The frequency of using pork/pigs as a form of attacking Muslims and Islam is not only ignorant but harkens back to what Zaid Jilani writes is an ancient anti-Semitic trope. It should also be noted that during the Inquisition forced pork feeding and pork identity politics were used in harassing and abusing both Muslim and Jewish “conversos.”
It is sadly common to see grassroots conservatives engage in Islamophobia – it’s one of the most acceptable types of hate for the modern Republican Party. One way of spreading this hate is to mock Muslims with pigs or pork.
Here’s one example, posted on the day of the Paris attacks, highlighted by Bloomberg’s Dave Weigel:
What these individuals don’t seem to know is that they’re trafficking in what actually began as an ancient anti-semitic trope. Muslims don’t consume pork for the same reason many religious Jews don’t – they follow a version of kosher rules.
For centuries, these kosher rules were used by anti-semitic movements to compare Jews to pigs or to taunt Jews with pork.
In the book Anti-Semitic Stereotypes: A Paradigm of Otherness in English Popular Culture, 1660-1830, the author notes that English schoolboys would taunt Jews with a chant, “Get a bit of pork/Stick it on a fork/And give it to a Jew boy, a Jew.”…