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On the Outlandish Claim That “There is No Islamophobia”

24 January 2012 29 Comments Email This Post Email This Post

On the Outlandish Claim That “There is No Islamophobia”

The FBI released hate crime statistics for the year of 2010, which showed that anti-Semitic crimes topped the list of religiously motivated hate crimes.  Islamophobes have latched on to this fact to claim that “there is no Islamophobia.”  For example, Robert Spencer of JihadWatch asked: “What do you have to say about the fact that FBI statistics show that there is no ‘Islamophobia’?”

The American Muslim‘s Sheila Musaji published a response to this argument, pointing out that the argument is a non-sequitur: it does not follow that “there is no Islamophobia” just because there were more anti-Semitic hate crimes reported than anti-Muslim ones.  This would be like arguing that “there is no anti-Semitism” because there were more anti-black hate crimes reported than anti-Semitic ones.

In fact, Musaji points out that there was a 50% increase in the number of reported anti-Muslim hate crimes. Any reasonable person would think this trend to be concerning and ask: what is causing this steep rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes?

There is another issue here: it’s a well-known fact that ethnic minorities are less likely to report hate crimes.  One of the common reasons cited for this is that such minority groups tend to distrust police and authorities–which is certainly the case for Arabs and Muslims, who have every reason to feel this way.

Islamophobia penetrates law enforcement and government on all levels, starting from the police: the Washington Monthly had a very eyeopening article on the subject: How We Train Our Cops to Fear Islam.

The FBI, the governmental institution responsible for monitoring hate crimes, is itself brimming with Islamophobia (see here, here, here, here, here, and here).  Many Muslims in America don’t trust the FBI, and wouldn’t report hate crimes to them, for fear of being accused of something themselves.

This is exactly what happened to a female Muslim student at the University of Bridgeport who reported to authorities that a man was sexually harassing her; not only was the man not investigated, but the female Muslim student herself ended up being investigated by the FBI after the accused molester called her a terrorist.  That’s how vulnerable Muslims are in this country: accuse them of being a terrorist and the FBI will come knocking at their door.

The chain of anti-Muslim bigotry goes even higher to the Department of Homeland Security.  The House Committee on Homeland Security is led by the fervently anti-Muslim Congressman Peter King.  It is Muslims, not Jews or people of any other religion, who are subjected to such hearings.  If King had suggested holding anti-Jewish hearings, the comparisons to Nazi Germany would be quickly invoked (rightfully so) and the Congressman’s career would come to a swift end (again, rightfully so).  Yet, when this bigotry is leveled against Muslims, the reaction is far more mild.

This brings me to my second (and main) point: it is Muslims, not Jews or people of any other faith, who are the number one victims of institutionalized bigotry in America.  This is something more pernicious than lone-wolf hate crimes, because the effects of it are more far-reaching.

It is Muslims, not people of any other religious faith, that were (and continue to be) detained by the hundreds–without trial or charge–and holed away in the hell-hole known as Guantanamo Bay detention camp.  This, even though it was known by the government that “the vast majority of detainees at Guantanamo were innocent.” Most Americans fail to realize the gravity of this injustice, and continue to believe–like mindless sheep–that the Gitmo prisoners are “the worst of the worst” and are evil Magneto-style villains.  People of the future will be horrified that any sane person would think that this is necessary:



Who but the sickest and most deranged person could think this is OK?

Can you imagine the outcry had it been a Jewish person who had been imprisoned like so by our government?  Even the idea is considered ludicrous.

Gitmo is just the tip of the iceberg.  Thousands of Muslims have been imprisoned in Bagram (“the Other Guantanamo”) and there are probably tens of thousands Muslims that have been detained by the United States, without trial or charge, around the world.  They are subjected to typical American forms of torture:  solitary confinement (considered by human rights experts to be one of the worst forms of torture) and sexual harassment (including sodomy, rape, and having their testicles electrocuted).  Mentally deranged guards routinely used dogs to torture the inmates.


Yes, it is Muslims who are the victims of these horrific crimes.

These abuses are carried out because the institution that is supposed to protect American citizens (including American Muslims)–the U.S. Armed Forces–has instead been, in the words of the hawkish Jeffrey Goldberg, “waging a three-decade war for domination of the Middle East.”  Quite predictably, the U.S. Armed Forces as an institution is rife with Islamophobia.

It is Muslim civilians who are being incinerated by our bombs, missiles, and drones.  Over the course of the last two decades, the United States has directly or indirectly caused the deaths of over a million Muslims.  America is dropping bombs on multiple Muslim countries (the list just keeps getting longer and longer); Americans feel comfortable dropping bombs on countries they can’t even locate on a map.  These are Islamophobic wars that kill way more people than hate crimes do.

