Anti-Arab Racism in the USA: Where it Comes From and What it by Steven Salaita PDF

By Steven Salaita

A sophisticated account of anti-Arab racism in brand new the USA and its position in supposedly 'liberal' groups, specially considering the fact that September 11.

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Or the unnecessary invasion of Panama in 1989 in which 3,000 civilians were murdered and thousands more dispossessed? Or the sanctions on Iraq throughout the 1990s that, according to many observers, resulted in the deaths of half a million Iraqi children? These actions aren’t terrorism if they are voraciously rationalized as the good work of a nation interested only in liberating others from their barbarity. In contrast, the culture of the barbarians needing liberation is necessarily terroristic if the rationalization for torture and intervention is to succeed.

Amo never blew up buses or kidnapped tourists. He owned no Katyushas or bombmaking equipment. By all accounts, in fact, he was the best type of pacifist, one who didn’t proselytize about nonviolence but never engaged in a violent act during his life. According to many of my American peers, however, Amo was still a terrorist because he was an Arab. I should make a confession before I continue with a discussion of how the word terrorism functions today in American society. I despise the word. I think the word is overused zealously and carries with it a racist undertone and a startling ability to dehumanize those at whom it is directed (which has a lot to do with its current overuse in the United States).

Evil, of course, means Arabs. Or, at the very least, it insinuates that evil is exclusive to the Islamic world while the United States has a divine monopoly on goodness. In fact, the invasion of Iraq was predicated largely on the recapitulation of the language of nineteenth-century European colonialism. Speaking of enemies—enemies being anybody who might prove an impediment to the United States’ appetite for foreign resources—as evil is fundamentally a part of the American vocabulary, dating back to Cotton Mather’s diatribes about the evils of North America’s indigenous peoples (whom he dubbed “Canaanites”) and the need to do God’s work by exterminating them.

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