When a person is diagnosed with cancer, goes through a regimen of chemo and radiation therapy, and possibly surgery with no sign of cancer they are considered to be in remission. They are never fully cured because there is the possibility there is still cancer lying dormant and oncologists suggest regular testing to ensure there is no return of the disease. After the terror attacks on 9/11, an epidemic of Islamophobia, or Muslim-hate, erupted among a large part of the population that were certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that every person of Middle Eastern descent was an radical Islamic terrorist, and after dying down for a couple of years reared its ugly head again in 2010 when plans for an Islamic Center were announced near Ground Zero in New York. After last Monday’s bombing at the Boston marathon, it did not take long for the media and right-wing pundits to inflame passions against Muslims again and begin a new round of Islamophobia that appeared to be in remission except for Republican conspiracy-theorists in states fear-mongering over the threat of Sharia law.
The un-American practice of profiling the Muslim community was instigated because of erroneous reporting that a Saudi injured in the marathon bombing was a “person of interest” that persisted long after the FBI, local law enforcement, and Department of Homeland Security debunked the reports as untrue and “pure fiction.” In fact, Glenn Beck proposed impeaching President Obama for loading the injured Saudi victim onto a plane and spiriting him out of the country to protect him from justice despite more denials from Homeland Security. Even before Dzokhar Tsarnaev was apprehended by the FBI and Boston police on Friday, Republican Steve King and Louie Gohmert were warning that immigration reform should be put on hold because according to them, radical Muslim extremists were training in Mexico to learn how to do “Hispanic things” and sneak across the border and kill innocent Americans. On Friday, another Republican, Peter King, told an interviewer that “We can’t be bound by political correctness Police…have to realize that the threat is coming from the Muslim community and increase surveillance there; where the threat is coming from.”
The idea of religious profiling as a despicable and un-American practice was a common occurrence in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran, and King and his ilk are hell-bent on expanding the practice across America. It certainly does not help that mainstream media continues referring to the alleged bombers as Chechen Muslims implying the suspects were foreign nationals on a mission from al Qaeda to slaughter Americans. The suspect in custody, Dzokhar Tsarnaev, is an American citizen and his deceased brother was a card-carrying immigrant here under political asylum protection, but it is reported he was looking forward to becoming a citizen before enlisting his younger brother’s aide and allegedly planting homemade bombs in Boston. Thanks to the media’s faulty reporting and conservative fear mongering, Islamophobic hate crimes began within a day of the Boston bomb attacks that are certain to increase as Muslim hate metastasizes throughout the conservative segment of the population.
On Wednesday, a white man harassed and punched a Palestinian woman in Medford Massachusetts after an expletive-laden verbal assault calling her a terrorist and accusing her of involvement in the Boston explosions. The woman, a physician, was walking with a friend when the man approached and attacked her regardless her silence and attempts to back away from the irate Islamophobe. Another attack occurred outside an Applebee’s restaurant in the Bronx when a group of Latino men beat up a Bangladeshi man because “he looked Arab” after blaming him for the marathon bombing. On Tuesday, barely 24-hours after the bombing, an airplane leaving Boston’s Logan Airport was grounded after passengers reported that two men on the plane were speaking Arabic, and with Republicans inciting more anti-Muslim sentiment, there will be more incidents of racial and religious profiling Republicans never extended to white Christians guilty of terrorist attacks against Americans.
If Republicans openly promote profiling and investigating the Muslim community on the basis of an American citizen suspected of being a Muslim and planting a bomb, then law enforcement is going to have their hands full indeed, and there are sufficient examples for Republicans to call on to begin a nationwide profiling crusade of over three-quarters of the American populace. Since only white Christians advocate and carry out abortion clinic bombings and assassinate physicians providing abortion services, then law enforcement must immediately begin profiling, observing, and investigating every white Christian in America, because as Peter King says, “that’s where the threat comes from.” Only white Christian gun zealots such as Ted Nugent and so-called 2nd amendment patriots threaten revolution, civil war, and violence against President Obama and the government over proposed gun safety measures, so law enforcement must profile, observe, and investigate every white NRA member and Republican legislator because “that’s where the threats come from,” and only a white Elvis impersonator is accused of sending ricin-laced letters to Republican Senator Roger Wicker, President Obama, and another government employee so law enforcement must profile, place under observation, and investigate every white celebrity-impersonator in the nation because “that’s where the threat came from.” Also, since a white ex-soldier (Timothy McVeigh) was accused, convicted, and executed for domestic terrorism after blowing up the Murrah building in Oklahoma, every law enforcement officer must profile, observe, and investigate all white ex-service members with uber-patriot leanings because “that’s where the threat comes from. The list of white Christian domestic terrorists is exhaustive, but the point is Republicans cannot single out American Muslims as a group for profiling, heightened observation, and investigation unless they include every demographic guilty of domestic terror attacks based on the actions of a very few.
Republicans and their bigoted conservative Islamophobes have been looking for a reason to launch a new round of anti-Muslim attacks on American citizens who practice Islam since the President was first elected. In July 2012, a poll revealed that 30% of Republicans still believe the President is a Muslim, and in several Republican-controlled states, legislatures attempt to enact laws forbidding the imposition of Muslim Sharia Law out of Republican-instigated fear Islamists are infiltrating and taking over America. It has been nearly 12 years since Muslim hate became a part of many Americans worldview, and according to a recent poll, 44% of Americans have an unfavorable view of Muslims, and that was well in advance of the Boston bombings, and there is little doubt it will increase as Republicans ratchet up their fear mongering campaign to give them cover to block immigration reform. However, it is doubtful any white Americans will suffer abuse and ostracizing because Republicans and their hate-driven supporters are convinced only brown-skinned human beings are Muslims, and it is why conservatives have stayed on message that the alleged bombing suspects are “Chechen Muslims” because the idea that a white American citizen could be guilty of domestic terrorism is beyond the comprehension level of Republican or their supporters steeped in racial and religious bigotry.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.