– As conditions in Afghanistan and Iraq continue to deteriorate and casualties from the two wars continue to mount, the US media is attempting to garner support for the highly unpopular conflicts by portraying law-abiding Muslims as terrorists and extremists.
Following are a series of exclusive Press TV interviews with Mark Glenn, author and co-founder of “The Crescent and Cross Solidarity Movement,” on the western justification for the rise in Islamophobia.
Kaneez Fatima talks to Mark Glenn on Islamophobia in US
‘Islamophobia at worst level since 9/11′
Pastor Terry Jones, in particular, has been given a platform to fan the flames of anti-Islamic sentiments while desecrations of mosques and assaults on Muslims in America are on the rise.
Saeed Pourreza talks to Mark Glenn on Islamophobia in US
Waqar Rizvi talks to Mark Glenn on Islamophobia in US
The following is a rush transcript of the interview:
Press TV: To discuss Islamophobia in the US, we are being joined by author and journalist Mark Glenn, and he’s also the co-founder of the “Crescent and Cross Solidarity Movement. ‘ Many thanks for joining us here on Press TV.
Now the problem is deeper than just the burning of the Quran, the Cordoba mosque, or even Obama secretly being a Muslim. There is no doubt that the US is simmering with anti-Islamic sentiments at the moment. How would you assess the natural conversation about religious tolerance in the US ever since 9/11?
Glenn: Well certainly it has decidedly turned worse in the last few months, particularly. I haven’t seen anything like this except literally in the days following 9/11. As for religious tolerance in this country, this is a very polite fiction that we entertain these days; this idea that we are tolerant of other religious.
But clearly when you have a pastor, a supposed Christian pastor, threatening to burn piles of Qurans, despite these lessons we should have learned from World War II in considering totalitarian systems where they burned the books of authors they didn’t approve of.
Clearly we have a storm of intolerance that is sweeping this country, and it’s not by accident either. The pastor in Florida who has come up with this lunatic idea for doing this is being supported by some very powerful groups in this country. These are groups, who stand to benefit from fostering this intolerance of Islam. As I said before, in preparation for launching ever more disastrous wars in the Middle East. Terry Jones is not smart enough — I’m sorry to say — to come up with an idea like this all on his own. Then of course to engineer all the attention that he has received in the mainstream media. I mean we are talking about a little church here in a little corner in Florida that has 50 members. Perhaps only 15 or 20 of those attend weekly. So to literally gather the world’s attention via the media means that there were powerful forces at work behind this, and clearly what they want to do is create an environment in this country where Americans are decidedly against Muslims, and for easy-to-understand reasons.
We are in two wars right now — one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan and unofficially, in Pakistan. The same people responsible for driving us into this disastrous situation — in regard to the two wars — are only getting warmed up. They would love nothing more than to see us involved in Iran, Syria and Lebanon and on and on until literally the western world and Islamic world have mutually destroyed each other through decades of bankrupting conflict.
Press TV: The recent controversies have also created a larger debate — the rights of American Muslims. In a country that is fighting to promote freedom abroad, why is being a Muslim and an America such a dilemma?
Glenn: Well it isn’t a dilemma. Muslim Americans are the salt of the earth and they are every bit as much Americans as people who are born here. This is an artificially created situation that we are seeing taking place fostered by demagogues and people, who as I said, have an interest in fostering this situation.
If you remember in our country’s history there was a time when Blacks were not considered human beings in terms of the law. This was used to justify the most inhumane and cruel treatment against them. This went on literally for centuries. So it’s the same — whether we are talking about the Blacks, who were brought here, or whether we are talking about the dehumanization of the American Indians, or whether we are talking about the Muslims today.
There is a war going on and there are people who are profiting from this war greatly and the American people are sick of the war. They are bankrupt. They don’t have jobs. They can’t feed their children. They can’t put roofs over their families’ heads. And the reason all this is taking place is because we are drawn out into two wars that we cannot win. Thus we are not as enthusiastic about launching any new wars as we may have been on September 11, 2001. So the interested parties need to keep this fire going. So they are throwing on anything that will burn in order to keep this anti-Islamic hysteria going.
As I said, not only in interest of justifying the past, and in justifying the murder of 2 million innocent Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan, but also to prepare the American mind for the future; in particular to prepare war with Iran and Syria and so on.
Press TV: With Americans sacrificing lives and earnings for wars without their stated goals being met, shouldn’t they question the government instead of the Muslim citizens’ intentions and faith?
Glenn: Well of course. Where are the weapons of mass destruction that we were being promised were built and assembled in Iraq? The closest we had to an acknowledgement that there were not weapons of mass destruction in an official capacity from our president was when he was making jokes about it at the gathering that they have once a year with the White House and the press club.
He was making jokes looking behind the curtains saying, “Where are those weapons, where are those weapons.” In the meantime, millions of people have had their lives destroyed as result of this. So yes, the American people, particularly the American people, considering our country was formed out of distrust of the government, should be questioning their government right now.
They should be asking why are 5,000 of our young people dead? Why have we gone bankrupt fighting these wars? Why are we on the cusp of launching new wars? And yet, sadly, there isn’t this awakening or this consciousness yet within the American people. But my prediction is that the deeper we get into these conflicts, and the more that these things bite in a very personal way, Americans will begin questioning these things.
Source: Press TV