It is Muslims, not Jews or people of any other religion, who are the victims of civil liberty assaults and Endless War.  Glenn Greenwald writes:

[W]ho are the prime victims of America’s posture of Endless War? Overwhelmingly, the victims are racial, ethnic and religious minorities: specifically, Muslims (both American Muslims and foreign nationals).  And that is a major factor in why these abuses flourish: because those who dominate American political debates perceive, more or less accurately, that they are not directly endangered (at least for now) by this assault on core freedoms and Endless War…

To see how central a role this sort of selfish provincialism plays in shaping political priorities, just compare (a) the general indifference to Endless War and the massive civil liberties assaults… (ones largely confined to Muslims) to (b) the intense outrage and media orgy generated when a much milder form of invasiveness — TSA searches — affected Americans of all backgrounds. The success of Endless War and civil liberties attacks depends on ensuring that the prime victims, at least in the first instance, are marginalized and easily demonizable minorities.

It is Muslims who are the victims of such governmental abuses:

Assassination of U.S. citizens; Indefinite detention; Arbitrary justice; Warrantless searches; Secret evidence; War crimes; Secret court; Immunity from judicial review; Continual monitoring of citizens; and Extraordinary renditions.

It is absolutely crass to argue that there is more anti-Semitism in America than Islamophobia. There would be nothing less acceptable in our country than anti-Jewish Congressional hearings.  One could simply not imagine imprisoning hundreds of Jews–without trial or charge–in Guantanamo Bay.  If the United States caused the death of over a million Jews, people would be calling this the next Holocaust.  Such things are simply unthinkable, except when Muslims are the intended victims.

Certainly, lone-wolf hate crimes are worrisome, and Jews are one of the most targeted groups in this regard.  This is a serious concern that needs to be addressed–as does the fact that there has been such a steep rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes.  But, we shouldn’t ignore institutionalized bigotry in America, which is even more worrisome.  Muslims are the most vulnerable minority in this regard: they are the absolute lowest on the totem pole and get the dubious distinction of being the number one victims in this regard.

Lastly, it is very morbid the way the anti-Muslim cyber-world is pitting the Jewish community against the Muslim one.  This is not a competition or game.  Hate crimes are not points or goals.  Jews, Muslims, and people of all faiths (or no faith at all) should unite together to fight bigotry and intolerance.  After all, Jews are well aware of the tactics that were once primarily used against them but are now used against Muslims: it may be a different minority, but it’s the same message.

*  *  *  *  *

I encourage everyone to read Sheila Musaji’s take on the subject.  It was her article that prompted me to weigh in on this issue.

Danios was the Brass Crescent Award Honorary Mention for Best Writer in 2010 and the Brass Crescent Award Winner for Best Writer in 2011.


  1. #1. Shameful, again.

  2. Error. 404 Not Found. ??

  3. besides muslims and jews lived peacefully and prosperously together in muslim countries of north africa, the middle east and southern asia for a milenium. It is the aggressive cultures and oil hungry cultures of europe and north america that brought all this hatred to a head. it is no wonder jews wanted to get the hell out of europe considering the way europeans treated jews for most of two thousand years!!! but that doesnt mean that jews should be pawns for the oil lusts of europe and america and thereby be so scorned by the neighbors in the middle east. time to end apartheid and learn to live together… perhaps “arab spring” needs a f/u of isreali spring and end of apartheid…

  4. I cry for the people of Gaza. They are so strong. I pray for them all the time.

  5. Meera – click again, then look on the right side where article names are listed then click this article’s title and it should open. That happens sometimes.

  6. Satan works by setting us against each other. God works by bringing us together. It really is that simple.

  7. Not to mention the fact that this happens MUCH more than ever reported or exposed:

    Jewish man gets caught red handed spraying anti-Jewish hate messages in New York

  8. “We Must Solve Problems through Dialogue not Violence: His Holiness.” The Dalai Lama has recently commented while speaking to business leaders in Brazil that “the use of force and violence is outdated and that the world must try to resolve differences and problems through dialogue.”

  9. The muslims have a huge dream of slaughtering all the Jews, with the cooperation of trees, imbedded in their religion. They romance this idea with full throat in their mosques, why on earth should any Jew trust muslims?

    Why is the situation described in this article being ignored by Obama? Sometimes pics and accusations surface, this is lying on the ground like several other topics the MSM won’t touch.

  10. I believe that Ghandi and MLK said the same thing. Anybody listening?

  11. @anon:

    You are a complete ass. Muslims and Islam are to blame even when Muslims are the victims, right? As for the so called “muslims-slaughtering-jews-w/-trees” hadith, bring me the source. I’m sure most Muslims haven’t heard of this hadith, just as they haven’t heard of “taqiyya” before. Islam is not an anti-Semetic religion. In fact, shouldn’t Jews fear Christians since Christians believe that Jesus will return and slaughter them?

