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From a Tea Party forum on LinkedIn flows just enough xenophobia to justify the stereotype pushed by the press and limit my interactions there.  An article posted there from a rant blog is worthy of mentioning here, but not because it was emblematic of the most ignorant bigotry  (it was), or that it was gratuitous with pictures of torture devices and severed heads (it was), or that it was directed so obviously at a certain generalized stereotype of 1/4 of humanity without coming out and using the word “Muslim” (and it was).  No, the article was nothing but agnst directed at people who disagree with anyone being called on Islamophobic hate speech.  The only merit was the one sane and well-written comment I could find in response to it.

“Larken Rose” writes:

You {the blogger} said: “Ok – first – my definition of terrorist: Person or persons who decide that they don’t like us due to movies, alcohol, sex, beliefs, religion, politics or what what happened 1500 years ago and decide that they want us DEAD.”
You just described … well, nobody.

Yes, foreign terrorists are real (if hugely exaggerated) and are extremely nasty. And the sooner they’re dead, the better. The problem is the MENTALITY that leads to terrorism, which is pack mentality, hatred of a CLASS of people based upon what some INDIVIDUALS have done, and an eagerness to use violence against that class of people, as punishment for what those individuals have done.
That describes foreign terrorists, and official U.S. “government” policy. Beware, because the enemy you zealously fight may be your twin. You feel the exact same righteousness in your advocacy of mass violence as the foreign terrorists feel for theirs. The fact that the brutality of another gang is more overt and bloody than that committed by your gang does not make you a good guy. If you still believe that the U.S. control freaks who call themselves “government” give a rodent’s butt about justice and freedom, and are fighting for YOUR rights, you need to wake up. There’s a choice OTHER than choosing which parasitic gang of thieves and murderers to cheer for.

Here I must note that the blogger’s definition of terrorism has little to do with terrorism, just violence based on his opinion of why some people do bad things, against America in particular.  And even then he is either confused or intentionally propagandist, lumping organized governmental and military crimes in the mix.  The photos in the article were of Hussein’s secular reign of terror, Al Qaeda (adversary to Hussein) and Somalia (unrelated to either), among others.  The only common denominator is that they live in third-world nations whose populations are predominantly Muslim.

And his bigger list of characteristics which define “the enemy” is even more telling, and the specific target becomes apparent, not so much by any truth, but by the pattern of accusation:

1.They don’t want freedom of religion
2.They kill for people speaking against them
3.Homosexuals – they get DEADED
4.They blow up people for a simple cartoon
5.They mutilate their women
6.They OWN their women
7.They have no problem with child brides
8.They have no problem TRAINING THEIR KIDS from a young age it is COOL to blow themselves up
9.They have no problem with multiple brides
10.They don’t reject human trafficking
11.They don’t support freedom of behavior
12.They believe in caste systems – if your daddy was a street cleaner – it’s good enough for you
13.They believe in not educating the MAJORITY of people
14.They believe in not helping people who are poor or starving
15.Their society is built upon a small group of people who are in control over everything
16.Their religion controls everything and you can be punished for even disagreeing verbally

So, who does this describe?  If you’re educated and don’t believe everything you hear, it describes no one, or anyone, to some extent.  Sure, some of these are real issues in parts of the world, even in America.  But a cohesive group of people in any real numbers that meet such criteria?  They do not exist in the real world.  But it’s incredibly familiar if you follow Islamophobic propaganda.  It is the exact description of the “people” that are the figment of the most convoluted, fearfully imaginative stereotype of Muslims.

But no amount of reason or fact will detract from some people’s insistence on scapegoating the innocent with the guilty under one label or another.  That’s why it’s called bigotry.