Islamophobia in the Trump Administration

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Let us remember the service and sacrifice of Muslim-Americans

W.J. Astore

Lately, Ben Carson at Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has been criticized in the news for wanting taxpayers to fund a dining set that costs $31,000.  (He’s tried to shift the blame to his wife.)  We seem to forget a far more disturbing aspect of Carson’s behavior: his Islamophobia.  Remember his anti-Muslim comments as a presidential candidate?  Remember he said that no Muslim-American should ever serve as president?

Back then, I heard from a fellow Air Force officer, a Muslim-American, originally from Iraq, who served proudly in our armed forces.  He said Ben Carson’s comment brought him to tears — that a candidate for a major political party would insist on a religious test that would bar all Muslims from serving this country as president.

Yet for his Islamophobic position, which was contrary to the U.S. Constitution that forbids any religious test for political office, Ben Carson was rewarded by the Trump administration and appointed Secretary at HUD.

Don’t focus on his pricey dining set, America: Focus on his ignorance and his prejudice against millions of patriotic Americans, who just happen to be Muslim.  And remember how he was rewarded for this.

This episode came back to me when I read TomDispatch today.  A U.S. Navy veteran, Nate Terani, recalls his own personal nightmares of being targeted as a Muslim-American by a Trump administration that leans increasingly toward Islamophobia.  As Tom Engelhardt notes in his introduction to Terani’s article, Trump has “tapped the [CIA’s] previous director, Mike Pompeo, a notorious Tea Party Islamophobe and Iranophobe, to replace Twitter-fired Rex Tillerson as secretary of state. Now, another key post is evidently about to be up for grabs. National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster is reportedly almost out the door as the president openly considers a replacement for him, possibly former Bush-era ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton. He’s another major Iranophobe, who has called for launching military operations against that country for years … [Combine this with] the potential return of torture, the possible refilling of Guantanamo with new prisoners, the intensification of war across the Greater Middle East with a new focus on Iran, and the entrenchment of particularly extreme forms of Islamophobia” and you truly have a recipe for a nightmarish America.

There is no room in America for prejudice based on religious belief (or lack thereof).  Religious wars are nightmares of our past; we must not allow the haters to bring them back into our present or our future.

9 thoughts on “Islamophobia in the Trump Administration

  1. Islamophobia in the Trump Administration has a divergent path. Islamophobia can be used to hype up The Trumpet’s base, or be used as an excuse for the expansion of the War Machine. The Islamophobia comes to a very abrupt halt concerning the Gulf Oil States dictatorships. Putinian Elections are fair game to be attacked relentlessly by CNN or MSDNC.

    One area of agreement among previous American Presidents and now the The Trumpet, CNN, MSDNC, FOX the Republican and Democratic Corporate Establishments is > Thou shalt not ever criticize the Gulf Oil Regimes for a lack of human rights. Gulf Oil Regimes are customers for the War Machine and as we learned the first year in marketing the customer is always right.

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  2. Good point, ML. In the 1970s, it was the Shah of Iran who couldn’t be criticized. He was a big customer for U.S. weaponry. Now it’s the Saudis — and they sure know how to flatter Trump.

    The U.S. still hasn’t forgiven the Iranians for having their own revolution in 1979. Don’t they know they should only pick leaders approved by the USA?

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  3. Am I missing something here? Islamophobia recently is becoming passé: why it’s those evil Christian Orthodox RUSSIANS! (And with no shame from the above listed names!) Today, UK’s FM Boris Johnston claimed Putin is using this year’s World Cup in like manner to Hitler’s 1936 Olympics! Though he too recently switched gears from Islamophobia, maybe Hindu India is next; but only if they find India floating in platinum & lithium.
    These evil thieves are nothing but reinvented colonialists & Imperialists, masquerading as humanists & democracy lovers. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince red carpeted visit to USA proves we’re not anti-Islamic at all, but beware if you own a solid gold Buddha!

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      1. That is my question: Is it phobia or robbery? I’m tending to think it is robbery of natural resources, to make their Colonialist nations “Great Again” – ‘rich’- however one phrases it. Yet it has failed. Always failed. Only the 1% got the gravy of Colonization. The other poor blokes lost their lives fighting for them. I think there’s only 4 ‘terrorist’ countries in the World: US, Britain, France, Israel. Yet today, they all backfired. These countries are poorer than ever.
        Even with HUGE* arm sales, making refrigerators for Africa would be far more profitable, and bring far more jobs. (*Let’s not get carried away with billion$ from arms sales. It’s small change in US GDP.) And the old usage “We’ll make money on rebuilding the mess we made!” is over also.
        Wrong again. Who would trust a country that caused so much devastation? China to the rescue! And so goes American “Exceptionalism”.

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  4. This is how the Hitlers and Stalins of the world rise to power – nationalist pride. “Islamophobia,” a term that I think is inaccurate, but let’s not argue semantics, is an effective rebuttal to the globalist agenda that the public in many western nations is increasingly pushing back against. When London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, said that regular terrorist attacks are “part of living in a major metropolis,” no-one, British or otherwise, praised him for such. People like him are the reason that “Islamophobic” Donald Trump is so popular. The underlying problem (and I think Ayaan Hirsi Ali would agree with me here) is that a small minority of Muslims are responsible for the vast majority of terrorist attacks, and by extension, give the entire religion a bad name, hence the widespread attitude, particularly in the immediate aftermath of the World Trade Centre bombings, that “the only good Muslim is a dead one.” This is on YOU, Islam! I get that it is not he who fires the first shot who starts the war, but the one who fires back, but what did you think would happen? Trump did not happen by accident, and the endless war was not a choice: it would continue regardless of who was in office.

