smearcasting: How Islamophobes spread fear, bigotry and misinformation


Julie Hollar

Jim Naureckas

Making Islamophobia Mainstream:
How Muslim-bashers broadcast their bigotry
A remarkable thing happened at the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) candidatures al febrer 2007: El grup normalment alt i tolerant nominat com a millor llibre en el camp de la crítica, un llibre àmpliament vist com denigrant a tot un grup religiós.
La nominació de While Europe Slept de Bruce Bawer: Com l'islam radical està destruint Occident des de dins no va passar sense polèmica. El passat candidat Eliot Weinberger va denunciar el llibre a la reunió anual de la NBCC, anomenant-lo ''racisme com a crítica'' (Noticies de Nova York, 2/8/07). El president de la junta de NBCC, John Freeman, va escriure al bloc del grup (Massa crítica, 2/4/07): ''Mai he estat
més avergonyit per una elecció del que he estat amb While Europe Slept de Bruce Bawer…. La seva retòrica hiperventilada apunta des de la crítica real a la islamofòbia.
Though it didn’t ultimately win the award, While Europe Slept’s recognition in the highest literary circles was emblematic of a mainstreaming of Islamophobia, not just in American publishing but in the broader media. This report takes a fresh look at Islamophobia in today’s media and its perpetratrators, outlining some of the behind-the-scenes connections that are rarely explored in media. The report also provides four snapshots, or “case studies,” describing how Islamophobes continue to manipulate media to in order to paint Muslims with a broad, hateful brush. Our aim is to document smearcasting: the public writings and appearances of Islamophobic activists and pundits who intentionally and regularly spread fear, bigotry and misinformation. The term “Islamophobia” refers to hostility toward Islam and Muslims that tends to dehumanize an entire faith, portraying it as fundamentally alien and attributing to it an inherent, essential set of negative traits such as irrationality, intolerance and violence. And not unlike the charges made in the classical document of anti-Semitism, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, some of Islamophobia’s more virulent expressionslike While Europe Sleptinclude evocations of Islamic designs to dominate the West.
Islamic institutions and Muslims, of course, should be subject to the same kind of scrutiny and criticism as anyone else. For instance, when a Norwegian Islamic Council debates whether gay men and lesbians should be executed, one may forcefully condemn individuals or groups sharing that opinion without pulling all European Muslims into it, as did Bawer’s Pajamas Media post (8/7/08),
“European Muslims Debate: Should Gays Be Executed?
De la mateixa manera, extremists who justify their violent actions by invoking some particular interpretation of Islam can be criticized without implicating the enormously diverse population of Muslims around the world. Després de tot, reporters managed to cover the Oklahoma City bombing by Timothy McVeighan adherent of the racist Christian Identity sectwithout resorting to generalized statements about “Christian terrorism.” Likewise, media have covered acts of terrorism by fanatics who are Jewishfor instance the Hebron massacre carried out by Baruch Goldstein (Extra!, 5/6/94)–without implicating the entirety of Judaism.

arxivat: representatHamasgermans musulmansEstudis & investigacionsEstats Units & Europa


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