The fundamental radical Islamist terrorist group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) is one of the most dangerous paramilitary organisations threatening the Middle East today. But they aren’t just responsible for a number of genocidal atrocities. They’re also arguably to blame for the Western world’s skewed perspective on the vast majority of normal, moderate Muslims. It just goes to show that ideology and propaganda can be just as damaging as physical violence.
Despite this, Western media is just as much to blame for the increasing prevalence of Islamophobia and the extent to which Muslim achievements and positive initiatives are marginalised in favour of further coverage of extremism – a paradigm which plays into the hands of neo-Nazi and white supremacist movements.
This is particularly ironic, especially considering that neo-Nazi groups and ISIS have a lot on common. Both are militant, xenophobic, homophobic and misogynistic, and believe in the inherent superiority of their respective worldviews. Both groups believe in segregation and ethnic cleansing, and both groups use coercion, violence and cruelty to secure power for themselves.
It’s for this reason that it’s so inspiring when bigots end up knocked down a few pegs by someone with a good sense of historical perspective – and that’s exactly what happened this week when a white supremacist dared to challenge Washington lawyer Qasim Rashid, who managed to effortlessly shut down his prejudiced opinions.
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