The Top 5 Most Islamophobic Reactions to Huma Abedin

Anthony Weiner’s wife has stood by him in a baffling show of support – and the media, both mainstream and right-wing does not know what to make of it.


With all the talk surrounding Anthony Weiner’s ( second!) sexting scandal, and what it means for his chances for an electoral comeback (not looking good), his wife Huma Abedin, the Michigan-born, Saudi Arabia-raised, former aide to Hillary Clinton is coming in for her share of totally speculative, and unflattering coverage.  There is the puzzle of why a woman of her stature is sticking with a man of Weiner’s ever-diminishing one, as well as depressiingly ignorant speculation about what her ethnic background has to do with all this.

And much of it, as should be expected, has been tinged with that unique sort of racism called Islamophobia, often concluding that her baffling resolve to stand by her man is the result of her ethnic background as a Saudi woman—as opposed to, you know, her personal choices as a human being capable of asserting free will.

 

Below are some of the best (by which I mean absolute worst,) most egregious offenders of this subtle, patronizing form of racism, a.k.a. Islamophobia, that is so pronounced on the right, but which you will find among some so-called liberals too. Some familiar faces will appear (shout out to Rush Limbaugh for never missing an opportunity) while others may take you by surprise (really Maureen Dowd?) Here are the contenders:

 

1. Andrew McCarthy, National Review

2. Mark Jacobson, New York Magazine

3. Elizabeth Wurtzel, Personal Twitter Account

4. Maureen Dowd, New York Times

5.  Rush Limbaugh, Of course.

Behind Rolling Stone’s Cover, a Story Worth Reading

Of all the outraged responses to the Rolling Stone cover of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect in the Boston marathon bombings, those from Boston were particularly acute. Mayor Thomas Menino wrote a letter of protest to Rolling Stone and several retailers with Boston ties said they would not sell the controversial issue.

And then on Thursday, Boston Magazine responded to Rolling Stone’s editorial decision with one of its own, publishing photos of the manhunt and arrest of Mr. Tsarnaev. The images were taken by Sgt. Sean Murphy, a photographer with the Massachusetts State Police who was described as “furious” about the Rolling Stone cover and accused the magazine of “glamorizing the face of terror.”

His protest, which included graphic photos of Mr. Tsarnaev during his capture, ended up creating a controversy of its own. According to Boston Magazine, Sergeant Murphy was relieved of duty just hours after he turned over hundreds of photos to the magazine.

Mr. Murphy’s actions may have put him in hot water at work, but it is not hard to understand the emotions that drove his decision. News developments, and the way they are presented in the news media, always fall harder on some than others, especially victims, families of victims and first responders.

Part of the mass umbrage would seem to stem from a misunderstanding of the magazine and its cover. From the very beginning, Rolling Stone has seen long-form journalism as part of its mission, and more recently has proven its journalistic chops with important stories about Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal and the so-called vampire squids of Goldman Sachs. Those were good, important stories and while the profile about Mr. Tsarnaev did not break a lot of new ground, it did an excellent job of explaining how someone who looked like the kid next door radicalized in place and, according to the federal charges, decided to attack innocents to make a political point. There is civic and journalistic value in finding out more about who this person is, and if the cover created in-bound interest, that would seem to be to the good.

Still, many piled on, accusing Rolling Stone of a cynical play for attention while they sought some of the same in their reaction. The actor James Woods, among others, found himself on the moral high ground, issuing a profane and personal rebuke to Jann Wenner, the owner and publisher of Rolling Stone.

French Magazine Strikes Back After Firebombing

News Agencies – November 9, 2011

Last week, the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo were firebombed after printing a controversial cartoon of the Muslim Prophet Muhammad with the headline, “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!” Hebdo’s website was also hacked and left with a message reading, “No God but Allah.” Now, the satirical publication is back on the attack. This week’s cover depicts an editor of Charlie Hebdo making out with Muhammad under a banner that reads, “Love is stronger than hate.”

The recent events surrounding Charlie Hebdo have proved to be divisive to say the least. Muslim groups in France have been up in arms over what they perceive to be continued provocation and discrimination by the French media, while the extremist acts have played into the skepticism of Islam held by members of the French far-right community.

