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Tuesday, August 17, 2004

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» Hatred, Real and Imagined from Michael J. Totten
Gary Farber and Bjorn Staerk are rightly concerned about anti-Muslim hate in the blogosphere. This problem is overstated by fools. I have been accused of hating Muslims and/or Arabs solely because I am anti-terrorist and anti-fascist. Pardon me for thi... [Read More]

» Hatred, Real and Imagined from Michael J. Totten
Gary Farber and Bjorn Staerk are rightly concerned about anti-Muslim hate in the blogosphere. This problem is overstated by fools. I have been accused of hating Muslims and/or Arabs solely because I am anti-terrorist and anti-fascist. Pardon me for thi... [Read More]

» Hatred, Real and Imagined from Michael J. Totten
Gary Farber and Bjorn Staerk are rightly concerned about anti-Muslim hate in the blogosphere. This problem is overstated by fools. (And I don't mean Gary and Bjorn.) I have been accused of hating Muslims and/or Arabs solely because I am... [Read More]

» Speaking of Islam: Rejecting the double-standard from CenterFeud
In "Our Fanatics and Theirs", Marc Cooper takes on the double-standard that prevents people, especially on the political Left, from openly acknowledging the threat posed by radical Islam for fear of being labeled racist bigots. [Read More]

» Speaking of Islam: Rejecting the double-standard from CenterFeud
In "Our Fanatics and Theirs", Marc Cooper takes on the double-standard that prevents people, especially on the political Left, from openly acknowledging the threat posed by radical Islam for fear of being labeled racist bigots. [Read More]

» Hatred, Real and Imagined from Michael J. Totten
Gary Farber and Bjorn Staerk are rightly concerned about anti-Muslim hate in the blogosphere. This problem is overstated by fools. (And I don't mean Gary and Bjorn.) I have been accused of hating Muslims and/or Arabs solely because I am... [Read More]

» Speaking of Islam: Rejecting the double-standard from CenterFeud
In "Our Fanatics and Theirs", Marc Cooper takes on the double-standard that prevents people, especially on the political Left, from openly acknowledging the threat posed by radical Islam for fear of being labeled racist bigots. [Read More]

Comments

Beth Sestanovich

Checking out your blog Marc....

Pat

Great article, Mark, and that thought process explains why politicians have relegated our soldiers to cooling their heels outside the "holy city" of Najaf out of respect for a building, while a bunch of bad guys are inside said building stockpiling weapons and shooting at our soldiers--a contradiction completely ignored by every journalist in the known world.

Michael Turner

Having read to the end of this somewhat incoherent interview, I find: "They say, don't call them 'Islamic terrorists'; call them 'terrorists'. This is an attempt to separate something, which, in my view, is inseparable. Because what Richard Stone and people like him should try and show us is in what way these acts of terrorism, or the violence we are seeing everyday, are incompatible with the tenets of Islam."

Gee, I think quite a few muslim clerics and intellectuals in the Middle East and elsewhere have already done that. And keep doing it.

Strictly speaking, the suffix "-phobe" translates as "IRRATIONAL fear of ..." An islamophobe, to my mind, is someone who spouts nonsense about Islam as some general threat. As an ex-Catholic, I suppose I'm still slightly christianophobic and may never quite get over it, but I've had to finally admit that the Pope isn't out to get me.

And I don't think we should have terms like "Islamic Terrorist" unless we also have terms like "Catholic Terrorism", "Hindu Terrorism" and so on. "Islamofascist terror" I have no problem with, because it ties the terrorism - a political act of violence - to the ideology. "Islamic fundamentalist terror" I likewise have no problem with, because I have yet to meet a fundamentalist from any religion who has no radical political agenda.

