Newspaper logo  
 
 
Local Stories, Events

Ref. : Civic Events

Ref. : Arts & Education Events

Ref. : Public Service Notices

Books, Films, Arts & Education

01.21 The DeVos and the Defrauded [Corruption is now banal...]

01.20 A Swelling Tide of Major Teacher Strikes Is Shifting Our Politics Against the Charter Agenda

Letters

Ref. : Letters to the editor

Health Care & Environment

01.23 Pollutionwatch: transport's true cost to the environment [If it is killing us, stop doing it.]

01.22 How Orkney leads the way for sustainable energy

01.22 Greenland's ice melting faster than scientists previously thought – study

01.22 David Attenborough tells Davos: ‘The Garden of Eden is no more’ [2:21 video]

01.21 35,000 Hit Streets of Berlin to Demand Agricultural Revolution

01.20 Doctors are frightened by climate change. Their industry is a big part of the problem.

01.18 Learning From Cuba’s ‘Medicare for All’

01.17 As Planet Heats Further, Even Davos Elite Warns Humanity Is 'Sleepwalking Into Catastrophe' [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 Could a Green New Deal Save Civilization? [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.17 New plant-focused diet would ‘transform’ planet’s future, say scientists

01.17 Studies Show Ice Melting and Ocean Warming Both Happening Much Faster Than Previously Thought

01.16 Immediate fossil fuel phaseout could arrest climate change – study [Intelligent government is desperately needed]

01.16 Our oceans broke heat records in 2018 and the consequences are catastrophic [charts]

01.15 Solar Farms Shine a Ray of Hope on Bees and Butterflies [Wonderful!]

01.15 Australia could hit 100% renewables sooner than most people think

01.15 Ion age: why the future will be battery powered

01.15 Barclays on wrong side of history with climate policy, says Greenpeace

01.15 'One fish at a time': Indonesia lands remarkable victory

01.15 Insect collapse: ‘We are destroying our life support systems’

News Media Matters

01.19 How conservative media became a “safe space”

Daily: FAIR Blog
The Daily Howler

US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

01.23 This Chart Shows the Coming Death of Small-Government Conservatism [The Young have a hairball problem and want to throw-up]

01.23 It’s Still Bernie

01.23 Progressives Warn Against Democrats Pushing 'Diluted' Half-Measures as Alternative to Medicare for All

01.22 'Medicare for All and Equal Rights Aren't Trends': Ocasio-Cortez Fires Back After Aaron Sorkin Lectures Young Progressives [Morality is not a trend, it is a state of being we should all aspire to]

01.22 'Literally What Jesus Told People to Do': In Arizona, Possible Prison Time for Leaving Food and Water for Migrants

01.22 White students in MAGA gear crashed the Indigenous Peoples March and harassed participants [3:44 video; we must stop growing/programming smirking sociopaths]

01.21 Trump’s One Legislative ‘Win’ Is Actually a Failure

01.21 TRUMP 'HAS ISOLATED AMERICA AND TAKEN US BACKWARDS,' FORMER SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY SAYS

01.21 The 'exhausting' work of factcheckers who track Trump's barrage of lies

01.20 REPUBLICAN SAYS TRUMP IS 'INCAPABLE' OF ARTICULATING A PLAN TO END GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

01.20 Institute Index: The Racial Injustice of the Government Shutdown

Justice Matters

01.19 Merkley Calls for FBI Perjury Probe into Homeland Secretary Nielsen After Child Detention Memo Leaked

High Crimes?
Economics, Crony Capitalism

01.23 Why Aren’t Hedge Funds Required to Fight Money Laundering?

01.23 UK has biggest fossil fuel subsidies in the EU, finds commission [Governments stupidly investing the public's money will more quickly end life on earth]

01.22 The System’s Falling Apart: Were the Dogmatic Marxists Right After All?

01.22 The shutdown has exposed the disaster that is Trumponomics

01.21 World's 26 richest people own as much as poorest 50%, says Oxfam

01.17 Trump's economy is great for billionaires, not for working people [chock-full of pesky facts that government and media ignore and distort]

International & Futurism

01.23 'Strategic Threat' To Israel - Progressives Lose Fear Of Speaking Out On Palestine

01.23 Putting Tax Rates and Billionaire 'Excess' in Moral Terms, Ocasio-Cortez Asks 'What Kind of Society Do We Want to Live In?' [4:38 video]

01.22 Labor promises to 'supercharge' hydrogen industry as green groups say 'no role for coal'

01.22 Who is more dangerous: El Chapo or Carlos Slim? [Like Drug Gangs, Mafias harm and kill the public too—but slowly and quietly like leeches]

01.22 Martin Luther King was no prophet of unity. He was a radical [He was—and We must be—passionate and pro-active for improving moral conduct in society!]

We are a non-profit Internet-only newspaper publication founded in 1973. Your donation is essential to our survival.

