So a few days ago the news broke that famous fashion designer John Galliano was arrested for making harsh anti-semitic comments. Story here. He was at a cafe in Paris when he started insulting a couple nearby, saying things like “you and your forefathers should have been gassed” and “I love Hitler.”
A few days later, I was watching CNN and they were trying to understand how someone like Galliano could make such comments. They pointed out that he had lost his partner five years ago; that he was drunk; that he was at a bad point in his life. Etc etc etc, blah blah blah.
I wonder what the analysis would have been if Galliano was an Arab and/or Muslim. Would they have tried to find individual reasons, like alcohol or depression? Or would they have discussed Islam, Arab culture, and anti-semitism among Muslims? Hmmm, I wonder.
Why did no one bring up the issue of anti-semitism in France, which is still a MAJOR issue? Why did no one bring up the issue of how alcohol affects people and society negatively?
How come when a European does something, it only reflects on him/her, whereas when a Muslim does something, it reflects on ALL Muslims, and even people who are assumed to be Muslim?
Why doesn’t this story affect all French and Europeans negatively? Especially considering what happened to the Jews in Europe (the home of “modernity”) 60 years ago?
Orientalism at its best!