Saturday, 5 January 2013
I have just read The Islamophobia Industry by Nathan Lean. With a mass of evidence he shows how a small group of bloggers, notably Pamela Geller, whose blog is significantly called 'Atlas Shrugged', after the novel by the prophetess of egoism, Ayn Rand, have promoted hatred of Muslims with an intensity worthy of medieval crusaders. She and others make great use of books and websites by pseudo-experts such as Robert Spencer. Opinion polls show that they have succeeded; fear of Islam has increased steadily after having started at a relatively low level during the months after the destruction of the Twin Towers. An example of the ghastly result came on 27th December, when a woman called Erika Menendez pushed a perfect stranger under an underground train in New York. She said 'I pushed a Muslim... [on to] the train tracks because I hate Hindus and Muslims. Ever since 2001 when they put down the Twin Towers I've been beating them up.' In fact her victim, Sunando Sen, appears to have been a Hindu, but his only offence was to look Indian. I have more to say on the confusion between religion and race, but that will have to wait till tomorrow.