Skip to comments.Anti-Muslim violence rises in U.S.
Posted on 07/15/2003 11:29:57 AM PDT by Pro-Bush
Anti-Muslim violence rises in U.S.
By Sue Pleming
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Anti-Muslim violence, discrimination and harassment are rising in the United States, mainly due to antagonism following the September 11 attacks, a new report says.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based Islamic civil rights group, said its office received 602 reports of discrimination against Muslims in 2002, an increase of 15 percent over the previous year.
In addition, there was more "Islamaphobic rhetoric," particularly after September 11, 2001, when hijackers linked to Osama bin Laden rammed passenger jets into the World Trade Centre and Pentagon, killing some 3,000 people. Fifteen of the 19 suspected hijackers were from Saudi Arabia.
After the September 11 attacks, the Justice Department questioned and detained hundreds of Arab immigrants around the United States, particularly for immigration violations.
"Along with an increase in the number of bias-related incidents and experiences, we have also witnessed the negative results produced by government policies that target ordinary Americans based on religion, ethnicity or national origin," said CAIR Research Director Mohamed Nimer.
'SENSE OF SIEGE'
"It is this guilt by association that has created a sense of siege in the American-Muslim community," he added.
The Justice Department strongly dismissed suggestions race and religion played a role in its investigations.
"The Justice Department has taken measures to combat terrorism, and in no way whatsoever has a person's race or religion been a factor in the different measures the government has taken," spokesman Jorge Martinez said.
He said the department was committed to preventing, investigating and prosecuting so-called "backlash crimes" against people from the Middle East, Muslims and others.
"The Justice Department does not tolerate any type of discrimination," he added.
In the first days after the September 11 attacks, the Bush administration made a point of reaching out to Muslims in a bid to prevent a backlash against them.
"However, since that initial period of support a number of government policies have singled out Muslim individuals and organisations," the report said.
The September 11 investigation dragnet in 2002 included registration requirements singling out students and visitors from Muslim-majority countries, the report said.
It also highlighted FBI hate crime statistics from its 2002 annual report showing attacks on people, institutions and businesses identified with Islam increased from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001.
And it detailed "police profile incidents" in which Muslims were questioned during mundane activities such as shopping or walking on public roads.
Some Islamic centres and Muslim groups reported attacks. In Florida, a man rammed his truck into the Islamic Centre of Tallahassee on March 25, 2002. In Andover, Massachusetts, a new school bus for the Islamic Academy of Peace was torched.
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Then I suggest the American Muslim community start doing something constructive, instead of simply whining about people being mean to them. How about policing their own communities and turning in imams and other infidel haters for a start? How about not donating money, earned in America's capitalist society, so that it can fund terrorists wishing to destroy that same capitalist society?
I bet there's really been no change at all. I bet you most of the new complaints stem from the government now watching Muslims more closely, and interviewing them - thereby leading to complaints of anti-Muslim discrimination. (No proof here, just speculation.)
A different face of Islam,, By Melissa Radler
"Any plan that helps to create a terror state cannot be termed a peace plan," wrote Tashbih Sayyed in the May 30 edition of Pakistan Today, a moderate Muslim weekly published in southern California.
Sayyed, 61, a Muslim immigrant to the US and president of the Council for Democracy and Tolerance, has never hesitated to express his views. Born in India and raised in Pakistan, he spent his childhood in one of that country's notorious madrassas, where he learned the religiously sanctioned anti-Semitism of militant Islam.
"As a little boy, I thought all Jews should be killed," he says. As a young man, his virulent tirades against his purported enemy at a local radio school attracted the attention of a Pakistani Jew who quietly funneled him books on Jewish history and Israel, including Exodus by Leon Uris. When Sayyed took a closer look at the Koran, a different Islam was revealed to him: a religion of peace, free of the hatred that he argues has held his people back for centuries.
"I became vengeful, as if somebody had cheated me of my childhood, as if somebody had tried to make me a serpent when I was not a serpent. I blamed the mullahs and the clerics," he says.
Under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Sayyed headed Pakistan Television's current affairs department, where he was given an outlet to rail against Islamic extremism. When the fundamentalist leader Gen. Mohammed Zia-ul Haq took over the country's leadership, Sayyed found himself demoted, threatened with state-sponsored violence, and surrounded by anti-Semitic incitement. He emigrated to the US in 1980.
In California, however, Sayyed faces intimidation of a different kind by the leaders of Muslim organizations, many of them Saudi-financed, who he says use their adopted land's freedoms to spread their message of hate. As evidence of the leaders' success, Sayyed, who calls such groups as the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Muslim Public Affairs Council "the most accomplished fifth column in America," notes that while his call for democracy in the Muslim world resonates with many of those who fled persecution, his backing of the Jewish right to self-determination and his abhorrence of anti-Semitism is met with hostility and allegations that the "Zionists" control his every move.
Let's see now, I gave the One-Fingered Salute to a hijab-wearing lady who almost backed her SUV smack into my headlight in the Fairlane Mall parking lot. So that probably counts as one "hate crime." Then I compounded the "hate crime" when I yelled "Watch where you're going!" when she rolled down her window to yell "kiss my @$$!" in Arabic.
Oh no, now we're Islamaphobic..
This man soooo loves America and is the kindest, dearest human I can remember seeing. He struck me in the heart and I recommend his web site to everyone.
And close to the same talking points.
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