Muslim Stereotypes: War profiteering with the “Infidel” knife

Muslim Stereotypes: War profiteering with the “Infidel” knife August 31, 2006
Also opens beer bottles

There is a new trend in America. Imagine if you would a American politician getting on TV and announcing that Jews were fascists? How about a public meeting where the dehumanising word Nigger was used over and over? Can you imagine a gun company making a special pistol for KKK members?

The current trend is that anything done to disfranchise and dehumanize Muslims in order to sell a product or get a vote is OK. It is so OK that the Benchmade Knife Company has made a special automatic/switchblade knife designed to kill men for the US Military and now are marketing the knife under the trademarked name “Infidel”. Just to make it all legal, they claim that the knife is for law enforcement and military only, but it is a fact that anyone who wants a automatic knife in the US can purchase one.

So whats the big deal? It’s simple – a company is marketing a military knife for killing directly to a group of race haters with a cool racist buzzword for a name: “Infidel”. It’s anti-American in nature, and its wrong. Its just a indefensible position for them – and yes, I personally contacted Benchmade before writing this. There has been a ongoing debate about the name of this knife for a few weeks now, and this is the first time I am presenting the issue to the public.

So what is so wrong with the word “Infidel”, and what does it mean anyway? The word started out being used by Catholics to describe godless peoples and then was applied to Muslims. The English-speaking Muslims picked up on the word and translated a Arabic word to Infidel and began using it to describe non-Muslims. The latest use of the word is for those who consider Muslims evil and to use as a badge of honor and a updated anti-Muslim version of the swastika. Those who identify themselves as “Infidels” basically hate all Muslims and consider them terrorist. Just ask them.

Recently, Donald Rumsfeld gave us his version of a history lesson where he said some Americans couldn’t remember the past. I for one remember it quite well – growing up in Arkansas and having my baby sister call a black man “nigger” in the K-mart store, which embarrassed my father and almost caused a fight on the spot. So why would a little kid call a black man a Nigger? That’s easy: my dad used the word freely up to about 1976 and that’s how she heard it.

After the incident, my father sat her down and explained that only bad black people were niggers – not all of them. That was the way it was back then. Thank God things have changed, but some things have not. Demonizing and hating is easy, and some people use that tired old lazy excuse of labeling all people one thing, then when confronted, excusing themselves by saying they meant everyone but the “good ones”. I guess the “good ones” are always the folks who keep their mouth shut. They were the “good ones” back on the plantation, too!

Since “fascism” has been thrown into the mix, lets mention the Nazis here. They had all kinds of hatred for Jews, so much so they tried to kill them all. Please note here that the Nazis demonized their own citizens of faith for no other reason than their ethnicity and religion. It started slowly with a few hate speeches, and only later with momentum did the Nazis go into a genocidal frenzy.

It’s no secret that many Americans of color identify themselves as Muslims. It’s a bad sign that predominately white Christian groups have jumped onto the whole Muslim-hating thing. Did I mention Billy Graham’s son Franklin saying, “It’s a different God and I believe it is a very evil and wicked religion”? This could of just as easily been said about Judaism by Hitler, or any Nazi for that matter. It seems to be fine for some to make the same remark as long as its directed towards Muslims, a minority religion inside America.

The name “Infidel” was trademarked to make it a brand and used as the name for a implement of death marketed to vigilante-mentality types. As I said before, I contacted Benchmade and made the case against using this name for this product, I said I would do nothing for seven days and I waited longer than that. Here is what they said in their reply:

“We felt that by naming the product “Infidel”, we are the non-believers in the competition’s efforts to produce a comparable product. You are correct in that this term has become popular lately. It is used predominantly by those believers in radical Islam in their description of any non-Muslim. Your efforts to make this into a directive of an anti-Muslim campaign are without merit in this case. For Benchmade, using Infidel was as simple as naming a new product to address a strategic market segment of loyal knife buyers. Thankfully we live in a country where everyone is entitled to openly voice their opinions and we can hear yours.

Now lets compare this statment with the words of Chuck Gollnick, a Benchmade insider from Oregon and the most knowledgeable person on the Internet about their products, in my opinion. He is a moderator on the biggest knife forum on the Internet, having made more than 16,000 posts, and also has his own website which is dedicated to collecting Benchmade knives. He is also the one who says the knife was made for the military, as told to him directly by Benchmade staff. Here’s what he says:

“First, it is very important to understand that the Infidel is a legitimate military knife that BM developed at the request of the US military. While those supplied to the military don’t have the Infidel name on them, they are otherwise the same knife and the US military is actively buying and deploying this knife. So, it is not a fantasy. So, why is the civilian version? Well, there is the obvious reference to the war on terrorism which, I think, we all know is really a war on Islamic fundamentalism.”

So back to the word “Infidel” and its current use. Take a good look around the Internet at the kinds of people who refer to themselves as “Infidels” and “Team Infidel” and the actions and statements they make. Its a new breed of Timothy McVeigh type of paranoid race-haters left over from the millennium end of the world wacko movement. I’m in no way surprised to find idiots on the Internet talking of killing Muslims and even killing American Muslims for no reason. What I find intolerable is that a American company, Benchmade, would make a product of death and market it in such a anti-American and racist way.

Whats the point? Why the fuss? I’m a American, I’m a Muslim, more importantly I’m a father and my kids are American Muslims. I know racism well, I know it first hand, This is racism just as sure is my little sister calling a American man of color a Nigger was long ago, It turns my stomach just the same way! It stinks! It’s vile! It makes me ashamed! Ashamed about that day and what she said, ashamed about this products marketing and Benchmade’s ignorance and/or lies to profiteer at the expense of Americans of the Muslim faith.

Racism has no place in America for any reason, no excuses. I pledge to stand with any man, woman, or child of any race or religion to protect their rights. If you have concerns about this matter please contact Benchmade at 1-800-800-7427 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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, Benchmade spokesperson Alex Whitaker at 503-655-6004 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
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, or visit their website at

Bryan Lee was raised as a Christian in the State of Arkansas. He joined the US Army at 18 and relocated to Europe. Today he is a American Muslim expatriate in Southeast Asia,  a historian, and documentary photographer.

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