Confronting Islamophobia On Social Media

Juan Cole’s deconstruction of Adam Milstein’s islamophobic tweet should be highlighted.

  • Cole unpacks the conspiracies surrounding the supposed connection between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR),
  • he highlights Milstein’s own history and biases,
  • and finishes by touching on Reps. Tlaib and Omar’s backgrounds. Even with a cursory understanding of contemporary political Islam, it’s clear these representatives are singled out for being Muslim and willing to question the political status quo vis-à-vis Israel.

Juan Cole is an informed scholar and blogger on Islam and Muslims. If right-wing pundits and politicians refuse good-faith attempts by Muslims to engage in dialogue, the least they can do is listen to non-Muslim experts. Take the short history lesson of Muslim Brotherhood as an example:

In short, the US government has had a complex relationship with Muslim Brotherhood branches, but for the most part has been perfectly willing to cooperate with them, and sometimes has actively promoted them. The outlier is Hamas in Gaza, which has its origins in the Muslim Brotherhood, and which was promoted by Israeli intelligence in the 1980s and after as a way of dividing the Palestinians.

We need to work against these lazy attacks by those who wish to score political points with their base. It’s dangerous.

A Rainy Week In Southwestern France

  • After leaving Spain we drove north, past French Basqueland and into the Parc Naturel Régional des Landes de Gascogne for a night outside of Sabres. In the morning, we drove into town and bumped into the twice-weekly farmers’ market, which was perfect because we needed veggies and cheese.
  • The weather was terrible so we kept driving, through Bordeaux and close to Angoulême to visit a second natural regional park, the Parc Naturel Régional Périgord-Limousin.
  • Regional natural parks in France are “inhabited rural areas recognized at a national level for the value of its heritage and landscapes which form part of a concerted sustainable development effort to protect and promote that heritage”, according to a brochure I got of activities and patrimonial sites in Brantôme. Périgord-Limousin has a five point action plan to work towards that:
    • Point I: improve water quality in the three heads of the drainage basins
    • Point II: preserve the diversity
    • Point III: encourage improvement of local resources as part of a sustainable development drive
    • Point IV: combat climate change
    • Point V: strengthen local identity and social networks
  • It’s inspiring to see local communities (network of villages, museums, nearby castles, restaurants, workshops and seasonal, holiday businesses) organize to promote economic good and environmental sustainability.
  • The problem for us is we’re passing through in March. It’s low season, so many things are closed or unavailable due to weather. It’s been raining off-and-on the whole week, with only a few moments of fleeting sun before being swallowed by the clouds. There aren’t as many hiking trails around these parks.
  • There hasn’t been much of an opportunity to meet French people this trip either. Everyone is at work, school, or inside and we haven’t visited any hotels, restaurants, or cafés.
  • In any case, we have a destination and we keep ourselves pointed that way. How is southwestern France? Beautiful, green, rainy, somnambulant, elusive.