Archive for Anti-Muslim bias

Yes, anti-Muslim bias is real

Posted in Anti-Loons, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , on November 27, 2010 by loonwatch

Yes, anti-Muslim bias is real

By Adam Serwer
Conservative writer Jonathan Tobin argues that the small number of Muslim hate crimes indicates that those wringing their hands about American Islamophobia are making a big deal out of nothing:

Even more to the point, the number of anti-Jewish hate crimes dwarfed again the number of anti-Islamic attacks, as they have every year since such statistics were first kept: 931 anti-Semitic incidents, compared with 107 anti-Islamic incidents, a ratio of better than 8 to 1. The same was true in 2008, when the figures were 1,013 anti-Jewish incidents to 105 anti-Muslim incidents. Indeed, even in 2001, the worst year for anti-Muslim hate crimes, there were still more than twice as many anti-Jewish incidents as those with anti-Islamic motivations. Throughout this period, the vast majority of hate crimes motivated by religion have been directed against Jews, not Muslims.

As I’ve written before, hate crimes are an imperfect metric for measuring anti-Muslim bias. Hate crimes statistics tell us that anti-Muslim bias crimes are thankfully rare and that anti-Semites are more likely to commit bias crimes. But that doesn’t mean anti-Muslim bias isn’t widely shared. Americans are pretty open about their negative feelings about Muslims — almost half the country admits to some level of anti-Muslim prejudice.

This sentiment hasn’t manifested as hate crimes, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t manifested. A Tennessee judge recently had to greenlight the construction of a mosque after weeks of hearings that focused on whether or not Islam is actually a religion, a seemingly absurd question that gets plenty of debate among conservatives. The Tennessee incident isn’t exactly unique. There has been a recent rise in the number of incidents involving people using local zoning laws to prevent mosques from being built, which is illegal under the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act. There have been eight RLUIPA cases involving Muslims filed in the past six months, almost half as many as in the nearly 10 years prior, with a sharp uptick following the controversy over the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. These aren’t hate crimes, but they’re disconcerting evidence of anti-Muslim bias.

I’d submit that if liberal magazines and politicians openly questioned whether Judaism was a religion, and that if liberal activists were targeting the seats of Jewish lawmakers based on their being Jewish, Tobin would see that as serious evidence of anti-Semitism. I’d also submit that if there were public protests at synagogues and JCCs all over the country held by people warning of a nationwide conspiracy to subvert the U.S. government, and that if members of Congress were being presented with shoddy national security analysis to that effect, both Tobin and I would be very, very worried about where the country was heading. It’s true that Islamic extremist terrorism is a real threat, if not an existential one. The number of actual terrorists is very small, and these responses only make sense if you want to hold Muslims collectively responsible for terrorism rather than the terrorists themselves.

Tobin writes that “the hallmark of American discourse since 9/11 has been a conscious effort to disassociate Islam from the war being waged against the West by Islamist terrorists.” Rhetorically, that’s more or less true about this administration and the last. But as far as many conservatives today are concerned, that’s old and busted. “Clash of Civilizations” is the new hotness.

Adam Serwer is a staff writer at The American Prospect, where he writes his own blog.

 

Muslim Woman Denied Foster Kids Because She Doesn’t Eat Bacon

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2010 by loonwatch

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The part I find most interesting about this is how loons always come up with justifications to hide their blatant Islamophobia.  Here, they argue that the woman is being “inflexible” with regard to her no-pork diet.  Obviously, this is a bunch of baloney, since (as the ACLU rightfully points out) I doubt they would have denied fosterhood to strict vegetarians.  But somehow when you throw in Islam and Muslims into the mix, suddenly these sorts of justifications make sense.  It has nothing to do with pork: it has to do with Islamophobia, plain and simple.  Robert Spencer and Pam Geller will obviously come to the swift defense of bigotry here, and it really shows how they are on the wrong side of history.  They will have egg (and ham) on their faces, just as those people who discriminated against blacks in the sixties are now scorned.

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