Saturday, July 12, 2008

Islamophobia in the US

I just found this very interesting video from ABC News, in which the programme sets up an experiment to detect Islamophobia among random Americans. An actor portrays a shop clerk refusing to serve a Muslim woman and humiliating her with vile racist rhetoric (she is also an actress, but it's still quite distressing to watch). The reactions from the customers vary wildly. A large number side with the clerk explicitly, and the largest number of people are silent bystanders. But a good number of them respond with brilliant outrage. Unfortunately, the whole thing is couched in terms of 'what does it mean to be an American' and that whole narcissistic melodrama, but it's still quite a telling piece.