February 12, 2006

Muslim Rage as Scare Tactic?

A post over at Freethought Weekly ("The Church of Patriotism") really got me thinking. Is it possible that the Bush administration and other Christian extremists in America are using the latest explosion of Muslim rage as a way to rally Americans in support of our war efforts? I'm not saying that the story is fabricated in any way, but I can't help wondering if this story is going to be used to keep Americans fearful enough to persuade them to continue voting for Republicans.

Images of violent Muslims attacking foreign embassies, calling for death to infidels, etc. are a perfect way to awaken American patriotism and kick the us-against-them mentality into high gear. If the administration wants to bolster support for an invasion of Iran or similar action in the Middle East, this certainly appears to be an effective strategy for arousing American ire. Given that our own extremists insist that we are a Christian nation, it is easy to spin this as an epic struggle of Christian vs. Muslim. By showcasing the hatred Muslim extremists feel toward America, it becomes okay for us to return the sentiment. And if they are attacking our precious Christianity, retaliation is almost mandatory.

It is clear that fundamentalist Islam is a destructive force which must be opposed. Nothing in what I have said detracts from this truth. However, we in the reality-based community are the key to making sure that the spotlight remains focused on all forms of religious extremism, including the Christian variety.

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