Some of the readers on the site have expressed concern that I have been focusing too much on U.S. foreign policy instead of Islamophobia. However, I believe that bombing, invading, and occupying Muslim lands–our foreign policy in a nutshell–is the Greater Islamophobia. It represents not just the apex of Islamophobia but is also the main source of it. It is the result of Islamophobia and it results in Islamophobia. It perpetuates a vicious cycle of hatred.
Studying anti-Japanese sentiment during World War II–without recognizing the connection to the war itself–would be seen as absurd. Similarly, talking about Islamophobia–without placing that in the context of the so-called War on Terror–would be foolish. It is impossible to explain “why they hate us” without taking a critical look at “what we do to them.”
No sane person would argue that American Indians fought white people–even engaging in violent acts that could be classified as terrorism against civilians–because of their inherent hatred for white people or because of their religion. Clearly, they hated white people because white people invaded their land, killed them, and occupied them. Similarly, with regard to Muslims today, the standard answers to the question of “why they hate us”–such as “they hate us for our freedoms” or because of their religion–will in the future not be taken seriously.
Ron Paul is the only well-known presidential candidate to recognize this fact. As a liberal/progressive, I may strongly disagree with Dr. Paul’s domestic policies, but I also recognize that all the other presidential candidates from the two parties are–and will be–warmongers. One may cast out Ron Paul as a fringe candidate, a libertarian “nut”, etc.–this fact alone speaks volumes about how widespread warmongering is among our political class and national discourse that I, as a liberal and peace-loving voter, cannot find anyone else to vote for. In the last election, my choice was between one warmonger who hinted at war against Iran (John McCain) and another warmonger who hinted at war against Pakistan (Barack Obama).
[Note: I’d like to point out that I am not sure who I will vote for in the upcoming election (I’m ambivalent toward Ron Paul), and–to be extremely clear–LoonWatch has not endorsed any candidate.]
In any case, there is a Ron Paul video going around called “IMAGINE! China Invades America!” Let’s leave aside the standard flame-wars about Ron Paul and instead focus on the subject matter in the video:
If you understand this video, you will have understood almost everything you need to know about Islamophobia.