#MuslimRage and the roots of intolerance

By Najah Farley

By now, everyone is aware of the Newsweek cover story titled, Muslim Rage, which has been the target of both praise and ridicule throughout the blogosphere and national news. After Newsweek published the cover story with the cover photo of Muslim men almost literally frothing at the mouth in anger, there was a social media backlash on Twitter, where Muslims wrote back about their perceptions of Muslim Rage. Also, Gawker published 13 Powerful Images of Muslim Rage, which included a number of comical pictures of enraged Muslims, one depicting the rage of a Jordanian toddler holding a flag and another showing Iranian Muslims who were making snowmen were in the midst of a “snow rage.”

Outside of the comical aspect of this story, it is an important to recognize what these continuous photos and depictions of Muslims enraged do to our national consciousness. The constant images are part of a continuous dehumanization of Muslims and the Muslim world. It is in the context of these depictions that we continue to hear more and more about President Obama’s drone program, which targets areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, but outside of the left leaning progressives, few have raised many questions about this program and its utility. Some have speculated that the drone program and targeted assassinations are the more concrete cause of the riots across the Muslim world, but I would argue that our tolerance of the drone program and the targeted assassinations are related to the prevalence of these images of Muslim rage. Because, as long as we as Americans continue to see Muslims as the other, a people intent on America’s destruction, it is easy to for us, as Americans, to justify these programs, programs that have led to constant fear and terror in certain areas of the Muslim world.

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