One of the more unfortunate repercussions of the Islamophobia echo chamber is their ability to mainstream bigoted discourse towards American Muslims. As the Center for America Progress’ “Fear, Inc.” report documents, “some well-established conservative media outlets are a key part of this echo chamber, mixing coverage of alarmist threats posed by the mere existence of Muslims in America.”
This mainstreaming of hateful rhetoric gives fodder to respected community, political, and civic leaders; radio talk show hosts; and Christian right preachers. Talking points that Obama is a Muslim, or that American mosques are places of stealth jihad, and other routine demonizing statements towards American Muslims have become the norm in our post 9/11 discourse on Islam in America.
But this relationship between mainstream media and the Islamophobia network is not surprising. What is more alarming is that voices of civility and sanity have not taken action to counter this reality. In an effort to push against the mainstreaming of hateful speech towards Muslims, Unity Productions Foundation has launched a new online project called “My Fellow American.” Centered on a short emotional video that juxtaposes voices of anti-Muslim hate with everyday American Muslims, it serves as a call to conscience to everyday Americans:
Watch the video:
With an echo chamber of Islamophobia pseudo experts driving our conversation on Islam more and more into dark tunnels of absurdity, we need the light of a citizen’s movement to counter this trend of hatred and bigotry.
As the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. used to say, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only the light can do that.” Americans of all religious, ethnic, political and ideological stripes are needed to shed some light on this growing problem that is impacting our democracy and distracting our political leaders during a time of more pressing and real problems. American Muslims are indeed a part of the national fabric that makes our country great, and they don’t deserve the treatment they receive in the media. Take a stand with them and share your story today.