The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Islam scare akin to McCarthyism

Viewpoint by Aaron Turner/reporter

It seems only in America can a man who founded a church in his living room ultimately grab national headlines as one of the most controversial figures in 2010. Yet, lo and behold, Dr. Terry Jones has achieved the American dream.

Jones is author of the book Islam Is of the Devil and head of perhaps the one of the most sardonically named organizations ever, the Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla. His threat to burn more than 200 copies of the Quran on the ninth anniversary of Sept. 11 marks only the most recent of an ever-growing list of Islamaphobic events by the far right.

Although the disgusting nature of mass burning the holy book of the world’s second-largest religion is obvious, let’s take a look at the group itself. With only around 50 current active members, many can and should dismiss this tiny church as simply another fringe, ultra-conservative hate group, masquerading as a legitimate house of worship.

Still, need I remind you of media mogul and fear-mongering extraordinaire Pat Robertson? He has, among other things, blamed the Sept. 11 attacks on homosexuality, publicly denounced the civil rights movements, and attributed the Haitian earthquake to a “pact made with the devil.”

With the current state of Islamic paranoia in America at an alarming high, who’s to say a leader of a small hate group like Jones can’t maneuver his way to even a fraction of the status that a person like Robertson holds?

Equally disgusting is the pure indifference that Jones and company held toward the warnings by both the White House and Gen. David Petraeus, current commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Both warned of the direct threat burning the Muslim holy book could bring upon American soldiers, yet both were defiantly ignored.

While this neo-Nazi type exhibition ultimately seemed to be nothing more than a greedy book promotion, it’s the idea and pure hatred behind the movement that we must be most wary of. If I were an American Muslim, I would have every right to be afraid of both my civil rights as well as my personal and family’s safety.

Whether it’s the protesting of a religion’s right to build their houses of worship, the random attacks of Muslim cab drivers, or the attempted bombing of mosques by members of the religious right, the level of fear that both conservatives and religious fundamentalists have attempted to strike into the hearts of the American public is truly disturbing. It’s shockingly reminiscent of the McCarthy Red Scare of the 1950s, only now the “enemy” of America has been clearly labeled and identified.

 

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