  12. Abrahamic faiths ARE the problem.

  13. Even when others make efforts towards PEACE, there will always be “NAY” SAYERS ! IGNORE & PUSH FORWARD !

  14. Come on, SKhan, isn’t there a yakyak tree saying come get this Jew hiding behind me? I have read several stories about sermons preached on it as muslims fantasize about killing anybody they don’t like.

    The situations, pics, etc. in this article are disturbing and I would like Obama or a spokesman to come out and say something.

    Strange silences going on in this administration. Probably a feature of Obama personality.

  15. What is going on in Gitmo is wrong, in the United States everyone has a right to thier day in court. For some reason, starting with Bush, a group of politicians have decided they have the right to violate the constitution and deny basic human rights to various individuals and now have expanded this right to deny constitutional rights to US citizens living on US soil. Of course they have no standing to do so and are committing treason when they enact this non existing authority. Since they have the guns and the will they are getting away with it. It is my hope that a future administration will come into power and set the problems aright while bringing charges against those that abused their authority and circumvented the constitution under the guise of being a patriot. A patriot supports our constitution and simply deals with the consequences of that support.

    As to Muslims and others in Gitmo who have been captured but are not citizens. I believe that they should be held under the Geneva Convention as prisoners of war with full access to the Red Cross, thus they could be held for long periods of time in humane conditions. If they are not to be treated as prisoners of war then they should receive the basic criminal rights afforded to people under our constitution.

  16. Fake photos these days are too easy to construct. I have seen several muslim efforts, it is a mistake to foist junk on the public, afterwards they won’t trust you even when you are telling the truth.

    This is a can of worms that should be opened wide alright.

  17. Anon
    Ever heard of abdul rahman zeitoun, a Syrian american who was captured and imprisoned in a prison akin to Gitmo? Ive seen VIDEOS of this. Ppl being tortured in gitmo. Doctured photos my ass. You just want to believe that your all doing the right thing by terrorizing and toturing muslims whove done nothing wrong. Thats sadistic. And slaughtering Jews? Wtf? We come from the Jews! Well, were related to them. They came from Isaac and us from Ishmael. BUT, political conflicts have nothing to do with it. Zakzak? Those are the cacti of Hell! In the Quran it says that the inhabitants of Hell will eat the bitter and thorny cactus plant called zakzak. Do your motherfrickin research man. You dont know anything about this religion. You wanna keep saying this bull? Go rally with geller and her troll friends. Stop wasting your time here

  18. Do you kno y he was imprisoned? Just a few weeks before katrina, his family planned a vacation to phoenix. Then news of the storm came. He told his wife n kids to leave and that hed follow. He had to close up his business (carpenting) quick and get out. Then the flood hit. He got out on a boat and found his friend on his rooftop. His friend had money wit him, his life savings, then they found this nonmuslim dude who got on the boat with them. Later, authorities found them and asked where the money came from, why they were going around, etc. They imprisoned him in Hope. They let the nonmuslim go. Zeitoun and his friend stayed there for almost a yr. Zeitoun was accused of some kind of terrorist attack. Finally his wife helped him get out. Read the book, its called Zeitoun.

  19. Obamas a douschbag

  20. There is another man who was just set free describing his experiences in Gitmo. He was held for 7 yrs protesting his innocence, filing papers, etc.

    For once I agree with the muslims. There is a bad thing here and Obama is not addressing it.

    To be found wandering around in the aftermath of a hurricane is very dangerous. If you have a large sum of money they may think you were looting. People have been shot for just wandering about.

  21. Anon, I’m sure this is probably useless and I’ll try to make it the last time I address you since it’s obvious you live to bother us here and your heart seems to be sealed on the matter of Islam.

    The Jews themselves, within their own Scriptures (Pentatuech, Talmud, Midrash, etc…) repeatedly mention God’s punishment over their transgressions. Groups of them totally were wiped out for their incredible arrogance. Does that make them anti-Semitic? If you’re referring to the End Times Hadith about the rebellious Jews who will meet their punishment, that’s nice and all, but if you don’t like it you should also go off on them for believing in God’s wrath against them as well. You should also go off on the entire Book of Revelations, which contains much of the same sentiment. You do know the Hadith is in the context of the Anti Christ, right? And that there are many Hadiths about how Jesus, peace be upon him, will be the one to kill him and whoever follows him (which includes many Jews according to other Hadith), right? And that Muslims have no right to use those texts as justification to kill anyone as that is only for that specific time and context, right?

