The Anti-Muslim Controversies of the Last Week, Reimagined

There have been some objections triggered by the actual comments. But just imagine what would be happening if the statements had been about a different religion instead.

(updated below)

On his Friday night HBO program, Bill Maher argued that suspicion of young Jewish men was appropriate, saying: “Someone look me in the eye right here and tell me if so many young Jewish men … hasn’t blown a lot of shit up around the world. … For the last 30 years it’s been one culture [Jews] blowing shit up over and over.”

At a rally for the leading GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump, one of his supporters stood up and said: “We have a problem in this country — it’s called Jews.” In an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper the next day, Trump justified his tepid, uncritical response by saying: “We could be politically correct if you want, but certainly are you trying to say we don’t have a problem, because I think everyone would agree. … We certainly do have a problem. … You have radicals that are doing things, even if all of the religion’s members aren’t. … I mean, it wasn’t people from Sweden that have been occupying the West Bank for 50 years and slaughtering Gazan children while they play on a beach, Jake.”

On Sunday, the second-leading GOP presidential candidate, Ben Carson, went on Meet the Press and said he would not support the U.S. having a Jewish president. “I would not advocate that we put a Jew in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” he said. Numerous Republicans supported Carson, or refused to address the controversy. In response to the ADL’s call for Carson to withdraw from the race due to his comments, the 2013 GOP nominee for Lt. Governor in Virginia, E.W. Jackson, tweeted: “Ben Carson got it right. America does not need a Jewish President. Jews calling for Carson to drop out, should drop out of America.”

There has been some controversy triggered by the actual comments. But just imagine what would be happening if the statements had been the ones above instead.

* * * * *

Those who justify bigotry against Muslims are typically fond of cherry-picking passages from the Quran to depict Islam as an ideology of evil, as though all Muslims interpret those passages and apply them to their lives the same way (many do this even as they admit when forced that they’ve never even read the Quran let alone studied Islam). Anyone familiar with the odor of neo-Nazis and other assorted anti-Semites knows this slimy tactic very well, as cherry-picking excerpts from the Talmud to depict Jews as lying, hateful, murderous, degenerate savages as a result of what their religion teaches them has long been very popular in those revolting circles.


UPDATE: For those who want to argue that it’s permissible to discriminate against Muslims but not Jews based on that old argument all-too-familiar to LGBT people – namely, that being “Jewish” is not a choice but being “Muslim” is, thus making it permissible to discriminate against the latter – see here for all the reasons what that claim is utterly wrong.

Join The Conversation