It's rare that I listen to or read Fox News, for obvious reasons: They headline a bunch of racist liars who have spread their nastiness so far and wide that the repercussions will be felt across the globe for generations to come.
That being said, I came across this headline today in my internet ramblings and, I feel that it is important that I speak out about it.
Why Nigeria matters: Boko Haram kidnapping grim reminder of radical Islam threat
But above that, there are actually two words that are surprising coming from Fox, although I don't think they will have realized the implications of what they are saying. That is not surprising because they rarely do.
The two words above the headline are: Religious Terror.
Of course in the narrow-minded world that comprises “Fox” the only religion that is safe is Christianity, in all it's Protestant Reformation varieties. Baptists, Methodists, Lutherans, Presbyterians hell even throw in a Mormon or two and don't forget the Amish and the Quakers. Catholics? Can't leave them out. We'll just forgive and forget that whole Inquisition thing. No harm, no foul.
We can't leave out religion that puts the “Judeo” in Judeo-Christian tradition amirite? That's right. Jesus was Jewish wasn't he? Well all right then, Judaism is officially allowed on the Gentile approved list.
Wait. What about Buddhism? Well they're all about peace and we like those cute little chubby statues. Let's keep them on the list. Hindus? Well India is all the rage these days and they have that neat little cow fetish. That's just more beef for us.
What about the Sikhs? Doesn't get any more peaceful than them, right?
But wait. Don't those people wear turbans? Isn't that a little close to those Muslims? And Muslims are dangerous. Islam is dangerous. I mean it's really all about the visual isn't it? How will we know the good turban-wearers from the bad turban-wearers? The jury is still out on the Sikhs. That turban thing and all. Wait. Some Hindu's wear turbans too? Oh hell.
Well anyway, the important thing is that where Muslims and Islam is concerned there is no doubt. Fox and the rest of their Republican and conservative friends would have us believe that the threat from Islam is paramount. Especially Radical Islam. Very spooky. Must be afraid. Dare I say, terrified?
So the hierarchy of religions in America has been established by no less than the Supreme Court who recently ruled that invoking the name of Jesus in prayers at government meetings is just fine and dandy. I can't help but wonder if they would feel the same way about invoking the name of Muhammad. At any rate, according to the Supreme Court (and Hobby Lobby), Christianity is obviously good and benign, therefore it is at the top. The rest of the world religions fall in line on a scale of how little or how much they scare Conservative WASP's, if they're aware of them at all.
Although I was raised a Christian, these days, Radical Christians are to be feared every bit as much as Radical Islamists. It's almost as if the problems regarding using religion as a weapon were religious beliefs in general not just the beliefs one particular sect. Who knew?
Because honestly, I don't find Radical Islam any different from Radical Christianity with it's Purity Balls and Quiver-full wives and don't even get me started on the Pro-Birth contingent. As recently as this past week there have been people on Fox debating whether women should even be allowed to hold jobs or, if we do allow women in the workplace, should we allow them to earn more than their husbands; because it may make men feel emasculated. Women should starve and so should their children if it means hurting a man's feelings. We can't have that.
The irony is lost on Fox that this story about what women should be paid was presented by a woman who is obviously holding a job. Are two pay scales at Fox: one for men and one for women? Do women at Fox get paid less than their male counterparts and, if so, do they accept this as just the way things should be?
Sadly, among men and women, there has always been, and it seems there always will be, a segment of every religion that would deny women their full autonomy and humanity. Women are to be controlled, stereotyped, stigmatized, and in every way possible made to feel that their only purpose is to do what they are told by men.
Men have used every religious book at their disposal to justify misogyny as the will of Jehovah, Allah, God, whatever name you want to give that Spirit in the Sky. Whether it's the The Torah, the Christian Bible, The Book of Mormon and yes, The Koran, every set of religious instructions seems to include a special section on how to interpret them in ways confirming that women are meant to be subservient to men.
The Boko Haram kidnappings are a terrible tragedy. Fox would use them as a way to stoke yet more fear of Islam and Muslims. Yet more pathetic racism that obscures the real issue.
The Boko Haram group are a sharp reminder that we need to be wary of the Fox in sheep’s clothing: anyone, anywhere, who would use any religion to oppress women in the name of God.