Wednesday, March 9, 2016

How Hate and Islamophobia Undermine America This Election Year

Hassan Shibly | Huffington Post | [Read Full Article]

What does it say about our country when the debate for the highest office in the land becomes about whose genitals are larger, who can kill the most civilians and reinstate torture, and which religious minorities to persecute?
Not only do the presidential debates reflect on the poor quality of those we select as leaders, but their rhetoric often reflects a disregard for human life and is reminiscent of the rhetoric of the worst historical figures who have brought down democracies and enabled crimes against humanity.
They say those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. And that the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again but expecting different results. What scares me as an American of Syrian descent and Muslim faith is how normal and acceptable it has become to use the same rhetoric against the Muslim community today that's been used against the Jewish community before the holocaust and Japanese Americans before the internment camps.
Have we not learned what has happened in history when an entire group of people are categorized as a threat based on their race or religion?
Prior to the holocaust, the Nazi propaganda machine spoke about the "Jewish problem" and how allegedly the Jewish community was organized in a diabolical scheme for world domination, and that Jews were liars and could not be trusted or be loyal to the state. Those are verbatim the same arguments that we hear made against Muslims today and which far too many Americans find acceptable. It is the same hate with a new target.
In both cases, masses of otherwise reasonable people, were and are misled by leaders to demonize an entire group of people and portray them as a threat. The "threat" is fabricated using outright lies, half-truths, and double standards. What is scary is when otherwise normal people are willing to rally behind leaders who advocate for the curtailment of the civil rights of minorities, while other leaders remain silent. [ Read More ]

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