The Syrian refugee crisis has become political cannon fodder for a supposed clash between Muslim and Western values.
Donald Trump and American conservative media like the Daily Caller have claimed that “political correctness” will let Islam impose its (immensely diverse) set of values on Europe and America.
But whenever they take offense at other religions, conservatives are showing that their idea of “religious freedom” and “political correctness” have been built upon rightwing lies and identity politics.
This past week, the Daily Caller’s Jacob Bojesson has gone so far as to cite a source that contradicts his Islamophobic point. His August 4th story had a headline which read, “Water Park In France Bans Non-Muslim Outfits,” referred to a waterpark in Marseille, France.
This “ban” will only occur on one day, September 10th, from 10 AM until 6 PM. Why? Because the pools’ owners had no involvement in the ban—Smile13, a private organization created to foster friendship among Muslim women, reserved the pool for a private event for its members. It asked its members to wear “burqinis”—a full-body, open-faced swimming suit—when attending.
Let’s be clear here: a one-day private event, that the public has no interest in attending, paid for by a private religious organization aimed at fostering friendship, whose members can withdraw at any point in time, is not a “ban.”
The conservative media’s vilification of Islam is stretching into the presidential election, with Trump himself saying that he’d consider firing female TSA agents wearing hijabs (head coverings).
At the same time, Republicans in Florida and other states have employed the ruse of “religious freedom” to vote against protecting LGBTQ populations from workplace discrimination. When questioned, they continue to defend themselves against “politically incorrect anti-Christian bigots.”
There is no other way to describe Trump-era conservative principles on religious freedom and “political correctness” as anything other than patently hypocritical.
The Republican platform pledge “to defend religious beliefs” is intended to protect the right of Christians to discriminate against LGBTQ and Muslim Americans, without also protecting the rights of gay and trans people, or Muslims.
Trump-era conservatives are only interested in “defending” their own religious beliefs, with little regard to defending anyone else.
Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson would have called their shameless fight nothing less than a sloppy endeavor for a tyranny of the majority.