Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Intellectual basis of anti-Muslim racism

From "The War Against Islam" by James Carroll:

"The dark result of European imperial adventuring in the Muslim world was twofold: first, the usual exploitation of native peoples and resources, with attendant destruction of culture, and, second, the powerful reaction among Muslims and Arab populations against colonialism, a reaction that included an internal corrupting of Islamic traditions. The accidental wealth of oil in the Middle East made both external exploitation and internal corruption absolutely ruinous. The political fanaticism that has lately seized the Arab Islamic religious imagination (exemplified in Osama bin Laden) is rooted more in a defensive fending off of assault from 'the West' than in anything intrinsic to Islam. The American war on terror, striking the worst notes of the old imperial insult, only exacerbates this reactionary fanaticism (generating, for example, legions of suicide bombers)."


"The point is that this conflict has its origins more in 'the West' than in the House of Islam. The image of Muslims as prone to violence by virtue of their religion was mainly constructed across centuries by Europeans seeking to bolster their own purposes, a habit of politicized paranoia that is masterfully continued by freaked-out leaders of post-9/11 America. They, too, like prelates, crusaders, conquistadors, and colonizers, have turned fear of Islam into a source of power. This history teaches that such self-serving projection can indeed result in the creation of an enemy ready and willing to make the nightmare real."

The concept of terrorism is a construct attempting to explain away failings of the West by denigrating what is a defensive action from the Muslim world. In fact, the main failing of the Muslim world is a little too much Inshallah and not enough jihad. I have to add that the conceptual basis of the current American view of Islam has been created by years of Zionist propaganda from such worthies as Bernard Lewis, Samuel Huntington (who has seamlessly moved from anti-Muslim racism to anti-Hispanic racism), Daniel "brown-skinned peoples cooking strange foods and maintaining different standards of hygiene" Pipes (from here, and Pipes' unconvincing defense; see also here), and the champion, and completely over-the-top racist, Raphael Patai (whose malign influence goes as far as the specifics of the torture methods used in the new American gulags). The Nazis had a similar group of 'intellectuals' who prepared the conceptual groundwork which was required to make the Holocaust possible.