Monday, October 25, 2010

Gold in Them Thar Hills!

I'm still plugging away on my Big Secret Project, but I thought this was worth a quick post.  Consider it the blogging equivalent of stopping in for a glass of milk before I head back out the door. If there's anything that's become apparent over the last few months, it's that whether the Park51 center, cans of soup, or a new line of superheroes, there are enough people powering the perpetual outrage machine lately to make anti-Muslim pandering a real growth industry in certain circles (hey, at least something is in this economy...).

In my post on the recent New York Times profile of Islamophobia MVP Pam Geller, I expressed some measure of exasperation at how she's managed to make a very comfortable living for herself with her website, which traffics in this stuff day-in and day-out.  But as it happens, Pam isn't the only one who's spun gold from paranoiac yarns about the encroaching Muslim Booga-Booga. Like I said back in August, if it wasn't Muslims, it would be some other group upon which to project their hate, fear, and insecurity.

As this article at The Tennesseean shows, there are plenty of other folks out there getting rich on anti-Muslim vitriol, including usual suspects like Robert Spencer (who my friend Ahmed Rehab also had some choice words for). And while most sensible people can detect bigotry on its face, there's still a rabid fringe that laps this stuff up -- "Sharia law" this and "Jihadists" that -- bereft of context and twisted pretzel-like into as sinister a configuration as possible. It's about as cynical as it gets: Stoke the embers of resentment in the uninformed and ill-informed, and sit back as the dollars start piling up.  Ain't human nature grand?

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