Bye Bye Beardie?

* “The usual cartoonish treatment sank to the level of scum on Stewart’s show. ‘BYE BYE BEARDIE’ ‘THE BIG DEADY’ and so on.”

* Stewart brings audience to laughing ecstasy with a beard joke because he doesn’t or can’t acknowledge a beard as anything other than ‘bad.’

* Hate crimes? We’re never responsible for fostering feelings that may lead there. Tonight we’re getting high on laugh tracks and celebrating.

Maryam Monalisa Gharavi‘s tweets.

The binaries of “with us or with the enemy” that wars on their terror create, preclude any critique of power, of “us”, and of the frame of war through which we see the world. That is a black and white world of Cowboys and Indians. Why critique some assassinations as “bad” for the absence of due process, and welcome others? Why debate whether torture works or not?” WORKS? If it does “work,” is it ok to sodomize your detainees, who are rendered inhuman by having the right to have rights taken away?

Jon Stewart’s triumphalism betrays the flip side of nationalism: racism. Bye Bye Beardie? Would Stewart ever say: Bye Bye hooked nose? Edward Said and many others have drawn/shown parallels between anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. But Stewart is blissfully ignorant. The hooked nosed Jew bent on destroying the West from within is still alive. He merely converted to Islam and grew a beard.

The humiliations, the profiling, and a life lived in fear of that collaboration of Immigration and Naturalization Services (INS) and the Security State that terrorizes an immigrant like nothing else can, make it in my interest to wave the flag and gloat with the “Yay we got him!” in yet another attempt at being included in the “we.” Throw others under the bus, and save my own skin. Be a “good Muslim” and prove that I, too, am a “patriot.” But what about the thousands detained and tortured, and hundreds of thousands killed? Yeah, mission not accomplished, unless all of this is “worth it” — none of which will stop in the aftermath of this assassination (or was it an execution, mafia-style?).

Imperialist wars abroad are mirrored in racist wars at home with scrutinysurveilance, and checkpoints, not just for Muslims but pretty much for any “non-Hispanic Brown” that “looks” Muslim. That is, those with darker skins, or a certain kind of name, or those wearing a certain kind of clothing, headgear, or facial hair — all of which is branded foreign and thus suspect or enemy. Going through Special Registration, knowing that many caught in the 9/11 dragnet were detained and/or deported, being “randomly” selected for “screening” at airports by TSA or the INS(-titutionalized xenophobia), is just par for the course for people of special interest to the authorities.

And this is what is random in “random profiling”: “You’re nothing like these Muslims. You’re just here for balance.”

Gitmo is not just a moral and intellectual concern, it is a sword that hangs over the head of those that are deemed the “other.” The road to detention and torture is open to those marked as belonging to a community rendered suspect. THAT is terror. It is the nakedness and helplessness before power that must enable us to truly see others as human beings, here and elsewhere.

“Never again” and “never forget” is invoked all too often. The wars launched to restore national pride create cities of rubbles, destroyed villages, broken homes, mutilated corpses, tortured bodies, and battered souls. It is these that we must not forget.

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