Religious Bias and Discrimination and Social Media Warfare

Beyond the efforts of the conservative right to deny LGBT citizens equal rights, there are several ongoing conflicts in the religious arena that involve social media warfare tactics. The United States and many other countries have a long history of religious discrimination and, in some cases, segregation. There is a long history of religious discrimination around the world, which country is under study determines which religion was discriminated against: in one place or another a religion has been the target of discrimination. Muslims, Mormons, and Jewish people have experienced considerable discrimination in the United States. Many have also experienced religious bias-based violence as well as institutionalized barriers to full participation in a society.

In the twenty-first century, religious bias and discrimination has once again risen on a wave of fascism that is gripping countries in Europe as well as the United States. Many observers have commented that the trend toward fascism and religious discrimination is reminiscent of the rise of Nazi fascism prior to World War II. The rhetoric is similar and the attitudes of many citizens toward Muslims and Jewish people are, unfortunately, crystallizing into hatred.

Politicians in the 2016 elections in the United States played on this hatred and paranoia and have irresponsibly fueled the fires of religious bias and hatred. The political rhetoric reinforces the attitudes and actions of hate groups, and it helps their members validate their perspectives and their hate. Hate rhetoric can also inspire hate-based crimes as discussed in Section 5.3.

Religious bias almost always leads to efforts to scapegoat religious minorities and blame them for the social problems or economic conditions that a nation faces. The blame game becomes contagious and is fueled by the rhetoric of politicians and hate-group leaders who use social media warfare tactics to spread confusion designed to disorient and deceive people about religious bias and divisiveness, which instigates even more hatred and suspicion among the populace.

Although there are special interest leaders that feel that they will benefit from the social unrest, which is based on religious bias, the populace only partially unites behind them. Leaders, however, can continue to influence individuals and groups to induce them to adopt the same position and use the same or similar rhetoric and justifications for religious bias. Efforts are made to recruit and indoctrinate to persuade individuals to formally join the ranks of those who fuel religious bias, especially those with political ambitions.

This is where religious bias begins to look like anti-LGBT attitudes and behavior. Even though individual people may not belong to a formal hate group or other special interest that has religious biases, they start to widely adopt hate rhetoric and attitudes. Meanwhile, followers continue to be deceived by the rhetoric in and propensity for social media that consistently carries the message.

Religious bias is so rooted in irrational thought and concepts that it is difficult for those fighting against religious bias to nullify it regardless of how much social media with positive messages they generate. Thus, the stage is set for the rise of fascists to power based on their promises to cleanse society of the people who the populace now blames for all their problems. Such biases spill over into many realms of society, as they have in recent years into immigration issues.

Religious bigots use social media warfare as much as possible, and they go well beyond self-validation and influencing to deception, confusion, and trolling. Religious bigotry rhetoric as well as efforts to expose and counter such rhetoric can be found in many social media posts. An informal survey of social media posts conducted on September 2, 2016, shows that these types of posts can be found in many places on the Internet. According to some sources, there was an increase in anti-Muslim posts in 2016. The following provides the essence of several posts:

  • ? Anti-Muslim interest strike back at proposals for U.S. mosques.
  • ? Cardinal Burke, anti-Muslim crusader?
  • ? Islamic terrorism not just a statement of identity it is about MOTIVATION.
  • ? Mom got intense in her anti Muslim reaction when she saw someone in a Hijab.
  • ? Stop anti-Muslim fanatics from showing violence on social media!
  • ? Who said tackling anti-Muslim hate was easy.
  • ? You say you will keep America safe but your anti-Muslim rhetoric indicates otherwise.
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