Leftist outlet assures you Islam isn't a threat--all in your fevered imagination
Here's the first graf of the Salon article (all italics mine):
The United States is at war with a...mythic Islam of its own making that has nothing at all to do with this Islam of the Qur’an.Now where have you heard that before? Remember "This has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam"? Or "This is not true Islam." Or "Those who did this are perverting a noble and peaceloving religion." One of the imperatives of your betters in the Democrat/"elite media" group is that you never connect Islam with any of the attacks around the world by Muslims shouting Allahu snackbar. Cuz, you know, the poor deluded murdering fucks aren't really Muslims.
To make sense of that conjured threat, scholarly studies of Islam or Islamic movements are of no help at all. Even the examination of the real-world history and practice of empire has limited value, unless the perceived Islamic dimension is considered. The American imperial project cannot be brought into clear view without assessment of the distinctive rationale that the Islamist Imaginary provides.See, there is no threat, citizen. It's "conjured"--imaginary, all in your poor feverish mind. You've been tricked by clever propaganda--created by "neoconservatives," of course--to think Islam has some sort of militant core that commands true believers to murder unarmed civilians. Of course that's total nonsense.
And why do the Republicans try to make you fear "Islamic terror"? Why, to further the goals of the "American imperial project," of course.
The task is not an easy one. The Islamist Imaginary [see a theme here?] has no simple and unitary existence. Rather, it is a complex amalgam that shapes both the delusions of empire and a conjured threat to imperial power into a co-evolving composite. It is a “difficult whole,” in the helpful language of complexity theory. The Islamist Imaginary, unlike Islam itself and political movements of Islamic inspiration, does not exist outside of the imperial interests that shape it.Well, 130 Parisians might disagree with that damnable lie. As might another 14 residents of San Bernardino. And lest we forget, 164 unarmed civilians killed by Muslim attackers in Mumbai, India, in November of 2008. Oh, and a further 2.900 or so who died when devout Muslims flew hijacked jetliners into the World Trade Center in 2001. Oh, and 68 unarmed shoppers murdered in Kenya's Westgate mall in 2013 during a coordinated attack by Muslims shouting Allah snackbar. Oh, and 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, Nigeria kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014.
Salon wants you to believe none of these attacks had a thing to do with Islam.
[The Islamic Imaginary] has no independent cultural or historical reality, outside its role as predatory threat to Western global interests. The American empire, in turn, requires a hostile and threatening enemy, which today takes the form of Islam of its imagination, to realize and rationalize its expansionist project that must remain unacknowledged and unspoken. The two elements of the imaginary and empire co-evolve. The needs of a threatened empire as vulnerable victim change over time.One almost thinks this must be satire: The author claims--with the full approval of Salon's editors--that the idea that Islam is somehow a threat to westerners is entirely a myth constructed by "the American empire," because that empire "requires a hostile and threatening enemy."
The Islamist Imaginary transforms itself to meet those needs. Imaginary and empire circle one another in a dance of predator and prey. Their roles are interchangeable, a clear sign that they are not entirely real. The predator is prey; the prey is predator. They develop in tandem in a complex process of mutual adaptation. Boundaries give way between the real and the imagined. In the end it is the imagined that haunts our imaginations and drives our policies.Got it? Islam isn't a threat, it's all your imagination, fanned by neoconservatives "in the service of" empire. Not Islam determined to establish a caliphate, but an American empire. An empire being run by neoconservatives, of course.
The crime against humanity committed on September 11, 2001, had the unintended consequence of serving the breathtaking expansionist plans of the neoconservatives who dominated the Bush administration. Only a plausible enemy was lacking to make their execution possible. From the storehouse of the Western historical imagination, age-old images of a hostile Islam were retrieved. Islamic terrorists conjured up in a believable form for a frightened America the “threat to civilization” that every empire requires to justify its own violent acts of domination.
The Islamist Imaginary in the service of the neoconservative version of empire was born.