The American Interest
Religion & Other Curiosities
Published on July 24, 2013
Islamophobia or Anthropophobia?

modi
On July 16, 2013, Asia News, an online Roman Catholic newsletter published out of Rome, carried a story involving Hindu-Muslim relations in India. I want to put this story into a wider context.
The story reports on a controversy sparked by an offensive remark by Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of the state of Gujarat and currently mentioned as a possible candidate for the federal office of Prime Minister of India. Modi is a prominent member of the Bharratiya Janata Party (BJP), which is a major challenger to the Congress Party, presently heading the coalition in charge of the federal government. An important constituency of the BJP consists of Hindu nationalists who see the Hindu religion as deserving a privileged position in the Indian state and whose politicians frequently engage in fiercely anti-Muslim rhetoric, despite the fact that the constitution of India defines it as a secular republic. Muslims are about 10% of the population of India; given the role of Hindu nationalists in the BJP, Muslims have tended to vote for the Congress Party.
Modi has been a controversial figure for a long time. He already headed the Gujarat state government in 2002, when about 2,000 Muslims were massacred in Gujarat by Hindu mobs, while police simply stood by or even, in some places, encouraged the mobs. Modi himself did nothing to stop the carnage, did not set up a proper investigation after it had occurred, and never apologized. Both Congress politicians and leaders of the Muslim community have blamed him for the 2002 events.
The situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that the massacre of Muslims was actually in retaliation for an earlier atrocity perpetrated by Muslims against Hindus. In the town of Gondhra a Muslim mob attacked a train carrying Hindu pilgrims returning from Ayodhya in the state of Uttar Pradesh, the site of an earlier violent confrontation between the two religions.  In Hindu tradition the town is the birthplace of Lord Ram, an important Hindu divinity.  This event was commemorated by a Hindu temple, long the destination of pilgrimages. In the 16th century, when the Moghuls ruled much of India, a mosque was built replacing the Hindu sanctuary. In 1992 a Hindu mob destroyed the mosque, in place of which a new temple in honor of Lord Ram was erected nearby, triggering nationwide riots between the two religious groups.  In 2002, when the train with Hindu pilgrims was attacked by irate Muslims, 58 of the pilgrims were killed. The ensuing massacre killed a much larger number of Muslims. Vengeance is rarely precise mathematically.

