Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Rebirth of McCarthyism

Its been sad, although unsurprising, to watch a certain faction of this country regress into a consensus for bigotry and paranoia. One always has the temptation to believe that we are above this sort of thing as a people, but I know that such a belief would be a delusion. At any rate, you have the "conservative wing of the Republican Party" (which perhaps due to the silence or weakness of the theoretical moderates, is really just another way of saying The Republican Party) descending into this anti-Islamic thing.

Interestingly enough, in some respects I am supportive of criticism of Islam itself, if put in a certain context. Islam is an idea, not a race of people. And while direct criticism of races is pretty reprehensible, criticism of ideas is not; in fact, it is the opposite (criticism and mockery of ideas should be encouraged). Other ideas include: Christianity, evolution, the European Union, communism, and Batman. The fact that 'Islam' is so insecure with mockery (remember the Muhammad Cartoons in 2005?) is an enormous sign of weakness in my eyes. And I strongly applaud anyone who is willing to mock a self-righteous idea. My response to the outrage about the Danish Muhammad cartoons was that we should all draw more cartoons.

One reason that antisemitism is concerning is because Jewish is a race as it is an idea, and so hatred of an idea (Jewishness) becomes racism against a people. Likewise, in the United States, a majority of people are white, and most Muslims are not. Thus in an international context, criticism or mockery of Islam doesn't strike me as racist at all because Muslims are so heterogeneous. In the United States, however, prejudice towards Muslims becomes de facto a form of racism, because someone looking for Muslims would know which racial minorities to look for (still with many cases of mistaken identity).

But seriously, I see these knuckleheads on TV debating about whether or not we should call it terrorism. Its like they're using code for "Muslim attack on Christian" when they say "terrorism". Terrorism is of course an idea as well, and it is pretty absurd to think we can declare war on an idea. But that's the sad thing. These people aren't declaring war on terrorism when they say they want to fight terrorism. They're talking about fighting Muslims, killing Muslims, profiling Muslims. They're talking about infringing on American citizens' freedom of religion, the refusal to accept which was a founding issue for this nation. But like I said, I'm not really surprised. We have people who deny that Obama was born an American citizen, we have death panels and socialists. We had communists, and Japanese in internment camps. We also had half the country secede and try fight a war to try to keep black people enslaved.

Here is a parting observation about the people that are inducting the New McCarthyist age. These people are intolerant and bigoted; they are slandering Islam for political purposes; they're talking about racially profiling American citizens, and pushing for a war on Muslims terror: these are the ones who claim to be the most devout Christians! What part of this sort of behavior would Jesus Christ approve of?

Will the true Christians stand up to their extremists in the GOP and on Fox News, just as we urge Muslims to do the same?

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