By Garibaldi and Ilisha
First, I want to thank you for your continued commitment to reading and engaging, you have made the site worthwhile and better. I will admit that over the past year, and even before then, the output of our content has really slowed, and I want to apologize for that. The main reason for this is that we, the writers (all volunteers), just cannot commit the hours of research, writing and editing necessary to produce good material AND balance work-life responsibilities (i.e. we need to recruit MORE writers).
The election of Donald Trump as president of the United States has emboldened the same Islamophobes that we have challenged, refuted and exposed for years now. Many of these same Islamophobes will be in positions of power or close to the “officials” who will make up the incoming administration.
Paying attention to and investigating the inner machinations, policies and programs formulated by Trump and his team of bigots is going to be crucial for the next four years (Trump may not last that long but his administration will). I’d like to say that I feel the media and social media activists are up to the task but our present-day reality is that we are traversing uncharted waters, where “fake news” and lies are given credence and repute over facts and truth. For quite some time the trend of online media consumers has been to consume that news which already conforms to one’s worldview or ideological and political convictions. (So my question here is how can we be effective in this environment?)
The new political and media landscape means we have to change things up here at Loonwatch, it isn’t 2009 anymore. Your feedback as how best to realize this change is vital. Our initial remit has been fulfilled: taking on the loons and Islamophobes on the internet. Many of our articles, have helped shed nuance and light in the conversation on Islam, Muslims and Muslim Americans. The same articles have challenged the prejudiced narratives about Islam and Muslims. When it comes to legitimacy, the likes of Spencer and Geller have been defeated on the plane of ideas and banned from travel to the UK; a nation with strict laws against hate speech. While Spencer and Geller may have been defeated their propaganda has been taken up by others who have political cache, and with Trump’s election has propelled the ideas of the Islamophobia movement into a greater relevance.
I hope you can share what you would like to see this year? How can we improve? What topics, issues should be covered? I can predict that for sure, consistent content is on the top of the list. As a way of starting us off I want to ask: how valuable and interested are you in seeing more satire? Would you like more articles and media that take on concepts that are twisted by Islamophobes, such as articles done by Danios in the past on Jihad, Taqiyyah, etc.? Any of your thoughts and ideas, whether it be related to design of the site, content and media, integrating social media, and animation are welcome, don’t hold back!