Because of his new political prominence and putative ambitions on the national scene, there has been renewed interest in Modi and his behavior during and after the 2002 massacre. He was recently interviewed by Reuters and asked whether he had ever felt guilt because of the massacre. He responded: “I would feel guilty if I had done something wrong.” He insisted once again, that he was innocent of any wrongdoing. But it was the way he illustrated this claim that was an occasion for outrage. This is what he said: “If someone else is driving a car, and I am sitting in the back seat, if a puppy ends up under the wheels, would it be a sad thing or not? Of course it would. Regardless of whether I am Chief Minister, I am a human being. If something bad happens somewhere, it is natural to be sad.”
Modi’s critics of course question his claim to have been an innocent bystander, in his unfortunate metaphor, an innocent passenger in a car driven by someone else. But of course what really offended in his statement, was the implication that the killing of 2,000 Muslims was no more saddening than the accidental death of a puppy. What some Muslims heard in Modi’s statement was that they are nothing but animals. Of course he did not say this, but one can understand why it may sound this way to aggrieved Muslim ears, especially to victims of the 2002 massacre or their relatives and friends.
In the media and in popular imagination, Muslims figure large as aggressors, enraged fanatics attacking various categories of infidels. This stereotype is what is meant by the term “Islamophobia”. If one gives credence to this quasi-psychiatric concept, then the above story can serve as an antidote. Here, for a change, Muslims appear as victims, not perpetrators of religiously motivated violence . Is there, somewhere in India, a BJP spokesperson denouncing “Hindophobia”. Muslims in Gujarat are unlikely to seek treatment to be cured of this malady. What I want to do here is to take the above story as an occasion for a closer look at the notion of Islamophobia.
The term “phobia” means not just any kind of fear, but an irrational fear, something out of the lexicon of psychiatry. Is it plausible to place a fear of Muslims into such a psychiatric frame of reference, kin to a fear of insects or of zombies or of turning oneself into an insect or a zombie, perhaps unless certain rituals are performed. Is fear of Muslims that clearly a delusion? I think the honest answer is no. Of course any fear may turn into a phobia, however much it may at first have been empirically based. If an individual, say on an African safari, has once been mauled by a lion, it is reasonable if that individual is now afraid of lions, especially in Africa. If that fear is now transferred to every pussycat encountered in American homes, one may indeed speak of a phobia. How many domestic felines in America have ever launched a lethal attack on a casual visitor. By contrast, our time has seen many acts of lethal violence by Muslims claiming to do so in the name of Islam. Put differently, there is considerable shortage of Presbyterian suicide bombers. As an Egyptian journalist wrote some time ago, not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists in the news today are Muslims. More recently, a British columnist wrote that every time he turns on the television or opens the newspaper, he sees crowds of frenetically angry men with beards acting violently or threatening to do so.
Ever since September 11, it has been part of political etiquette in America and in Europe to say that Islam must not be identified with its most extreme adherents. That of course is a valid observation, but it can also can also be used to deny certain facts. The etiquette was respected by George W. Bush when, in the immediate wake of September 11, he said that the United States was not at war with Islam, also said (with the best of intentions, that “Islam means peace”. Of course it doesn’t. “Peace” in Arabic is “salaam”, which Muslims use gracefully by wishing it on the recipient of every greeting—salaam aleikum, peace be upon you.
Islam derives from the verb “aslama”, which means “to submit”. To observe the etiquette in full, one must not only close one’s eyes to what is going on today, but to the entire course of Muslim history, beginning with the establishment of the first Muslim state in Medina, but going on to the establishment by means of force within a century of Muhammad’s death of an empire stretching from North Africa to the borders of India, constituting the dar al-Islam, the House of Islam, sharply divided from the dar al-harb the House of War,  the rest of the world not, or not yet, under Muslim rule.
The implication is that necessarily there is enduring warfare between the two houses.  Yet, for long periods of history, there was more tolerance of other faiths in the House of Islam than in Christendom. Thus, when  Christian Spain expelled the Jews in 1592, many thousands found refuge in the Ottoman Empire, where they were not only tolerated but where they flourished.
But in the contemporary world as well, one should recall that Muslims do not have a monopoly on religiously legitimated atrocities. The worst atrocities in Europe since World War II were committed by Christian Serbs against Muslims in the former Yugoslavia.
Quite often religious intolerance and the ensuing violence is ascribed to all the monotheistic faiths beginning with ancient Israel, then continuing in both Christianity and Islam – the God of monotheism is ‘a jealous God’, hence the First Commandment. This charge has been forcefully made by the so-called New Atheists. Those of us with experiences of interfaith dialogue have heard the charge regularly made by Hindus and Buddhists comparing invidiously the alleged peacefulness of their traditions with the alleged murderousness of the monotheistic faiths originating in western Asia. This too requires very selective use of contemporary data.  Hindu mobs in India have gone after Christians as well as Muslims. As to supposedly peaceful Buddhism, monks in saffron robes have urged on the repression of Hindu Tamils in Sri Lanka, and called for attacks on the Muslim minority in southern Thailand and western Myanmar. Apparently one can plot atrocities while sitting in the lotus position.
Yes, perhaps one should eschew the term Islamophobia. If one looks for a substitute, ‘anthropophobia’ might do.  Human beings have shown themselves capable of terrible deeds regardless of race or creed. There seems to be a terrible streak in the nature of our species. Christians have expressed this insight in the doctrine of original sin, which the British Catholic writer Gilbert Keith Chesterton has called the only doctrine for which faith is not required—it is solidly grounded in empirical evidence. One only has to look around.  If one prefers a more secular version of this insight one could say that homo sapiens is a malignant mutation of the large apes, carrying a gene of persistent propensity for fury and violence.
[Photo of Narendra Modi, courtesy Wikimedia Commons.]

  • wigwag

    It is interesting that Professor Berger brings the story of 2002 riots in Gujarat up because it brings to mind an incident recalled in a biography just published last week by former New York City Mayor, David Dinkins.

    For those who are unaware of it, the Crown Heights Riot took place on August 19-21, 1991 in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn; a neighborhood shared at the time (and still) by African and Caribbean Americans and Orthodox Jews of the Lubavitch sect. The riots began after a child of Guyanese immigrants, Gavon Cato, was accidentally struck and killed by an automobile in the motorcade of Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the sects Rebbe and revered leader.

