Expose the Islamophobia Industry

Our friend Nathan Lean on the necessity of exposing the Islamophobia Industry:

Expose the Islamophobia industry 

by Nathan Lean (NY Daily News)

One victim wrote his telephone number in blood that ran from his head. Another described the sensation of feeling his brain through an empty eye socket.

During the trial of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian behind the July 2011 Oslo bombing and shooting attacks that killed 77, such testimonies were reminders that the city which awards the world’s most prestigious prize for peace is itself not immune to brutal displays of violence.

The 33-year-old Breivik is charged with terrorism and murder. On Aug. 24, judges will announce if he is sane enough for prison. The 10-week proceedings against him resembled a freak show more than a judicial event: Shoe throwing, self-immolation and far-right salutes were among the happenings that animated a normally humdrum process.

What was absent from the scene, though, was blunt discussion of the anti-Islam ideology that influenced Breivik and caused him to be so fearful of Muslims that his only response was to slaughter fellow citizens whose politics he blamed for their presence.

Breivik carried out his bloodbath alone, and his idiosyncrasies give him the appearance of a sociopath. But his delusions are hardly products of his imagination. Instead, they are the workings of a cabal of fear merchants who roam the post-9/11 world scaring people about Islam.

Breivik’s 1,500-page manifesto offers a clear view of the people and ideas that shaped his actions.

“About Islam, I recommend essentially everything written by Robert Spencer,” Breivik gushed in one of 162 shout-outs to the blogger, whose website is a one-stop shop for everything anti-Muslim. Spencer has waged a populist campaign against “stealth jihad,” “creeping Sharia” and even Campbell’s soup (which offers halal-certified cans of its famous products).

Breivik cited Spencer’s partner, blogger Pamela Geller, 12 times. Geller and Spencer co-founded Stop Islamization of America, the American branch of a European hate franchise, Stop Islamization of Europe, a group whose soccer hooligan members have whipped the populations of Britain and Denmark into nationalistic frenzies. SIOE’s motto states: “Racism is the lowest form of human stupidity but Islamophobia is the height of common sense.” Both Geller and Spencer organized the vitriolic protests against the Park51 Islamic Center in 2010.

Breivik mentioned Frank Gaffney, who runs the Center for Security Policy, seven times. Gaffney provides legal counsel for Spencer and Geller and is famous for decrying the threat of Sharia law and claiming that President Obama is in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood. He is also on the board of the Clarion Fund, a group that produced the now-infamous anti-Muslim film “Obsession.” Breivik’s manifesto linked to that movie 10 separate times.

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7 thoughts on “Expose the Islamophobia Industry

    • I actually sort of agree. While it’s true that Spencer always dances around the issue of what exactly he’d like to do with Muslims, and while he’s perfectly alright with profiting off of the fear that he, Geller and co. perpetuate, he’s definitely an ‘armchair revolutionary’ as it were. It’s a slippery slope; if we blame Spencer and his ilk directly for Breivik, can’t Islamophobes simply say they’re using the same tactic with al Qaeda and Islam?

      What the sad events in Norway prove is that there will always be people who will actually walk the talk with their ideology and will not simply be content whining in speeches, blogs, etc.

  1. I am newly arrived in this debate. I consider myself an atheist and a liberal. 2 months ago I was unaware of the massive disagreement over this whole issue. I had heard of Islamophohia. I had started to suspect that reports of “Muslim terror” in the media if not reflective of bias were at least indicative of an overused and outdated paradigm. Having listened to submissions from both sides it has become apparent how much vitriol is aimed at
    Spencer, particularly on TAM. His sexuality, relationship status facial hair and personal hygiene have all been mocked. I have never seen Spencer reciprocate and it does suggest rightly or wrongly that many of the anti Islamophohia lobby are arguing from emotion rather than logic.

    • “I have never seen Spencer reciprocate and it does suggest rightly or wrongly that many of the anti Islamophohia lobby are arguing from emotion rather than logic.”

      You can argue it gives Spencer the high ground, perhaps; it’s true that I don’t think I’ve seen him talk about individuals like that. However, this is rather irrelevant when one considers that the fact that his innumerable arguments/conspiracy theories frequently make all Muslims (and this is not an exaggeration, despite his protestations otherwise on the issue) the villains. Every. Single. Time. Does it justify the attacks made on his personal character at times? No; indeed, they’d be better off not making him a martyr. But when you consistently demonize a group of people, it’s no wonder when they lash out on an emotional level.

    • Oh please.

      Have you never seen Spencer’s attacks on Ibrahim Hooper and Reza Aslan?

      He’s not only accused them of being terrorist supporters, “Islamic supremacists” but has also attacked their looks, their hair and implied that they look “gay”. Let’s not even get started on what Spencer says about this site…

  2. I’m just wondering how much the Terrorism industry is linked with the Islamophobia industry. Some of the more savory and sleazy “terrorism experts” seem to have Islamophobic bends and provide “red meat” to hate groups like the EDL and the PVV.

    This would be a good thesis project for a graduate student of political discourse and narrative studies.

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