The media rightly vilified right wing evangelist Terry Jones over his plan to burn Qurans on the anniversary of 9/11.
But it has also attacked the “over-reaction” of Muslims around the world to the outrage.
Do they seriously believe that Muslims are obsessed with the obscure 50-member Dove World Outreach Centre in Florida?
The anger springs from knowing that Jones is a small drop in the great deluge of anti-Islamic prejudice that has been flooding the world since long before the attack on the twin towers.
US president Barack Obama chose to emphasise the threat to troops rather than the abuse of Muslims when he condemned Jones. Obama said, “This could increase the recruitment of individuals who’d be willing to blow themselves up in American cities or European cities.”
He couldn’t mention the real reasons for Muslim anger—US support for Israel, or the imperialist invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.
And it is surreal to see General David Petraeus, US commander in Afghanistan, joining the calls for restraint. It is the US elite and the media that share the responsibility for the lack of trust Muslims feel towards the West.
But it was heartening to see that 5,000 anti-racists demonstrated on 11 September in New York, rejecting the anti-Muslim consensus. They outnumbered 2,500 Islamophobic bigots who oppose plans to build a “mosque” near the site of the 9/11 attack.
Every liberal commentator who has called Islam a backward religion or backed the war has helped create the atmosphere that has allowed Jones gain such publicity.
In Britain, the state and the media has also vilified Muslims. We can show them that we oppose their racism by joining the national protest in London on 6 November.