    Later that evening, as the crowds and rumors about the incident began to grow, people threw bottles and rocks. At about 11:00 pm, someone reportedly shouted, “Let’s go to Kingston Avenue and get a Jew!” A number of black youths then set off westward toward Kingston Avenue (seven-tenths of a mile away from the site of the accident), a street of predominantly Jewish residents. Along the way, the mob vandalized cars and heaved rocks and bottles as they went.

    About three hours after the riots began, early on the morning of August 20, a group of approximately 20 young black men surrounded a 29-year-old Australian Jew, Yankel Rosenbaum, a University of Melbourne student in the United States conducting research for his doctorate. They stabbed him several times in the back and beat him severely, fracturing his skull. Before being taken to the hospital, Rosenbaum was able to identify 16-year-old Lemrick Nelson, Jr. as his assailant in a line-up shown to him by the police. Rosenbaum died later that night.

    On September 5, two weeks after the riot had been controlled, Anthony Graziosi, an Italian
    sales representative with a white beard dressed in dark business attire, was driving in the neighborhood. As he stopped at a traffic light at 11 pm, six blocks away from where Yankel Rosenbaum had been murdered, a group of four
    black men surrounded his car and one of them shot and killed him. It was alleged by Graziosi’s family and their attorney, as well as Senator Al D’Amato, Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, State Attorney General Robert Abrams and former Mayor Ed Koch that Graziosi’s resemblance to a Hasidic Jew precipitated his murder. Mayor Dinkins and the U.S. Justice Department did not agree and the murder was not treated as a bias crime.

    A tremendous controversy erupted over the way that Dinkins, and his Police Commissioner Lee Brown (both African Americans) handled the rampaging rioters who were indiscriminately attacking Jews. Lee Brown was later elected three times as Mayor of Houston. Numerous police officers who were on patrol in Crown Heights that day claim that they received unequivocal orders to let the crowd vent its spleen. There have been allegations that the police were instructed not to protect Jews or their property. Many New Yorkers believed that Mayor Dinkins was far more attuned to grievances of the African American community that he had been a long time leader of and indifferent to the plight of the Jews being attacked. Dinkins vehemently denies this.

    Dinkins opponent for the mayoralty, Rudolph Giuliani called the Crown Heights Riots a pogrom; Mayor Dinkins accused Giuliani of racism for characterizing it that way.

    On November 17, 1992, New York Governor Mario Cuomo gave the Director of Criminal Justice Services, Richard H.Girgenti, the authority to investigate the rioting and the Nelson trial. The Girgenti Report was compiled by over 40 lawyers and investigators, and consisted of a two volume, 600-page document of its findings on July 20, 1993. It was extremely critical of Police Commissioner Lee Brown. The report also embarrassed Dinkins on his handling of the riots. However, the report found no evidence to support the most severe charge against Dinkins and Brown: that he had purposely delayed the police response in order to allow rioters to “vent” their rage.

    There is little doubt that the Crown Heights riot was the major factor contributing to Giuliani’s defeat of Dinkins. Dinkins lost the 1993 election by only one percent; there is no question that New York’s significant Jewish population that had long supported him abandoned him in droves in favor of the former federal prosecutor.

    Dinkins new memoir was published just last week. In it he says,

    “There was no order given, there was no unstated code, there was no tacit understanding, there was nothing anytime or anywhere that authorized the police not to do their jobs, to stand down, to allow the black community to attack Jews and create mayhem,”

    Dinkins might have been right, it might have just been incompetence. Or maybe Dinkins just believes that,

    “If someone else is driving a car, and I am sitting in the back seat, if a puppy ends up under the wheels, would it be a sad thing or not? Of course it would. Regardless of whether I am {the mayor}, I am a human being. If something bad happens somewhere, it is natural to be sad.”

    • FrankArden

      The Crown Heights Riots were mentioned recently regarding the Zimmerman decision (I can’t remember where) to compare the angry reaction of the black community in Zimmerman to the peaceful reaction by Jews to the Nelson decision.

      Clearly Nelson displayed more aggravating factors than Zimmerman (profiling, anti-semitism, intent to assault and murder, hate, etc.) and was likely acquitted by a biased all black jury, yet the Jews had no nationwide protest for “justice” nor organizers like Sharpton, Jackson, the MSM, et al to stir the pot of hatred. No, none.

      The comparison would be almost funny if both events were not so tragic.

      By the way, that was a great post. You nailed Dinkins. He deserves it.

      • wigwag

        Thanks, Frank. While the aftermath of the Zimmerman trial did remind me of the aftermath of the Crown Heights Riot, it put me in mind of another incident even more strongly; I’m referring to the current imbroglio about the comments of Paula Deen.