    And, no, we don’t dream for anyone to get killed. The killing being done on a massive scale is not by Muslims, but by Western nations with Jewish (through Zionist Israel) influence and following. If Jesus, peace be upon him, returns and kills all those involved in these unjustified killing sprees with incredibly destructive weaponry and advanced technology, that’s only justice. We do dream of justice, whether it’s Jew, atheist, Christian or Muslim who deserves it. And if God punishes, He only punishes those who deserve it as stated a billion times in the Qur’an (obvious exaggeration, but the fact is it’s repeatedly mentioned and it’s also included as a contingency right after almost every statement by God of destroying any group or nation, that they were “oppressors” or “wrong-doers”).

    So maybe a large contingent of Jews rejected two Prophets of God (the Messiah Jesus and the final Messenger Muhammad, peace be upon both of them) and commit many transgressions against humanity as well and will be punished by God for it? Is that not a possibility in your mind? Of course not… you see, no crime is counted when it is by anyone else other than a Muslim in your mind. I get it. So peace and may God guide you.

  22. What I see is large masses of muslims in the grip of various delusions and fantasies.

    They have been poorly governed for many years, now they are apparently going to install theocratic regimes. They won’t like them either.

    Iran-Iraq war, Algerian horrors, Saddam’s horrors, Lebanon’s civil war. Nigerian horrors.

    Death to America. Death to the Jews. Death to _______.

    Not really amazing that people would start yelling death to the muslims.

  23. Only positive thing I have read about Gitmo was that it held some Chinese muslims in political asylum until they could be resettled in Albania.

    Some years ago a list was put out of names of people being held there and the reasons.

  24. If you havent noticed, dear anon
    All that death to crap is usually in the media. Family guy was making fun of bin laden and they said it, jeff dunham and his dummy “achmed the dead terrorist” with the whole “silence i kill you” bs if you see a iraqi or afghan yelling i hate america i think its because of the useless war there that killed and ruined their countries.

  25. Streets full of muslims have been screaming death to various groups for years. That’s not movie extras I see on TV.

    Mob violence is I assume used by the govs. as a weapon.

    Frightful mob stories have been dribbling out of the islamic paradises for years.

    Strange that the reverse of this coin seldom occurs to them. When it does, they yell islamophobia and tell us we are naughty.

    What would you think if a giant mob assembled in NYC, screaming death to the muslims and lynching any muslim looking person they found?

    What if students rose up and started beating a muslim teacher, dragging her out into the schoolyard where her throat was slit by a local hoodlum and her body burned?

    What if mobs descended on US mosques, burning and killing and wrecking?

    You shrug off these things because they happened elsewhere, to Christians or other undesirables.

  26. Anon
    Duh, i know they scream death ok but you know what if for 10 yrs + a country wages a stupid war on you, ravages your country and land and kills thousands of your women/children, and the gov is always pressuring you, like… what do you expect them to do? Im not saying i like it id rather we all just love each other, but lets be realistic.

    No you arent hearing me, i DONT like it when that happens to Muslims or otherwise, its definitly unislamic and crazy and wrong for them to do that. It embarasses me, it upsets me, if im really pissed off ill spit at the TV, its EMBARASSING and i feel like whenever i feel like the heats starting to come off something else stupid happens and it ruins al my efforts. There was that story of an african muslim kid trying to bomb a plane idk if you he even really had a bomb or was he just kidding but it sucks.

    And that did happen to muslims a couple of times.
    1433+ yrs ago the Quraysh boycotted the Early muslims and then went on torturing them and killing a few (left them waterless and foodless in the desert sun to die a slow death and thats after beating and whipping them)
    In kosovo, the bosnian massacre of muslims .
    Those are just off the top of my head. But my point is, hate isnt confined to deranged muslims. It took over anders brevik, whose neither muslim nor arab, hitler who was neither of the ideal ‘aryan’ appearance nor muslim, nazis, ariel sharon, Ivan Grozny, Fidel Castro, etc. Were just under the spotligt cuz were MUSLIM.
    Undesirables? Wth is your problem? If we didnt like them we wouldnt believe in Jesus or Abraham or Moses peace be upon them! I have two Christian friends and I really want to befriend some Jews too, preferably ones who know some Hebrew. You have serious judgement issues

  27. Hm, spit at the TV, good idea.

  28. anon
    Love the sarcasm. But what would you rather have me do? Go into a muslim home and slaughter them because i think they might be terrorists? Like im not going to act the way you or the rest of America expects me to. Ill act like myself, a proud muslim american girl. Simple. And ill hock as many loogies as i want, thank you

  29. The reason the Bosnian massacre of muslims doesn’t impress a lot of people is that muslims worldwide are engaged in murdering or denying rights to their fellow citizens who happen to be non muslim.

    Everytime muslims are served up with a mirror image of what they themselves do and say, they are appalled.

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