Islamophobia and Zionism: What's the connection?

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Long before 9/11, a group of pro-Israel advocates began sounding the alarm about the rise of 'Islamists' in the United States. So-called "terror experts" like Daniel Pipes and Steven Emerson, for years have raised 'dire warnings' in  the media about the growing population of Muslims in the United States. Emerson wrongly blamed the Oklahoma City bombing of 1995 on "Middle East terror," on a national news broadcast. Others have warned of a the threat a "stealth jihad," was poised to take over the country. 

Today, more than one decade after the September 11 attacks and after one of the most brutal presidential campaigns in recent history, Islamophobic rhetoric is still accepted in mainstream discourse. Outside influencers have successfully divided Muslims into two camps -- "good, moderate Muslims," who remain silent on major issues impacting their community, and so-called 'radicals.'  There's been an increase in surveillance on Muslims, with federal agencies placing informants in mosques and stigmatizing mosque communities through the use of Countering Violent Extremism programs.

Solidarity has no meaning if one is not open to listening to the voice of the voiceless living under occupation, facing daily assaults, dispossession and human rights violations. The calls from Palestinian civil society were completely disregarded and an 'American Muslims know it best' attitude was offered in response. ~ Dr. Hatem Bazian

Against this backdrop, Muslims -- especially Muslim leaders and organizations -- have been struggling with how to engage in healthy interfaith dialogue that can promote understanding between peoples because of strategic efforts by Zionist organizations to co-opt these well meaning events. In other words, pro-Israel organizations have outlines strategies and tactics to engage Muslims in 'interfaith cooperation' in attempts to get them to focus solely on domestic issues and forgo Palestine all together. And when fear and confusion grew after the Trump won the 2016 presidential election, we suddenly saw Zionist organizations like the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, both staunchly anti-Arab and promoters of Islamophobia, reaching out to Muslims. 

AMP is attempting to expose these bogus interfaith attempts while offering guidelines for how to navigate these efforts by Zionist organizations. 

Several very good programs and research exist on Islamophobia, including the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project of the Center for Race and Gender at the University of California, Berkeley. The project was founded by AMP Chairman, Dr. Hatem Bazian, a Berkeley lecturer. The Center for American Progress published a report titled, "Fear Inc. 2.0 The Islamophobia Industry's efforts to manufacture hate in America." And the Council on American Islamic Relations published its report, "Same Hate New Target."

These are all great resources on the general topic of Islamophobia and the financial network of support behind its dissemination.

Creeping Normalcy

The American Muslims for Palestine is concerned with a specific form of Islamophobia we call "Creeping Normalcy," which are efforts to normalize Israel's occupation of Palestine through illegitimate interfaith cooperation. AMP Is especially interested in the connection between Israel, Zionism and Islamophobia. It is important to understand the relationship between these issues in order to develop appropriate strategies in defining your interfaith work. 

AMP  maintains interfaith relationships and intersectional solidarity work are instrumental in the movement for justice in Palestine. We firmly support appropriate interfaith work, when it is based upon the common values of justice and international and American law.  But we must identify pro-Israel, Zionist organizations, whose agenda is the unequivocal support of Israel. One way to do this is to use Islamophobia to attack and smear Muslims who do Palestine solidarity work. 

Use this page as a resource. Here you will find articles, reports, and power points you can download and use to educate yourselves and others on this topic. 

The AJC’s Role in Anti-Muslim Discourses: Negotiating Alliances in the Age of Islamophobia
Islamophobia bankroller behind organizer of Israel junket for US “Muslim leaders”
Boycott Israel’s “Muslim Leadership Initiative,” Palestinian civil society urges
‘Interfaith’ Under Occupation is Normalization, Not Solidarity!


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