        I’m not a Deen fan; I don’t buy her cookbooks and I don’t watch her television show. I’m far more inclined to enjoy a bagel and lox with a schmear than anything Deen is likely to offer in one of her restaurants.

        With that said, I am astounded at the vitriol directed at Deen for what appears to be at most a few inappropriate and racist comments that were apparently made several years ago. The food network has cancelled her show; she has lost all of her endorsement deals and the mainstream press is doing everything it can to turn her into a pariah. Just this morning the New York Times ran a hit piece on her that was remarkable for its lack of fairness and its triviality.

        See,

        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/25/us/paula-deens-soul-sister-portrays-an-unequal-bond.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

        Compare this with the treatment of Al Sharpton. His behavior during the Tawana Brawley episode in 1987 is well known. Sharpton defended Brawley long after it became obvious to everyone that her claim to have been raped was fraudulent and that she had scribbled the letters KKK on to her own stomach. Specifically, Sharpton named Assistant District Attorney Steve Pagones as one of the rapists. In short order it became obvious to everyone that Pagones had been falsely accused but Sharpton refused to withdraw the allegation.

        Pagones sued Sharpton for libel and was victorious. The jury found that Sharpton had made seven specific false and defamatory statements about Pagones. Sharpton was order to pay $65,000 to Pagones which was paid to Pagones on Sharpton’s behalf by Johnny Cochrain.

        Just a few years later, Sharpton was back at it during the Crown Heights Riots that I mentioned above. During his eulogy for Gavin Cato he called the Ambulance Service (run by a Jewish charity called Hatzalah) that tried to save the little boys life an “apartheid ambulance service.” He referenced “diamond merchants” in Israel, South African and Crown Heights, a classic anti Semitic trope. And he said “the issue is not anti Semitism, this issue is apartheid” just three days after a group of 20 men had surrounded an Australian Jew, Yankel Rosenbaum stabbing him to death and crushing his skull.

        Like Deen, the remarks in question happened more than a decade ago and like Deen, Sharpton has since modulated his style. Yet Deen’s remarks got her kicked off the air while Sharpton’s remarks cause not an iota of pause at MSNBC where he is employed. Sharpton not only has his own show on the network, but he regularly appears as a guest on other MSNBC shows and the parent network, NBC, regularly features Sharpton as a commentator during political conventions.

        How do you explain the difference in the way that Sharpton and Deen are treated?

        Personally I think it has a lot to do with the fact that standards of popular culture are largely set by elites in both universities and in the media. Academic elites and their allies in the media have never been more narcissistic, sanctimonious or divorced from the realities of every day life than they are now. Perhaps there is a better explanation.
        Ultimately all of this gets back to the point that Professor Berger was making in this post about Mr. Modi.
        Walter Russell Mead has a post up about Modi right now. In it he highlights how Vice President Biden assiduously avoided meeting with Modi while he was in India recently.
        Obama and Biden have always been happy to meet with confirmed Jew haters like Mohamed Morsi and Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey but for some reason they have found their scruples when it comes to meeting Modi.
        I wonder why. Perhaps its Islamophobia in reverse.

        • FrankArden

          Wigwag, you said: “I’m not a Deen fan; I don’t buy her cookbooks
          and I don’t watch her television show. I’m far more inclined to enjoy a bagel and lox with a schmear than anything Deen is likely to offer in one of her restaurants.”

          Being from Savannah, Deen’s home base of operations, I can only answer thus:

          I’m not a Deen fan; I don’t buy her cookbooks and I don’t watch her television show. I’m far more inclined to enjoy a shrimp sandwich on fresh rye slathered with mayonnaise and a dill pickle on the side with non-sweetened

          iced tea (or a cold beer) than anything Deen is likely to offer in one of her
          restaurants. In fact, I have never patronized her (or her brother’s) restaurants even when her flagship establishment, The Lady and Sons, was literally across the street from my office. So there!

          Otherwise, I have nothing against her and, as you, just don’t understand why
          she was so vilified by the media. I agree with you about the media, elites and PC choking, multicultural, tenured academics. They are all to blame for this racial
          witch-hunting zeitgeist of our time.

          Deen’s great indiscretion, according to her deposition, was as a
          frightened young bank teller thirty years ago, she later told her husband an
          “N-word” had put a gun to her face and robbed the bank. (As an aside, I wonder what happened to the thief she so hatefully and viciously maligned.)

