Fresh plans are being drawn up to erect a modern complex on the site of what scholars of Islam contend is the birthplace of the Prophet Mohamed as part of a sweeping multi-billion-dollar redevelopment of the pilgrimage city of Mecca that has already ravaged many sacred sites and structures.
The Multiple Faces of Islamophobia
University of California, Berkeley
A few significant quotes:
In the new cultural racist discourses, religion has a dominant role. The contemporary tropes about “uncivilized,” “barbarian,” “savage,” “primitive,” “underdeveloped,” “authoritarian,” and “terrorist” inferior people are today concentrated in the “other’s” religious practices and believes. By focusing on the “other’s” religion, the Europeans, Euro-Americans and Euro-Israelis manage to escape being accused of racism. However, when we examine carefully the hegemonic rhetoric in place, the tropes are a repetition of old biological racist discourses and the people who are the target of Islamophobic discourses are the traditional colonial subjects of the Western Empires, that is, the “usual suspects”.
It does not matter if the Western domestic political system is the British multicultural model or the French Republican model the fact is that none is working. Without overcoming the problem of racial discrimination, racism becomes a corrosive process that end up destroying the abstractideals of the each model. In the case of the Anglo-American world, multiculturalism and diversity operates to conceal White Supremacy. The racial minorities are allowed to celebrate their history, carnaval and identity as long as they leave intact the white supremacy racial/ethnic hierarchy of the status quo. The dominant system in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States is an institutionalized and concealed “White affirmative action” that benefits Whites on a daily bases and at all levels of social existence. It is so powerful that it has become normalized to the point of not being stated as such.
In the French republican model, the formal system of equality operates with an institutionalized and normalized “comunitarisme masculin blanc.” If racial/gender/sexual minorities protest against discrimination, they are accused by the “communistaristes masculin blanc” in power to be acting as “communitaristes.” As if the elites in power were racial and gender blind/neutral, behaving towards everybody with a “universal principle of equality.” White supremacy in France operates with the myth of a “racially blind society.” “Racially-blind racism” is institutionalized and normalized in France to the point that makes invisible the discriminatory “communistarisme masculin blanc” in power.
In memory of the beloved (from The Wine Ode (al-Khamriyah))
English version by Th. Emil Homerin
Transdisciplinary scholar of Islam and Sufism.