‘Another Example of Why Islamophobia Is White Supremacy’ Marc Manley Dot Com January 19th, 2017
As has been seen before by white supremacists, such as Richard Spencer, the new emergent form of white supremacy know as the “Alt Right” has chosen to taken a more stealthy approach to propagating their message: victimology. In this new articulation, whites are presented as the victims of a relentless onslaught by non-whites whose explicit goal (either in collusion with white liberals or better yet, created by them) is the elimination of the white race. In my conversation with “Dwayneنtruthman” on Twitter, he wonderfully articulates this new form of white supremacy’s sales pitch:
If the white race in america is facing a demographic disaster,where is the crime in self preservation?Chinese have the right 2preserve self? https://t.co/oYHZZBiHnb
— Dwayneنtruthman (@itruthman1) March 13, 2017
So I crafted a quick seven minute response to articulate and draw out the truth of what this appeal is: white supremacy (surprise!). Because according to Dwayne, Spencer, and their ilk, whites, and only whites, are those who have an inherent and rightful claim to America (and Europe) because of their whiteness they see themselves are the civilizational builders of the West (which denies all non-whites any role in contributing to that civilization), thus, all others must apply with the ever increasing risk of being denied.
— vixy (@Flomp_It) January 21, 2017
يا أَيُّهَا النّاسُ إِنّا خَلَقناكُم مِن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثىٰ وَجَعَلناكُم شُعوبًا وَقَبائِلَ لِتَعارَفوا ۚ إِنَّ أَكرَمَكُم عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتقاكُم ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَليمٌ خَبيرٌ
“All you people! We created you from a single pair of a male and a female and made you into different races and tribes so you can come to know one another. The noblest among you in the sight of God is the one who is the most mindful of his duty to Him. Truly, God knows and is aware.” Qur’an 49: 13
Wilders understands that culture and demographics are our destiny. We can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies. https://t.co/4nxLipafWO
— Steve King (@SteveKingIA) March 12, 2017
“The thing with a phobia … is that the victim of the phobia — the person with the phobia — is being triggered by an external event … and therefore the phobia removes any responsibility for having those feelings, having those thoughts.”
In August of 1955, two white men, J.W. Milam and his half-brother Roy Bryant, brutally murdered a 14-year-old black child from Chicago named Emmitt Till. It remains to this day one of the most evocative incidents which reflect the brutality of white supremacy in “The Greatest Nation in the World”.
Upon discovering Till’s mutilated body, Milam and Bryant were arrested and held in suspicion of Till’s death but an all-white (and importantly all-male1) determined their innocence, deliberating for less than an hour. The white woman who testified on behalf of the two white men was Carolyn Bryant, Roy Bryant’s wife. She accused the 14-year-old Till as having said he had done “something with white women before”.
What’s even more despicable about all of this is an attempt Carolyn Bryant in her testimony of the incident in a new book, The Blood of Emmett Till, by Timothy Tyson. As if it were not already abundantly clear, the now 72-year-old Bryant (who since remarried is now know as Carolyn Bryant Donham) admits she made the whole damned testimony up!2
“That part’s not true,” Donham reportedly told Tyson about her claim that Emmett made verbal and physical advances toward her.3
Miraculously, she states, in a Vanity Fair interview, when asked about the rest of the events that evening, “she couldn’t remember”.4
Here, in this video, you can listen to the heart-breaking tale through Till’s mother, Mrs. Mamie Till-Mobley.
1. Manley, Marc. “Another Example of Why Islamophobia Is White Supremacy.” Marc Manley – Imam At Large. www.marcmanley.com, 19 Jan. 2017. Web. 30 Jan. 2017
2. Edwards, Breanna. “Woman Who Caused Emmett Till’s Death Admits to Lying.” The Root. www.theroot.com, 27 Jan. 2017. Web. 30 Jan. 2017.
3. “Woman Who Caused Emmett Till’s Death Admits to Lying.” The Root.
4. Weller, Sheila. “How Author Timothy Tyson Found The Woman At The Center Of The Emmett Till Case.” Vanity Fair. www.vanityfair.com, 26, Jan. 2017. Web. 30. Jan. 2017.
“The Good News for the soul may appear as so much Bad News for the intellect; free-thinking is the last thing to be expected in reading a religious document.” — Charles Grey Shaw
I have always found those who espouse “free-thinking” as nothing other than intellectual smugness and prejudice against those of faith. Critical to that smugness has been an assumption that faith — implicating the faithful — is expressed and lived under a regime of compulsion. In as much as this animosity is directed towards religion in general — a child of the Enlightenment — it is assumed to apply doubly so towards Islam, the quintessential pre-Enlightenment religion.
In the article, Lindsay Lohan May Have Made Her Worst Life Choice Yet, dated January 18th, 20171 and published on the website The Hill, Robert Spencer, noted Muslim bigot and pseudo-intellectual, has taken to trolling those who choose (or those who appear to choose) to become Muslim. Lohan, who has led a life full of tabloid sensationalism, publicly expressed empathy towards Muslims (though her conversion is as of yet, unconfirmed) which in turn irked Spencer. In the view of Islamophobes, why would a white western woman want to give up her freedom? Doesn’t a modern, secular, post-Christendom West have all Logan, and any white women for that matter, could need? It would seem these attributes, Lohan’s femininity and whiteness, were what exercised so much outrage in Spender and continues to enrage the Islamophobe cottage industry. And it is for these two qualities that Islamophobia reveals itself to be nothing other than a modern articulation of white supremacy.
