dinsdag 31 juli 2018

Tom Engelhardt 296

July 31, 2018
Tomgram: Arnold Isaacs, The Con Game of America's Anti-Muslims
Here are a couple of questions for you: If, in this country, terrorism is to be fought by travel bans, if (as Donald Trump once tweeted) “we don’t want ‘em here,” then why are all the travel bans aimed at Muslims? If the most threatening terror types shouldn’t be traveling either to or in this country, then why aren’t there travel bans against white Americans? After all, in the United States, terror has actually been a remarkably ashen phenomenon and I’m not just thinking of young white supremacist Dylann Roof, who walked into Charleston’s Mother Emanuel AME church and gunned down nine black parishioners in June 2015, or Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old white retiree who slaughtered almost 60 people and wounded hundreds more from a Las Vegas hotel window in November 2017, the largest mass shooting by a single gunman in American history. Between 2008 and 2015, for instance, a majority of the 208 cases defined as terrorism in the United States (115 of them) were perpetrated by right-wing white extremists, almost double the number inspired by Islamic terrorism. Such attacks, the record seems to show, are also more likely to be deadly.

Except in cases like those of Dylann Roof and that Las Vegas massacre, such white acts are often not treatedas a form of terror at all, but as so many random incidents of violence and are generally not given the kind of blanket media attention that those of self-proclaimed Islamist terrorists get. As comedian Ken Cheng put it: “Terrorism is one of the only areas where white people do most of the work and get none of the credit.” And of course this has only become more obvious in the age of Trump, years in which, as TomDispatch regular Arnold Isaacs suggests today, a growing crew of Islamophobes, already professionalized and creating a stream of fraudulent propaganda about Islamist terrorism in this country, has become ever more influential in the world of the alt-right and beyond. Isaacs, who has been coveringanti-Muslim bigotry in this country for this website, lays out today just how the Islamophobes make their “case.” Tom
American Islamophobia’s Fake Facts
Their "Proof" Is Not What They Say
By Arnold R. Isaacs
Anti-Muslim activists in the United States were operating in a "post-truth era" and putting out "alternative facts" long before those phrases entered the language. For the last decade they have been spreading provable falsehoods through their well-organized network of publications and websites.
A major theme of those falsehoods is telling the U.S. public that Islam is inherently dangerous and that American Muslims, even if they do not embrace extremist religious beliefs or violent actions, are still a threat to national security. To back up that conclusion, the well-funded Islamophobia publicity machine incessantly repeats two specific assertions.
The first is that Muslims in this country have been engaged in a "stealth" or "civilizational jihad" -- a long-term, far-reaching conspiracy to infiltrate the U.S. legal system and other public institutions and bring America under Islamic law. The companion claim is that mainstream Muslim-American organizations are effectively "fronts" for the Muslim Brotherhood and so secretly controlled by international terrorists. In fact, the Brotherhood has not been designated as a terror organization by the U.S. government, and there are not the slightest grounds for thinking it, or any other secret force, controls any national Muslim-American group.
The Islamophobes offer only two pieces of supporting "evidence," one for each of those claims. Exhibit A is a document falsely called the Brotherhood's "master plan" for the clandestine effort to establish Muslim dominance in the United States. Exhibit B is a list of several hundred "unindicted co-conspirators," including the Council on American Islamic Relations and other mainstream national Muslim organizations, that federal prosecutors put into the record during a 2007 terrorism-financing trial in Texas.
If you look at the exhibits themselves, instead of the descriptions of them by anti-Muslim groups, it’s obvious that neither is what the Islamophobes say it is or proves what they allege it proves.
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