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The Brussels Attack and Liberal Islamophobia


The Brussels Attack and Liberal Islamophobia

Mohamad Elmasry

No sooner had the Belgian attacks happened, commentators on social media began linking the terror acts to the Islamic faith, with the hashtag #StopIslam trending on Twitter.

Empirical data show that Islamophobia, defined by Professor Todd Green as “an irrational fear, hostility or hatred of Muslims or Islam” is on the rise in American society.


Professor ElMasry - I appreciate your article, especially the research you have cited therein. And I appreciate CommonDreams for sharing your post.


attacks by Muslim extremists - including the 11 September 2011 attacks

As if that were a given!
It has never been proved.
A huge amount of evidence indicates it didn’t happen that way.


“Many Americans are increasingly scared of Muslims”

Only the Americans who watch television news.


It is grossly unfair and counterproductive to call neoliberals like Obama and DNC Democrats “liberals”. Liberals are the only friends and defenders that Muslims have.


Unfortunately, there has been very little interest among westerners in the many varieties of Islam, and most people are left with utterly simplistic, if not cartoonish versions, of Islam as either jihadi madness or some kind of Kumbaya love fest. How many have ever heard of the many forms of Sufism or read the the poets Rumi and Hafiz? Who is aware of how close the Sufi faith was to Hinduism only a few decades ago? Or how deeply the figure of Jesus is cherished in that tradition?

Much of the blame for the current over-simplification of Islam must be assigned to the horrendous Saudi state which has used its oil billions to spread the worst and most misogynistic form of Islam through the Muslim world. More blame must be heaped on the colonial powers who used religious divide-and-conquer tactics to set the different sects against each other, notably in India/Pakistan. Of course, the U.S. has followed the old colonial powers in this regard, setting up Shiites to rule over Sunnis in Iraq and then turning on a Shiite offshoot in Yemen and backing the current Saudi genocide. The mindless support of Israel, of course, is designed to enrage Muslims everywhere. No dictator or colonial power, nor the Israeli leadership, has ever found it in their interest to promote tolerance or sects favoring tolerance or religious syncretism.

The only immediate antidote to this poison I can suggest is to get a copy of Coleman Barks’ translations of Rumi and read the wonderful poems which express a visions of finding God only through love for another human being. Beyond that is the eternal mandate to resist the kind of evil seen in Brussels without doing or supporting evil ourselves.


Irrational fear is a fear of a made up reason. Fear of Ilamic extremism is rational , unfortunately by some it translates into the fear of anything Islamic.

Dozens dead in Belgium are not made up and it is claimed by ISIS . I in ISIS stands for Islamic.


All the attacks on Muslim countries certainly have led to fears BY Muslims, as it is the interference in their lands and the destruction caused which have been far greater than the small number of Westerners killed or injured by Muslims or those presumed to be Muslims.


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Psychoanalyst Carl Jung spoke of an archetypal energy he defined as “the shadow.” Basically, it’s the part of an individual (or the tribal group they most identify with) that he or she cannot own. The psychological means to disowning this shadow is effected by projecting it onto a target group.

Between the long entrenched imprint of Original Sin (and in the East, the idea of karma) and the history of warfare, there’s always a marginal group available upon whom to project this shadow. That’s why Hitler’s use of Jews–as the major scapegoat population–worked to help create military fervor.

As Dr. Martin Luther King exposed, the U.S. is the #1 purveyor of violence in the world. Outside of the U.S., populations polled see the U.S as the main terrorist nation. After all, with most of its industrial base gutted, its primary exports are war and Hollywood’s sexed up versions of violence AS entertainment.

I preface my comment with these introductory remarks because the whole premise of putting Muslims on the defensive is proof positive of this shadow projection.

Like millions of persons, I believe that 911 was in Inside Job. MANY wars have been started on the basis of fabricated triggers.

That means if Muslims were not the architects of the destruction wrought at the World Trade Center, some other entity was.

Beyond that, it’s estimated by reliable sources that over one million persons were slaughtered in Iraq based on war launched on the basis of wholly fabricated evidence. That was a massive war crime; nor did that major wound stop reverberating.

Instead, what it unleashed helped to destabilize Syria and further aggression on the part of U.S/MIC and NATO forces similarly bludgeoned Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Mali, and Syria.

That Muslims should be arguing for THEIR innocence, or arguing against the ruse that THEY are “the savages” and guilty of all this violence is pure theater of the absurd.

Put the U.S. Generals, the architects of endless wars, the authors of The Project For A New American Century, the war profiteers, and the politicians who traffic in aggression in order to win macho brownie points on trial! Make THEM answer for THEIR crimes of aggression, and leave the Muslim community alone!

