Friday, June 17, 2011

Recommended Reading

Yesterday I mentioned the elevation of Herman Cain into the upper echelons of Islamophobic Crankery, but Cain is a mere Herman-Come-Lately compared to the practiced looniness of Pamela Geller, who rose to national prominence last year thanks to her "Ground Zero Mosque" crusade, but who's been toiling away in the drainage ditch of anti-Muslim hate for many, many years now. Of the few arrows in their quiver, the one that Geller and her ilk most often deploy to burnish their non-existent credibility on Muslim-related issues is to drop the occasional Arabic word ("dhimmi!" "taqiyya!") into the midst of their rants as if to imply "See, I know all about these people! I even speak their language!" Well, text and context being what they are, it can sometimes be worthwhile to look at the specific terminology these folks are using to make their case, and actually, y'know, find out what they mean. To this end, Salon's Justin Elliot talked with noted scholar John Esposito to explain and contextualize the anti-Muslim right's most commonly-used terms. What he said is well worth a read.


TheSuppliant said...

Interesting stuff by Esposito always and I like that the article juxtaposed the right-wing use with the historically accurate meaning of the words and the social context from which they originated. The sad thing is that I can't figure out if the average American is buying into these scare tactics, or if people are too lazy to do any real research and settle for these tagline explanations.

Zaki said...

It's probably a little from column A, and a little from column B.