The French Muslim Council, an organization that had previously sued Charlie Hebdo over cartoons of Muhammad in 2006, have denounced the attacks. More support has come from smaller liberal organizations with large Muslim constituencies. Sihem Habchi, head of the women’s group Ni Putes Ni Soumises (Neither Whores nor Submissives) said that the bombing was “a great hurt for the image of Islam.”

Dutch Magazine Surveys Parents on Multiculturalism and Mixed Schools

25 August 2011

A survey conducted by J/M magazine indicates that Dutch parents want their children to grow up in multicultural society but many prefer that they attend non-mixed schools. The magazine interviewed 588 parents and concludes that 80% of those surveyed acknowledge the advantage of growing up in a multicultural society while 57% worry about the position of their white children in a mixed race society.

New Lifestyle Magazine for Dutch Moroccan Women

4 August 2011

 

A new lifestyle magazine, Hoda, has been created in the Netherlands to cater to Moroccan-Dutch women in topics such as beauty, travel, and cooking. Hoda Hamdaoui, the magazine’s chief editor, explains that Hoda carries articles aimed at Moroccan Dutch women whose interests and customs are different from other Dutch women. For instance, she notes, the style of makeup and clothing for work and school differs from that for Moroccan parties, information lacking in existing magazines.

Dutch Politician on Al-Qaeda Magazine Hitlist

Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders has been named on a ‘hitlist’ in an online magazine attributed to Al-Qaeda. Inspire magazine appears to be published by the AQAP, al-Qaeda’s branch in the Arabian Peninsula. The English language magazine also names Islam critic Ayaan HIrsi Ali. It appears to be targeting an audience of radical Muslims in North America.

Le Figaro profiles French burqa-wearing women

This article from Le Figaro Magazine includes passages from a new book Sous Mon Niqab [Under my Niqab] by Zeina (Plon, 2010), a young Muslim woman who sought to be liberated from her niqab in France.

Italian magazine ‘Yalla Italia’ tries to narrow gap with Muslims

New Italian magazine, “Yalla Italia” (Let’s Go, Italy) written predominantly by second generation immigrants, has been launched with the aim to introduce Italians to diverse cultures taking root in the country, and help Muslim immigrants navigate their dual identities. Yalla Italia’s chief editor, Martino Pillitteri, said that he saw the differences between his mission and that of Italian conservatives, as symbolic of the divide in Italy’s Muslim population – “one vision driving toward the past, the other driving toward the future,” he says.

The magazine’s launch thus counters what he believes is a very one-dimensional view of Muslims in the Italian media – one that focuses too much on radicals and suspected terrorist, and is saturated with negativity. For the most part, the magazine’s emphasis is not political and does not try to preach change – but aims to encourage mutual understanding. Yalla Italia was first published in May, 2007, and appears as a monthly insert of Vita – a magazine geared towards the nonprofit sector, and has a circulation of 36,000. Of the magazine’s demographics, “Immigrants are not just people who wash ashore on a beach. We pay taxes, participate in society, strive to integrate. We are the future of Italy, and we want to be protagonists of that future,” says Ouejdane Mejri, a contributor to Yalla Italia.

French Magazine Express International Banned in North Africa – Some Claim it Offends Islam

This week’s issue of L’Express International, a French newsmagazine, has been banned in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, on the grounds that its cover story “The Jesus-Muhammad Shock” is offensive to Islam. The story title is the same as a book covered in the story. The newsweekly’s staff claim that they attempted to portray Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, with adherence to Islamic norms by covering his face with a white veil.

See full-text articles:

International Herald Tribune

International Herald Tribune

L’Express

Macleans Magazine

Associated Press

French Magazine Express International Banned in North Africa – Some Claim it Offends Islam

This week’s issue of L’Express International, a French newsmagazine, has been banned in Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco, on the grounds that its cover story “The Jesus-Muhammad Shock” is offensive to Islam. The story title is the same as a book covered in the story. The newsweekly’s staff claim that they attempted to portray Islam’s prophet, Muhammad, with adherence to Islamic norms by covering his face with a white veil.

See full-text articles:

International Herald Tribune

L’Express

Macleans Magazine

Associated Press