Socialist Worker

Garland shootings unleash Islamophobic frenzy in US

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2452

US police shot dead two people in Garland, Texas, after they had opened fire at an exhibition of caricatures of the prophet Muhammad last week.

The dead men have been named as roommates Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi.

The shooting has unleashed an Islamophobic frenzy in the US. Fox News ran a headline, “Note to jihadists – in America, we shoot back”.

Fox News said the cop who killed Soofi and Simpson stopped an “unprecedented massacre on American soil”.

The attack on the exhibit has been called an assault on freedom and the right to free speech.

But the exhibition was arranged by the American Freedom Defence Initiative, headed up by known bigot Pamela Geller.

Geller and fellow racist Robert Spencer were cited by fascist murderer Anders Behring Breivik in his “manifesto”. He shot and killed 77 people in Norway in 2011.

Geller is a rabid Islamophobe. She has advocated banning Islam, demolishing mosques and arranging deportation programmes for Muslims.

The idea of “freedom of speech” is often used to defend the freedom to spread racist hatred.

Racist

Geert Wilders of the racist Freedom Party in the Netherlands attended the event in Garland. He wants to ban the Qu’ran in Holland.

Racists such as Geller and Wilders who refer to the principle of freedom mean their freedom to oppress others.

Geller was also behind adverts which read, “In any war between the civilised man and the savage support the civilised man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad”.

Islamophobia in the US is high. After September 11 reported incidents of attacks on Muslims rose from 354 to 1,501 in 2001.

This year three young Muslims were shot by their white neighbour in North Carolina – but police refused to treat it as a racist killing.

And in Dallas, Texas, in March an Iraqi man named Ahmed al-Jumaili was gunned down when he went to take photos of snow falling outside his home.

Shpendim Nadzaku, the imam for the Islamic Association of North Texas, said, “There has definitely been an increase of very open vitriolic language towards Muslims in general.”

Islamophobia is also used to justify further military interventions in the Middle East.

Soofi and Simpson were undoubtedly enraged at this Islamophobia – but the attack will now be used to justify further clampdowns on Muslims.


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Tue 5 May 2015, 15:55 BST
Issue No. 2452
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