To be clear, anti-Muslim hate crimes, as with such crimes against any group, are always indefensible, but it’s important to note that claims made by many at The Guardian of a “rising tide of American Islamophobia” have no basis in fact.
Contrary to the popular narrative, Muslims are not under siege in the U.S., and indeed enjoy economic prosperity, religious and civil rights which would be unimaginable in most other countries.
Indeed, a 2007 Pew Study determined that “Muslim Americans generally mirror the U.S. public in education and income levels, with immigrant Muslims slightly more affluent and better educated than native-born Muslims”, and that are there is a “concentration of Muslims in professional, managerial, and technical fields, especially in information technology, education, medicine, law, and the corporate world.”
A 40 page report by the Center for Security Policy, which looked at, among other factors, FBI Hate Crime Statistics over the past 9 years, demonstrated that Jews are far more likely to be victims of hate crimes in the US than Muslims.
Yet, the mere dearth of evidence has never been a barrier for the Guardian and CiF columnists in advancing a narrative of a Muslim community in the U.S. under siege.
And, here’s the headline from a CiF essay on Aug. 26, by Wajahat Ali.
The Guardian’s Jonathan Freedland, in an essay on the 10th anniversary of the attacks on 9/11, wrote that he was more worried about the “rampant Islamophobia” which was “on the rise” in the U.S. than the threat of Islamist terrorism.
Well, adding to the realm of data disproving the argument that there’s anything approaching a rise in Islamophobia in the U.S. is the latest FBI Hate Crime Data for 2010, which shows, once again, that hate crimes against Muslims remain rare and are far outnumbered by attacks on Jews.
In 2010, only 13.2 percent of religion-based attacks were directed at Muslims. By comparison, 65.4 percent of such crimes were directed at Jews.
Moreover, the far greater number of attacks on Jews is, by no means, evidence that the United States is a country dangerously antisemitic. By any reasonable standard or observation, Jews enjoy more freedom and prosperity in the U.S. than anywhere else in the diaspora.
So, how can anyone rationally argue that the far fewer number of assaults on Muslims prove that Islamophobia is rampant?
If the question of whether there was a rising tide of Islamophobia in the U.S. was dictated by facts, reason, and data – that is, if it wasn’t driven by ideology – the debate would have ended long ago.
As such, you can certainly expect more intellectually unserious charges of rampant anti-Muslim racism in the U.S. by commentators at the Guardian.
- Guardian’s Jonathan Steele accuses Tunisian Muslims who oppose radical Islam of Islamophobia (cifwatch.com)
- Meet CiF’s Wajahat Ali: Anti-Islamophobia crusader with a soft spot for anti-Semites (cifwatch.com)
- Seumas Milne’s extraordinary duplicity on the nature of terrorist threats in Europe (cifwatch.com)