Phobias are disabling irrational fears of something that pose little or no danger and they can cause panic, fear, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, trembling, and a strong desire to get away from the perceived dangers. As a means of distraction from their lack of efficacy in their jobs, Republicans use myriad phobias to frighten Americans into supporting conservative agendas and none has been as politically profitable as Islamophobia. However, to inspire fear of Islam, Republicans and their supporters practice hypocrisy in condemning Muslims and it has been very successful up to this point. As the 2012 elections draw nearer, Americans can expect an increase in propaganda against Islam and of course, hypocrisy will play a major role in Republicans’ efforts.
There are three men who have railed against Islam as a threat to America and they are hypocrites for condemning Islam because they are guilty of the practices they claim are appalling and pose a serious threat to America. Each of the men have used a different approach in their religious intolerance, but the result is the same; to cause ignorant Americans to have an irrational fear of something that poses little danger. There is no doubt that radical Islamic fundamentalists pose a danger to the entire world, but like all movements, it is not endemic to the entire religion. The fear mongering against Islam is not necessarily to prevent terrorist attacks in America, but to garner political support for conservative candidates as if Republicans protect Americans better than Democrats.
Peter King (R-NY) is the Homeland Security chairman in the House of Representatives, and he incited fear of Islam when he convened hearings on homegrown Muslim terrorists in March. Before the hearings, King said the Muslim community did not cooperate with law enforcement and he said, “I talk to cops and counterterrorism people on the ground all the time, and they get virtually no cooperation.” King was portraying the Muslim community’s lack of cooperation with law enforcement as aiding in the radicalization of Muslim youth. On its surface, it sounds as if King opposes terrorism, but his record tells a different story. King may oppose Islamic terrorists, but he does not oppose terrorism if the IRA is involved. King supported the IRA terrorists in the 1980’s and recently defended his support in an appearance before England’s parliament. In the 80’s, King said, “We must pledge ourselves to support those brave men and women who this very moment are carrying forth the struggle against British imperialism in the streets of Belfast and Derry.” In 1985, King said: “If civilians are killed in an attack on a military installation, it is certainly regrettable, but I will not morally blame the I.R.A. for it.” When a Member of Parliament confronted King’s hypocrisy in condemning Islamic terror while he supported Irish terrorists, he defended his position and responded, “I stand by it in the context of when it was said.” King tried to explain the context, but his excuse is not fooling semi-intelligent human beings. He said, “Those quotes were designed to put the conflict in a perspective for an American audience that was too often exposed to anti-IRA points of view.” So, as long as one is putting a terrorist group’s actions in perspective, it is acceptable to support terror. King is a hypocrite for supporting Christian terrorists and condemning Islamic terrorists.
Dick Armey is one of the founders of the Tea Party and his group condemned the proposed Ground Zero Islamic Center and Mosque as offensive to Americans in a classic case of inciting Islamophobia. Armey, a former House Majority Leader should know about Islamic terror groups. When he was with the lobbying firm DLA Piper, he promoted the interests of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, otherwise known as Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), an organization the State Department branded as a terrorist group. Armey’s teabaggers are well-known for their Islamophobia and they have held protests around the country to oppose new mosque construction projects. The teabaggers have not protested against Armey though, even though they know of his ties to the Iranian terror group because they are hypocrites as well.
Pat Robertson is a serious nut-case, but he has commented continuously that Islam is not a religion, but a political movement to takeover the world; he represents the height of hypocrisy. Robertson said, “I want to say it again, and again, and again: Islam is not a religion, it is a political system meant on — bent on world domination, not a religion. It masquerades as a religion, but the religion covers a worldwide attempt to exercise power and to subjugate the world to their way of thinking.” Robertson should know a thing or two about a political system bent on world domination. Christianity has as one of its tenets domination of the entire world and its namesake, Jesus Christ, gave instructions to his disciples to, “make disciples of people of all the nations…teaching them to observe all the things I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19-20); and the punishment for those who do not become disciples of Christ? Jesus will kill them and damn them to eternal fire when he returns. Indeed, Christian Dominionism is not just an American phenomenon, its intent is world domination and the movement is active throughout the Earth. Robertson is a hypocrite and unfortunately, his anti-Muslim rhetoric is embraced by millions of sycophants who watch his evangelizing television shows.
As the general election draws nearer and Republicans demonstrate they are lacking any serious agenda for creating jobs or improving the economy, they will certainly ramp up the inflammatory speech against Islam. There are legitimate concerns about radical Islamic terrorists, but portraying all Muslims as heartless murderers is fear mongering for political gain. If people like King, Armey, and Robertson were innocent of hypocrisy, their positions may be excused as just fear-mongering, but they are not innocent. It is deplorable to use irrational fear as a political motivator, but it is something Republicans have done in the past and there is no reason to believe they will stop anytime soon.
Phobias are debilitating regardless if they are irrational or not, but for politicians and religious leaders to purposely incite hatred and fear for political gain is beyond terrible. Decent human beings would alleviate their fellow citizens’ irrational fears of a religion that is not Christianity, but Republicans and their conservative buddies in the tea party and religious organizations are not decent human beings. They are hypocritical opportunists inciting and playing on their supporters’ fears. The losers are innocent, peaceful American Muslims who feel trepidation practicing their religion in a country that guarantees religious freedom for all citizens. It is sad they have to endure such treatment, but adding insult to injury is that fear-mongers like King, Robertson, and Armey are guilty of hypocrisy and supporting terrorists whether they are Christians, the IRA, or Iranian terror groups.