The intersection of whiteness and femininity are nothing new. In fact, it’s as old as America herself. Many Southern defenders of slavery were not only committed to theological interpretations of Christian scripture to justify slavery but many also fought against its abolition on the grounds of preserving white womanhood. White supremacists treated any attack on white womanhood to be an equally committed attack on the South as a whole (and vice versa). As W. J. Cash wrote in his The Mind of the South,
“…the central status that Southern woman had long ago taken up in Southern emotion — her identification with the very notion of the South itself. For, with this in view, it is obvious that the assault on the South would be felt as, in some true sense, an assault on her also, and that the South would inevitably translate its whole battle into terms of her defense.”2
Indeed, if we fast forward nearly seventy-five years, we find this ideology just as enduring as it was nearly a century ago. Dylann Roof, the murderer of nine black Christian parishioners, justified his massacre in part (as related to the whole of America!) to the preservation of white women, saying,
“I have to do it,” he reportedly said as he reloaded his gun five different times. “You rape our women and you’re taking over our country and you have to go.”3
The so-called Islamophobe industry is inseparable from white supremacy as we see above and it will only be dealt with accordingly and efficiently when it is called as such. Additionally, Spencer’s words reveal that he is not only committed to white supremacist ideology, but also to Orientalist ideology. Spencer is only able to see Muslims, those who empathize with them as well as those who might aspire to be Muslim, as irrevocably Other than him, and the West. As Walter G. Andrews comments in his review of Thierry Hentsch’s Imagining the Middle East,
“Westerners—have created our selves, our Western selves, by creating an Orient in relation to which we are the West.”4
Spencer has fallen into the all-too-familiar trap of the “clash of civilizations” trope. His objection to Lohan’s (speculated) embracing of Islam is not rooted in, for example, theological disagreements (these would be perfectly acceptable), but in a rejection that is committed to Islam being the total opposite of western civilization. In other words, if Lohan has become a Muslim, she has ceased to be a westerner. Spencer objects to her choice of finding other truths outside the truths as expressed in the so-called Judeo-Christian tradition (her words, as he quotes them, are, “to find another true meaning”). It would seem that Spencer is denying that Islam and, vis-a-vie Muslims, can neither hold nor express any truth-claims; that is the sole purview of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Would he also then deny truth-claims to the Chinese, the Japanese, or any other non-JC tradition? If his objection is rooted in so-called acts of violence perpetrated by Muslims, then not only would he be obliged to discount the Chinese and the Japanese in their truth-claims, but Spencer would also have to forfeit the Judeo-Christian tradition itself in its truth-claims as their have been uncountable acts of violence perpetrated against others (Native Americans, Asians, African-Americans, etc.). This brings us back full-circle to his support of white supremacy as a value system: whites/westerners, and only whites/westerners can commit acts of violence and still retain their humanity, worthiness and claims to truth and beauty.
What is also worthy of note is the difference between how the Islamophobe community has treated Lohan’s (speculated) conversion with that of pop-star, Janet Jackson’s. Pamela Geller, a fellow peer of Spencer’s in anti-Muslim circles, berates the new Muslim as a “has-been rock star” who has been “bought” by the Islamic world5. Geller’s words are ripe with many white supremacist and racist overtones. While Spencer berates Lohan for being duped, Geller’s racist assumptions, rather, assert that Jackson, who is African-American, is owned, not simply by her husband, but by the entire Muslim world. Why is Jackson understood here to have been “bought” where Lohan is not? The allusion to blacks as slaves cannot be missed in Geller’s rant, whereas Lohan is simply described as having lost “her moral compass … long ago”. Jackson, according to Geller, is simply fulfilling her slave-heritage whereas Lohan is guilelessly misinformed.
Spencer also commits one of the most common offenses of his ilk, which is that of intellectual sloppiness peddled as academic authority. Spencer has chosen to ignore the scholarship which challenges his claims on Qur’anic interpretation; Muslim as well as non-Muslim scholarship. Spencer reveals his ignorance of traditional Muslim scholarship as well as his arrogance in disregarding it when speaking to a number of verses in the Qur’an. One example, is his claim to the Qur’an sanctioning “wife-beating”6 as found in Chapter 4, verse 34. The command in question is, in the Arabic transliteration, “wa darabahunna”. Spencer chooses to ignore centuries of scholarship that adamantly declares that the verse is not a sanction for a man to beat his wife. And most strikingly of all, there cannot be found any evidence to support the Prophet beating any of his own wives, even though several were known to have spirited and defiant attitudes. Not only can such an account not be found in the defenders of the Prophet but also none can be found in the statements of his enemies, who spared no quarter or opportunity to badger or delegitimize the Prophet. What is more at work here again, is the same white supremacist and Orientalist ideologies at work which impugn non-whites and Muslims as inherently violent and sexually rapacious.
That Lindsay Logan finds value where Spencer finds devaluation only speaks to the reality that Islam itself confirms: not everyone is going to find truth in the Qur’an. That some white western women may come to see value in Islam undoubtedly rings the bells of alarm in white supremacist and Islamophobic camps. Claiming that, “Lindsay Lohan likely doesn’t know that any of this is in Islamic teaching” is nothing other than prejudice and absurdity masquerading in academic robes. It will take more than cherry picking a few Prophetic narrations out of context — out of historical understandings, to pass muster as legitimate scholarship. But Spencer’s words should rally Muslims to the call of addressing yet another incident of “credibility gap”, as coined by Dr. Sherman Jackson. For in the absence of our community striving to push for academic standards (which is not the same as everyone liking Islam or agreeing with Muslim truth-claims) we will continue to be impotent in the struggle for making our voices, and most importantly our intentions, not only heard, but understood.