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    1. Thanks for the inspiration. As William Faulkner wrote some time ago “The past is never dead. It isn’t even past.” And this Muslim-demonizing-and-bashing business has a long, long history in the so-called and self-styled “West”: about a millenium and counting, which no one living and educated in the Middle East has ever had reason to forget. As U.S. President F.D.R. so truly said: “We have nothing to fear but Fear Itself.” Hence,

      A Fear of Phobias

      A “phobia” means fear, blind and unreasoning,
      Whose usefulness requires a little seasoning

      When ignorance alone will not stir up the mob
      Misinformation management will do the job

      Like when the Pope proposed invasion and Crusade
      To take some land from Muslims who would not get paid

      The first Nine petered out after two hundred years
      But now, eight hundred later, time again for tears

      This time for land and oil the Jews and Christians would
      Do every bloody thing they ever thought they could

      The Tenth Crusade began in nineteen forty-eight
      Predictably creating loathesome fear and hate

      As Zionists attempted to set up a “state”
      In Palestine, for Jews, which made the world irate

      The plan involved the splitting of two Muslim sects
      Who’d “kill each other off,” as Kissinger directs

      Then on into the nineties with the first George Bush
      Who told the Muslim world that it could kiss his tush

      A “splendid little war” would make him popular
      At home where attitudes towards “war” were jocular

      And so Bush Senior kicked Saddam, the useful tool,
      So he and his Republicans could spit and drool

      But raising taxes slightly on the filthy rich
      Brought Ross Perot as punishment, an unseen glitch

      So, thus, with forty-three precent, the Clintons won
      The two of them, they said, “for just the price of one.”

      Then came the Health Care that the wife could not provide
      While Bill crossed over to the farther right-wing side

      Which brought eight years of bombings, sanctions: “worth the price”
      Including dead Chinese in Belgrade. Oops! Not nice.

      Then Bush the Younger got his turn. The Court made sure.
      “Elections” in the U.S.A. are hardly pure

      But Dubya failed to heed Bin Laden’s threat, Jihad:
      “Get far away from Mecca or you’ll wish you had”

      But Dick and Dubya had the Treasury to rob
      So, caught with their pants down, they failed to do their job

      Some unarmed Saudis brought three buildings crashing down
      With planes they learned to fly in some Southeastern town

      Which caused our “leaders” to attack Afghanistan
      And then Iraq, without a reason, clue, or plan

      Eight years spent bombing Muslims who had done no wrong
      Let Saudis off the hook, while Dubya’s wars got long …

      Which brought Obama, one more Muslim-bombing fool
      Who thought the robot drone would make a perfect tool

      For killing from long distance, safely, so he thought
      He claimed he didn’t like dumb wars. Then more he bought

      So if you’re male and muslim in your early teens
      He’ll send a drone to blow you all to smithereens.

      He’ll call your day’s activities a “signature,”
      Which means, for you, a death for which there is no cure.

      O’Bomber has you placed upon his weekly list
      While pounding on a bible with his bloody fist

      He claims to read Aquinas, making up his mind
      Which kind of drone to use in wiping out your kind

      And if you should protest that this does not make sense,
      Once dead you can return and claim your innocence.

      In legal matters, like the Queen, he’s deeply versed.
      The verdict can come afterwards, the sentence first.

      But resurrection, he believes, is commonplace
      Each dead man a Messiah, none a vacant face

      Now comes one Donald Trump the greedy, vain, and dumb
      Whom Bibi Netanyahoo has beneath his thumb

      As does the Saudi prince who buys more bombs and guns
      The only thing that matters where the money runs

      And so after a thousand years, Crusade goes on
      With Christians blaming Muslims as the Devil’s spawn

      For fighting back, the Jews and Christians can’t forgive
      Their victims, they insist, must simply die, not live.

      Michael Murry, “The Misfortune Teller,” Copyright © 2018

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  5. Baseball fans have probably know Tinker to Evers to Chance it is a 1910 baseball poem by Franklin Pierce Adams. Baseball’s Sad Lexicon
    These are the saddest of possible words:
    “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
    Trio of bear cubs, and fleeter than birds,
    Tinker and Evers and Chance.
    Ruthlessly pricking our gonfalon[a] bubble, (Side Bar a gonfalon is a pennant or flag)
    Making a Giant hit into a double[b] –
    Words that are heavy with nothing but trouble:
    “Tinker to Evers to Chance.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball%27s_Sad_Lexicon

    Politically we now have the potential emergence of a double play combination of Neo-Con War Mongers: Mike Pompeo, Gina Haspel and now John Bolton. Bolton is one of those Chicken Hawks – His bravery increases with his distance from the battlefield.

    It does appear that Iran is a clear target – Israel and the Gulf Oil States dictatorships have hyped up the Iran “threat”.

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