Monday, December 13, 2010

Where's the Islamaphobia?

GetReligion dares to ask the question, where exactly is the wave of Islamaphobic hate and violence in America?  Citing a Boston Globe piece that actually points out hate crimes against Jews tops the scale, with hate crimes against Catholics and Protestants only half of that reported against Muslims, Mollie Ziegler suggests we might have it all wrong.  Instead of focusing on all the anti-Muslim violence and hate, perhaps the story should be that a country at war with mass murderers who have killed thousands of innocent American in the name of Islam, has actually shown restraint.  Despite over 300 million citizens, the amount of violence has been almost non existent.  The best part is the stats from the Globe piece:
Year after year, American Jews are far more likely to be the victims of religious hate crime than members of any other group. That was true even in 2001, by far the worst year for anti-Muslim incidents, when 481 were reported — less than half of the 1,042 anti-Jewish crimes tabulated by the FBI the same year.
Does all this mean that America is in reality a hotbed of anti-Semitism? Would Time’s cover have been closer to the mark if it had asked: “Is America Judeophobic?”
Of course not. Even one hate crime is one too many, but in a nation of 300 million, all of the religious-based hate crimes added together amount to less than a drop in the bucket. This is not to minimize the 964 hate crimes perpetrated against Jews last year, or those carried out against Muslims (128), Catholics (55), or Protestants (40). Some of those attacks were especially shocking or destructive; all of them should be punished. But surely the most obvious takeaway from the FBI’s statistics is not that anti-religious hate crimes are so frequent in America. It is that they are so rare.
And provided by a commenter to the article:
As Jacoby noted, by far the all-time high for anti-Muslim “incidents” (the government’s term) was 2001. That year, there were 481 such incidents reported to the feds by law-enforcement agencies, encompassing 546 separate offenses. But even in the wake of 9/11, the number of those that were murders was zero. The number of aggravated assaults (i.e., actual violence): 27.
By far the most common offense (296) fell into the nebulous category of “intimidation.” Mostly that means “talk” — words exchanged that someone decides to report, name-calling in the course of a dispute, that sort of thing. Another 123 offenses were vandalism — often, graffiti. Nasty? Sure. A crime wave? Hardly.
That, in a nation of (then) around 280 million, in a year with 11.8 million crimes. Do the math.
This is especially important when set in juxtaposition to the continual stream of stories from countries across the Islamic world demonstrating oppression, persecution, violence, and mass killings against religious minorities - particularly Christians.  As well as the studies and surveys that have done nothing other than show that Muslims by the tens of millions still support terrorism and the unrestrained killing of Westerners and Christians.

I know it's from our 'America Sucks' mentality we have developed over the last few generations.  But perhaps it's time to turn the lens around and see the cup half full.  That despite it all, despite the constant condemnations from our media, academia, pop culture vendors, and international community, you'd be hard pressed to find a more tolerant, accepting nation than ours.


  1. Great points, and excellent use of stats to show how ludicrous is our current obsession with America's evils. I would like to see more stories focus on how great Americans have been since 9/11. Some could argue too great.


  2. agreed. The media spends way too much time focusing on the problems, the incidents that do occur and never remind us of how many people choose to do elsewise. I just remember Juan Williams incident and as soon as I heard him say his personal opinion- I knew some issues were going to come from that.

    Too much time focusing on when there are problems leaves those of us who try to live at peace with everyone feeling like - why bother sometimes.

    Good use of info gathering.

  3. My thoughts exactly. We spend so much time focusing on the bad in our country, we miss the amazing part that there has been almost no violence at all.


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