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Two Tales of Islamophobia: the US and Germany


By dlindorff - Posted on 03 September 2010

Dirty Jews and Ragheads:
If Modern America Resembles Weimar, the Tea Party Resembles...

By Betsy Rossinsky

I learned I was Jewish the hard way. Soon after my mother died, her ex-husband (my father) took me away to live with him. I was seven.

“You killed Christ,” a pretty little girl named Peggy told me as a matter of fact on my first day at the new school. Apparently, Peggy’s mother didn’t like the sound of my name when she heard I was joining the second grade class. (She had called our housekeeper to verify her suspicion.)

“I didn’t kill Christ. The Jews killed Christ,” I replied, sure in my knowledge. My mother was an Episcopalian, who had sent me to Sunday School at the small church right across our street.

“Well, you’re Jewish,” Peggy retorted and marched away to join her friends.

That night I asked my father, “Am I Jewish?”

“Daddy is Jewish,” he said in a gentle voice. “When you’re grown-up you can decide who you want to be.”

He was wrong...

_____________

A Would-Be Paul Revere in Germany:
“The Muslims Are Coming!”

By Victor Grossman

             Berlin--The “mosque menace” is not confined to Lower Manhattan or the USA. In many European countries similar alarms are being sounded, usually in tones recalling Paul Revere: “The Muslims are coming!”

Although according to Sarkozy in France, Berlusconi in Italy and the militarized neo-fascist Jobbik Party in Hungary the danger is more from the Roma people (also called Gypsies), more often than not it’s those scary Muslims who are seen as the most menacing threat. Yes, we better watch out!  Switzerland had its referendum against minarets, bleached-blond rabble-rouser Wilders won third place for his “Hate Islam” party in the Netherlands and now bar-room battlers  in Germany are being called upon to struggle against the Turks and any or all of their Islamic fellow-religionists.

The best-known crusader for Germanic purity at the moment is Thilo Sarrazin, no typical rabble-rouser, but rather a finely dressed, proper looking Prussian-type banker, with bristly mustache and a slightly drooping right eye.  To the embarrassment of some of its leaders, he has long been a member of the Social Democratic Party, and for years was minister of finance in the city-state of Berlin.

In those days his righteous anger was not focused against immigrant groups but against “lower castes” in general, and he wielded sharp scissors against social programs. Since Berlin has been heavily in debt for years, this was long accepted as unpleasant necessity. His notoriety began with comments that the jobless should be satisfied with the dole money they got, or even less. A sausage and some sauerkraut made a good, inexpensive dinner, he pointed out, and as for heating, he argued that “…people should consider whether they can’t get along at home quite sensibly with 15-16 degrees (c. 60 degrees Fahrenheit) by putting on a heavy sweater.”...

For the rest of these two paired articles on Islamophobia by BETSY ROSSINSKY AND VICTOR GROSSMAN in ThisCantBeHappening!, please go to: ThisCantBeHappening!

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