There is not , as CiF columnist Wajahat Ali contends in “Fighting the defamation of Muslim Americans“, Aug. 27, an Islamophobia network in America.
Yes, of course there exists anti-Muslim bigotry, just as there is bigotry in every nation in the world, but there is simply, despite the frequent hyperbolic insistence of CiF commentators, no actual evidence that there’s anything resembling an organized wave of Islamophobia in the U.S.
“Center for American Progress Action Fund released a 138-page report, “Fear Inc: Exposing the Islamophobia Network in America“,”which for the first time reveals that more than $42m from seven foundations over the past decade have helped empower a relatively small, but interconnected group of individuals and organisations to spread anti-Muslim fear and hate in America.”
This report, which characteristically conflates criticism of radical Islam with Islamophobic bigotry, includes in this network, as those who stoke the flames of anti-Muslim bigotry, Sean Hannity, U.S., Congressman Allen West, former U.S. Congressman Newt Gingrich, Middle East Scholar Daniel Pipes, Terrorism expert Steve Emerson, and Walid Shoebat.
The report also indicts Fox News, The National Review, and the Washington Times as purveyors of anti-Muslim bigotry.
“Islamophobia as the following: an exaggerated fear, hatred and hostility towards Islam and Muslims that is perpetuated by negative stereotypes resulting in bias, discrimination and the marginalisation and exclusion of Muslims from America’s social, political and civic life.”
Of course, absent from Ali’s report is any empirical evidence indicating that bias, discrimination, or exclusion of Muslims is growing or represents a big problem in the lives of Muslims in America.
In fact, a new 40 page report by the Center For Security Policy not only debunks the claim that Muslim Americans are disproportionately victimized by religiously inspired bias crimes, but clearly demonstrates Jewish victims are, in fact, far more likely to be the target of such crimes – a report based partly on the FBI’s yearly Hate Crime Data from 2000-2010.
Further, a 2007 Pew Study about Muslims in America found the following:
“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. Twenty-four percent of all Muslims and 29 percent of immigrant Muslims have college degrees, compared to 25 percent for the U.S. general population. Forty-one percent of all Muslim Americans and 45 percent of immigrant Muslims report annual household income levels of $50,000 or higher. This compares to the national average of 44 percent. Immigrant Muslims are well represented among higher-income earners, with 19 percent claiming annual household incomes of $100,000 or higher (compared to 16 percent for the Muslim population as a whole and 17 percent for the U.S. average). This is likely due to the strong concentration of Muslims in professional, managerial, and technical fields, especially in information technology, education, medicine, law, and the corporate world.
So, in addition to the relatively low incidents of hate crimes against American Muslims, it also seems clear that such Muslims, by most objective measures, are doing quite well in the U.S. socially and economically, and enjoy religious and other democratic freedoms that many Muslims in the rest of the world are denied.
Ali, in past CiF essays, has demonstrated a similar tendency to engage in accusations of “Islamophobia” quite liberally.
Indeed, he leveled the charge of Islamophobia against the U.S. government in the context of the FBI prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for the “charity” group’s ties to terrorism – a prosecution which resulted in five convictions, which included “conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, providing material support to a foreign terrorist, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.”
Further, a little more research into the background of Wajahat Ali (who CiF benignly described as “a Muslim American of Pakistani descent, a writer and attorney, and Associate Editor of Altmuslim.com) revealed that the author holds some decidedly illiberal views about another historically oppressed minority – a record of bigotry which should put the author’s report on Islamophobia in some perspective.
Ali is a contributor to the radical anti-Zionist site, Counterpunch, where, in an essay largely commenting on Israel’s war in Gaza, he likened Israel to Apartheid in S. African, and characterized the war as an “Israeli blitzkrieg that repeatedly bombards a beleaguered Palestinian refugee population.” Ali also published, in Counterpunch, an extremely sympathetic interview with Norman Finkelstein, about “The Holocaust Industry” – a book which characterizes Israelis as “basically Nazis with beards and black hats”.
Indeed, a few searches on Ali’s own blog, Goatmilk: An intellectual playground, which is often cross posted at the English Website of the Muslim Brotherhood, demonstrates a propensity to use his “playground” for voices hostile to Jews and opposed to Israel’ existence.
On June 10, he included on his blog, as the “Essay of the week”, a cross-post of a piece by Ilan Pappe, the universally discredited radical Israeli “historian” who advocates the end of the Jewish state. Pappe, in the essay, commenting broadly about Israel in the aftermath of the May 31 Mavi Marmara incident, accused the state of practicing ethnic cleansing, and opined that “only sustained pressure by Western governments [similar to the pressure placed on S. Africa and Serbia] will drive the message home that the strategy of force and the policy of oppression are not accepted morally or politically by the world to which Israel wants to belong.”
In April of 2009, Ali posted a piece by Sasha Rabkin titled, “A Jewish American man’s defense of self-hatred” – simply exquisite example of the AsAJew recently dissected so skillfully by Geary – which characterized Zionism as an “identity centered on racism, military might, ["fascism"] and occupation,” and later characterized Jewish Zionist identity as a “Judaism devoid of soul and love and oppressing the most occupied people in the world”.
He also characterized Israel’s War of Independence as an act of “genocide” against Arabs.
Rabkin’s defense of Jewish self-hatred, which Ali endorsed, concludes with this appalling passage:
“the two main forces of the 20th century who sought to separate Jews were the Nazis and the Zionists. This is not to fully equate the two. There are obvious differences. But, both sought to single out the Jews, to show them as special and in need of segregation. They both contributed to the death of Jews. Most importantly, they both have sequestered Jewish identity in a militarized, confrontational and racist corner.
Our anti-Islamophobia crusader seems to be on a bit of a Judeophobic crusade of his own.
Who needs to demonize the Jewish state as a fascist, genocidal force – which is a moral blight on the world (and Judaism itself) – when you can get a Jew to do it for you?
More broadly, Ali’s exquisite moral hypocrisy in condemning bigotry against Muslims while promoting anti-Semitism represents another perfect illustration of the Guardian Left ideology – sensitive souls who renounce racism, real and imagined, against “the oppressed” at every opportunity, and who possess an eye for bigotry endowed with a wide and powerful lens, yet have a glaring and dangerous blind spot when it comes to Jews.