The Islamophobia Industry Feeds Off of the Christian-Right
Shawn Russell printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Sun Sep 16, 2012 at 11:32:20 PM EST

There is a symbiotic relationship between the Christian-Right and the Islamophobia industry. Each needs the other in a mutual way. The Christian-Right needs reassurance that it’s fears are real and the Islamophobia industry needs money (as all industries do in order to survive), and gets this cash by selling this reassurance. 


Look no further than the recent Values Voter Summit for evidence of this relationship. Michelle Goldberg of the Daily Beast reports:

“If there was one dominant theme at this year’s Values Voter Summit, the right-wing confab organized by the Family Research Council, it was that President Obama is endangering the United States by coddling radical Islamists. “[W]hat we’re watching develop before our eyes today are the direct consequences of this administration’s policy of apology and appeasement across the globe,” Michele Bachmann said of the attacks on American embassies and consulates in the Middle East.” -obsession-at-the-values-voter-summit.html


One of the main beneficiaries of the Islamophobia industry i.e., Kamal Saleem was one of the most “enthusiastically received,” participants at the Summit according to Goldberg.

A little investigation into Saleem’s background dismantles his fraudulent claim that he was once a “jihadist.” First some background into Saleem’s claim:

he was a jihadist who worked for Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, and Muammar Gaddafi, among others. ‘The many years of his terrorist training, resulted in Kamal mastering every form of offensive and defensive terrorist tactics,’”


Saleem eventually found Jesus Christ in his life and reformed himself and now he wants all Muslims to find the light of Christ. This is the condensed version of his story. But his story has holes in more places than one. Mother Jones writer, Tim Murphy has exposed some of the holes. Here is one:


"Saleem claims that the Muslim Brotherhood has put a $25 million bounty on his head, and that there have been attempts to earn it: After a 2007 event in Chino Hills, California, he writes in his book, he returned to his Holiday Inn to find his room ransacked and a band of dangerous Middle Easterners on his trail. Saleem describes calling the police to alert them to an assassination attempt. Local law enforcement, however, has no record of any such incident." errorist-islamophobia


Yet even though research can easily debunk and expose charlatans among them, members of the Christian-right will choose not to engage in such scrutiny in order to retain their fantasy. A fantasy, which coincides with their biases and in many ways helps amplify them.


And so that is why we get such gems as this from Vice-Presidential nominee Paul Ryan (returning to Goldberg’s piece):


Ryan said, “We’ve all seen the images of our flag being burned and our embassies under attack by vicious mobs. The worst of it is the loss of four good men, including our ambassador to Libya.”


Before that the man who introduced him, Bill Bennett implied that Obama has ties to Radical Islam.


Goldberg counters such a one-dimensional world view, showing that such a view is a dishonor to those who died in the tragedy.


“From these speeches, one would never know that at least two of the dead were deeply devoted to fighting the sort of politics that the Values Voter Summit represents.”


But something else startled me from these speeches. I could not help but wonder how divorced one must be from reality to believe them


Obama has killed more radical Muslims than Romney and Ryan combined yet the accusation that he has ties to radical Islam does not fade. How many more does he have to kill before it does?

More so, Ryan’s speech captures a hierarchy of human life that is evident throughout the summit (starting from the belief that the Christian is superior to others). He mentions four good men but does not mention the Libyans that were injured trying to protect Americans. It is as if American life is more valuable than Libyan life, when in truth death and violence are tragedies regardless of the person.


But then again truth does not matter…when fear is enough. 

"It is as if American life is more valuable than Libyan life, when in truth death and violence are tragedies regardless of the person." -- In my opinion, your choice to place this at the very end of your op-ed made your essay more powerful.

by Bruce Wilson on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 02:40:19 AM EST
I really appreciate your kind words.

by Shawn Russell on Mon Sep 17, 2012 at 03:00:24 AM EST

good people suffer first and most.

That's a fact about militant violence that people don't like to hear... and I wish both the militant "Good Christians" and the Militant Islamists would listen.

by ArchaeoBob on Fri Sep 21, 2012 at 02:03:14 PM EST

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