|Hate crimes against Muslims on the rise in U.S.||
“These crimes include intimidation, burglary, arson, vandalism, and aggravated assault,” writes author Laila Lalami, a Professor at the University of California, Riverside. What’s more, “they target not just Muslims, but also people who are mistaken for Muslims - Sikh men, for instance.”
“It’s fair to say that we have in America today two systems of citizenship: one for Muslims and one for non-Muslims,” Lalami says. “Muslim citizens live under a cloud of suspicion, no matter what they do, and no matter what they say.”
Anti-Muslim attitudes have reached deep into the workplace. Muslims make up only about one percent of the U.S. population, but account for more than 20 percent of religion-based filings with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Mustafa Bayoumi, a Professor at Brooklyn College, city of New York, writes in a related Nation article, that until a few years ago American Muslims were regarded with suspicion of engaging in terrorist activities, but “the new narrative operates more along the axis of culture.”
“Simple acts of religious or cultural expression and the straightforward activities of Muslim daily life have become suspicious,” he explains. (Indeed, the ACLU reports that anti-mosque activity has taken place in more than half the states in the country.)
Incredibly, some of the anti-Muslim hatred is being stoked by the federal and local law enforcement agencies. Last September, Wired broke the story that the FBI makes wild charges about Muslims to the counterterrorism agents it trains. Bayoumi accuses the FBI of spreading the line that “mainstream American Muslims are probably terrorist sympathizers…….and that the religiously mandated practice of giving charity in Islam is no more than a ‘funding mechanism for combat’.”
Also, Bayoumi points out that the NYPD as part of its training screened The Third Jihad, a film that claims that “the true agenda of much of Islam in America” is “a strategy to infiltrate and dominate” the country.
At the forefront of this spreading prejudice, “is a series of well-funded, politically-motivated campaigns dedicated to painting Islam as an inherently violent and savage religion,” writes the award-winning author, Jack Shaheen.
“These campaigns are the work of a small group of wealthy donors, misinformation specialists like Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, and groups of interconnected anti-Islam organizations: Steven Emerson’s Investigative Project on Terrorism, Daniel Pipes’s Middle East Forum and so forth.”
“Together,” Shaheen continues, “they pound home the myth that mainstream Muslims have ‘terrorist’ ties, that Islam is the new global ideological menace and that Muslims are intent on destroying Western civilization.”
Facts & figures
The rise in hate crimes parallels the growing unfavorable opinions the Americans hold of Muslims. A Washington Post/ABC News poll made in October 2001 reported that 39 percent of the Americans held unfavorable opinions about Muslims. That number rose to 46 percent in 2006 and 49 percent in 2010. The Nation
A majority of Muslim Americans (53%) say it has become more difficult to be a Muslim in the United States since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Most also believe that the government "singles out" Muslims for increased surveillance and monitoring. Pew Center
Muslim Americans express broad dissatisfaction with the direction of U.S. foreign policy. Most say that the U.S. made the wrong decision in using force against Iraq. Pew Center
(Source: Press TV)
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