Friday, January 21, 2005

Blood Libel

The expert in this field is Jo Miller, who wrote her master's thesis on the ritual murder/blood libel accusation against Jews in the Middle Ages. But the story of Jumana Hannaso closely resembles folklore that I shake my head that not one of our government officials ever questioned her story. Wednesday, the Washington Post retracted its earlier story about Jumana, the ones in which she claimed that Uday Hussein rimmed his margarita glasses with the blood of virgins. Our government, and many people in this country, have so fully subscribed to the idea that Muslims are anti-human, they are willing to believe that Muslims are cannibals. These were the same people who believed in the entirely fallacious claims that when Iraqi soldiers invaded Kuwait, they dumped premature infants out of incubators. Those stories were false then. And yet, there is no learning curve. Blood libel, ritual murder, killing of infants--it's all part and parcel of the folklore of the Other, our enemies. And in 2005, just as in 1105, we hear the stories and then use them to perpetrate evil against those we have dehumanized.

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