The radical white, Christian right, who do cling to their bibles and their guns, deeply fear and loathe those who don't conform to their definition of what constitutes a real American. Tops on their enemies list are Muslims who, they believe, are trying to impose their godless Sharia law onto God fearing Americans. As such, a number of states with miniscule Muslim populations are attempting to pass anti-Sharia laws in order to prevent "creeping Sharia." But it's just not the fetid recesses of hate media that stokes these fears. In its effort to further divide Americans, the oh, so patriotic Fox News, is now playing to this paranoia. On Monday's Fox & Friends, Heather Nauert declared, as Fox fact, that Sharia law is here and it's "changing everything!"
Monday morning, Heather Nauert (who helped pimp the Catholic bishops talking points against the HHS birth control mandate) reported on accommodations made for a female Muslim swim class at a YMCA in St. Paul, Minnesota. Despite the fact that this is just ONE swim class in ONE city, Nauert played to the Islamophobes in the Fox audience. She immediately set the propaganda message: "The minority are becoming the majority at one community pool."
Taking a page from David Horowitz and other radical purveyors of anti-Islamic hatred, she proclaimed, as Fox fact, that "Sharia law is now changing everything." Smiling sweetly, Nauert reported that "special considerations have to made" for Muslim girls in a swim program in St. Paul. She described this scary imposition of Sharia law which merely excludes men from the premises during the class which will be conducted by female lifeguards. Just to make sure that the audience knows that this is "creeping Sharia" the chyron's header was "Sharia Law." She noted that similar classes are OMG might be coming to a town near you. She promised that Fox would stay on top of this scary story.
As described in "Fear Inc.," a report from the Center for American Progress, there is a well funded and well organized network which foments fear and loathing of Islam. Fox News is cited as an echo chamber for these views. This Fox & Friends segment serves as a classic example of how Fox provides a national platform for this fear and loathing. Meanwhile, the reality is that, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, "this is an important and much-needed program for the community" as it helps Muslim girls learn to swim while recognizing their need for modesty.
But this type of hate mongering is just part of a pattern on Fox News where you can "bash Islam with impunity." Fear of Sharia was certainly a factor in the rabid Fox attacks on the so called "ground zero mosque" and Eric Bolling's two day pieces dedicated to validating the views of those who oppose the building of a mosque in TN - a mosque which has been the target of vandals.
Funny, while Fox News is concerned about imposition of Islamic law in the US, they have no problem with the US Conference of Catholic Bishops who, in pushing their dogma, spend millions of dollars to lobby for the criminalization of abortion and the right for Catholic employers to refuse to pay for their employees birth control. In fact, Fox News actively promoted the bishops point of view. Fox has no problem with Texas evangelical Christians trying to impose their creationist beliefs into Texas biology textbooks.
But yeah, be scared of swim classes which have accommodations for Muslim girls. It's a slippery slope, ya know. Today it's only a swimming pool, tomorrow it could be the presidency. Oh, I forgot, Obama is a secret Muslim who is trying to promote Sharia law. Never mind.
Be afraid, be very afraid!
(2/14/20 update: Video is no longer available)
The Y attempts to serve the whole community, even those who are not members or Christians, for that matter. Plus, they make a couple desperately needed dollars because Pancake Days and dwindling membership don’t cover the costs for them to operate. And you call that “Sharia law.”
I call that being American.
And don’t forget all the right-wing CHRISTIAN “family” groups doing their best to prevent same-sex marriage—all in the name of “God’s plan for marriage.”
It’s kind of funny how the Catholic Church played such a big part in the vote in Croatia this past week which would ban gays and lesbians from marrying the person of their choice but that doesn’t pose a problem for FoxNoise and its audience. (And apparently one of the Croatian leaders supporting the ban on same-sex marriage in the overwhelmingly Catholic country happens to be divorced.)