Florida Family Association, best-known for their campaign against Disney’s “Gay Day,” are so terrified of a new TLC show about Muslims living in America that they’ve engaged in an advertiser pressure campaign. Bank of America and Lowe’s have already removed their ads, and FFA claims dozens more have followed suit. Their website calls the show
propaganda clearly designed to counter legitimate and present-day concerns about many Muslims who are advancing Islamic fundamentalism and Sharia law. The show profiles only Muslims that appear to be ordinary folks while excluding many Islamic believers whose agenda poses a clear and present danger to liberties and traditional values that the majority of Americans cherish.
Because there just aren’t enough shows on television that spike our fear of Muslims, you know? Every other episode of 24 and three-quarters of the show plots on NCIS are just not enough to balance a one-hour cable program that shows Muslims acting like sane, rational people. Which brings me to mention another show on TLC about exactly the sort of people that FFA warns against — except they’re not Muslim. They’re the Duggar family.
In case you haven’t heard, Michelle suffered a miscarriage last week while attempting to gestate her twentieth child. Why have so many? As outspoken and public as they are, their governing theology gets little attention. Deliberate and unlimited reproduction is characteristic of the Christian patriarchy movement, better known as “quiverfull,” of which they are a proud part.
The purpose of having twenty children — and encouraging each of them to have twenty children — is to increase the number of Christians in the world and outnumber the infidels. Really! But the FFA has no complaints about a show in which Michelle Duggar treats her uterus as Jesus’s own birth-cannon. Such a show is harmless, wholesome entertainment in their world.
Interrogate Islamophobia and you will always find demographic paranoia. See the entire history of Israeli population policy (.PDF), for example, or the groundless paranoia about Muslims taking over Europe that led Anders Breivik to kill 77 people. By these lights, there are ‘too many mosques’ in America — in fact, a staggering 1,200 of them, which are now only outnumbered 250-1 by churches. I don’t include the Ground Zero mosque in that count, because it isn’t a mosque.
FFA cites rabid hatemonger Pam Geller, who led the charge against 51 Park Place by decrying a non-existent mosque project, as a voice of authority at their website. Remember, it’s not important whether Emmanuel Goldstein is real — it is only important that you hate and fear him. The purpose of clashing civilizations and Biblical apocalypse is to excuse anything, even destroying freedom in order to save it.
Islamophobia is the new McCarthyism. During the last decade, Islam filled a hole left in the right wing psyche by the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yesterday’s existential threat of nuclear annihilation is now a suicide bomber with exploding underpants. God forbid any television show should offer a different view of Muslims; without paranoid, delusional fear of someone, how would we know who to hate?