Thursday, April 21, 2011

Islamophobic One-upmanship

Over the last year-and-change I've been following the various ways -- sometimes-hilarious, always-hateful -- that Republican politicos, cowed by the Nativist nutbars that now seem to constitute the entirety of their rank-and-file, are speaking out with increasing vehemence against Islam and Muslims while inching their toes ever closer to the line between incitement of violence and plausible deniability. Between old standbys like Newt Gingrich (the "Patient Zero," if you will, of political Islamophobia), or rising stars like Herman "no Muslims in my cabinet" Cain and newly-anointed Birther Baron/Qur'anic Scholar Donald Trump, if you're wondering how anti-Muslim hate became an acceptable part of our discourse, it's not hard to see where that noxious whiff is emanating from. With the GOP presidential nomination contest promising its most WWE-esque yet, I have a feeling we're locked even tighter into what Salon's Justin Elliott calls a game of "Islamophobic one-upmanship," and to help keep tabs on the greatest hits -- creeping sharia, stealth jihad, you name it -- emanating from the now-mainstream Right, Elliott has come up with the "Muslim-baiting Tracker" to catalogue the latest anti-Muslim bon mots from various Republican luminaries in handy-dandy list form. Bookmark the page and check back often, because I have a feeling there are going to be plenty of updates.

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