So far as the United States seems to be concerned, it is only a slight overstatement to say that Muslims and Arabs are essentially seen as either oil suppliers or potential terrorists. Very little of the detail, the human density, the passion of Arab-Moslem life has entered the awareness of even those people whose profession it is to report the Arab world. What we have instead is a series of crude, essentialized caricatures of the Islamic world presented in such a way as to make that world vulnerable to military aggression.
The solution isn’t to throw over the members of Pussy Riot in favor of advocating for our home-grown political prisoners... But to ignore that the United States regularly imprisons women for political purposes is, at best, willfully ignorant, or, at worst, condoning the privilege implicit in the prison-industrial complex.