Posts Tagged ‘Islamophobia’

Muslims Beaten Mosques Burned

January 10, 2016

That is the claim made by a recent e-mail I received from Moveon.org.

Dear MoveOn member,

Last week, a Muslim store owner in New York was beaten by a man yelling, “I kill Muslims!” A pig’s head was left outside a Muslim community center in Philadelphia. And in California, a mosque was set on fire while people prayed inside, and a woman threw hot coffee on Muslims praying in a park.1

And that’s just a partial list of the hate crimes directed at Muslims—and those mistaken to be Muslim because of the color of their skin—sweeping the country.

The only way to stop it is for all of us who reject hate to speak out. Loudly.

That’s why we’re helping jumpstart a nationwide campaign called “Hate Has No Business Here.” We’re organizing small-business owners, community centers, libraries, schools, town halls, places of worship, and others to stand up against Islamophobia.

Will you chip in $3 and help stand up against anti-Muslim hate crimes?

Yes, I’ll chip in.

The wave of Islamophobia since the Paris attacks is terrifying, and the FBI was reporting a disturbing rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes even before Paris.

And with Republican presidential candidates whipping up fear, things could get out of control fast.

That’s why we were so inspired by a couple of small-business owners in Minnesota who launched a nationwide campaign with a simple gesture. They put a sign in their window saying, “Hate has no business here.”

Now we’re teaming up with them and the Main Street Alliance to get these signs posted in businesses all over America.

Your donations will allow us to distribute thousands of posters—and expand the campaign to public spaces across America. We’ll collect stories and photos and drive media coverage to push back against the stories of hate and violence.

Will you chip in $3—and help stand up against anti-Muslim hate crimes?

Click here to chip in.

In the wake of our “We Are Better Than This” ad campaign in The New York Times, we’ve all been looking for more positive steps we could take, together, to turn the tide against hate and religious, racial, or other profiling. “Hate has no business here” is right in that spirit.

Thanks for all you do.

Anna, Erica, Robert, Jo, and the rest of the team

There are many among the progressive left who have a heavy emotional investment in the idea that the American people are racist, intolerant, ignorant rednecks who have to be restrained from going on a murderous frenzy against the Muslims. I suppose this gives them a pleasant feeling of superiority over their countrymen.

The fact is, despite a supposed surge in hate crimes against the Muslims, Jews are far more likely to be the victim of hate crimes than Muslims. It’s not even close. According to the article at snopes.com I linked to:

Hate crimes of all types are, thankfully, fairly rare. And it is true that hate crimes against Jews outnumber the number of hate crimes perpetrated against Muslims. The FBI reported that in 2014, there were 609incidents of hate crimes against Jews and 154 against Muslims.

Case closed? Not quite. This could, after all, be an example of lazy reporting. Sure, the raw number of hate crimes against Jews is higher, but national crime statistics are typically reported as a rate: number of crimes per 100,000 population.

Although estimates of the Jewish population in the U.S. were fairly stable across various websites, estimates of the Muslim population varied dramatically – anywhere from 2.1 million to 6.7 million. The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study seemed to offer the most reliable and objective statistics on religious affiliation in the United States.

According to the Pew study, Jews and Muslims both represent fairly small proportions of the U.S. population, coming in at 1.9% and 0.9% of the U.S. population as a whole. With a total U.S. population of 318.9 million as of 2014, there are approximately 6.1 million Jews and 2.9 million Muslims in America.

Easy math tells us that although there are roughly twice as many Jews in the U.S. than there are Muslims, hate crimes against Jews occur four times as often. Expressed as more official rates per 100,000 population, Jews suffer from hate crime incidents at a rate of 10.05 incidents per 100,000 population while the Muslim rate is roughly half as much, at 5.37 incidents per 100,000 population.

Meanwhile in Europe, there has been a significant rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes over the past few years, with the rapidly increasing Muslim immigrant population largely responsible. Added to that the fact that there is no place in the majority-Muslim Middle East, outside of Israel, where a Jew can expect to live in peace, and it begins to seem as if the Muslims are far more often the persecutor than the persecuted.

