There are people out there who think that Islamophobia is limited to the likes of rednecks and lunatics. And yet, what they ignore is that fundamentally obvious way in which publications like The New York Times are front and center in the manufacturing, prioritising and highlighting of narratives, and narrative frames, that feed the Islamphobia of Americans.
This is the mainstream, read by most, national newspaper of record. This is their idea of a ‘radicalisation’ that matters: not the nationalist, imperialist radicalisation that mobilises tens of millions of American citizens to support in the order of trillions of dollars the wars that kills and ruin millions around the world. No, that isn’t ‘radicalisation’.
But, taking pages right out of the brochures of the worst Islamphobes, and from the discredit theorising of racist military and intelligence community hacks, the publications finds enough space in its ‘treasured’ pages to allow this sort of rubbish to appear. Could someone making millions of the CVE programs in the USA have written a better copy:
“In Rasheed’s case, there was his altered appearance and his decision to attend a different mosque. With hindsight, I should have questioned more his distancing of himself from his usual social group — and, possibly, the watchful eye of his father. Naïvely, perhaps, I had passed off the changes in Rasheed as his exploring and forming an identity away from his parents. It was the biggest mistake and regret of my life. But ask any parent of teenagers: Would you have done better?”
This paragraph is straight out of the PowerPoint presentations many Islamophobes have been making at FBI, CIA, NYPD and other training programs, and for which they have come under severe criticism for their sloppy constructions, racist presumptions and entire made-up and unverifiable claims. And yet, here they are again. In the New York Times – that publication of the liberal class apparently.
I pity this woman. Her son’s tragedy – a very British tragedy mind you, has not allowed her to question her government’s vile policies of war and mayhem. She is unable to face the crass and disgusting campaigns of mass murder, slaughter and rape that the UK gleefully participates in and then gloats about. She, concerned about her children and other children who sit and watch rivers of bloods streaming out the borders of nations we destroy, cannot put two bits of clues together to ask and understand who really killed her son and drove him to go fight for those dying under British bombs.
Perhaps she has chosen cowardice over courage to cope with her loss. For it is cowardice to remain silent at the crimes of your government, and at the crimes against humanity it has supported and performed in the last 15-20 years. And it is cowardice (or fear) that is the essential characteristic of newspapers like The New York Times, who have peddled in racist depictions and discussions about all things Islam / Muslims for decades, while casting themselves as ‘liberal’. Trump and his White Supremacist goons can’t even hope to achieve the level of racist idiocy this newspaper manages to print every week!