          Also, I am amazed how the Sharptons and others like “Hymie Town” Jesse (we know
          why he won’t talk about illegitimacy to young black men) escape the opprobrium they so richly deserve.

          At any rate, I’d suggest there’s a hidden dynamic that exacerbates her crime:

          Paula Deen is a southerner. I know that sounds strange especially because she’s never been “accused” of being one. She doesn’t have to
          be. Although it’s not a crime, it’s a silent dog whistle call for hungry race
          baiters to gather quickly, as flies in the night, to feast at the nearest pig-sty south of the Mason-Dixon Line.

          As a sixty-year old southerner, born and reared in Savannah, I can remember what it was like in the early Sixties. I saw and heard some doings that would sound repugnant (and quaint) today and I heard all the back and forth arguments

          with the older generations. But I can tell you the N-word was not heard from
          either of my grandparents or my mother. I admit my dear father used that word
          promiscuously during the Washington, Detroit, Watts, etc., riots.

          But he changed.

          When he retired in the 80’s, he invested time and money in his “helpers;” young black men in their teens without fathers who wanted to work in his yard. He always overpaid them. They’d go with him to Lowes to buy something
          for the project at hand and then to lunch somewhere for hamburgers and
          milkshakes and then home to “water the grass and put the tools back in the
          garage”. My father died in 2007. I miss him.

          One of those young black men dropped by our family’s house by surprise on Thanksgiving two years ago with his own adolescent, yet mature son. He had retired after twenty years in the US Army, was happily married and held a responsible position in a supervisory role as an LEO at the Atlanta Federal
          Penitentiary. He and his son stayed for hours. He missed my father, too.

          Within that same year we hosted a birthday lunch for a ninety-year old black lady with over a hundred of her closest friends in attendance. She had
          helped my grandmother in her age and my family. She remains close to us and never fails to send a homemade fruitcake every Christmas.

          But I digress, or advance too far so to blunt my purpose, as it
          were.

          Back to the Sixties when I was little more than an observer of those segregated times. I knew I was caught in the middle of changing tides.
          I listened to the morally superior nightly news television broadcasts and read as much that the morally superior legacy-press could offer me.

          The awful historic shadows of Emmett Till’s lynching in
          Mississippi, Arkansas Gov. Oreville Faubus’ rejection of federal law in Little
          Rock, the murder of little black girls, the murder of young, idealistic Jews in
          Mississippi, George Wallace, Montgomery, the Edmond Pettus Bridge, water cannons dispersing and dogs biting black Christians in a peaceful
          protest made me sick.

          Then, in my later teens I read a book that had profound consequences upon my political soul and helped me through my southern dilemma and ongoing metamorphosis.

          The South and the Southerner, authored by Ralph McGill and published in 1963
          (It’s still available on Amazon) came under my eye when I was in high school. McGill was born in
          Tennessee in the 1890’s. He graduated from Vanderbilt and eventually became editor/publisher of the Atlanta Constitution. He loved the south and
          southerners.

          But that love did not limit his criticism of segregation. I believe that his love of the south made his criticism of segregation even more intense. I was against segregation and embarrassed by it as many southerners who knew it was terribly wrong. What impressed me was
          more between the lines. McGill’s writings made me understand how segregation was a moral burden upon the white southern soul. The duality of the races left guilt on white southerners that became a way, whether they were aware of it, to
          finally put the burden down.

          Another thing, in the context of Georgia, something else was
          changing. A group of young businessmen, many of them WWII vets who went on to finish school on the GI Bill, had families, children and responsibilities by the early Sixties and were increasingly concerned with economic growth. This
          was not particular to Georgia.

          One of them, Carl Sanders, a democrat, was elected governor of
          Georgia in 1962. He was young (near Jack Kennedy’s age), a lawyer, had cut his teeth as a state senator, and ran
          for governor not as an anti-segregation candidate (had he done so, he would
          have lost), but as a practical businessman.

          As Sanders
          correctly saw it, segregation was hurting economic growth and investment in
          Georgia, from both international and interstate sources of capital, especially from the northern states. State law limited him to one term and was followed by
          Lester Mattox (who defeated Jimmy Carter in the Democratic Primary) in 1966.

