Sarah Palin’s defense of Islamophobe shows real sentiments
|Saturday, May 1,2010 06:42|
|By Joseph Mayton|
Sarah Palin reveals much about the reality of America’s conservative society: hate and fearmongering. Palin, the former Vice-Presidential candidate and former Governor of Alaska, this week defended ultra-right wing conservative preacher Franklin Graham, who has been an ardent antagonist of Islam throughout his life. What Palin revealed was that conservatives in the United States are forgettful of their own religion’s hateful, violent and warlike past in order to portray a religion, and a people, as violent crazed individuals who deserve no respect.
Not surprisingly, her support of Graham resonated in many circles in the Islamic world. Thankfully, for the most part, her support of an ignorant man was largely laughed off by those with any semblance of reality. Gamal al-Banna, the aging liberal Islamic scholar and brother of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna, told me that these sort of statements are simply “aimed at creating more tension between us and them because people like Palin don’t know any better.”
He continued to say that Palin doesn’t know much about the world and its people, “so why should we even bother responding.” He is right, why should Arabs, Muslims or the Islamic world care? They shouldn’t, because they understand that a tiny – and it really is a tiny – percentage of people who call themselves Muslim are the so-called “terrorists.” But, Palin understands America’s conservative population and their underlying racist and fearful sentiments toward their fellow Americans and especially towards “outsiders.”
“His comments in 2001 were aimed at those who are so radical that they would kill innocent people and subjugate women in the name of religion,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “Are we really so hyper-politically correct that we can’t abide a Christian minister who expresses his views on matters of faith? What a shame. Yes, things have changed.”
Like other conservative leaders today in the United States and Europe, they take what they want, without bothering to search for the people who have spoken extensively on the subject. If Palin were to meet Gamal al-Banna today and sit down with him, she would be surprised, most certainly flabbergasted at the fact that he calls for more rights and empowerment of women than the former Governor does. It is a shame she is too simple-minded to see the reality of the world we live in.
Our planet and our people are not so black and white. All Americans are not evil. All Muslims are not terrorists. There are many Israelis and Palestinians that daily search for a new way to peace. But, like many things in our modern world, gets left out by the mainstream media, especially the television networks. They desire ratings and so report the statements of Palin and others as if it is news, instead of asking the real question: why?
Why does Palin get away with so much by the newsmakers of America? Her history is bad, if not non-existent, her statements are full of gaffes and stumbles. Yet, somehow she persists. Now, her rage and ignorance has been directed at Muslims and Islam. Of course, news networks are not going to give Americans a real picture of the history of religious violence. This could alienate people and take viewers away.
It is unfortunate that they don’t sit Palin down, figuratively, and give her a history lesson. Remember the Crusades, Sarah? Remember what Bush said when he launched his “war on terror?” These are all relevant, because she seems to not understand how the Middle East, and the Islamic world as a whole, doesn’t like America. It’s because of you!
We continue to repeat the errors of our past and the United States still has a long way to go. The violent statements made by Graham and Palin do only one thing: divide the world. We can acheive a bridge between cultures, but there needs to be people willing to stand up and say bluntly: no Palin, you are wrong. Give her her time on TV, but then turn around and give people the history lesson they deserve.
There has been religious violence for generations and it is, unfortunately not going to end soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t attempt to give as many people the real facts of what has happened, so we can at least try to have a better future.
Republished With Permission From Bikya Masr