France political and security responses are a good case study of how popular Islamophobia spreads in a nation. If the State acts in such a targeted, and sweeping fashion, and its spokes persons define so clearly and explicitly the ‘enemy’ they are going after, the citizenry can’t really be expected to remain immune from its constructions and framing of how to evaluate and judge a situation, and whom to blame for it. So when the state so publicly demonstrates its resolve, so to speak, and the ordinary, over-worked and under-engaged citizen watches all this, it isn’t all too surprising that the pathology spreads.

“Backed by the new powers, authorities have carried out about 3,400 raids on mosques, homes, and businesses with more than 300 people placed under house arrest.”

Of course, add to this the near daily media discourse and framing of wars in various countries where the construction of the ‘enemy’ is almost always on religious or cultural grounds, with all political and historical facts and legacies distorted and modified to create further evidence of ‘the enemies’ deviant and inhuman thought process and strategies.

 

The same of course applies to the USA, where there seems to be a lot of confusion about where Islamophobia is coming from. And a lot of hypocritical suggestions that Trump is the culprit. The fact remains that Obama / The New York Times are a far more potent source of Islamphobia in America than anything Trump can muster. If anything, it is these left liberal forces that have paved the way for the vile and overtly bigoted statements we can actually hear from all the GOP candidates today.

Is there not a direct line between the calls for war crimes and mass slaughter that any GOP candidate suggests, and the actual war crimes and mass slaughter that Obama’s administration is carrying out as we speak? Or the extensive use of bizarre religious and cultural theory to justify the enemies we wish to continue to murder with impunity and secret evidence? Is it really shocking that Trump says he will bar Muslims from America, when in fact Obama has deported tens of thousands of Muslims from America, subjected them to invasive and intense security clearances and checks before issuing visa, or interrogating them at airports?

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“Lacking evidence to convict terror suspects for actual crimes, the government has deported thousands of Muslim immigrants on minor immigration violations and used threats of deportation to coerce Muslims to inform on their mosques and communities. While DHS does not release public data on the number of Muslim immigrants it deports, our review of country-specific deportation figures from 2003 to 2012 shows that more than 60,000 citizens of Muslim nations in the Middle East, Africa and Asia were officially expelled from the United States in this period.”

Articles such as this hence miss the point entirely:

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Islamophobia is a core part of the American political and journalism landscape. It is the lens / filter through which billions of people are judged and understood, and vast stretches of the globe are analysed and acted upon. Islamophobia, a new name given to classic Orientalist bigotry, isn’t a recent, short-term, social phenomenon, but an intellectual and academic posture that has underpinned political policy, strategy, and fact analysis in American power and American journalism for decades!

Islamophobia is not just a demonisation, it is also a fear of clarification and critical thought. There are now ideas about Islam, Muslims, Arabs that are so entrenched, so deeply part of our ‘truths landscape’ that to simply question them is to be mocked. The echo chamber of ideas is of course exacerbated by the massive reach of digital news and social media, where news and information travels at the speed of light, and facts and reporting are carried out at the speed of sensationalism.