Tuesday 26 October 2010

James Carroll "Xenophobia on the Rise"

James Carroll "Xenophobia on the Rise".
International Herald Tribune, international edition of the New York Times. 26 October 2010.  (here, in the Boston Globe, as "The rising tides of xenophobia").

Carroll says
"...anti-Islamic prejudice [in the US] has been sparked by the war on terror,...".  

"Prejudice" means to pre-judge (Latin, praejudicium -- to judge before), to judge before you have all the information.  If Americans are "anti-Islamic" (I'd prefer "anti-Islamist"), it is not a matter of pre-judging, but of post-judging. Judging after the attacks of 911, after the earlier attacks on the USS Cole, after the earlier attacks on the WTC, after the  many attempts on US soil by Muslims, killing Americans, or trying to kill their fellow Americans, and calling out "Allahu Akhbar" and stating, clearly, explicitly and repeatedly, before and after the events, that their acts are done in the name of Islam.  It's only after all that that Americans -- indeed citizens in all countries -- are post-judging Islam and finding it wanting.
In regards to Germany, he says that Angela Merkel's
"denigration of Germany's newcomers extends to laying the "total failure" of the "mulitikulti" experiment  at their feet, as if structure of dominance, class and ethnic preferences did not raise impossible  barriers."
Of course, the Germans, like other European countries seem to have had a less openly welcoming attitude to newcomers, especially when compared with the United States, with its centuries of welcoming the "poor, the tired, the huddled masses".  But then again, to invert Merkela's statement and to blame the host culture for raising "impossible barriers" is to fail to recognize the problem specific to Islamic immigration -- that they are repeatedly told by their religious elders in their mosque, on the internet and in their homes, to stay separate from the Kuffars, the unbelievers, surrounding them in the society they live in.
Carroll says that "we've been here before" mentioning the bigotry against Chinese, Irish, Jews, Italians, Slavs and others.  Of course they were -- may have been -- subject to bigotry.  I have personal experience of it in Australian of the fifties, when I was taken as being Italian, as that was the only language I spoke when I arrived in Oz in the mid fifties.  But there's a difference between those waves and the wave of Muslims -- that of the specific, clear and repeated call for Muslims to stay separate, to isolate themselves from their surrounding Kuffar Kulture, and to spread the ideology of Islam, Sharia Law, to all countries.  Of course, many don't separate themselves and don't push for Sharia.  But that doesn't repudiate the imam's calls, the internet's siren calls and the many that do listen to those calls.
To put all the blame at the feet of the host culture is unfair, unreasonable and not in accord with the facts of what is going on.
Nothing is going to be fixed in all this if the plain facts are not faced.