You can also mail a check to:
Baltimore News Network, Inc.
P.O. Box 42581
Baltimore, MD 21284-2581
Google
This site Web
  On Overblown Threats and Islamophobia
Newspaper logo

SPEAKING OUT:

On Overblown Threats and Islamophobia

by ABUKAR ARMAN
The anti-Muslim mindset in the U.S. has come about due to the rhetoric of fear-mongering politicians, the media’s desire to sensationalize the news and the profits to be made by the burgeoning terrorism industry.
Analysts both in the Muslim and the Western world by and large agree that “fear” and lack of objective dialogue are the root cause of Islamophobia and Anti-Americanism. And while the debate on which one of the two ignited the other is still ongoing, one fact remains irrefutable: more people were victimized as a result of Islamophobia than the other way around.

A recent public opinion survey conducted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) indicates that Muslims are still viewed negatively in the U.S. There are estimated 7 million Muslims in America—and over 50 thousand in Central Ohio alone, the majority being Somalis.

Among a number of questions raised in the survey, the open-ended question, “When you hear the word ‘Muslim,’ what is the first thought that comes to your mind?” revealed the daunting reality that Muslims still carry the 9/11 burden. Only six percent of those surveyed indicated a positive perception as they offered responses such “good religion,” “good people,” “faithful,” “devout,” “misunderstood.” On the other hand, 26 percent of them indicated to espouse negative perceptions about Muslims, as they offered answers such as “violence,” “hatred,” “terrorists,” “war,” “guns,” “towel-heads” and “rag-heads.”

A recent CAIR survey of U.S. residents showed only six percent view Muslims in a positive light.
The irony is that this came at a time when Muslims in the U.S. and in the West were doing more outreach than ever before. Are the powerful engines that propel the “war on terror” blowing a smoke of fear and distrust that ultimately hindered efforts toward building bridges of understanding?

I recently had an opportunity to interview Professor John Mueller, the author of bestselling book Overblown: How Politicians and the Terrorism Industry Inflate National Security Threats, and Why We Believe Them. Professor Mueller is a national security expert. He holds the Woody Hayes Chair of National Security Studies at the Mershon Center.

In that interview, arranged by SomaliLink Journal, Professor Mueller reiterated the premise of his book that America is frightened senseless...and that there are some “well-meaning” special interest groups “who grossly exaggerated the threat of terrorism” and as a result created a “terrorism industry” that in due course became an economic abyss.

The national treasury is being drained as the U.S. tries to build a bulwark against a mirage of fear and dashes to every corner of the world where the “al-Qaida flag" is waved.

“If there were any sleeper cells or al-Qaida operatives who are as determined, as inventive and as demonically competent as assumed, why have they not done it yet, especially when carrying a terrorist act does not require flying planes into buildings? Could it be because they are not yet here? If not, they must not have been trying hard enough, or perhaps they are far less dedicated, diabolical, and competent than we are being told,” said Mueller. “Apparently, there are no terrorists under the bed or hiding in mosques – the very lamppost that they should be avoiding in the first place,” he added.

And while Professor Mueller acknowledged the need and the importance of enhancing the security of the United States, he repeatedly pointed out the absurdity that justifies the post-9/11 fear-driven policies and initiatives. He said the FBI embraces a spooky line of reasoning that he refers to as “I-think-therefore-they-are." He quoted FBI Director Robert Mueller, who said “...the greatest threat is from al-Qaida cells in the U.S. that we have not yet identified" Mueller substantiates his claim by repeating his "alarmist mantra,” telling the public, “I remain very concerned about what we are not seeing."

According to Professor Mueller, Muslims continue to be demonized, and the nation's anti-terrorism laws continue to be irrationally rigid, because of this kind of mindset, which has come about due to the rhetoric of fear-mongering politicians whose aim often is to frighten voters to their side; lazy journalism and the media’s desire to sensationalize the news; and those in the security business who are motivated to seize an opportunity to push their services and maximize their profits, thus perpetuating the terrorism industry.

Even a well-meaning innocent person could be held as an “enemy combatant."

Mueller pointed out, “When a judge raised a hypothetical question on who might be detained as an enemy combatant and asked ‘what about an old lady in Switzerland who donates money to an orphanage in Afghanistan who, unbeknown to her, finances al-Qaida? Could she be detained as an enemy combatant?' The answer provided by the Justice Department representative was simply 'Yes'."

The rationale for all this, of course, is that ‘we live in age of terror’– a notion that Professor Mueller outright rejects as “hyperbolic." He said, “The probability of an American being killed by an act of terrorism is one in 80,000, which is more or less the same probability as being hit by an asteroid.” But, no one is frightening people with the latter.

“Including 9/11 in the count, the number of Americans killed by international terrorism in the last three decades is about the same as the number of Americans killed over the same period by lightning, accident-causing deer, or severe allergic reactions to peanuts,” the professor pointed out. Yet, he adds, the message often repeated is that the sky is about to fall, which makes diplomacy seem irrelevant.

Despite all this, Professor Mueller still maintains a rare sense of optimism. He believes an introspective government working with people of goodwill can change the course of history.

In order to reverse the current trend, however, two main things must happen: first, the gross inflation of the threat of terrorism that implicitly portrays Muslims as ticking bombs must be appropriately calibrated. Second, diplomacy and constructive dialogue must be revived, and moderate Muslims must be engaged.


Abukar Arman is a freelance writer who lives in Ohio.


Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on January 25, 2007.
 

Public Service Ads: