I have been asked for my view of LoonWatch and feel it might help to air these issues.
I think the issue of anti-Muslim bigotry is a real problems in Western societies. In Britain and Ireland, it is often a mutated form of racism which previously targeted Asians. Now it is used against those from North Africa, the Middle East, their descendants or those seen to have different customs.
Not sure if that descriptions does it full justice, but I imagine my more astute readers will see what I am getting at.
In the past I use to followed LoonWatch on Twitter.
Anyway, I wanted to keep up with the extent of racism and bigotry towards Muslims and LoonWatch certainly covers it with vigour.
On their web site, LoonWatch, they publish some commendable articles and posts on anti-Muslim bigotry.
This one on Sweden’s Jews, Muslims Face Web Hate Rise: Study is a good example. As is this Dean Obeidallah: Sacha Cohen’s Movie a Minstrel Show.
Also, they have excellent material on cooperation between Jews and Muslims.
Less so their defence of Gunter Grass.
I could put that down to a matter of opinion and give them a pass, but I find their attitude towards anti-Jewish racism a bit unsatisfactory.
I could, without much trouble, find examples of their posts which have questionable language for antiracists to use. Often their comments boxes contain sneering and snide comments, either directly or indirectly aimed at Jews, Israelis or “Zionists”
I am sure that some of the smarter authors at LoonWatch would recognise that conspiracy theories are integral too many of the Far Rights’ attacks on Muslims. Further, that conspiracy theories are the key to a hardened forms of anti-Jewish racism, such as the Protocols, etc etc
Then to publish a piece which indulges in conspiracy theories and broadbrush demonisation of “Zionists” shows a clear lack of introspection and insight into the issues surrounding racism. Readers with access the Internet will be able to confirm that “Zionist” is a common Far Right euphemism for Jew.
So there is a need for sensitivity in this area, and I find Loonwatch wanting in that respect.
Having said that, I think there is a dire need for web sites to combat anti-Muslim bigotry, but such sites need to be aware of certain sensitivities, not to cross certain lines, not to invoke, even by stealth, conspiracy theories.
Nevertheless, I did enjoyed their cover of the awful Pam Geller and terrible Robert Spencer.
In short, there is a need for insight and that is what I find lacking at LoonWatch.
I wish them well in their work to combat anti-Muslim bigotry. I just wish they would think a bit more, reflect on what they are getting at, and not generalise as much. If they wish to combat racism they should avoid such practices, as that is what racists and bigots tend to do.
Perhaps they might want to tidy up their comments boxes too?