Monday, February 9, 2015
Week of 02/09/2015
It’s Really Not About Islamophobia
I recently had something of a revelation about the conservative and neo-conservative mindsets of late when it comes to their continual droning on of waging war against Islam.
Yes, they go on and on and on about the “evils” of Islam, how Islam supposedly is the “only religion” that has an inherent and systematic problem with violence. And no matter how many times you bring up the fact that Christians were just as evil and just as extremist in the past, the con/neo-con script will immediately jump down your throat with assertions that those incidents were in the past, but Islam has “always” been this way. “Always”, they assert.
And by “past”, they mean some point after 2001, because there were Christian extremists even after 9/11 that were causing trouble. Remember Clayton Lee Waagner and Eric Robert Rudolph and the Army of God? Remember the Olympic Park Bombing and the Anthrax threats? Those weren’t the acts of Muslims.
Oh, but wait, those were all “lone nut cases”, right? That’s also what the con/neo-con script dictates. The script says that there are “no” Christian extremists, there have only been “lone nut cases” who are not “true Christians”, there have always been Islamic extremists, there are no “moderate Muslims” or “lone Muslim nut-cases”, and we have always been at war with Middle Eastasia.
Sound a little familiar? It should, but I’ll back to that in a minute.
The other part of the con/neo-con script is the assertion that the continual droning for war and specifically of a war mindset is not… emphasis on “not”… and even more emphasis on “not” after that… and one more emphasis on “not” after that… about a “hatred of Islam”. No, it’s supposedly not about Islamophobia. It’s supposedly about survival. We have to “fight them there so they won’t come here”… except when they do, because they’re supposedly already here and we just don’t know where or when they will strike.
You see, the cons and neo-cons don’t ever want to address the whole “Islamophobia” thing, because then it means that the problem is with them, and they don’t want the focus to be on them. They want us focused on “the threat”. Always focused on “the threat”. Always… “the threat”.
And that brings me to the revelation that I had concerning their ongoing problem with Muslims.
I realize that if we concentrate on the assertion that the conservatives and neo-conservatives are simply Islamophobic and get them to admit to that – which in and of itself is unlikely – then we are ignoring the real problem.
You see, the very word “Islamophobia” means “fear of Islam”, and the conservatives and neo-conservatives that are sounding the war drums don’t really fear the religion. In fact, the Islamic extremists have a lot in common with the conservatives and neo-conservatives. They share the same things that disgust them. It’s just that the Islamic extremists never had to filter their disgust. They were allowed – even encouraged – to adopt a Lord of the Flies mindset because there was nothing that could stop them.
Imagine what the conservatives and neo-conservatives in America would be able to do if there wasn’t a “damned liberal media” watching them and calling them out on their antics. Imagine what they could do if there wasn’t a system to keep them in check, if the people in power simply gave a wink-and-a-nod, or even just a wag of the finger, to them doing anything they want. We’ve seen that, haven’t we? Remember the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City? Those weren’t “liberals” that drove the truck-turned-into-a-bomb, and they sure as hell weren’t Muslims.
No, the conservative and neo-conservative problem isn’t a “fear” of Islam.
Their real problem is fascism.
Let’s get brutally honest here… the conservative and neo-conservative mindset does not see Islam as much of a “threat” as it is a target to focus our attentions and our own fears on. They see Islam as a willing and eager enemy to focus all of our military might on so they can justify even more spending for the military. Why have the “Great American War Machine” make so many weapons and so much ammunition and find better ways to kill other people and blow stuff up if it’s all just going to sit around?
Here’s a great way to test this: imagine what would happen if, all of a sudden, the Islamic extremists suddenly vanished. All of them. Every single extremist faction out there determined to “exterminate the Great Satan” are eliminated in one fell swoop.
Would that mean the conservatives and neo-conservatives would suddenly have nobody left for us to be in fear of? Hell no! If Islam were to suddenly not be a “problem”, then we’d have to worry about Russia again. Remember Putin? He’s still determined to bring the Cold War back. And if it’s not Putin, then it’s North Korea. That country is just one big attention whore just itching for a Dr. Phil intervention! And let’s not forget China! Oh, and illegal immigrants from Latin and South America. And the drug lords! Never forget about them!
You see, the thing is, without Islam to fear, conservatives and neo-conservatives would still have plenty of “threats” out there for them to fear-monger and use as political wedges to get and keep power over us. All you have to do is ask yourself one simple question: has there ever been a time in political history when the conservative factions of America – regardless of party affiliation – did not have a looming threat for us to be afraid of?
Go ahead and ponder that for a minute.
The real problem for conservatives and especially neo-conservatives is their tendency to fall down the path towards fascism. Because it’s the fascist that see nations defined only through conflict and war. This is what Italy had to deal with under Mussolini from the 1920’s until the middle 1940’s. Fascists “need” a continual enemy to wage war against and to focus the minds of the masses on, because as long they have us in that “with us or against us” extremist mindset, then they have carte blanche to do whatever they want.
It also means they don’t have to worry about the other matters of running a government. They don’t have to worry about a crumbling infrastructure, or a failing education system, or budget deficits. They don’t have to deal with gross abuses of government power or overcrowded prisons. They can talk about them, even wring their hands over them, but they don’t have to really address those issues. Because, as the Roman philosopher Cicero once said, “Silent enim leges inter arma”… or “in times of war, the law is silent.” And the same applies to all other matters of state.
I’m not saying that Islamic extremists are not really a threat. There are still plenty of extremists around the world that are just itching to get attention through death and destruction. And they do need to be dealt with. But when you hear conservatives and neo-conservatives continually drone on and on and on about these extremists, and that we should not stop thinking about them ever, understand that it’s not from a position of “fear”, but from a position of fear-mongering and of fascism.