Thursday, December 13, 2007

Islamophobia: Alive and Thriving in the U.S.A.

Islamophobia is a controversial racist and discriminatory term being applied to both Muslims and the religion of Islam. The question of whether Islamophobia is 'real' is debated and even the Wikipedia explanation on this item is on hold as issues are resolved.

There appears to be a lot of misrepresentation and distortion of news in reference to Muslims and Islam which can certainly support the belief that Islamophobia is, indeed, very real and therefore leaves no room for debate.

In one instance, staff at the Mid Yorkshire Hospital system in the U.K. recently had their patient information inaccurately portrayed when it was stated by media that Muslim patients beds were being rotated five times a day to face Mecca. Hospital staff were compelled to issue a statement on their website denying the reports and clarifying the source and information.

Closer to home, an off-the-wall, racist radio host Michael Savage (pseudonym; real name Michael Weiner), of Talk Radio Network, stated on air a couple of weeks ago that all Muslims in America should be deported (!) yet no one has called for him to be pulled from the airwaves. Why not? Remember the huge flap made over Imus' comment...!? And this isn't the first or last racist comment this guy has made!

Well, Savages’ recent remarks highly incensed the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and several advertisers weren't impressed either and they removed their advertising from his show. Savage has filed suit against CAIR saying that they misused material from his show which was copyrighted. Seems he is also trying to link CAIR with terrorist and extremist groups.

I reviewed CAIR's website and they appear to be similar to the American Civil Liberties Union or ACLU (which many now believe to be a 'terrorist' organization). CAIR's mission statement reads that they "enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding." Works for me and I know that they have a tough mission these days...

I won't even get into the number of blog sites and comments I see in cruises around the Internet that are just filled with hatred and loathing for Muslims, the Koran and Islam. I'm all for free speech but some of what I read sends a chill down my back and I wonder how people can be so hateful.

So... just looking at this little bit of information I’d venture to say that Islamophobia is very real and that many individuals participate in perpetuating fear, hatred, dislike and anger of, for and against Muslims and Islam. In fact, people are using 9/11 as an excuse to perpetuate and feed their hatred of Muslims and Islam. No doubt about that. It doesn't help that the fire is being fanned by the U.S.G. with their cover-ups and untruths of situations. It makes for a sad state of affairs...

In the end I guess it boils down to that same old prejudice of non-white being inferior to white people which many thought was falling by the wayside. Here we are in the 21st century and people should have grasped by now that we're all in "this" together regardless of ethnic background, religion, etc. It's an ignorant outlook to be so prejudice but I wouldn't be surprised if the same people that perpetuate this type of ignorance still believe that Columbus “discovered” America…

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