Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States

Key Findings

Finding 1: Subject matter experts perceive a small, but highly welcome, decline in Islamophobia in America during the period covered by this report. In 2012, CAIR rates Islamophobia as a 5.9 on a scale of one to 10, with one representing an America free of Islamophobia and 10 being the worst possible situation for Muslims. In 2010, CAIR rated the state of Islamophobia in America as a 6.4.

 

Finding 2: The U.S.-based Islamophobia network’s inner core is currently comprised of at least 37 groups whose primary purpose is to promote prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims. An additional 32 groups whose primary purpose does not appear to include promoting prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims but whose work regularly demonstrates or

supports Islamophobic themes make up the network’s outer core.

 

Finding 3: The inner core of the U.S.-based Islamophobia network enjoyed access to at least $119,662,719 in total revenue between 2008 and 2011. Groups in the inner core are often tightly linked. Key players in the network benefitted from large salaries as they encouraged the American public to fear Islam.

 

Finding 4: In 2011 and 2012, 78 bills or amendments designed to vilify Islamic religious practices were introduced in the legislatures of 29 states and the U.S. Congress. Sixty-two of these bills contained language that was extracted from David Yerushalmi’s American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) model legislation. While the bias behind the bills is clear, the presence of an actual problem that needed solved was not, even to the legislators introducing the measures. In at least 11 states, mainstream Republican leaders introduced or supported anti-Muslim legislation.

 

Finding 5: Anti-Muslim trainers serving law enforcement and military personnel were dealt a significant blow in late 2011. The tone and content of these training sessions reflected the trainers’ personal biases more than any subject matter expertise. Multiple Federal government outlets agreed to review their training on Islam and remove biased or inaccurate materials.

The continued use of such trainers by state and local entities deserves further investigation

 

Finding 6: There were 51 recorded anti-mosque acts during the period covered by this report, 29 in 2012 and 22 in 2011. Two notable spikes in anti-mosque acts occurred in 2011-2012: May 2011 (7 acts), likely related to the killing of Osama bin Laden and August 2012 (10 acts), probably all in reaction to the massacre of six Sikh worshippers by a white supremacist in

Oak Creek, Wis.

 

Finding 7: Islamophobic rhetoric remains socially acceptable. Research released in 2011 found, “citizens are quite comfortable not only opposing [extending citizenship to legal Muslim immigrants], but also being public about that fact.” A number of mainstream candidates for the Republican presidential nomination used Islamophobic rhetoric. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) held a series of five anti-Muslim congressional hearings, which were subjected to broad spectrum push back but also enjoyed significant support. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) partnered with inner core leader Frank Gaffney to launch a campaign accusing Muslims in public service of infiltrating the government on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood.

 

This last episode ended up being a very welcome example of public officials

supporting Americans of the Islamic faith in a bipartisan manner.

UC Berkeley Report Documents Growing Islamophobia in U.S.

(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/23/11) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender today released a report based on available data and interviews with experts that documents growing Islamophobia in the United States and offers recommendations about how to challenge the troubling phenomenon.

Executive Summary:

American Muslim reflections on Islamophobia in the United States occur in full recognition that virtually every minority in our nation has faced and in most cases continues to face discrimination. Islamophobia is close-minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims. An Islamophobe is an individual who holds a closed-minded view of Islam and promotes prejudice against or hatred of Muslims. It is not appropriate to label all, or even the majority of those, who question Islam and Muslims as Islamophobes. Some individuals, institutions and groups deserve recognition for their outstanding contributions to pushing back against Islamophobic trends during the period covered by this report: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg; Loonwatch.com; Congressional Tri-Caucus; Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN); Jon Stewart, Aasif Mandvi and The Daily Show; Keith Olbermann and Countdown with Keith Olbermann; Stephen Colbert and The Colbert Report; Media Matters for America; interfaith leaders; and Rachel Maddow and The Rachel Maddow Show. Some individuals, institutions and groups were at the center of pushing Islamophobia in America during the period covered by this report: Pamela Geller and Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA); Robert Spencer and Jihad Watch; Brigitte Gabriel and Act! for America; Frank Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy (CSP); Steven Emerson and the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT); Newt Gingrich; the four members of Congress who called for an investigation of Muslim Capitol Hill interns; Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and other violent extremists; and Daniel Pipes. According to those interviewed for this report, on a scale from 1 (best situation for Muslims) to 10 (worst possible situation for Muslims) Islamophobia in America stands at a 6.4. Interviews were conducted in September and October of 2010.

Islam is a Religion, Not a Terror Ideology

Opponents of an Islamic community center and mosque planned to be built near ground zero say it would desecrate hallowed ground. But suspicion has greeted proposed mosque projects in places less hallowed than ground zero — in Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Sheboygan, Wisconsin; Temecula, California; and elsewhere.
This suggests that opposition to mosques is not driven only by sensitivity to the memory of terrorism victims, but also by a growing unease toward Islam, fueled by security fears.

No Compromise on Religious Freedom

When it comes to the mosque that’s neither too close to Ground Zero for its proponents nor far enough away for its opponents, the disturbing word “compromise” is now being tossed around. It has been suggested by New York Gov. David Paterson, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan and, in Sunday’s Post, Karen Hughes, once an important adviser to George W. Bush. These are all well-meaning people, but they do not understand that in this case, the difference between compromise and defeat is nonexistent.

The World is Watching

America’s reputation for religious tolerance and decency has taken a terrible hit with this brouhaha over the proposed mosque near Ground Zero. It is a self-inflicted wound, aided in no small part by the Tea Party and the fear-mongers at Fox News who never miss an opportunity to summon the darker aspects of our nature for political purposes. All this in the name of a higher patriotism, of course.

Islamophobia Threatens Religious Freedom in America

Let’s be honest. Much of the controversy surrounding the so-called ground zero mosque is fueled by Islamophobia — a fear and loathing of Islam that is spreading rapidly in the United States.

Since 9/11, demonization of Islam has become a cottage industry in America, aided and abetted by some evangelical leaders and a growing number of politicians. Much like the anti-Catholic hysteria of the 19th century, the current outbreak of Islamophobia is based on the paranoid fantasy that Islam in America is a threat to democracy and freedom.

CAIR asks President to address rise in anti-Islam hate Islamophobic incidents, rhetoric target ordinary American Muslims

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today called on President Obama to address what it called an “alarming level of anti-Islam hate in our nation.”

In a letter to President Obama, CAIR cited recent incidents in Florida in which a cross with the message “Christian nation, Christian community” was planted at the site of a planned mosque and an anti-Islam Christmas display was set up by a local church.

Note: this summary was taken directly from CAIR’s news update.