Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Islamophobia myth

Jonah Goldberg is smack-on right when he refutes the nonsense that is traveling around the elite media and liberal blogosphere about how America supposedly is suffering from Islamophobia.
Let's put this in even sharper focus. America is, outside of Israel ,probably the most receptive and tolerant country in the world to Jews. And yet, in every year since 9/11, more Jews have been hate-crime victims than Muslims. A lot more.

In 2001, there were twice as many anti-Jewish incidents as there were anti-Muslim, again according to the FBI. In 2002 and pretty much every year since, anti-Jewish incidents have outstripped anti-Muslim ones by at least 6 to 1. Why aren't we talking about the anti-Jewish climate in America?

Because there isn't one. And there isn't an anti-Muslim climate either. Yes, there's a lot of heated rhetoric on the Internet. Absolutely, some Americans don't like Muslims. But if you watch TV or movies or read, say, the op-ed page of the New York Times — never mind left-wing blogs — you'll hear much more open bigotry toward evangelical Christians (in blogspeak, the "Taliban wing of the Republican Party") than you will toward Muslims.

No doubt some American Muslims — particularly young Muslim men with ties to the Middle East and South Asia — have been scrutinized at airports more than elderly women of Norwegian extraction, but does that really amount to Islamophobia, given the dangers and complexities of the war on terror?

For 10 years we've been subjected to news stories about the Muslim backlash that's always around the corner. It didn't start with President Obama or with the "ground zero mosque." President George W. Bush was his most condescending when he explained, in the cadences of a guest reader at kindergarten story time, that "Islam is peace."

But he was right to emphasize America's tolerance and to draw a sharp line between Muslim terrorists and their law-abiding co-religionists.

Meanwhile, to listen to Obama — say in his famous Cairo address — you'd think America has been at war with Islam for 30 years and only now, thanks to him, can we heal the rift. It's an odd argument given that Americans have shed a lot of blood for Muslims over the last three decades: to end the slaughter of Muslims in the Balkans, to feed Somalis and to liberate Kuwaitis, Iraqis and Afghans. Millions of Muslims around the world would desperately like to move to the U.S., this supposed land of intolerance.

Conversely, nowhere is there more open, honest and intentional intolerance — in words and deeds — than from certain prominent Muslim leaders around the world. And yet, Americans are the bigots.

And when Muslim fanatics kill Americans — after, say, the Ft. Hood slaughter — a reflexive response from the Obama administration is to fret over an anti-Islamic backlash. It's fine to avoid negative stereotypes of Muslims, but why the rush to embrace them when it comes to Americans?

And now, thanks to the "ground zero mosque" story, we are again discussing America's Islamophobia, which, according to Time magazine, is just another chapter in America's history of intolerance.

When, pray tell, will Time magazine devote an issue to its, and this administration's, intolerance of the American people?
How about a Time cover on America's supposed anti-Semitism? They would be just as able to add two and two and get five with that storyline if they tried to connect some isolated crimes against JEws with declining support for Israel and the administration's treatment of Israel's Prime Minister. But that wouldn't serve their desire to flagellate Americans for our supposed sins against their preferred minorities.