“The Muslims are breeding”

It’s sad that there’s a site called “Islamophobia Watch.” Not, as its critics would argue, because there’s no such thing as Islamophobia and it’s all just political correctness gone mad, but because it shows that every day, several times a day, someone makes some flagrantly ignorant, racist attack on Muslims. And these attacks are published not in the fringe newsletters of right-wing nuts, but in mainstream newspapers and magazines. So it’s very sad that this site has to exist, but I’m glad that someone is drawing attention to this stuff.

Today’s offering is particularly shocking. It’s about a cruise sponsored by the American conservative National Review magazine, the theme of which is the takeover of Europe by Muslims. It’s a familiar, and very tired, theme. Europe is being taken over by the “enemy within”, turning into an Islamofascist, Sharia-ruled Eurabia. And it’s all the fault of those weak-kneed lefties who, by criticizing the policies of our governments, prove that they really want to put Osama bin Laden in Buckingham Palace. Yawn. Honestly, you’d think there were enough real problems to worry about in the world (global warming? poverty? war? disease? the Daily Mail?) without having to spin entirely new ones from the cloth of your own paranoid racist delusions.

But what was particularly disturbing about this latest example was the language used. Lots of talk of breeding rates and racial purity. This is new, to me at least. This is no longer mere ignorance, but extremely dangerous ignorance. The sort of ignorance of which fascism is made. Sound alarmist? Well, I’m sorry but when people start saying “‘The Muslims are breeding. Soon, they’ll have the whole of Europe”, I get alarmed. When they complain that “the European races are too self-absorbed to breed” but that the Muslims are multiplying quickly, I get alarmed. I think of Jim Crow, Alfred Rosenberg and a whole load of other evil shit that I thought we’d got past long ago. And I get very scared for the future of Europe — not because of the imagined Muslim hordes massing at the gates of Vienna, but because history shows that when white people get fearful of a particular “racial” group, very very bad things can happen.

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There are 4 comments

  1. Jesus, it’ll be eugenics next…

    I was on a website the other day where there was a lot of fuss about ‘Mohammed’ being the second most popular children’s name in the UK. I doubt this is true anyway, but even so:

    a) Who gives a fuck?
    b) All it suggests is that more Asian families use traditional names for their children, not that we are somehow becoming ‘swamped’.
    c) Not that it should need pointing out, but most Mohammed’s are not involved in any terrorist or otherwise illegal activity.

  2. What worries me the most is that this hate is being exported to places like the Caribbean via right wing evangelicals. When I read the small minded simplistic rhetoric masquerading as intelligent debate and academia on popular blogs I become very concerned firstly because these islands are too small in size and population for this sort of hate and secondly because as a Muslim I know that a constant diet of this diatribe can lead to the perpetuation of violence against me!

    I find it amazing that people with brains (supposedly) can buy into what the evangelicals and right wingers are selling!

  3. This is only part of the problem.

    I feel terrified, you know.

    A a Muslim, each suicide bombing, each attempt of it, means further alienation. It is a big threat to me.

    It seemed quite peaceful when the Iraqis were dying, or when the Pakistanis were. Now that two terrorists attempted, and nobody was injured, suddenly it seems so warlike…

    I am uncomfortable. I am afraid.

    A Direct Threat.

  4. Indeed. I wrote this post before the terrorist attacks, and things have of course got much worse here since then. Lots of ignorant journalists blaming the attacks on “Islamism”, a very convenient way to segue into attacks on Islam in general. Lots of people saying “Of course not all Muslims are terrorists, but we still should infringe their civil liberties anyway, just to be on the safe side. And let’s ban the burqa while we’re at it.” And as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, what concerns me even more than the foaming-at-the-mouth Islamophobes are the millions of ordinary, decent, hard-working white folk who would not raise so much as a whisper of protest if government policy became even more racist and draconian than it already is.

    And I think part of the reason for this is the steady drumbeat of bigoted nonsense churned out by the press every day, even in the “quiet” times when, as manas reminds us, it’s “only” Iraqis and Pakistanis dying. That’s what lays the foundation for the more extreme reactions that follow an attack. It’s stuff like the “Mohammed” story that Thom mentions, or the right-wing evangelical spoutings that individuality reports from the Caribbean.

    These stories plant the seed of fear in the minds of white people. And for some reason, it is always very fertile ground. We can be scared of anything!! The Iraqis will nuke us! The Chinese will take our jobs! The Japanese will destroy our economy! Al Qaeda will destroy our freedom! Cuba will destroy our capitalism! Grenada will kill our medical students! If we can believe that, we can certainly believe that Muslims are on the verge of taking over Europe and forcing us all to wear veils.

    And so, with the seeds of fear and mistrust firmly rooted and growing up a storm, we are ready for the backlash in a time of crisis. And so we sit by and allow virulent racist trash to be published in our newspapers without a word of criticism. How much more will we allow? The thought scares me.

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