published: 21 November 2015
The Paris attacks unleashed a terrible scourge of Islamophobic rhetoric and actual violence both in Europe and America. In London, a Muslim woman was pushed in front of an underground train—fortunately, she survived.
Here at home, no one has been killed, but Republican politicians are fanning the flames of hate. Leading the pack is presidential candidate Donald Trump, who — since he can’t build a wall to keep Muslims out — has floated the even more fascist ideas of closing mosques and issuing ID cards for all Muslims. Ben Carson, sinking in the polls, but still popular with evangelicals, despicably compared Syrian refugees to rabid dogs.
It’s not hard to see that the dehumanizing vitriol spewed by demagogues is part of a continuum that includes the violent actions of everyday haters who are willing to threaten and commit harm to people they perceive to be different from them.
Some Islamophobes need no nudging, like the Chapel Hill murderer Craig Hicks, who shot his three young Muslim neighbors execution-style last February after menacing them for years.