RaceWire: A Dangerous Nexus of Racial Hate and Religious Persecution

RaceWire

A Dangerous Nexus of Racial Hate and Religious Persecution

With the Presidential election campaign of Barack Obama entering the final election stretch, the force of attacks on Muslims and Islamic identity have become more pervasive, and more vicious. And this is due, in part, to the efforts of certain elements within the conservative electorate to portray Obama as a Muslim candidate (which he is not) and—in extreme cases—as a terrorist or terrorist sympathizer worthy of death (a la Bill Ayers and “terrorist” or “kill him” comments at recent Palin and McCain rallies).

Then last month a shadowy group calling themselves the Clarion Fund was responsible for distributing some 28 million copies of an anti-Islamic propaganda DVD entitled “Obsession: Radical Islam’s War Against the West.” This DVD was distributed in key election swing states and the group, and as Omid Safi documented in an excellent investigative piece on this, has ties to both right-wing Evangelical and Zionist organizations both in the US and in Israel. The situation has gotten serious enough that a group of Muslim scholars this week released a document entitled: “Statement of Concerned Scholars about Islamophobia in the 2008 U. S. Election Campaign”.

What I see as the most troubling trend in all of this is the polarization that is occurring within the country, a trend which I don’t see changing or going away with an Obama victory in November. And at that point, a much more serious question is likely to present itself. Will an Obama victory lead to increased incidents of violent racist attacks?

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