believing that the eagerly awaited End of the World wouldn’t happen until all Jews returned to the Holy Land and converted to Christianity — joined right-wing Zionists. For both, pro-Israel equalled anti-Muslim.

Many among them made alliances with European right-wingers who had traded their old anti-Semitism for anti-Islamism, which was “only a slightly modified version of traditional anti-Semitism,” says Jocelyne Cesari, fellow at the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

Uri Avnery, longtime Israeli peace activist, wrote recently that when he saw some anti-Muslim German blogs, he was “shocked to the core. These outpourings are almost verbatim copies of the diatribes of Joseph Goebbels,” the propaganda minister for Hitler. “The same rabble-rousing slogans. The same base allegations. The same demonization.”

European extremists have been skilful in exploiting public panic over economic crises, unemployment and a loss of national identity under the European Union and globalization.

Combining xenophobia and Islamophobia, they said no to Muslim immigration, no to Muslim Turkey joining the EU and no to multiculturalism that mollycoddled Muslims. The message was delivered in the liberal language of women’s liberation and gay rights.

In France, Marine Le Pen, leader of the far-right National Front Party, is leading Nicolas Sarkozy in the polls for next year’s presidential election.

In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, the anti-Muslim MP, led his Freedom Party into a partnership with the centre-right government. He wants to ban “the fascist Qur’an;” forbid the building of mosques, “palaces of hatred;” and impose a tax of 1,000 Euros a year on those wearing the hijab, “a swastika.”

Wilders was a key source of inspiration for Breivik, who belonged for nine years to Norway’s far-right Progress Party, which is now the second-largest party in parliament.

In Finland, the right-wing True Finns won 19 per cent of the vote in the elections in April to become the third-largest party.

In Sweden, the Democrats with neo-Nazi roots won their first seats in federal parliament last fall.

In Denmark, the land of the 2005 Muhammad cartoons, the right-wing People’s Party, which works with the governing coalition, calls Muslims “cancer cells,” “seeds of weeds” and “a plague on Europe.”

In the U.K., about 50 per cent of mosques, Islamic centres and Muslim organizations have suffered at least one attack since 9/11, according to the European Muslim Research Centre at Exeter University.

Instead of confronting the right, the mainstream parties have been pandering to or partnering with them.

Belgium and France banned the niqab (as has Quebec since). Italy, under Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right government, is in the process of doing so.

British Prime Minister David Cameron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel followed Sarkozy in pronouncing multiculturalism a failure.

Six German states banned the hijab. Some others instituted Muslim-specific questions in tests for citizenship, denied those deemed to have a religious orientation.

Anti-Islamic sentiment crosses ideological lines.

Its proponents include leftist intellectuals. In the 2008 Swiss referendum to ban minarets, left-of-centre voters voted with right-wingers.

When German central bank member Thilo Sarrazin said in his best-selling book Germany Does Away with Itself that Muslim genes are inferior and that Muslims are incapable of being integrated, he was backed by former chancellor Helmut Schmidt.

Lees vooral de volledige reeks:

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