Tuesday, August 7, 2012

In the US, how prominent voices on the right inflame tensions


Wade Michael Page: Islamophobia unleashed

How much longer will we tolerate politicians who stoke bigotry like that which drove Wade Michael Page to kill?

Despite President Obama publicly proclaiming Jesus Christ as his savior, attending Church, and celebrating Easter, nearly 17 percent of registered American voters still think our President worships Allah. Obama’s alleged “Muslimy-ness” continues to act as a smear, handcuffing “Muslim” to something deemed “foreign,” “hostile” and “anti-American.” Furthermore, Islam currently has its lowest favorability rating in America, even lower than the weeks following 9/11.

The cynical and deliberate baiting of ignorance, racism and Islamophobia by political players was exposed in an investigative report I worked on last year, “Fear Inc, The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America” produced by the Center for American Progress. My coauthors and I identified a lucrative cottage industry comprised of an interconnected, incestuous network of right-wing pseudo-scholars, policy experts, politicians and media pundits who have received nearly $43 million from seven funders to create and disseminate fear and misinformation against Muslims.

As an example, the exploitation of Sharia, or Islamic religious law, as being a fictional “threat to America” was used by nearly every major mainstream Republican candidate running for President, including Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, Rick Santorum, Tim Pawlenty and the modern-day Islamophobic Nancy Drew, Michelle Bachmann.

Instead of using their position of influence to build bridges of understanding, Bachmann and four GOP colleagues recently decided to stoke the flames of fear-mongering by engaging in a witch hunt against fellow Americans.

Read it at Salon:

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