These facts do not excuse hate crimes against Muslims, but they do shatter the narrative of the poor, persecuted Muslims suffering at the hands of the bigoted, Islamophobic Americans. When you consider the number of terrorist attacks against the United States and its allies committed by Muslims over the past decades, American people have shown a remarkable degree of patience and tolerance. If some Christian terrorist organization had been committing attacks like 9/11 in any Middle Eastern country, by now there would not be a Christian alive throughout the entire Middle East. Even now, Christians in the Middle East are in serious danger of extermination for the heinous crime of existing.

As that article points out, hate crimes are rather rare in present day America. Hate crimes make the news precisely because they are something out of the ordinary. If America was really the nation steeped in bigotry that Move0n.org imagines us to be, hate crimes would be a daily occurence, hardly worth mentioning in the news. In fact, in many ways the United States is among the most tolerant nations and Western nations generally are more tolerant than non-Westerners. Yes, we do have a history which includes slavery, segregation, imperialism, etc, but these sort of things are the norm in human history. We are the exception in that we decided such things are wrong and should be stopped. If Moveon.org is concerned with the ill-treatment of religious minorities, their efforts would be better focused in places like the Middle East.

 

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Paris

November 15, 2015

Once again the civilized world has been attacked by barbarians, this time in Paris. I suppose that once again we will have the usual reactions, politicians promising action while carefully refraining from mentioning the religious ideology that inspired this attack, vague condemnations of the work of violent extremists while never noting just how high the actual percentage of the followers of the Religion that Must Not Be Named might be considered “extremists”. The left will, in fact already has, placed the blame squarely where it belongs, the racism and Islamophobia of the right. If only the extreme right in Europe and America were not so hateful, those nice Muslims would live in peace. There will also be the usual round of anti-terrorism rallies and candle light vigils, prayers  and Facebook widgets to express support for France and the rest of the silly, sentimental exercises to show how sad we are over this tragedy.

How about we do something different this time? How about we take action to stop these attacks from happening? To start with, would it be too much to expect for the political leaders of Europe, especially Angela Merkel to reconsider the policy of allowing tens of thousands of refugees from Syria into Europe. This may be the compassionate thing to do, but under current circumstances in the Middle East, it may not be the sensible thing to do. It does not take a tactical genius to realize that masses of people streaming into Europe provides an excellent opportunity to smuggle in operatives. There is no easy way to differentiate between refugees and terrorists and no way to guarantee that even Muslim not currently linked to terrorism might not get religion someday with deadly results.

Can we also at long last admit that we, the civilized world that is, have a problem with Islam. Not violent extremism or radical Islam, but with Islam. It is true that only a small minority of Muslims are actually terrorists and it may even be that only a minority of Muslims support terrorist acts as happened in Paris, though public opinion polls suggest otherwise, but the numbers do not matter. The problem is not individual Muslims who have the same mixture of good and evil as any other population The problem is with Islam. Islam, more than any other religion, justifies violence, particularly against the outsider in its scripture, theology, and doctrines. Yes, Christians, Jews, etc.  commit violence and may even use religion to justify their actions. Yet they will not get the same sort of support from their religious leaders and traditions that a Muslim who commits violence might. A Christian who bombs an abortion clinic and kills people will find himself denounced from every pulpit in the country. Even the most zealous pro-life activist will reject his actions. A Muslim who bombs a nightclub or shoots a theater full of hostages will all too often find himself celebrate as a holy martyr in mosques around the world. The moral equivalency between Islamic terrorism in our time and atrocities committed by Christians, in defiance of Christ’s teachings, in centuries past, which is being ceaselessly offered by progressives ignorant of both history and religion simply is not valid. Islam is a problem in the same way that Nazism or Communism was, a violent ideology deeply hostile to our democratic, liberal values. Yes, there are a great many good Muslims, just as their were a great many good Nazis and Communists, but they are still following an evil belief system.

If this admission is still too politically incorrect to make, then can we at least admit that it is better to be considered an islamophobe than to be dead and that protecting the lives of people living in Europe and America might be more important than protecting the tender sensibilities of those who might want to kill them. Whatever is done, we need to be clear in our minds that we are at war with people who want to destroy us and unless we start taking the threat seriously, a lot more people are going to lose their lives.

