Don’t overstate anti-Muslim bias

CNN allows a rare voice of common sense to break through amid its recent barrage of Islamic victimhood posturing stories and Islamic supremacist propaganda. “Don’t overstate anti-Muslim bias,” by William J. Bennett and Seth Leibsohn for CNN, March 26 (thanks to AINA):

(CNN) — Almost two weeks after the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on radicalization in the Muslim community in America, U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has announced he will hold a hearing in the Senate. But, rather than focus on the problem of radicalization in the Muslim community, Durbin’s panel will be directed to another subject: anti-Muslim bigotry in the United States.

Senator Durbin has said anti-Islamic sentiment in America is on the rise and that, “It is important for our generation to renew our founding charter’s commitment to religious diversity and to protect the liberties guaranteed by our Bill of Rights.” The hearing, scheduled for next week, follows a CNN special to air this Sunday, “Unwelcome: The Muslims Next Door.” […]

Despite what may have gone on in Murfreesboro with the mosque its adherents have wanted to build, the larger story of anti-Islamic bias in America does not hold water.

Let’s start with the national numbers: 8.4 percent of religious hate crimes in America were anti-Muslim in 2009 (the most recent date for which statistics are available). By contrast, that same year, nearly 72 percent of religious hate crimes in America were anti-Jewish (Muslims in America faced 107 incidents of bias in 2009; Jews faced 931).

This pattern has remained fairly consistent over the past decade. For example, in 2002, 10.5 percent of the religious bias crimes in America were anti-Muslim while 65% were anti-Jewish; in 2006 (just to pick another post- 9/11/2001 year), 11.9 percent of the religious bias crimes in America were anti-Muslim while 65.4 percent were anti-Jewish. (It is worth noting here that exact statistics on the Muslim population in America are hard to assess — estimates range from 2.6 million to 7 million, a number President Obama cited — the Jewish population is generally agreed upon at about 6.5 million). […]

So what is that larger story? Bigotry is, of course, abhorrent. But given that America has been targeted by a great deal of terrorism in the name of Islam over the past decade — targeted by terrorists who say they are acting in the name of Islam — America has not over-reacted in a wave of anti-Muslim bigotry.

Whatever may be the case in Murfreesboro, notice the rest of the story out of Tennessee: Muslim leaders in cities from Chattanooga to Knoxville to Memphis say they have “experienced no hostility.”…


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