New Report on Islamophobia from CAIR
Chip Berlet printable version print page     Bookmark and Share
Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 11:41:03 AM EST
The Council on American Islamic Relations has released its report on Islamophobia for 2010, and the news is disheartening in terms of public acceptance of Islamophobic bigots in the mass media and speaker circuits.  Same Hate, New Target: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States is online at the CAIR website.
Nihad Awad, National Executive Director of CAIR, opened the report with sentiments of hope:
Prejudice is a specter that has haunted humanity since the beginning of civilization. I believe followers of all faiths will give thanks to God in their own way on that future day when we all truly judge individuals based on personal merit, without concern for race, ethnicity, religion or any of the other factors commonly used to cause division among us.
The report identifies "Some individuals, institutions and groups were at the center of generating Islamophobia in America," in the past year. They include:

*    Pamela Geller and Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA);
*    Robert Spencer and Jihad Watch;
*    Brigitte Gabriel and Act! for America;
*    Frank Gaffney and the Center for Security Policy (CSP);
*    Steven Emerson and the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT);
*    Newt Gingrich, [who is peddling the idea that Shariah Law is a threat to America].

In addition CAIR lists "the four members of Congress who called for an investigation of Muslim Capitol Hill interns....and Daniel Pipes. For good measure, CAIR added that "Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda" and other terrorists who claim they represent Islam also generate Islamophobia in the United States.

The report also is critical of "Enablers of Islamophobia" who are identified as:

...those individuals and institutions who are in a position to push back against the phenomenon and decide not to act. These can include political figures who fear the electoral consequences of being seen as too close to Muslims.

One of the most outlandish forms of Islamophobia is the idea that there is a secret plot by Muslims to establish Shariah Law in the United States to replace our current legal system and abandoning constitutional law and the Bill of Rights. There is no such plan, it is a bigoted fear-mongering fantasy spread for political gain by xenophobes and right-wing political figures.

As Aziz Huq explained in a New York Times, Op-Ed, with their eyes looking "toward the 2012 elections, legislators in six states have been debating laws explicitly prohibiting courts from considering or using Sharia law." Another 14 states are looking at "wider bans" on "foreign law" as part of this histrionic panic peddling. Huq explains they are "taking a clear cue from Oklahoma's wildly popular Sharia ban, which voters approved as a state constitutional amendment" in 2010 with a vote tally topping 70%.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has just released a major study on Islamophobia, and has a side report identifying the leading purveyors of this prejudice. These in a special issue of SPLC's Intelligence Report.

Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting has a special web resource on Islamophobes they have dubbed the "Smearcasters."

Over here at Political Research Associates where I work our civil liberties attorney and researcher, Thom Cincotta, has produced two reports that explore Islamophobia:

Manufacturing the Muslim Menace: Private Firms, Public Servants, & the Threat to Rights and Security.

Platform for Prejudice: How the Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting
Initiative Invites Racial Profiling, Erodes Civil Liberties, and Undermines Security.

One often-overlooked aspect of Islamophobia is the roll of Christian Zionism in spreading apocalyptic fears about Islam. Here are some resources:

Chip Berlet and Nikhil Aziz. “Culture, Religion, Apocalypse, and Middle East Foreign Policy.”

Chip Berlet: Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, & Scapegoating [PDF File-search on "Islam" and "Christian Zionism."]

Bruce Wilson, "Anti-Democratic Sentiment Bubbles Up Among Activists Driving GOP Agenda"

Meanwhile, I am wrapping up a three-year study on the dynamics of Islamophobia and antisemitism on campus. Stay tuned to talk2action.




Display:
Many of the people stirring up fears of "shariah law" taking over the United States would love to impose their version of law based upon their interpretations of the Old Testament (Torah.) The campaign against Islam and "foreign law" also resonates with the religious right's interpretation of Revelation, which causes them to hysterically fear anything international or directed toward peace.

by khughes1963 on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 01:02:51 PM EST
...and quite scary
_ _ _

Chip Berlet: Research for Progress - Building Human Rights
by Chip Berlet on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 01:33:00 PM EST
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by hasnainkhatri on Wed Feb 19, 2020 at 06:01:23 AM EST

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by Abbot45558 on Thu Apr 09, 2020 at 06:25:42 AM EST


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