Muslim hatred after San Bernardino goes beyond redneck to fascist furor

Redneck is an epithet in US culture for a white working class reactionary. Some consider it derogatory of working people. Since I have relatives who fit the bill, I’m not that sensitive. It aptly describes a type.

The eruption of violent rhetoric directed at Muslims since San Bernardino is way beyond redneck stuff but draws on the cesspools of fascism & includes the highest levels of power in this country. Even Islamophobia is too weak a word.

We had comments by Trump about special databases & id cards for Muslims & from Ben Carson that a Muslim could only be US president if he or she “renounced the tenets of Islam.” It took the FBI one day to conclude on the basis of a shred of evidence that the shootings were Muslim-related. Jerry Falwell, Jr., the president of a right-wing religious college said “if more good people had concealed-carry permits, then we could end those Muslims before they walked in.” Presidential candidate & former NY governor George Pataki tweeted “We must declare war on radical Islam. @Loretta Lynch I’m not edging toward violent speech, I’m declaring we kill them. Go ahead, arrest me.” FB is filled with memes declaring we kill Muslims before they kill us.

Spreading fear of Muslims & making ignorant, asinine assertions about Islam as a hateful, “jihadist” religion is a very dangerous strategy unfortunately protected by freedom of speech. But openly promoting gun violence against them is a criminal act akin to shouting “fire” in a crowded theater.

These are dangerous times. But cowering is not an effective political response. The most effective response is to rebuild the international antiwar movement opposing all wars, including those promoted under the banner of fighting “jihad.”