          Sanders ran again for governor in 1970, but was defeated in the Democratic
          Primary by Jimmy Carter who successfully labeled him “Cuff Links Carl” for his “silk stocking” associations as the senior partner of Troutman Sanders, the largest law firm in Georgia and the chief counsel for the firm’s largest client, the Southern Company: Georgia Power, Gulf Power (Florida), Alabama
          Power, and Mississippi Power.

          It is interesting to note that Carter was elected governor as Mattox was
          elected lieutenant governor. Further, four years prior, when Maddox was elected governor in 1966, a Sanders protégé, former speaker of the house under Sanders,
          George T. Smith, was elected lieutenant governor.

          Some Georgians seemed to want change while others found it too hard to focus their eyes beyond the pine trees at the end of the field. The result created a strange mix of politics leading into the 70′s.

          I knew George T, and worked for him when he lost the race for governor in 1974. We spent hours in a car together riding together or hopping around in a plane when the campaign could afford it (i.e., rarely).

          I was twenty years old and I traveled the state with him. He paid me only $300 that summer, but what I learned from that man was priceless.

          George Busbee was elected governor that year and brought to the state a business-oriented governor (also a recipient of the Sanders legacy).

          George T. Smith is the only man to have been speaker of the house, leiutenant governor, a justice of the court of appeals, and a justice of the Supreme Court. He was my friend.

          I last time saw Carl Sanders was three years ago was at George T’s funeral in Atlanta. He was an honorary pallbearer.

          I bring all this up because I want you to know that I was a part of political change in Georgia. I associated politically as a young man with men who gave me guidance and bearing. We fought for jobs and education and opportunity for all Georgians. There was not a racist or segregationist among us.

          Things were changing and I was part of it all as a young man. By 1980 Georgia was well on its way into a bright future.

          And yet, and yet, in the middle of all this progress a young, girl from inland South Georgia moved to Savannah and called a black bank robber, who put a gun to her head, an “N-word” to her husband.

          What an awful crime.

          It’s ironic no one would know this for thirty-five years.

          I have tried to respond to this thing we see before us today that is so vilified by the holier than thou, sanctimonious, hypocritical, elite.

          As always, those ho need to feel superior to we poor dumb southerners are part of the systemic hatred of southerners. This may be a dubious claim, but if anyone thinks it is, I would ask them to tell me how the claim of systemic racism is less dubious.

          It’s been going
          on for years, most lately with the criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision to void provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Just listen to the liberal left tell
          us that the south needs constant supervision of voting rights lest we fall back into racist discrimination at the voting booth.

          I know, I know, the media is full of so many southern characters from the
          lovable duck people to the swamp people, to the alligator people and to that
          despicable Honey Boo Boo creature.

          They all may be
          southern characters and charismatic in a way, but they are not true southern
          characters.

          They are caricatures.

          Lyndon Johnson
          probably said the N-word more than most senate majority leaders until he, as president, was finally “free at last, free at last,” (his words) so he could
          sing “We shall overcome.”

          Looking back,
          Lester Mattox was a caricature of southern segregation. So was George Wallace.

          Paula Deen is another caricature of a southerner. She certainly is not educated by Harvard standards. Personally, I think her southern accent is rehearsed, over ripe, exaggerated, overdone, overcooked, and low hanging fruit for the
          nearest southern hater.

          But none of that means she should be vilified for something she said thirty-five years ago. Nothing.

          O well, instead
          of going on and on, I’ll leave you with what the younger of us thought of as a fellow traveler against the hypocrisy from our moral superiors in the north. In 1974, a Jewish liberal songwriter, Randy Newman, published his Rednecks album.

          The signature song exposes the vapid moral superiority and hypocrisy of the Northern
          elites.

          The music is great. You can find it on You
          Tube here:

          You said, “Obama and Biden have always been happy to meet with confirmed Jew haters like Mohamed Morsi and
          Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey but for some reason they have found their scruples when it comes to meeting Modi.”

          It’s not hard to imagine that they also prefer Sharpton and Jackson to Paula Deen.

          God Bless

          • wigwag

            Frank, if you are still following this post, let me ask you a question that I have always wondered about.
            I have read that when Jimmy Carter ran against Carl Sanders in the 1970s that he ran way to Sanders’ right and that he deliberately utilized a populist appeal designed to alienate Sanders from working class whites. Specifically, Carter’s critics claim that he deliberately appealed to segregationists in a thoroughly calculating manner.
            There is a quote that is often attributed to Carter where he lambasts Sanders for

          • FrankArden

            1. “I have read that when Jimmy Carter ran against Carl Sanders in the 1970s that he ran way to Sanders’ right and that he deliberately utilized a populist appeal designed to alienate Sanders from working class whites.”

