[Marxism] Polls and Camps

ykleftis at hushmail.com ykleftis at hushmail.com
Sun Dec 19 01:50:54 MST 2004


Almost half of US favors legal restrictions on Muslims, 65% of 
"highly religious" Americans believe Islam encourages violence:
 
http://www.news.cornell.edu/releases/Dec04/Muslim.Poll.bpf.html
 
This is especially dangerous given scattered, unclear reports of 
planning and construction of possible concentration camps. Dozens 
of rightist blogs, sites, etc. advocate concentration camps, 
intensive surveillance, and summary deportation, but I did not post 
them here. The existence of a pro-camp sentiment socially does not 
mean that the state is actually building them; yet, take a glance 
at this set of links to start your own research and decide for 
yourself:

http://www.infowars.com/cc_archive.htm

I do not believe in conspiracy theory, only in history and culture. 
There is a tradition and a mentality supporting concentration camps 
in the US, so I would not be surprised if high-level discussions 
have taken place about herding Americans and others of Arab, 
Muslim, or other “suspect” backgrounds into camps; indeed, US 
concentration camps have a history extending past WWII internment 
into the genocide of native Americans. Given the regressive 19th 
century world view of many on the US right, a camp plan may already 
be in place. Is the US one manufactured “terrorist” incident away 
from mass incarceration?
 
As for the “oppressed women” perception reported in the poll, it 
illustrates a large measure of hypocrisy along with plain ol' 
ignance:
 
*Keep in mind that US women make about 75% of men's wages on 
average and have never made much more.  

*Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Yemen, 
Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India and other countries with a 
large Muslim population had given women the vote before the Swiss 
(1971) or the Portuguese (1974). Australians were given a 
restricted franchise as late as 1962. The lack of women’s suffrage 
as an indicator of “oppression” is not correlated with the religion 
of Islam.

*"Intimate violence" (meaning violence committed by known 
relations, including murder), called "domestic violence" in the US 
and western Europe but derisively termed "honor crimes" when 
occurring other parts of the world, is slightly higher in the US as 
a proportion of the population than in places such as Jordan. Do 
the research and the math if you want to verify these figures and 
compare them with other countries.
 
*It is also hard to see how the chaos and violence of war, such as 
those waged by the US in countries with large Muslim populations in 
Yugoslavia, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, does not work to 
oppress women (and men and children) as well.   

The point here is not apologist, or even necessarily to demonize 
the US; rather, we must do justice to feminist movements worldwide 
and demonstrate that a universal conception of freedom and right 
cannot be based on unreflective and simplistic self-perceptions by 
so-called “westerners”.
 
--Y. Kleftis




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