Muslims in Politics: Islamophobes’ Worst Nightmare
Muslims make up 1 to 2% of the population in the United States, a number which is reflected in their limited political clout. This fact however does not hinder the Islamophobia Movement’s growing fear and anxiety about Muslim advancement in the political realm. LoonPolitics, as has been clearly demonstrated over the years, is a central feature of the surreal world of anti-Muslim bigotry.
One could be forgiven if while reading Islamophobic blog headlines one actually thought he or she was reading a chapter heading of Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude, or Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, or maybe even the Arabian Nights. President Barack Obama is still supposedly our first “Mooslim-in-Chief” according to AtlasShrugs’ Pamela Geller, JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer and a “healthy chunk” of Americans. Even after several House hearings on the subject, conspiracy theories about the insidious world-wide octopus known as theMuslim Brotherhood infiltrating all branches of the government are regular political parlay with prominent politicians such as Michele Bachmann. Former terrorism supporter and current Chair of the House Subcommittee on Homeland Security, Rep. Peter King is due to hold his millionth hearing on the supposed “pressing” issue of the radicalization of American Muslims. I can go on and on but you get the picture.
So why are Islamophobes so anxious? Why do they feel the need to pre-empt Muslim political advancement in the United States–at any and all cost? Is it a fear of phantom Sharia’ Law replacing the US Constitution? Is it a fear of the Abdullah Yusuf Ali translation of the Holy Quran replacing the King James Holy Bible as part of the canon of English literature? No, these are not the true reasons for their fear. As one of the godfathers of Islamophobia, Daniel Pipes put it at an American Jewish Congress convention, “the presence, and increased stature, and affluence, and enfranchisement of American Muslims” is “dangerous.”
Pipes was speaking in the context of how such a scenario would “affect American Jews,” but his statement holds true with nearly all Islamophobes; they believe Muslim advancement in American life will challenge their agendas.
Almost anytime a Muslim is elected to congress, appointed as a judge, a city councillor and/or an advisor expect immediate Islamophobic backlash. Reverberating across the looniverse will be hundreds, if not thousands of blogposts and opinion articles, each one mirroring one another’s talking points.
Remember Rep. Keith Ellison and the manufactured “Koran swearing-in controversy?” Islamophobes were in a twist over Ellison putting his hand on the very same Quran Thomas Jefferson owned; un-American they claimed! Rep. Andre Carson recently faced a barrage of accusations about “stealth jihad” and slanders that he wanted public schools to teach the Quran–all because of a misunderstood and decontextualized four sentence quote ripped from a 15 minute speech. Who can forget when Judge Sohail Mohammed was appointed to a state bench and the immediate hysterics from Geller and company claiming Sharia’ Law had penetrated New Jersey–Gov. Chris Christie responded in bewilderment, “Sharia Law has nothing to do with this at all, it’s crazy!” There was also the ACT! for America campaign that targeted a Muslim Fulbright Scholar and Business professor, Parvez Ahmed appointed by Jacksonville’s mayor to a Human Right’s Commission–according to many the anti-Muslim bigotry was an embarrassing episode for the City of Jacksonville.
So it is not surprising that Islamophobes once again got bent out of shape when anti-Loon Ahmed Rehab was recently announced by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as part of an advisory committee on immigration issues (h/t: FernandoA).
The anti-Muslim Islamophobic websites would have us believe that Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a former civilian volunteer with the IDF, appointed a “Hamas-linked” operative as an advisor! Most of the recycled headlines in the looniverse read, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Appoints Hamas-Linked CAIR’s Ahmed Rehab to Advisory Committee. Yes, you read that right, a former volunteer with IDF, now the mayor of one of the largest US cities supposedly appointed a Hamas-linked individual to his advisory committee. That’s as surreal as Islamophobic stupidity gets. I mean I know they pack a lot into those deep dish pizza’s in Chicago, but there ain’t nothin’ in those pizzas that would make Emanuel, ever, appoint a “Hamas linked advisor!”
The well worn anti-Muslim smear and slander campaign (they never provide real evidence of Hamas links) against Rehab seems to have fallen on deaf, or at least unsympathetic ears, as good judgement generally sees clear through Islamophobic BS.
The most ironic and surreal part of all this is the true missed terrorist link: Mayor Emanuel’s own father, Benjamin Emanuel was really a member of a terrorist organization, the Irgun, but for Islamophobes such a link would never be an issue.
Updated Edit 7/18/12: As commenters pointed out Mayor Emanuel was not a member of the IDF, but a civilian volunteer. His father’s name is not Ari (Emanuel’s brother) but Benjamin Emanuel, who was a member of the Irgun.