Americans who took part in the March against Sharia Law this past weekend must also fear Martian invasions. Both are just as likely. The idea that Sharia Law poses a threat to the American way of life is completely ludicrous, but that will never stop hate groups, neo-Nazis and white supremacists from using it as a tool to further their twisted agendas.
The marches on Saturday were organized by Act for America, the nation’s largest anti-Muslim hate group. It was founded by a Christian Lebanese immigrant named Brigitte Gabriel. She has said in the past that “every practicing Muslim is a radical Muslim” and that Muslims are a “natural threat to civilized people of the world, particularly Western society.”
People who believe this type of extremist rhetoric have only one goal and it differs little from the aim of ISIS. They mean to eradicate the other side. It is why neo-Nazis, white supremacists and gun-totting anti-government rednecks fall in line with groups like Act for America. Their desire for Muslim genocide isn’t always voiced as public policy, but it is policy nonetheless. They are Nazis after all.
Of course, holding hate filled marches against Muslims isn’t enough to get the government to act on their behalf. Although Trump is working hard to wipe out a sect of Islam by elevating the prospects of war in Qatar and the Middle East, even he can’t be seen annihilating the world’s second most populous religion.
For many of these extremist Christians, allowing Muslims to kill each other simply isn’t good enough. It never has been. They seek American involvement. The best way to accomplish this goal is by inciting violence at home. The easiest way to do so is to insult Muslims by protesting their religion en masse across the country. This is exactly what they are doing.
Extremists of any creed don’t take insults lightly. What the March Against Sharia was really intended to do was to provoke a violent Muslim response. Every violent attack by Muslims sways public opinion just a little more in the favor of these hate groups. People who were once rational now turn to them for answers or revenge.
The more hate groups, neo-Nazis and white supremacists push their agenda in the land of free speech, the more dangerous everything becomes. It didn’t take long for right-wing policies to go from overextended surveillance to a Muslim ban. If things continue the way they are, what will our policies look like twenty years from now?
Similarly, the war on terror expanded from two countries under Bush to seven under Obama. By the looks of things, Trump is looking to go much further, whether it’s indirect action or flat out war. What will the next president’s policy towards Muslims be like?
There is one major difference between the genocidal desires of ISIS and America’s hate groups of course. America has the power to pull it off. Four million of them dead and counting so far, but to these hideous people it will never be enough.
Hate incites violence. It’s pure and simple. It’s how fascism was born. It spreads like wildfire through a poor, uneducated, overly religious populace. Unfortunately, more and more Americans are falling under this class and many of them are too ignorant to understand that this is by design.
What we have is a vicious circle in which closet white-supremacist Christians get elected into power only to cut education and the safety net, thereby setting up the next generation to get trapped into poverty and all that it tends to bring. Hate isn’t inherited, it’s taught. That is what must be stopped.
I applaud the counter-protesters from this past weekend who attempted to shout down Act for America. It is important to show Muslims that not all Americans think alike, but I’m afraid it isn’t sufficient. The only tangible way to change a person’s ideology is with better ideas. Education and economic equality are the only things proven to keep fascists at bay and keep hope for peace alive.