by Kevin Barrett (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 47, No. 1, Jumada' al-Akhirah, 1439)
On February 10, 2015, three young Muslims, Deah Shaddy Barakat, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were killed in their home in Chapel Hill, North Carolina by an Islamophobic neighbor. In August, 2016, Imam Maulama Akonjee and his assistant Thara Uddin were gunned down execution-style after leaving prayers at a masjid in Queens, New York. On May 26, 2017, while riding a train in Portland, Oregon, a man with a knife attacked a Muslim woman while yelling Islamophobic slurs, then killed two men and badly injured a third when they tried to intervene. On June 18, 2017, a 17-year-old Muslim girl, Nabra Hassanen, was walking to the masjid with friends when she was attacked and beaten to death with a baseball bat.
These are just a few of the most notorious cases in a rising tide of Islamophobic hate crimes. According to the FBI, anti-Muslim assaults skyrocketed from 12 in 2000 to 93 in 2001. They dropped to 34 in 2002, gradually increasing throughout the decade to plateau at about 50 per year from 2009–2014. Then in 2015, as Donald Trump launched his presidential candidacy on an anti-Muslim platform, hate assaults against Muslims almost doubled to 91. In 2016, as Trump’s campaign and election dominated the news, Islamophobic assaults reached a new high at 127 — considerably more than in 2001, the year the 9/11 attacks launched the ongoing global anti-Islam public relations campaign.
These FBI numbers probably understate the real situation, since many lower-level assaults — high-school students pulling hijabs off their classmates, spitting or pushing incidents, and so on — are never reported. Additionally, US authorities often downplay the likely Islamophobic motives of perpetrators, as shown in their reluctance to admit that the Maulama Akonjee, Thara Uddin, and Nabra Hassanen murders were hate crimes. And many other racist assaults transpire under color of law, as in the countless incidents of Muslims being forced off airplanes for such “crimes” as speaking Arabic.
Then there is Islamophobic speech and writing. In Trump’s America, it has become ubiquitous. The internet is a vile cesspool of Islamophobic slander, reflecting and amplifying the bigotry common in American (and European) homes, offices, gathering spots, and voting booths.
Muslims and thoughtful people everywhere are concerned about the seemingly inexorable rise of Islamophobia. The extreme irrationality of such epidemics of mass hatred leads casual observers to see them as random and uncontrollable, like the weather. But since time immemorial, ambitious and unscrupulous individuals have garnered wealth and power by creating and manipulating hatred of “others’.” Indeed, two of the past century’s most insightful and influential thinkers — René Girard and Carl Schmitt — agreed that the most important basis of social cohesion in all human societies is the shared, unifying hatred of a scapegoat. Schmitt famously argued that politics is the science of creating, exacerbating, and manipulating mass hatred. His leading disciple, Leo Strauss, trained the neoconservatives, who created and weaponized today’s Islamophobia epidemic using the powerful but little-understood science of public relations (a polite euphemism for “propaganda” or “brainwashing”) developed by Edward Bernays in the 1920s.
Bernays was the nephew of Sigmund Freud, the eccentric, cocaine-addicted Jewish genius who claimed to have “re-discovered” the unconscious mind (Freud credited the original discovery to the poets). Bernays turned Freud’s discovery away from therapy, where it never worked anyway, and applied it to the mass manipulation of whole societies. He discovered that by using emotionally-charged images to affect the irrational, unconscious part of the mind, millions of people at a time could be programmed to behave as the manipulators desired.
In 1929, the cigarette companies hired Bernays to promote smoking among women. Prior to that year, women bought fewer than 5% of cigarettes sold, due to taboos and stereotypes that women smokers were morally depraved. Bernays changed that with his “torches of freedom” campaign. He hired women to simultaneously light cigarettes during New York’s Easter parade, filmed them, and sent newsreel images across America. The result: female smoking more than doubled virtually overnight, and continued to increase for many years thereafter.
