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Unintended victims: Muslims in Western society

by Laura Marchand January 20, 2015
Unintended victims: Muslims in Western society

Fox News anchor’s anti-Muslim rant indicative of systematic problem

Over the course of the past few weeks, terrorism has again become the talk of the media, if it ever even left. Of course, our hearts and minds should go out to the victims of such tragedies—even the unintended ones.

It is never easy to be a member of a visible minority. But it becomes even more difficult, almost unbearably so, when your minority is associated with acts of terror. It’s the reality that Muslims and those of Middle Eastern descent have been living with ever since 9/11 fourteen years ago. This is especially true in France, which has banned the hijab in public schools, in addition to the niqab and burqa in public spaces. (This may sound familiar to those familiar with the policies of our own former premier, Pauline Marois.)

The effects of these attacks are felt on them for years, even if they are completely isolated from the incident at hand. Hate doesn’t heal. And that was never more apparent than on Fox News on Jan. 10, when Jeanine Pirro opened her segment with the words: “We need to kill them.”

Of course, who “them” was slowly became horribly clear.

“We need to kill them, the radical Muslim terrorists hell-bent on killing us,” Pirro continued. “You’re in danger. I’m in danger. We’re at war, and this is not going to stop.”

For those of you who have the unfortunate punishment of being familiar with Fox News rhetoric, this doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary. But she continued, and it only got worse.

“Our job is to arm [unradical Muslims] to the teeth, give them everything they need to take out these Islamic fanatics—let them do the job. We simply need to look the other way.”

In the seven minute-long rant, Pirro also calls for an end to “nuclear negotiation nonsense,” claiming that “they don’t operate the way we do” and that they simply “can’t even reason with these people.” Other lines that I could not believe were not satire included: “bomb them, bomb them, and bomb them again.” Upon speaking about President Barack Obama’s supposed “fear” of confronting terrorism, she adds: “I’m surprised the President hasn’t signed an executive order that says ‘don’t offend Muslims.’”

Allow me to understand this correctly: Pirro is asking for the co-operation of people that she claims cannot be reasoned with due to a perceived lack of societal intelligence, people that she claims don’t “operate” the same way “we” do (whoever this perceived “we” is)? She is asking the average citizen to enter into a war with an organized, military force and put their families in danger—and she refuses to acknowledge the idea of not offending them?

There’s a horrible trend of Muslims being asked to take responsibility for the acts of extremists, and I admit that, working in newsrooms, it’s something I have been complicit to. We ask them to denounce it (as if they wouldn’t), to explain it (how can anyone “explain” senseless violence?), and now, we ask them to be executioners.

Perhaps we should talk about Western foreign policy in the Middle East as a catalyst for anti-Western sentiment, and not paint a minority with a broad brush of blood.

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