Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Islamophobia as an international security problem

The West's religious and political extremists and radicals. While the focus is on the small number of Middle East religious radicals who are rioting in new Arab democracies,  the serious and growing threat from anti-Muslim radicals and Islamophobic extremists is multifaceted in nature. This threat ranges from free roaming violent radicals, like Anders Breivik and the English Defense League, to advances made by "political parties" in European nations, like Geert Wilders and the PVV.  All of this activity by Islamophobic radicals is well funded by wealthy, but equally radical Israeli interests, perhaps with the Likud Party.

We could have told you about the Islamophobic extremists and radical elements that are responsible for the creation of the "Innocence of Muslims" hate film - and it should be clear to the world now how dangerous these elements are.  What should be made clear to the world is how these Western extremists and radicals abuse their freedom of speech rights to provoke violence and international crisis.

Promotion of a  New World Order according to Samuel Huntington. There is going to have to be adjustments in foreign and security policies of national governments and in the policies of international organizations (like the European Union) to deal with this (not so new) anti-Muslim radical and Islamophobic extremist factor on the international community. The world community needs to anticipate that the element will abuse free speech rights to provoke trouble, just as Jyllands-Posten abused its free press rights when it published the "Danish cartoons" and when Geert Wilders and Theo van Gogh abused their free expression rights to make anti-Muslim hate films.

There are those people from largely the Anglo-American conservative right hope to stoke up another Cold War, this time between the West and the Islamic world. We can see their desired New World Order is along the lines of Samuel Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" thesis, or "Clash" thesis. Clash thesis is a world ordered along the "faultlines" between largely religiously based "civilizations."  We have the notion that Greece (and probably Serbia) are with "Orthodox civilization"  (watch for calls to throw Greece out of Europe - its the "Trojan horse" for Russia). We have the notion of "Confucian civilization" dominated by China. But - more importantly - we have "Islamic civilization" and "Western civilization."

The largely Anglo-American conservative ilk would like to maintain hostile relations with especially Muslim majority countries of "Islamic civilization." This level of hostile relations is supposed to replace the Soviet Union.  In the opening pages of his book Huntington argues that "enemies are essential to identity" and "hating what we are not is to love who we are."  America, according to Huntington, needs to look for monsters to slay in the Muslim world.

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We have to realize that Islamophobia is present in Ray Kelly, the NYPD commissioner, as well as Geert Wilders, down to Robert Spencer.  Paul Ryan showed up at a "values summit" that was full of extremists, including Frank Gaffney.  So- Islamophobia is not just for the fringe, but has been allowed access to mainstream politics. Islamophobia is what much of Orthodox terrorism studies are based on, including the celebration of the discredited "NYPD radicalization model." We must deal with Islamophobia and those who wish to promote "Clash" thesis as some kind of New World Order. This world order divided by Islamophobia and "hate of others not like us" will be one that promotes constant conflict and crisis. We must work against it and favor a world system that strives to work on respect, mutual understanding and peace.

And - the promotion of Islamophobia and using it to sabotage America's relationships -- are un-American!

The "Muslim rage" was actually small.  We must first come to realize that only a small percentage of "Muslims" protested the "anti-Islam film." Some observers are of the opinion that the Western media needs to be more responsible when covering events in the Middle East -- and that the "Muslim rage" was exaggerated:

What is disheartening is that some of the media coverage of the protests embodies the worst form of sensational journalism. There were headlines and stories that made it seem as though millions of Muslims across the world had taken to the streets, with Muslim countries in riots and businesses closed.



In Indonesia, a nation of over 200 million, several hundred people took part in protests. Just a few months ago, 50,000 Indonesians bought tickets to see a Lady Gaga concert before it was canceled. So, what does this say about Muslims in Indonesia?

In Egypt, a nation of over 80 million, about 2,000 people protested on Friday. Of those protesters, a few hundred were arrested by the police.

In Lebanon, no protests occurred until Monday. Why? Because the pope had been visiting the country, and the leader of Hezbollah, which the U.S. has labeled as a terrorist group, didn't want to do anything to interfere with the pope's historic three-day visit.

A small number of protesters should not define the entire Muslim population of over a billion. The media should know this and report the truth accordingly.

The U.S. media -- and we're not just talking about Newsweek or Joe Scarborough -- need to act in a more responsible way. It appears that our media are more focused on ratings than facts and accuracy. While the media jump on the story and then quickly move on to another story, their impact in defining a people and a culture can be lasting. Let's hope the wave of #MuslimRage responses prompts the media to think twice before they react.


There are now those in acedemics who work with statistics and who are now assessing just how many took part in "Muslim rage" riots. The numbers are small - by the exaggerating of the size and scope of the protests shows how irresponsible the Western mass media can be, and future reports are forthcoming.  Given that these riots were - indeed - small, Islam had nothing to do with these small riots and Muslims are not collectively to blame for violence!

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption=""Muslim rage" riots were small. People are currently studying the size of them."][/caption]

The need now to calculate Islamophobia into foreign and security policies. In terms of security, there should be NO reaction of Western agencies to "Muslim rage," since the riots and protests were actually very small. But - we will see some call by Western security agencies (there might have already) to "look out for lone wolf jihadists upset over this video." What a load of poppycock!

In terms of security, it is the promotion of Islamophobia by various actors that needs to be calculated into the foreign and security policies nations and international actors. It should be clear to the world that Islamophobia is now a global problem, and has been for some time.  We must realize that those that promote Islamophobia and create Islamophobic media do so with the hope of sabotaging relationships between especially the US and the "Muslim world."  This film and its publication in Egypt may have served the purpose of dividing Egypt and the Middle East world from a growing relationship with the US and the Western world. The other purpose of giving this film publicity was to destabilize young and vulnerable Arab democracies.

So - the need here is to immunize the growing relationships between young Middle East countries and Western nations, the US and the European Union.

Islamophobia used as a dividing tool by radical right-wing political leaders, media pundits and fringe groups alike will have to be calculated into foreign and security policies of states and international organizations. Governments and political leaders should adapt the mentality of building positive relationships with the Arab and Muslim countries that are based on respect and mutual understanding - and this can only be done through a long-term relationship with Arab and Muslim countries based on respect and mutual understanding.  Western nations, the US and European Union, should continue to work with and support young Arab democracies and work to immunize the relationships against those who wish to use Islamophobia to sabotage relationships, just as al-Qaeda elements work to sabotage relationships.

We should also work to make Islamophobia in the media just as taboo in Western society as anti-semitism and racism.  This is happening, but slowly, and those who promote Islamophobia are well funded and sometimes well connected (Geert Wilders and Frank Gaffney). Governments should take courage to form public and private partnerships to combat Islamophobia -- and private groups should be made ready for action in the form of letter writing and boycotts of those who are are involved in the promotion of Islamophobic speech.

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