This is no different than a prosecutor putting the rape victim on trial, or the press crucifying the behaviors of the kid shot down by a rabid police officer, or a community left to defend itself against the sorts of deregulatory heists that are engineered by the moneyed elites.


It’s fascinating how you and your tag team buddy Tom Johnson purposely combine Jews with Christians on this violence item even though JEWS were the chief recipients of violence–in the form of pogroms, the Inquisition, the Holocaust–for centuries.

While it is true that Israel has become another Mars-ruled land (and many of the complaints made by posters like you fail to recognize that the “aid” it receives is chiefly in the form of a transfer of funds to the MIC and its coterie of war profiteers and weapons’ manufacturers), that development came late: In l948.

Between the long lasting Crusades, the various imperial purges made to North America, South America, India, and parts of Africa… it is white Anglo-Saxons who have the greatest legacy of violence.

Even after aligning with Russia in W.W. II, and seeing that Russia endured gigantic human casualties, this same White-Anglo-Saxon group set up its own secret govt., imported Nazis, and went about the world conducting assassination after assassination.

In the wake of each one, many thousands died due to military takeovers, purges of Left-leaning persons, and general chaos.

The Catholic church’s upper echelon had many fans of Hitler. Some of those individuals helped to finance Project Paper clip.

Tagging Jews onto the Christian WAR SCORE is disingenuous. But then, that’s what Tom Johnson’s comments appear to be all about. And no tag team member ever need enter this forum without immediate back-up in the form of a poster at the ready to commend his comment, regardless of its veracity.


It is not what you say you are that defines who you are.


Islamophobia is defined as “an irrational fear, hostility or hatred of Muslims or Islam.” What do you call a rational look at Islam and Muslims all over the world? For people who do not want to hearsay on Islam, here is a reliable translation of the Koran: http://quod.lib.umich.edu/k/koran/index.html

Please read the Koran and make up your own mind on Islam.

Talking about Muslims all over the world, not only non-Muslims, but the ordinary Muslims also get more human rights and dignity in the countries that are run by non-Muslims than in the ones that are run by Muslims.

Dishonest political correctness on Islam and Muslims would harm/deteriorate the world, including the Muslims. Good people/nations need to be mindful of that. Stupidity, injustice, hatred and atrocities, no matter what the sources are, need to be honestly discouraged and fought by genuinely good people/nations of the world.


Sufism is regarded as heresy by the majority of Muslims and they are frequently persecuted in Islamic countries even to the point of being murdered. Your post is like saying the ‘quakers’ represent the whole of Christianity.


Good luck with that. I found reading the Koran like the equivalent of being beaten around the head with a big stick until you learn to cower and submit. Persuasion by threat and intimidation. I pity anyone brought up in that system, who must have that indoctrination drummed into their souls, by chanting, recitation, sermons etc. It is bad enough having a Christian indoctrination, (sorry upbringing) let alone this slice of cosmic bullying.

A good start to ending world atrocities would be recognise religious indoctrination of children for the child abuse that it actually is. That’s how religions win converts, not by rational discourse. Teach children about all religions when they are 13, but chanting, hymn singing, sermons, recitation, these are all tecnhiques used by any group interested in brain-washing. And to tell a child about hell, or that he is being watched all the time by some cosmic big brother is pure wickedness.


Yes, I’d say that Quakers are representative of the most humane strain of Christianity, just as Sufism and Zen are the most humane forms of Islam and Buddhism respectively. Those who live in countries with free access to information must not allow the most regressive forms of those great traditions to define the religions. As Aldous Huxley said long ago, there is a perennial philosophy common to all the major faiths.


Well, I surely hope that the naive non-Muslims who think good of Islam without actually knowing what that religion is would read as much of the Koran as their time and patience would allow, and make their own judgments. I also pity those who get brainwashed to follow religions. I think Christians and Jews in the world today are more civilized because a good fraction of them do not follow or want to follow much of what are in their ancestors’ religions. I am sure if children were educated with common sense for the first 13 years of their life, most of them would not follow any nonsense of religions when they are adults.


Sufism can be called a somewhat common sense and humane form of Islam. It is a much bigger improvement for the Muslims than what Zen is for Buddhists. A lot of people do not call Buddhism a religion. In its fundamentals, Buddhism is quite different from the other major religions. It is a wise philosophy that is more logical, humane and respectable than Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.


Well I have to say that I have not read the whole Koran, but there is a very interesting part in it: Surah 4 (Women) # 157 “And because of their saying: We slew the Messiah Jesus son of Mary, Allah’s messenger–They slew him not nor crucified, but it appeared so unto them; and lo! those who disagree concerning it are in doubt thereof; they have no knowledge thereof save pursuit of a conjecture; they slew him not for certain.”
I love this quote due to the fact it up ends so much Christian and Jewish theology on the matter.