WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) – Workers discovered a burnt Holy Qu’ran outside a mosque in San Francisco. A Muslim woman wearing hijab, or head covering, was removed from the line at the Navy Federal Credit Union in Maryland and told to conduct her business in one of the bank’s back rooms. Four Muslim men were escorted off a Delta flight because of suspicious behavior after one of them dropped his pen while filling out a customs form and bending down to get it.
Same American-style hate but a new target: That’s what the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)and theUniversity of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Genderdetermined in a report released June 23, based on data and interviews with experts that document growing Islamaphobia in the United States.
“This groundbreaking report creates a benchmark for examining the troubling growth of anti-Muslim sentiment in our society and offers a Who’s Who of those promoting or challenging Islamophobia,” said Nihad Awad, the national executive director of CAIR.
“As the recent GOP presidential debate demonstrated, Islamophobia is moving toward the mainstream and therefore must be challenged by all Americans who learned from those periods in our nation’s history when other minorities were similarly targeted.”
In 2010 CAIR took on more than 2,000 civil rights cases, but the problem is growing.
A mosque walkway in South Carolina was defaced with bacon, vandals wrote the words “pig” and “chump” in strips of bacon along the walkway.
“Same Hate, New Target: Islamophobia and Its Impact in the United States 2009-2010” defines Islamaphobia as a “close-minded prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims.”
The report lists the “worst” Islamophobes and the “best” of those pushing back against growing anti-Muslim sentimentin American society and presents an initial set of recommendations for Muslims and Americans of other faiths to challenge Islamophobia.
Among those commended for pushing back against Islamaphobia were New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.).
Those listed as actively promoting Islamophobia included Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, co-founders of Stop the Islamization of America, which some have called a hate group; Act for America leader Brigitte Gabriel and GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich.
The report urges Muslims to get engaged in efforts to stop the hate, saying “American Muslims must take the lead in pushing back against Islamaphobia.”
Other suggestions include passing legislation banning racial profiling, speaking out strongly against smearing entire faiths or people and refusing to offer a legitimizing platform for anti-Muslim bigotry or Islamophobia.
Web Video – Coalition of Muslims speak out against bigotry and intolerance (NOI.org, 09-02-2010)
Anti-mosque groups push campaign in New York (FCN, 09-06-2010)
Rejecting bigotry and targeting of Muslims (FCN, 09-06-2010)
Is Islam a Religion of Violence? (FCN Webcast, Min.Farrakhan, Press Conf. 05-25-2005)