Islamophobia Touches New Peaks After Paris Attacks

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Protesters rally outside the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix, Arizona. © Сhristian Petersen / Getty Image s/ AFP
Protesters rally outside the Islamic Community Center in Phoenix, Arizona. © Сhristian Petersen / Getty Images/AFP

The camaraderie and fraternity of the Americans and the French is now being fed by a perverse new wave of Muslimphobia in the US and the West

KARAMATULLAH K GHORI | Special to Caravan Daily

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]ny tragedy, man-made or natural, tests a person’s or nation’s—whichever it may be—resilience and exposes strengths and weaknesses of its character.

By any known measure of civilization, the mayhem of November 13 in Paris was a heinous crime against innocent humanity. It was a traumatic experience for those unwittingly exposed to its barbarity. The loss of innocent lives anywhere on this planet is reprehensible and ought to be condemned in the extreme.

However, what transpired in Paris on that gory Friday evening wasn’t a Holocaust by any stretch of fertile French imagination, or that of legions of Francophones in the Western world, and quite a few ‘liberals’ in the East. It wasn’t an “act of war” as articulated by President Hollande to shore up his erstwhile dwindling political fortunes and sinking popularity.

Since it’s only one human race on this planet therefore the color of its people’s blood is only one, much as the racists in the West may wish it had as many colors as there are of skin. Innocent blood spilled anywhere, by anyone, on any excuse, is to be condemned with the outrage and angst following the Paris massacre.

However, there wasn’t so much as even a whimper of regret, much less protest or remonstration, anywhere, from any quarters, in the West on the twin bomb blasts in Beirut, the night before the Paris blasts, that exacted an unacceptable toll of victims. Why didn’t the mealy-mouthed ‘humanists’ and ‘liberals’ feel a sense of outrage on the Beirut massacre? Is the Lebanese blood any thinner or less sacrosanct than French blood?

Within our living memory—or, forget about living memory just during this calendar year, there was this wanton terrorist attack by the Somalian Taliban, Al-Shabab, against students of a Kenyan university campus in which nearly 170 young people, both men and women, were mowed down by the terrorists. Why was there no alarm raised, no outrage manifested anywhere in the West over that ‘Holocaust’?

So what this lop-sided and partisan ‘humanism’ unmistakably points to is a yawning, and appalling, double-standards unabashedly practiced in the West when it comes to the value of human life between Western and Eastern lives. It doesn’t take a genius to decipher the code of bigotry and hypocrisy ruling the roost in the West, where the sense obviously is that Western lives are far more valuable and precious than Eastern lives.

A heat wave of Islamophobia and incontinent paranoia against Muslims, world-wide, has taken no time in raising its ugly head in the wake of the Paris deluge. Islamophobes on both sides of the Atlantic have sprung to their feet to denounce Muslims for their terrorist strain; the demand, as usual, is for a collective apology from 1.6 billion Muslims of the world for the crimes of a few radicals and murderers who, in their pagan vandalism have been committing more crimes against Muslims than anybody else. But the Islamophobes, in their blind rage, wouldn’t countenance anything less than every Muslim presenting himself in the dock to plead guilty.

The narrative of Muslim-baiting, collectively, has a familiar pattern and a script that looks comical, if not patently absurd, because it has been stuck in a groove like a broken record.

It’s risible for the Islamophobes to expect everyone to swallow what is dished out as the maw of their inane and miscued intelligence.

As usual on occasions like this, the intelligence sleuths have found a passport at the scene of the crime. No damage done to it; the alleged passport is found intact and undamaged despite so much rubble around. And, unsurprisingly, it’s a Syrian passport. It had to be Syrian because the Syrian refugee influx into Europe was becoming an uncontrollable deluge and demanded something—something radical, something out-of-the-ordinary—to stem the tide. You bet, it would have been an Iraqi passport, or a Libyan passport, if those haggard and beaten hulks of humanity streaming into Europe were fleeing anarchy in those countries. For the moment, however, a Syrian passport was deemed more valuable than any other.

Even a child will find it hard to stomach that terrorists, otherwise so organized and smart as to pull off a meticulously planned and executed crime with such deadly precision, were still so dumb as to leave their passports behind to make it easy on their ‘enemies’ to track them down. Come on, fellows, there should be a limit to taking the ‘other’ people’s IQ for granted. They aren’t so naïve to swallow your narrative hook, line and sinker.

Those expecting the world Muslims to abide by the Western narrative conveniently overlook the fact that the Muslim world has paid—and continues to pay—a deadlier and stiffer price, in terms of innocent lives lost in the bloody struggle to combat the menace of ISIL or the Islamic State. A country like Iraq—or Pakistan, for that matter—has lost tens of thousands of innocent lives in the bloody confrontation with the merchants of doom, personified by ISIL, who have done more harm to the prestige of pristine Islam than any non-Muslim force.

Franco-American camaraderie goes back to the American independence movement. Both had a common enemy in the British colonizers. Nothing proclaimed this friendship of shared values than the Statue of Liberty gifted to US by France in the 19 th century. However, since the end of French and British colonies in the East, the common denominator binding the Franco-American alliance has taken on a new enemy: the French felt proud to proclaim, Nous Sommes Tous Les Americans, in the wake of the cataclysm of 9/11; the Americans have returned the compliment by dressing up the new Tower One and the Empire State Building in Manhattan in French tricolors on the heels of the Paris tragedy.

But the deeper fraternity of the Americans and the French is now being fed by a perverse new wave of Muslimphobia in the US, led by none other than elected Governors of at least 22 States; they have proclaimed their anti-Muslim bias by telling the Federal administration in Washington that no Syrian refugee would be welcomed in their jurisdiction. President Obama has, rightly, condemned this paranoia in bold and categorical terms as shameful and un-American.

Blinded by their hatred of Muslims, little do the myopic Governors and others—including a Republican presidential hopeful who has been quite unabashed in suggesting that maybe Syrian Christians, but certainly not Muslims, allowed into US as refugees—realize that by shutting the doors on Syrian and other Muslim refugees they would become unwitting recruiting agent of ISIL.

The blood-thirsty vandals have been pursuing precisely this strategy to remind their Muslim ‘brothers’ that the West, as a whole, is against them and wants to keep them, sequestered, behind walls and barriers. The ISIL propaganda machine has been inexorably churning out this slogan that the Christian West is exclusionist and not inclusive, hates Muslims and doesn’t want them in their midst. The likes of paranoid American politicians who can’t look beyond their noses have been straining to become purveyors of ISIL propaganda and present it to unsuspecting Muslims as the gospel truth. The ISIL murderers must smirk in delight at the cupidity and alarming gullibility of such politicians.

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