During an appearance on Fox & Friends Thursday, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani used the terrorist attack on a French newspaper to insist that the United States needs to have a police presence inside all Muslim places of worship. Giuliani and the hosts also used the segment to criticize both President Obama and current NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio for their apparent unwillingness to condemn the religion of Islam for the attacks and fully embrace Islamophobia. Specifically, the former Republican Presidential candidate said de Blasio made an “irrational” act by pulling police out of Muslim mosques in New York.
It is no surprise that Fox News is using a tragedy to stoke xenophobic fears within its base audience. That is, of course, their stock and trade. Still, the irresponsible and hateful rhetoric coming from the network over these past 24 hours is shocking, even for them. It appears that Fox has decided to use this particular incident to embrace the idea that America and its allies needs to engage in a full-scale holy war with the Muslim world. During his show Wednesday night, Sean Hannity said that the United States needs to insist on “assimilation” from Muslims if they are to live in this country. Also, in a clip shown on Fox & Friends, Hannity interviewed an imam who claimed Islam means submission, not peace, providing a perfectly scary soundbite for Fox’s viewers.
After the mandatory shots at Obama and de Blasio, Giuliani proceeded to pat himself on the back regarding his lifelong work on stopping radical Islamic terrorism (except, of course, on 9/11). He then used the Charlie Hebdo tragedy to make the point that the United States needs to demand that police surveillance units be present at all times in places of worship, specifically Muslim mosques and other gathering places. Giuliani claimed that Christian priests and Jewish rabbis have no issues with police officers and agents. Therefore, Muslims should welcome constant police surveillance.
Giuliani used the go-to right-wing excuse to justify constant surveillance and police presence — if you have a problem with it, obviously you are doing something wrong. Giuliani told the Fox hosts, “If you’re uncomfortable with police officers at your services, you must be saying things that are dangerous.” Essentially, this is the same justification used for Stop and Frisk and racial profiling. Regardless, it is fascistic thinking that argues for an overarching police state while treating certain racial, ethnic and religious groups as second-class citizens.
Below is video of the segment, courtesy of Media Matters:
It seems crystal clear that you are going to see fearmongering right-wingers use this despicable act of violence as a way to push for additional military action in the Middle East while trampling on the rights and freedoms of people in this country. Politicians and pundits are going to come out of the woodwork to blame Obama and liberals for this particular terrorist attack, even though the strike happened halfway across the world against a publication that revels in its anti-religious and left-wing bent.
Still, we will see conservatives claim that political correctness and tolerance of Islam has led to our country and values being made vulnerable at the hands of the terrorists. Anyone who argues that not all Muslims are radical terrorists will be labeled a terrorist sympathizer. Eventually, we will likely hear the old chestnut, “You’re either with us, or against us.” The rumblings have already started.