As for equating "islamophobia" and racism, admittedly this is pretty silly in strict terms, but 'phobes of all streaks don't think in strict terms when it's too hard on their overtaxed brains. I've met people who don't know that Iranians are racially different enough from Arabs that Hitler felt he could safely have them categorized as "Aryan", who don't know that the Middle East only contains about 25% of the world's muslims, who don't know that Sikhism is a separate religion (turbans, doncha know), who don't even know that Indonesia is a different country than India. They've never met a white muslim, and they've never met an Arab Christian. So, to a very good first approximation, islamophobic behavior and thinking is hardly distinguishable from racism anyway, since it's often race that triggers the association with islam in the first place.

Yes, islamophobia exists. It's an irrational fear of a particular religion. And it's very widespread.

steve

Some of my friends on the Left are still having some trouble admitting such a thing exists – at least as some form of agency independent of U.S. imperialism.

--actually, most mainstream non-left analysts wouldn't agree with your belief in such 'independence', nota bene serious analysts like Juan Cole or journalists like Ahmad Rashid. Then again, even Colin Powell wouldn't agree with such assertions, nor would the president of the Philipines.

Michael Turner

Pat writes: ".... that thought process explains why politicians have relegated our soldiers to cooling their heels outside the "holy city" of Najaf out of respect for a building, while a bunch of bad guys are inside said building stockpiling weapons and shooting at our soldiers--a contradiction completely ignored by every journalist in the known world."

"Completely ignored by every journalist in the known world?" Not sure where this "known world" is that you're talking about, but on my planet, Earth, journalists don't tend to belabor the obvious: Najaf IS a holy city in Shi'a Islam, and severe damage or outright destruction of its religious core would provoke Iraqi outrage all across the spectrum.

Scare quotes around "holy city"? You mean Najaf is NOT a holy city to a majority of Iraqis, 98% of Iranians, and a non-insubstantial minority of Saudis? The temple is just a building? Try framing an effective war plan around those assumptions and see where it gets you.

I think the REAL "thought process" might actually be informed by intelligent calculation on both sides.

India could root insurgent separatist Sikhs out of a central temple without destabilizing India because

(1) the vast majority of Indians are NOT Sikhs,

(2) the Indian government is indisputably legitimate to most Indians,

(3) India is not bordered by a Sikh religious state with double India's population.

Iraq is a very long way from meeting such standards.

The Occupation force leaders know this. The provisional Iraqi government knows this. And the Sadrists know this. In fact, the only person I've noticed recently who can't seem to figure it out is you, Pat. Pull your head out of the sand. (I will generously assume that it's a hole in sand, and not a certain other kind of hole.)

steve

michael turner, dont' you get it? them evil, us good. vatican holy, najaf evil.

Michael J. Totten

Steve,

Who said Najaf is the evil antithesis to the Vatican? I must have missed that one.

steve

Who said Najaf is the evil antithesis to the Vatican? I must have missed that one.

-- all the business about 'let's bomb the holy moses out of the shrine' [caution: not a direct quote]...musta missed that too?

Marc Cooper

The left correctkly identifies the ADL as an organization that often uses the broad charge of anti-semitism to promote a rather narrow POLITICAL agenda, usually a pro-Israeli position. Who is the "ADL" of the Islamic world? Is anyone willing to indentify them? The organizations that use the charge of anti-Islamic racism to promote the POLITICAL interests of Islamic states and groups? I can.

steve

The organizations that use the charge of anti-Islamic racism to promote the POLITICAL interests of Islamic states and groups? I can.

--ACLU? The Nation? Monthly Review?
Center for Constitutional Rights? SEIU?

Michael J. Totten

Marc,

The answer to you question is CAIR.

Natasha

HOT article cooper! In between the groupthink, the filipino studies circles, and the constant threat of being deployed for "House Visits For Kerry" this is a breath of fresh air.

miklos rosza

Brave post, Marc.

steve

brave? what is he saying that you don't hear out in the echo chamber of blogistan? or in the mainstream media for that matter?
brave. hmm. you mean for attacking CAIR Marc will be subject to threats of murder? or torture? talk about heightened states of anxiety.

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