Opinions

  • Trump nominates actual fascist David Clarke for Department of Homeland Security

    Opinions May 17, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: New York Magazine. Clarke’s mind is organized around a worship of the virtues of physical force, combined with a seething intolerance for democratic dissent. In his book, Clarke proposes that the Department of Homeland Security — the department that he has been nominated to serve — assume police-state powers to round up internal enemies. “I suggest that our commander in chief ought to utilize Article I, Section 9 and take all of these individuals that are suspected, these ones on the internet spewing jihadi rhetoric … to scoop them up, charge them with treason and, under habeas corpus, detain them indefinitely at Gitmo,” he writes.

     
  • The US charging Julian Assange could put press freedom on trial

    Opinions April 20, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Wired. If the US Department of Justice prosecutes Assange, as it reportedly may soon, he could become something else: the first journalist in modern history to be criminally charged by American courts for publishing classified information. WikiLeaks may not look like a traditional journalism outlet, but it shares the same ends—publishing true information from its sources. And that means legal action against Assange could threaten the freedom of the press as a whole.

     
  • What do many lone attackers have in common? Domestic violence

    Opinions March 28, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Hadley Freeman in The Guardian. The problem isn’t Islam, or a perverted interpretation of Islam, but rather a perversion of frustrated masculinity. After all, 98% of mass killings are perpetrated by men, and many of the attackers discuss women in proprietorial terms. Roof, for instance, told his victims before killing them in the church: “You rape our women. You have to go.” And yet this is almost never discussed, because there is no political capital to be gained by suggesting warped masculinity might be more to blame than Muslims. If President Trump were to try to ban men accused of domestic violence from entering America instead of Muslims, he would lose some major figures in his own White House. And yet, Trump’s approach to terrorism is – like the right wing in this country – focused on the idea that Muslims specifically are dangerous. In fact, “Attacks by Muslims accounted for only one third of one percent of all murders in America last year.”

     
  • The denationalization of American Muslims

    Opinions March 19, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Atlantic. For years, Republican leaders treated Frank Gaffney as a pariah. But his dark warnings about Sharia law taking over America found an audience among grassroots conservatives—and now, in the White House. Gaffney’s theories represent an effort to “denationalize” American Muslims—to strip them of their national identity and legal protections—with chilling precedents in American and European history.

     
  • Trump designating the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists would be a massive victory for extremists

    Opinions March 15, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Intercept. The Brotherhood is a broad social and political movement that advocates for democratization and Islamic law. It has long renounced violence, providing a moderate alternative to violent Islamist movements and Arab autocrats — and is seen by both of those groups as an enemy. But for years, far-right anti-Muslim activists in the United States — including top White House adviser Steve Bannon — have promoted conspiracy theories claiming that the Brotherhood is controlling mainstream American Muslim organizations ranging from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) to Muslim Student Association chapters as a part of a scheme for an Islamist takeover of America.

     
  • How a crazy idea about Islam went from the fringe to the White House

    Opinions March 11, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Mother Jones. Earlier this month, National Public Radio’s Steve Inskeep asked Sebastian Gorka, the deputy assistant to Donald Trump, whether the president believes Islam is a religion. Rather than answering the question, Gorka lambasted the Morning Edition host. “It would be nice if you actually reported things accurately,” Gorka responded.. . . Gorka went on to say that the United States is not at war with Islam: “That would be absurd.” Yet Gorka’s refusal to answer Inskeep’s simple question was telling, as was his insistence on reframing any discussion of Islam in political and ideological terms. ” Gorka’s evasive comments nodded to a fringe concept that’s been floating for more than a decade: the idea that Islam is not a legitimate religion, but a dangerous political ideology. This idea has gained new currency as Trump has elevated some of its adherents to the highest levels of his administration.

     
  • Donald Trump will use every weapon to stamp out the grassroots resistance

    Opinions February 17, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Guardian. In a country where police chiefs consider resisting arrest a hate crime punishable by ten years in prison and where state legislatures are considering immunity for those who run over protesters, the Trump administration has signaled that, actually, we are not tough enough on protesters and activists. This administration will not only increase the penalties for already-existing statutes, but are planning on new legislation that would further “protect … law enforcement officers”. Not that it matters to the far-right buccaneers that seem to be holding sway in this administration, but you are more likely to suffer death as a farmer or a steelworker than you are as a law enforcement officer.

     
  • How not to fight Islamophobia

    Opinions February 16, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education. My research shows how people mobilize in ways that seem to fight Islamophobia but that may actually further entrench it. Consider the rise of “good Muslim” discourse — something I call Islamophilia. Islamophilia has accompanied the growth of Islamophobia in ways that end up reinforcing American racism. In the aftermath of 9/11, we saw a spike in sympathy for American Muslims alongside anti-Muslim bigotry. But which Muslims were worthy of this sympathy, and how was this solidarity expressed? Rather than standing forcefully against Muslim registries, covert warfare operations that have devastated Muslim-majority countries, or the expansion of detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants in the United States, many felt it would be effective to plan Hijab Solidarity Days or interfaith Ramadan dinners — efforts that target people’s opinions and attitudes about Muslims rather than systemic manifestations of Islamophobia.

     
  • The terror attacks Trump won’t talk about

    Opinions February 7, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: Mother Jones. As the media picks apart the White House’s absurd suggestion that attacks in Paris, San Bernardino, Orlando, and elsewhere were somehow ignored, the bigger story may be this: Trump has been almost entirely silent about terror plotted and carried out by white supremacists and other far-right extremists.

     
  • How corporate media paved the way for Trump’s Muslim ban

    Opinions February 6, 2017 at 0 comments

    Source: FAIR. Years of Islamophobic coverage in corporate media—right-wing, centrist and “liberal”—laid the propaganda groundwork to get us here. Attention has rightly been paid to the Islamophobia industry—a loose consortium of professional far-right trolls such as Pam Geller, Frank Gaffney, Steve Emerson, Breitbart, Infowars, etc. And while these forces certainly were major factor in creating the Trump-friendly Muslim-fearing climate, it’s important not to lose sight of at least three other media phenomena that also had a major role: 1) the presentation of “terrorism” as a unique, existential threat, arbitrarily defined as applying almost exclusively to Muslim violence, 2) New Atheist liberal bigots and 3) disproportionate news coverage of the ISIS spectacle.