Friday, January 14, 2011

executing the "dispersal" algorithm...,

aljazeera | Islamophobes in and outside Congress are claiming that a mass 'radicalisation' of American Muslims is taking place. New York City's former mayor, Ed Koch, has taken time off from his new career as a film critic to offer a valentine to Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, for scheduling hearings on the dangers posed by Muslim Americans.

Koch's support for King is not surprising. Koch has always been open about his contempt for Arabs and Muslims and his belief that a war of civilisations is now in progress between Muslims and everyone else. He recently wrote:
For me, the question is this: will the secular Western civilisation shared by America and Europe, which allows us to enjoy life and its creature comforts, still be standing at the end of that war? Or will radical Islam, with an aggressive culture that treasures martyrdom and death over life, prevail.... [italics mine]
For years, Koch, King and others who share their anti-Muslim views hid behind that word: "radical". They said that they have no problem with Muslims as people or Islam as a religion. It is only "radical Islam" or "Islamists" that they can't abide.

Lately that caveat has been thrown to the winds. It is now clear that for Islamophobes (actually Islamohaters), "radical" Islam is just Islam. And "radical" Muslims are just Muslims.

A powerful example was recently offered by HBO commentator Bill Maher. Maher said in October that he was "alarmed" after reading that the most common name among newborns in the United Kingdom in 2009 was Muhammad.
Am I a racist to feel that I'm alarmed by that? Because I am. And it's not because of the race, it's 'cause of the religion. I don't have to apologise, do I, for not wanting the Western world to be taken over by Islam in 300 years?
He then added: "I should be alarmed and I don't apologise for it." (After all, those baby Muhammads will grow up to be adult Muhammads).

Marty Peretz, former editor of The New Republic, did apologise, in a half-hearted way, for writing during the "Ground Zero mosque" controversy that American Muslims should not be protected by the Constitution.

He had written that Muslims simply are not "worthy of the privileges of the First Amendment which I have in my gut the sense that they will abuse."

His subsequent apology was so weak, and his record of race-baiting was so long and vitriolic that Peretz was forced out by The New Republic and quickly hotfooted it out of the United States for Israel where he told New York magazine last month that he could not possibly be a bigot.
[H]e mentioned two close, personal black friends, one who is "so fucking smart," and then a third, a black student whom he had plucked from Harvard and made the circulation director of The New Republic. "I hired Muslims - I hired Fareed Zakaria," he added.
Well, okay then.