Imperialist Feminism + Islamaphobia
When you hear imperialists making claims about their concerns for women’s rights then you know something is really rotten in Denmark. The plight of women has historically been mobilized to suit the goals of empire. That continues to the present. One of the pretexts of the U.S.–led invasion of Afghanistan was “rescuing Afghan women.” Writing about that, noted author and activist Arundhati Roy of India observed, “We're being asked to believe that the U.S. marines are actually on a feminist mission. If so, will their next stop be America's military ally Saudi Arabia? Should they be bombed? Should Delhi, Islamabad, and Dhaka be destroyed? Is it possible to bomb bigotry out of India? Can we bomb our way to a feminist paradise?”
Almost automatically the experts tell us that hostility toward Muslims and Islam takes shape after 9/11. Bigotry became a lot easier. But in fact the antagonism has much older and deeper roots. Christian Europe viewed Islam as a threat and demonized the religion, its Prophet and its followers. In the 18th and 19th centuries Britain and France colonized much of the Middle East and North Africa. Since the end of World War Two the U.S. has become the dominant imperial force. Its military operates in Muslim countries from Pakistan to Somalia and from Afghanistan to Yemen. Reducing Muslims to stereotypes furthers ignorance and leads to racial profiling. One group which tracks and studies Islamophobia says there has been a 50% increase in hate crimes against Muslims since 2010 and a 300% growth in the number of anti-Muslim hate groups in the U.S.
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