Commentary

The Anti-Muslim Mind-Frame and How it Operates

The recent article titled White Power to the Rescue by the intellectual Chris Hedges explored the reasons for the current rise of ethnic nationalism in the American South.  In the second to last paragraph, Hedges described the mental and emotional state of those behind this ethnic nationalist movement.  This paragraph struck me as symbolic because of its striking similarities with the mind-frame of those bigots involved in the “Islamophobia” movement.  Below I have replaced a few of Hedges’s words with my own words in order to highlight the striking similarities of those individuals behind the ethnic nationalism and “Islamophobia” movements. What do you think of this revision?

“The steady rise of “Islamophobia” over the past decade, the replacing of history with mendacious and sanitized versions of lost glory, is part of the moral decay that infects a dying culture.  It is a frightening attempt, by those who are desperate and trapped, to escape through invented history their despair, impoverishment and hopelessness.  It breeds intolerance and eventually violence. Violence becomes in this perverted belief system a cleansing agent, a way to restore a lost world. There are ample historical records that disprove the myths espoused by the “Islamophobies,” who insist that 9/11 was not about American foreign policy but Islam’s inherent violent nature. But these records are useless in puncturing their self-delusion, just as documentary evidence does nothing to blunt the self-delusion of Holocaust deniers. Those who retreat into fantasy cannot be engaged in rational discussion, for fantasy is all that is left of their tattered self-esteem. When their myths are attacked as untrue it triggers not a discussion of facts and evidence but a ferocious emotional backlash. The challenge of the myth threatens what is left of hope. And as the economy unravels, as the future looks bleaker and bleaker, this terrifying myth gains potency.”

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