Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fear Inc.

The Center for American Progress has published a report on the manipulation of anti-Islamic hatred in the US.

I've posted elsewhere that I ban all American 'news' stations from my house using my tv system's obscenity blocking features. No CNN, no Faux, no MSNBC, no CNBC. I keep all of that off my channel list, and maybe once a year when something is happening in the world and I actually want to watch CNN, I enter a code to do so.

I'm thinking about that today because one of the things I've blocked from my home by doing this is this incessant drum-beat of hate-speach against muslims. The good thing is that this does not sound normal to me anymore. When I used to watch these 'news' channels, it did seem more normal. But when you turn it all off and get away, then when you hear it then it sounds more like the ridiculous hate-speech that it really is. If I do dare to turn on such channels, I also tend to very quickly say "Oh my gawd!" and turn them quickly back off. If you aren't desensitized into accepting hate-speech, then it sounds truly awful when you do hear it.

Of course, this hate speech is no accident. The following is from Selling Islamophobia by by WAJAHAT ALI

Healthy debate, disagreement and differences of opinion are a critical part of any civil society, and it is, in fact, necessary when discussing religion, race and politics. This report, however, targets those individuals who have clearly ventured towards poisonous extremist ideology and rhetoric by exploiting fears concerning terrorism and national security, as well general ignorance of Muslims, as a profitable vehicle to advance a hateful agenda.

The Islamphobia network in America is comprised of five categories:

• The money trail: a list of seven funders who have given nearly $43m to anti-Muslim organizations and think tanks.

• The Islamophobia scholars and policy experts: five individuals and their respective organizations that act as the central nervous system responsible for manufacturing the fictitious memes and fear-mongering talking points about Muslims and Islam...

• Grassroots organizations and the religious right: new and existing activist networks and mainstream popular religious personalities disseminate these messages to their constituents and elected officials...

• The media enablers: the mainstreaming of this fringe, extremist rhetoric is aided by media allies in network TV (Fox News), radio (Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck), online magazines (World Net Daily, Front Page Magazine) and the Islamophobia blogosphere (Jihad Watch)...

• The political players: finally, these talking points end up as soundbites and wedge issues for politicians and, specifically, several 2012 Republican presidential candidates...

$43,000,000.00 is no accident. And, its money well spent apparently. This drives a constant sense of fear, which in turn supports calls for an increasing police state at home and larger war budgets and more wars abroad. If we as a people doubt for an instead the sanity of spending a trillion dollars a year projecting military force around the world when we have no real enemy, and doing so in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the great depression, well, then we are instantly reminded of what the 'terrorists' did to us a decade ago and how all of these trillions spent are needed so it doesn't happen again. Spend $43 million to help insure billions of dollars of unnecessary 'defense' spending is making someone a lot of money.

Fortunately, there's an easy answer. Just turn them off. Don't listen to them. When they do rarely intrude upon your lives, then they'll sound as the hate-filled propagandists and manipulators that they are. Vote for the candidate who wants to build a school instead.

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