The latest salvo in the Republicans’ War on Muslims comes as a two-fer – simultaneously an attempt to delegitimize the health care debate and the use of a cheap stereotype of radical Islam, in the form of a cartoon:
There seems to be an affinity for cartoons among Islamophobes. And that’s exactly what the cartoon represents, pure unadulteraded JAFI-ism. The imagery of a suicide bomber is intended to evoke a visceral response – it’s a cheap way of scoring a political point by trotting out a scarecrow of something recognizably EVIL, and then equating it to whatever happens to be the target of the GOP’s latest 5-Minute Hate. It even manages a sly allusion to the Obama muslim smear.
It’s about as honest a commentary on the health reform debate as Sarah Palin’s “Death Panels” remark (which earned her a “Pants on Fire” designation from Politifact). The real threat to the American people is if the bill does not pass, and another 40-50,000 Americans die every year for lack of health insurance coverage, and the poorest of us on Medicaid – which pays for half of all childbirths! – are dropped by their doctors due to continual budget cuts on reimbursement rates. And the real health care jihadists are the conservatives who are so desperate to kill the bill that they employ the language of fear – fear of muslims, fear of tyranny, fear of immigrants – to try and argue against the basic moral principles of social justice, central to Christianity and Islam.