            Yes, that’s generally correct. In fact, I have read (I can’t cite just now) that in the 1970 campaign Carter told black leaders in Georgia and black supporters to hang on because they would like his administration as governor much more than they would like his campaign.

            That’s not to say that Carl did not
            dig his own grave. I have been told by way of anecdote from old, yet reliable
            sources that in 1962 Sanders came to Savannah and had lunch at a greasy spoon with blue-collar workers. He ordered a hamburger and fries and dumped half a bottle of ketchup on the fries and shook hands in a sweaty shirt with rolled up
            sleeves with all the patrons.

            In 1970, Carl returned to Savannah. He had a suite of rooms at the Desoto
            Hilton and entertained major supporters and contributors with expensive liquor and prime rib.

            I don’t think Carter ran so far to Sander’s right as Carter was able to sniff
            out populist (racist) resentments and exploit them.

            2. “Supposedly Carter went on to say,
            “I have nothing against a community that is made up of people who are
            Polish or who are Czechoslovakians or who are French Canadians or who are blacks trying to maintain the ethnic purity of their neighborhoods. This is a
            natural inclination.”

            Carter said this during the 1976 presidential primary.

            Personally, I thought the comment received too much attention by the press. Taken as a whole, the statement is rather innocuous, but the national climate
            (in the midst of the “bussing” controversy with the Supreme Court’s 1969
            decision to desegregate “at once” only in the recent past) was a contributing
            factor.

            Perhaps I’m cynical, but I remember toying with the idea that the ethnic purity remark was said on purpose to allay white fears that he was getting, as we used to say, “ all blacked up too soon.”

            The concept was practical and political, not philosophic. It was predicated by the fact that the overwhelming
            majority of black votes were monolithic, and powerful. If a primary
            (democratic) candidate sought black endorsements too early, he would lose white
            votes.

            But if he quietly sought the support of black clergymen and others early in the campaign, and had the money to turn the black vote out, then black endorsements the last two weeks of the campaign could put him over the top as most white voters had mostly decided their candidate and were unlikely to change. Important too, that the black leadership
            understood and liked this arrangement.

            I knew very well Carter was aware of this concept.

            Besides, campaign tactics with Sanders aside, Carter had established an excellent record as a desegregationist
            as governor that he could lean on with blacks, liberals, and the media (that adored him) as he “apologized” to them while the good ole boys could wish him well as he struggled with the liberal media and Vernon Jordan, etc.

            I also thought the Playboy interview was staged by the campaign for similar purposes. In the interview he said he had “lusted after women.” The statement actually helped him with libertines,
            liberals, and men as shibboleth of sorts that his born again Christian piety did not make him better and he was just a normal man. To Christians, it did little damage, if any, because they also knew that normal men look at women, that all Christians are sinners who must confess their sins, as he did, etc., etc.

            Tell me I’m crazy, but the fact is that both of these controversies probably
            helped him and neither hurt him. He won.

            3. “There was supposedly also an incident where Carter distributed a photograph of Sanders being embraced by black basketball players. I have also read that during the campaign, if elected, he promised to invite George Wallace to his inauguration.”

            Ah, “The Picture.” I haven’t seen it in years, but I remember it well. After
            his first term as governor, Carl Sanders and a group of wealthy Atlanta
            businessmen brought the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks to Atlanta (now one of the worst teams in the NBA) and was part owner of the team. The picture, first published on the sports page of one of the Atlanta papers, has a diminutive Sanders in coat and tie standing in the locker room between two seven foot tall blackplayers pouring a bottle of champaign on his head while they laughed.

            If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one was worth ten thousand, at least to segregationists andreligious conservatives. Here was Cuff Links Carl partying with alcohol in Atlanta while two big black bucks, his employees no less, debauched him. The
            copies were distributed all over the state, especially rural areas, in barbershops, beauty parlors, etc

            The prank was the pet project of Hamilton Jordan. You will recall that six years later Jordan would have a nice office in the West Wing of the White House as the president’s chief of staff.

            On the Wallace matter, I could be wrong, but I believe Sanders said after the ‘62 election that he would not invite Wallace to his inaugural. He would have been politically foolish to make this a controversy during the campaign. In the 70’ race, Carter used the issue to help divide Sander’s old base. Also, Wallace was not as well known in ’62 as he was in’70.Remember,
            Carter had told black supporters that they would not like his campaign. He didn’t have all that “Atlanta Crowd” money, etc.

