Monday, June 12, 2017

If You're Not Sufficiently Afraid

There's nothing more that right wing rabble rousers like to do more than stir up a controversy where none exists. And a favorite topic of the hard right is the war against Sharia law in the Unites States.  

Sharia, or Islamic law is the law that governs a community or state that is derived from the religious precepts of Islam, particularly the Quran and the Hadith. 

The manner of its application in modern times has been a subject of dispute between Muslim traditionalists and reformists. In short, just because you're a Muslim does not mean you're a follower of Sharia law. 

The application of Sharia law tends to follow a stringent view of Islam and is used by radical terrorists like ISIS to subjugate people, particularly women.  

But there as been a movement for several years on the hard right that Sharia law is a real and present danger in the United States, that there are communities, towns and cities that are under Sharia law. 

There is no community, town or city in the United States that is under Sharia law. There is no factual evidence that any community, town or city in the United States wants to subvert our laws to Sharia law. 

But that hasn't stopped fearmongerers from espousing Sharia law as an immediate threat. This weekend saw "March Against Sharia" events across the country.  

Now there are some who will say they have nothing against Muslims; they just don't think that Muslims should allowed to force people to live under Sharia law. Not that anyone is doing that, asking to do that and probably couldn't do that legally anyway. 

Others are more open about their hostility to Muslims.   

The “March Against Sharia” in cities such as St. Paul, Minnesota, Seattle, Washington, and New York City attracted Islamophobic hate group members, neo-Nazis and white supremacists ― all to rally against the completely nonexistent threat of Sharia law in the U.S.

That bears repeating: these are protests against the completely nonexistent threat of Sharia law in the U.S.

Packaging hate as being against Sharia law is a softer sale that being against  Muslims. But for these groups, there really is no difference.  For example, the rallies were spearheaded by Act for America, described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-Muslim hate group. 

We must be on our guard. The forces of hate are cowardly and will mask their fearful beliefs under something that seems benign. The “March Against Sharia” is an example of such cowardice, people creating a crisis where none exists to better aim their hate at people who are not like them. 

Which underscores the primary weapon of such small minded people: fear. And if you're not sufficiently afraid, they will make you afraid of something, even of threats that do not exist.  

That's all for today. 

Please remember to be good to one another.  

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