Bernays had understood that unconsciously, many American women sought empowerment by trying to be more like men, who had the power — and held the cigarette, the symbolic phallus. Deep in the unconscious mind, women seizing and lighting cigarettes could be equated with firing up “torches of freedom” and gaining emancipation and potency. By playing on the unconscious mind with carefully selected images, Bernays was able to brainwash millions of women into slavery to an unhealthy, expensive, and not-especially-pleasurable addiction.
Like women’s addiction to cigarettes, America’s addiction to Islamophobia has also been created and nurtured by carefully crafted, emotionally galvanizing public relations images. On September 23, 1979, Isser Harel, the father of Israeli intelligence (Director of Shin Bet 1948–1952, Director of Mossad 1947–1963) told American Zionist Michael D. Evans that terrorism would “come to America” by striking the tallest building in New York City, “In Islamic theology, the phallic symbol is very important. Your biggest phallic symbol is New York City and your tallest building will be the phallic symbol they will hit.”
Obviously Harel wasn’t really talking about Islamic theology. What he meant was “in the Jewish science of public relations, developed by Edward Bernays by way of Sigmund Freud, the phallic symbol is very important.” Harel was predicting, way back in 1979, that a “radical Islamic attack” on New York’s tallest buildings would shock the American and Western unconscious mind into permanent hatred of Islam and Muslims. Such hatred would be very much in Israel’s long-term geostrategic interest.
Christopher Bollyn’s book Solving 9/11 shows how Israeli operatives, many of whom had worked for Harel, gained control of World Trade Center security, as well as security at the airports where the alleged 9/11 attack planes took off. Solving 9/11 offers copious evidence that Israeli intelligence was behind the public relations stunt that launched our era of Islamophobia.
One of our century’s greatest scientists, National Medal of Science winning biologist Lynn Margulis, put it bluntly, “The 9/11 tragedy is the most successful and most perverse publicity stunt in the history of public relations.” Margulis was referring to the shock-and-awe effect of the images of planes plunging into skyscrapers and exploding into fireballs, followed by the explosive demolitions of the Twin Towers that sent gigantic volcano-like pyroclastic dust clouds billowing out to chase people through the streets of New York. These carefully crafted cinematic images traumatized Americans — about half of whom subsequently suffered from clinical post-traumatic stress disorder — and implanted the seed of Islamophobia deep in their unconscious minds.
Just as Edward Bernays’ 1929 “torches of freedom” march was followed by many years and decades of cigarette ads aimed at women, so too has 9/11 been followed by a massively-funded public relations follow-up campaign aimed at maintaining and exacerbating the Islamophobia injected into the West’s collective unconscious on September 11, 2001. The ongoing “Operation Islamophobia” PR campaign has included many false flag terror attacks attributed to Muslims, as well as more than 600 FBI terror plots foisted on gullible, vulnerable Muslims by manipulative Bureau informants. It has also been fed by a vast multi-billion-dollar “Islamophobia Industry” pumping out anti-Muslim messages funded largely by Zionist money.
How can Muslims neutralize this hate campaign? Arguing rationally against Islamophobia only works on rational Islamophobes — a rare breed, if not a contradiction in terms. Instead of spinning our wheels trying to talk sense into the likes of Trump, we need to recognize that Islamophobia is primarily an emotional disease of the unconscious mind. Then we need to treat that disease at its root, by exposing the 9/11 false-flag operation to the maximum possible extent, focusing primarily on who did it (the neocon Zionists) and why (to incite long-term, geopolitically-weaponized Islamophobia).
Our counter-PR campaign will draw immense, heated opposition. That is because it is the only approach that holds any chance of proving effective. So that heated opposition should encourage, not discourage us.
As Thoreau said, “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” If we had just a few more hacking at the root of Islamophobia — the 9/11 big lie — rather than wasting their time with the branches, we could win… insha’allah.