            But remember too, Sanders, known as
            Georgia’s first “New South” governor, endorsed segregationist Lester Mattox for governor in 1966 in the general election along party lines.

            By the way, Mattox hired as his executive secretary (chief of staff) Zell Miller. Miller said and defended some downright racist things that made some of us wonder how he could have become
            “reconstructed” by 1974 with the black and liberal vote when he was elected lieutenant governor and George Busbee beat Lt. Gov. Maddox seeking a second
            term.

            Busbee, another Sanders protégé from the early Sixties, hired as executive
            secretary a young lawyer from Sanders’ law firm, Norman Underwood. Norman, who would
            later be appointed the court of appeals by Busbee, resigned to challenge Sen. Herman Talmadge and the Talmadge machine in the 1980 Democratic Primary. Zell was also in the race. I worked hard for Norman. We lost the primary in third toZell who lost the runoff to Talmadge. Talmadge lost the general election to anunknown republican copy machine salesman from Brunswick.

            It was during the 1980 primary that Norman tagged Zell with the nickname, Zig
            Zag Zell. It stuck. Over thirty years later, we still call him that.

            I suppose Carter would have been a
            candidate for that honor, but it just didn’t have the same ring to it.

            Strange times.

  • Anthony

    Darwin gave us a theory of why living things have the traits they have, not just their bodily traits but the basic mindsets and motives that drive their behavior. Hobbes defined it thus: “So that in the nature of man, we find three principal causes of quarrel. First, competition; secondly, diffidence; thirdly, glory. The first maketh men invade for gain; the second for safety; and the third, for reputation….” Underlying Hobbes theory was Leviathan (government) but religious violence as intimated above could easily fall under the realm of ideology.

    And ideological violence is a means to an end (triumph of Islam; spread of Christianity; maintenance of Hindu India; etc.). The end is Religious – conception of greater good. As I read essay, the idea comes to mind that people take their cues on how to behave from other people and essay’s query may be right: Anthropophobia.

  • Hiwa Mala Ali

    thanks I read your article. but I have some comment with respect to your idea, but we witness every day oppressions and tyrants act towards Muslim. what about Myanmar Hinduism that kill and committed massive killing? Is it right to Muslims to expressing what there is somethings done wrongly?

  • Fed Ang
  • Wayne Lusvardi

    NEWS FLASH FROM THE AGLAIA HOLT NEW SERVICE: Archibishop Tutu says he would not worship a homophobic god

    (whew! at least he didn’t say an Islamophobic god)

    Source: Global Post, July 26, 2013

    ALSO JUST IN: Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer have married and named their new baby “Mo”(hammed).

  • Mohammed Magout

    There is a saying that I heard in a song by rapper Brother Ali: “Terrorism is the warfare of the poor… Warfare is the terrorism of the rich”. It is true that there is a lack of Christian and Jewish suicide bombers, but there is a wealth of drones, F-16′s, Apatches, and other weapons of death and destruction used by Western powers and Israel. If “fear of Muslims” has realistic grounds, then antisemitism and hatred toward Americans are equally justifiable. I don’t know why prof. Berger uses another zoomorphic metaphor to depict Muslims. Modi compared them to a puppy being driven over by a car and he compares them to a wild, unpredictable lion. Terrorism is terrible, and so is what Western countries and Israel doing against Muslims and Arabs in many parts of the world. Any “fear” of “the other” (“the other” being an entire collectivity based on religion, race, or nationality) because of the atrocities committed by a section of this group no matter who small or big is totally unjustifiable in my opinion.

  • Gary Novak

    If the persistent human propensity for fury and violence (Original Sin) is a fact requiring no faith to
    appreciate, then it would be irrational to describe the fear of humans as a phobia. Insofar as all phobic terms are politically correct attempts to exempt certain categories from criticism
    (Muslims, homosexuals, etc.), such terms are indefensible. (Arachnophobia is not an attempt to protect spiders from “hate crimes.”) But
    anthropophobia might still be preferable to Islamophobia because, when the negation is negated, it suggests not only the true scope of the problem but its true nature as well: there is a tragic dimension to our Original Sin which is not addressed by our attempts, however diligent, to sort out the good guys and the bad guys.

  • Chitrakut Deshpande

    Much of what author states about Modi allowing riots to happen is propaganda. And which is why a person like me will only vote for modi.