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America's War on Islam - by Stephen Lendman
America prides itself on religious freedom, the Constitution's First Amendment stating:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."
In fact, those rights are selectively enforced, and consistently denied at the whim of administrations, Congress and courts, including equal respect for all religions - more than ever post-9/11 under Bush and Obama, agents of privilege, not Constitutionally protected freedoms. A sad testimony to a rhetorical, not real democracy, Muslim Americans especially victimized, vilified, and persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, prominence, activism, and charity - innocent men and women bogusly called terrorists, used for political advantage.
More than any other ethnic/religious group, Western discourse especially wrongs and unfairly portrays Muslim/Arabs stereotypically as culturally inferior, dirty, lecherous, untrustworthy, religiously fanatical, and violent.
In his book, "Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People," Jack Shaheen explained how they've been defamed and used as fair game throughout decades of cinematic history (from silent films to recent ones) to foster prejudicial attitudes, and reinforce notions of Western values, high-mindedness, and moral superiority.
Worse still are slanderous media commentaries about dangerous gun-toting terrorists, vital for authorities to arrest and imprison, never mind the rule of law, right or wrong, or whether those accused are guilty or innocent. It's no surprise when new suspects are named, media reports automatically convicting them in the court of public opinion, poisoning it by stereotypical characterizations and baseless charges, invariably against Muslims, and by implication their faith.
No wonder politicians and extremist Christian fundamentalist ministers rage over Muslim "terrorists" and a proposed New York Islamic cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero, threatening a public 9/11 Koran burning in protest - cancelled, then suspended, now re-cancelled, so stay tuned, the outrageous media frenzy may encourage it ahead, as well as attacks around the country against mosques, perhaps with Muslims inside praying, authorities turning a blind eye about people they despise, pretending, like Obama, they care.
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