November 16, 2014

US enemies = throat-slitting savages?

Shame on you, Michael Moore: Why his defense of Bill Maher was unacceptable

Last week, Moore said that anger over Bill Maher's Islamophobia was misplaced. Here's why he's very wrong

By Ilirjan Shehu
Moore’s siding with Maher came as a surprise. After reading his article, published on his page on Facebook, my opinion is that he has not understood Maher’s argument and what it entails; nor does he seem to have a clear understanding of what I would call the “Muslim consciousness.”

The main confusion comes from his conflation of the 1.6 billion Muslims of the world (one-fifth of humanity) into a single character, and of all Muslim-majority countries into a single, unchangeable, undifferentiated entity. He does the complete opposite, however, when he speaks of Westerners or Western countries. For example, when it comes to beheadings, Moore compares Christians in the US with Muslims in the whole world.

“Sure, I can make a daily list of all the horrible things so-called Christians still do in this country. Rarely, though, do their actions involve decapitation,” says Moore. If he wanted a fair comparison, however, he should have stayed within the U.S., where maybe there aren’t many professed Christians beheading each other—but neither are any such acts being carried out by Muslims. Moore could also make a world comparison for followers of both religions. In that case, he would probably be surprised to find out that there are a lot more Christians than he thinks carrying out beheadings of other Christians and very often also of Muslims.
We're demonizing Muslims just like we demonized Indians:Thus, Muslims are widely painted as untrustworthy and backwards citizens. At best, the Muslim is a conservative bastard who keeps his wife locked in his house. At worst, he is a West-hating, throat-slitting, self-detonating savage looking to destroy our freedom and way of life. Even those in the third concentric circle are depicted as trying to attack democracy from within, by simply participating in it through political or civil society organization. Their only difference from more extremist elements being in their chosen method of subterfuge.

(The argument is not a new one. It is similar to the discourse which earlier in U.S. history nominated Native and African Americans as backwards, untrustworthy and impervious to internal reform. It is this very same discourse which declared their incompatibility with “our values” and “our way of life,” calling for reform from the “outside,” while at the same time legitimating the use of violence upon their communities or military intervention in their countries.)

The image of concentric circles with the “jihadis” at the center is not chosen at random. It is meant to show that all the other larger circles share the same epicenter and feed from it. Hence, all are suspect.
Comment:  For more on the subject, see Killing "Terrorists" = Killing Indians and Arabs Stereotyped Like Indians.

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