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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Demonizing The Few, Cloaking The Evil Of Many

Free speech in civilised nations does not include the right to defame any religion or religious leaders for political, monetary, or ideological gain  

WORLD NEWS
By Dallas Darling
05/18/2015

It did not take long for the mass media and political pundits to demonize the two men who opened fire outside a Muslim caricature event hosted by Pamela Geller


Face of insanity: Geller
In fact, the out-of-state and "crazed" attackers who were killed, along with Geller's American Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, dominated the 24-hour news cycle for days. 

By so demonizing the few, however, are the many extremist groups and individuals in American society cloaked? 

Even more so, is America unwittingly facilitating the existence of evil by promoting stereotypes at home and hate abroad?


A multi-million dollar heiress and One Percenter, Geller and her organizations are just one of more than ten thousand extremist groups operating in the U.S.(1) Actually, her words and actions exemplify America's legacy of hate and hidden evil. Starting with colonial expulsions, whippings, and hangings of heretics, dissenters, and witches; extremists have also attacked Mormons, Asians, Mexican Americans, Filipinos, Italians, Irish, Poles, Russians, and other minorities. While certain political, religious, and economic groups were demonized, Indians and Blacks were nearly exterminated.

As for Geller, she countered an educational "Stand With the Prophet" event (planned by Dallas' Muslim community in Texas) with extremely provocative portrayals of the Prophet Mohammad as a terrorist, religious fanatic, and pimp. Backed by several Jewish organizations, she is currently lobbying to classify Islam as a "political, authoritarian, and supremacists movement." Accusing Islam of being the "most anti-Semitic, genocidal ideology in the world," Geller also maintains that terrorists spring from "the perversions of Islam itself."(2) During the event, Dallas" Muslim community remained peaceful.


Hindi temple, Bali Indonesia
Geller's inflammatory remarks and actions and ownership of the press is the kind of irresponsible freedom that political philosopher Isaiah Berlin warned of. Known as the "harm principle," he believed the kind of freedom that permits people to do whatever they desire, especially if it injures or harms others, is detrimental. This kind of "anything goes" freedom is illiberal and irresponsible, often succumbing to unregulated market forces. Not only does it destroy trust in an agreed social contract, but it leads to extreme and hurtful hedonistic acts. Freedom, then, is not absolute but always lived in a "communal" context.



There was little difference between Geller's and the gunmen's hostility. Both sought to do harm, whether emotionally, spiritually, or physically. 

Their pathological and extreme intolerance threatened the very foundations of a social contract, including the demands and responsibilities that true freedom entails. 


Anti-war protests, Jakarta, Indonesia
More subtlety, by condoning stereotypes and derogatory caricatures, or allowing Geller to state that "Muslims are savages" and that "Islam promotes terrorism,"(3) will current and future generations reject the "global contract" and notion in recognizing the humanity that binds people together?

At the same time, wouldn't Geller do more good by addressing and reforming her own class, or the One Percenters? After all, there is evidence that she, too, made her millions from shadowy deals and organized crime.(4) With her Islamaphobic Crusade, she is also fleecing Americans for more than one million dollars annually. 


On the contrary, Dallas' Muslim Community has built bridges of peace and understanding in an extremely bigoted environment. While performing their civic duties and maintaining a vibrant working and business class, Dallas' Muslims have also addressed racism, poverty, and joblessness.

When immoral crusaders like Geller and their fatwahs go unchallenged, their hatred is truly dangerous and find many followers.(5) A form of evil evolves which thrives on purposively excluding others, especially the oppressed and marginalised. 


WWII military cemetery in Jakarta, where brothers in arms are laid to rest: Christians, Muslims and Jews

By so demonizing the two gunmen, then, the many (America's extremists) are allowed to remain cloaked behind their hateful stereotypes, virulent words, and hurtful intentions and actions. Their insidious ideas evoke drastic and sometimes violent behaviors from those who have been marginalized and demeaned or suffer fragile psyches. 

Sadly, the common bonds of humanity are destroyed.


Dallas Darling (darling@wn.com)

Dallas Darling is the author of Politics 501: An A-Z Readingon Conscientious Political Thought and Action, Some NationsAbove God: 52 Weekly Reflections On Modern-Day Imperialism, Militarism, And Consumerism in the Context of John's Apocalyptic Vision, and The Other Side Of Christianity: Reflections on Faith, Politics, Spirituality, History, and Peace. He is a correspondent for www.worldnews.com. You can read more of Dallas' writings at www.beverlydarling.com and wn.com//dallasdarling.

Notes:


(2) www.wikipedia.com. See "Pamela Geller."

(3) www.wikipedia.com. See "Pamela Geller."

(4) www.wikipedia.com. See "Pamela Geller."

(5) Kaplan, Jeffrey. Encyclopedia of White Power: A Sourcebook on the Radical Racist Right. New York, New York: Rowman $ Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 2000., p. xxxiv.



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