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Islamophobia Movement Continues to Politicize Tragedies for Personal Gains

Imagine 2050 Staff • Sep 26, 2013

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller

Following the mass shooting at the Washington D.C. Navy Yard last week, prominent members of the Islamophobia movement used the tragedy in a desperate attempt to link it to Muslims and Islam.  The revelation that the assailant responsible for the attacks did not practice Islam did not deter these individuals from spreading hateful rhetoric and paranoia about Muslims.

Immediately following the shooting, anti-Muslim blogger Debbie Schlussel took to social media to cast her suspicions that Muslims were behind the heinous crime.  “Sure smells like jihad,” Schlussel wrote after also falsely noting there were three suspects of different races wearing military garb.  Schlussel later corrected herself on there being only one shooter, but refused to apologize for or correct any comments made accusing Muslims.

The following day, another blogger within the anti-Muslim syndicate, Robert Spencer, did his best to use scare tactics and tie any conspiracy theory, no matter how farfetched, to show Muslims were somehow responsible for the shooting.  He claimed terrorist leaders overseas hoped the D.C. shooting was a response to an “al-Qaeda call for jihad.”  It is apparent Spencer was trying to capitalize on individual’s fear of terrorism, and his actions were nothing short of irresponsible by trying to convince readers that some faction of al-Qaeda was behind these acts, simply to connect it to Islam and jihad.

Additionally, Spencer’s partner in hate Pamela Geller demonstrated no lead was too obscure to blame Muslims for the events at Navy Yard.  NBC News reported as law enforcement officials searched for a motive behind the individual’s acts that day they discovered he had made a webpage using the name “Mohammed Salem.”  After finding no other evidence linking the gunman to Islam or jihad, investigators ruled out the possibility of him having any Muslim affiliation.  However, this was proof enough for Geller to connect the shooter to Islam.  “It is striking that he would create a page ‘Mohammed Salem.’  Perhaps as he became more violent he identified with the homicidal doctrine of jihad,” Geller wrote on her blog.  “I do not expect the jihad-aligned media to look into this aspect of the case.”

This is not the first time those within the Islamophobia movement cried jihad after a senseless act of violence.  In 2009, immediately following the first reports of a mass killing spree in Norway, Geller had already jumped to the conclusion that this was a Muslim terrorist attack.  That atrocity, however, was not the work of Muslim terrorists, but rather was carried out by far-right Norwegian nativist Anders Behring Breivik.  Breivik killed 76 people, many of whom were teenagers, after believing Muslims were invading his homeland and seeking to replace Christianity with Islam.  It was later revealed in Breivik’s “manifesto” that he cited both Geller and Spencer and used their anti-Muslim rhetoric to fuel and justify his hate-driven killing spree.

It has been shown time and again Islamophobes will stop at nothing to further their bigoted agendas.  Their reaction to the tragic shooting at Navy Yard once again demonstrates that the anti-Muslim ilk will always rely on Islamophobic tactics to blame minority groups for being violent perpetrators any way they can.  As we try to cope and make sense of these random acts of violence, it is clear Islamophobes and nativists have no regard for the loss of  human life and only seek to politicize tragedy.  Their reckless and relentless attempts to bridge everything to Muslims and Islam not only speaks to their obsessive fear and paranoia, but also to their credibility. 

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