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Islamophobia: On The Daily Show – OpEd

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It looks like Jon Stewart has discovered his Islamophobe-within as he drums up laughs and fear among those Americans who’ve decided that Libya is the new Afghanistan and Libya’s rebels are destined to become foot soldiers for Osama bin Laden. For Stewart, the armed opponents of Gaddafi aren’t just rebels but something far more ominous: Muslim rebels.

Having implied that Libya is now the training ground for terrorists who might some day attack America, Stewart then goes on to mock the young fighters as though any revolution worthy of the name instantly spawns battalions of skilled soldiers. No doubt in the early days of the American revolution, there were plenty of English satirists who scoffed at the idea that a rag-tag army of disgruntled colonists could possibly defeat the King’s vastly superior forces. And who’s to say whether America’s revolution would have succeeded without outside support through the supply of weapons, training and then French intervention?

Libya
Libya

A story reported by Wefaq Media, translated by ShababLibya and posted on LibyaFeb17.com, shows that rebels defending Misratah are using cunning to make up for some of the disadvantages they face against Gaddafi’s much larger and better armed forces.

Several days ago, the freedom fighters unloaded the fuel station located on a service road for heavy transport vehicles. The gasoline it contained was emptied and was replaced with water instead. The freedom fighters then retreated thus leaving the fueling station to be accessible to the nearby Gaddafi brigade.

Because it’s easy to trap a mouse in a trap, the rats of Gaddafi looted the fuel station and started filling their armored vehicles with ‘fuel’! When they attempt to leave, their vehicles stopped moving , and that is when our freedom fighters ambushed them! Gaddafi’s solders were forced to flee leaving their dead vehicles behind. I guess the next time they want to fill up, they’ll have to taste the fuel to be sure.

Meanwhile, Ryan Calder on his excellent new blog, Revolutionology, reports on the Orientalist bias among the major news outlets who have an appetite for images that reinforce Western assumptions and fears about those Libyans who have taken up arms.

In an area of desert where literally hundreds of fighters are gathered, freelance photographers go for the salable shots — images of two men reading the Quaran. These are the pictures the news agencies will have most interest in buying. Why? Because fearmongers like Jon Stewart choose to reinforce the idea that even if liberal peace-loving Americans bear no animosity to Muslims in general, Americans still have reason to be afraid any time a Muslim picks up a gun.

The American left is Muslim-friendly — so long as we’re talking about Muslims who don’t fight and preferably don’t take their religion too seriously.

Paul Woodward - War in Context

Paul Woodward - War in Context

Paul Woodward describes himself by nature if not profession, as a bricoleur. A dictionary of obscure words defines a bricoleur as “someone who continually invents his own strategies for comprehending reality.” Woodward has at various times been an editor, designer, software knowledge architect, and Buddhist monk, while living in England, France, India, and for the last twenty years the United States. He currently lives frugally in the Southern Appalachians with his wife, Monica, two cats and a dog Woodward maintains the popular website/blog, War in Context (http://warincontext.org), which "from its inception, has been an effort to apply critical intelligence in an arena where political judgment has repeatedly been twisted by blind emotions. It presupposes that a world out of balance will inevitably be a world in conflict."

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