 

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Egypt to Try US Citizen for Blasphemy

September 23, 2012

I read this story in the Hill last week.

Egypt’s general prosecutor on Tuesday issued arrest warrants for Florida Pastor Terry Jones and seven Coptic Christian Egyptians linked to an anti-Islam video on YouTube that sparked riots across the Middle East, The Associated Press is reporting.

The eight individuals, none of whom are believed to be in Egypt, are charged with harming national unity, insulting and publicly attacking Islam and spreading false information. They could face the death penalty.

Jones promoted a 14-minute trailer for the movie, “Innocence of Muslims,” on the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The man behind the film, California-based Nakoula Bassely Nakoula, is also among those charged.

I expect that the  Justice Department will be arranging for their arrest and  extradition as quickly as possible. Though maybe Obama will wait until after the election when he will be more flexible.

Persecution

September 23, 2011

The Organisation of the Islamic Conference, now known as the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation has declared that Islamophobia is the worst form of terrorism and a threat to global peace.

Rising “Islamophobia” is a threat to peace and coexistence in a multi-cultural and diverse world, the chief of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC) said here Friday as he extended support to the right to self-determination in Kashmir in accordance with the UN resolution to solve the 60-year-old dispute between India and Pakistan.Addressing foreign ministers and other participants from the West and Islamic countries in an international summit, OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said the political dialogue among civilisations was a must.

“It is important for the civilisations to understand cultural, religious and ethnic differences, without which mutual coexistence is impossible,” Ihsanoglu said in his address to ‘Common World: Progress through Diversity’ in this Kazakhstan capital.

The international summit here was held in the backdrop of a widening gap between the Muslim and Western worlds.

“Islamophobia, targeting Muslims, is on the rise in the world,” he said, adding “Islamophobia not only stands in front of the Muslims, but the whole humanity.”

“Women wearing hijab are vulnerable to attacks by those who project Muslims as a threat to European existence,” he said.

“Stability, peace and security in the world are inseparable from each other. Muslims are psychologically, economically and socially affected by Islamophobia. Such a dramatic situation is a segregation based on race and religion,” the OIC chief said.

He said Islam is a religion of peace and advocated reconciliatory measures between Muslims and Christians.

Foreign ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) yesterday expressed grave concern at the rising tide of discrimination and intolerance against Muslims, especially in Europe and North America. “It is something that has assumed xenophobic proportions,” they said in unison.

Speaking at a special brainstorming session on the sidelines of the 34th Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (ICFM), the foreign ministers termed Islamophobia the worst form of terrorism and called for practical steps to counter it.

The ministers described Islamophobia as a deliberate defamation of Islam and discrimination and intolerance against Muslims. “This campaign of calumny against Muslims resulted in the publication of the blasphemous cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) in a Danish newspaper and the issuance of the inflammatory statement by Pope Benedict XVI,” they said. During a speech in Germany last year, the Pope quoted a 14th Century Christian emperor who said the Prophet had brought the world only “evil and inhuman” things. The Pope’s remarks aroused the anger of the whole Islamic world.

“The increasingly negative political and media discourse targeting Muslims and Islam in the United States and Europe has made things all the more difficult,” the foreign ministers said. “Islamophobia became a source of concern, especially after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, but the phenomenon was already there in Western societies in one form or the other,” they pointed out. “It gained further momentum after the Madrid and London bombings. The killing of Dutch film director Theo van Gogh in 2004 was used in a wicked manner by certain quarters to stir up a frenzy against Muslims,” the ministers pointed out. Van Gogh had made a controversial film about Muslim culture.

The OIC foreign ministers deplored the misrepresentation in the Western media of Islam and Muslims in the context of terrorism. “The linkage of terrorists and extremists with Islam in a generalized manner is unacceptable,” they said. “This is further inciting negative sentiments and hatred in the West against Muslims,” they said. The ministers also pointed out that whenever the issue of Islamophobia was discussed in international forums, the Western bloc, particularly some members of the European Union, tried to avoid discussing the core issue and instead diverted the attention from their region to the situation of non-Muslims and human rights in the OIC member states.

The foreign ministers said prejudices against Islam were not helping the situation. “Because of Islamophobia, millions of Muslims in the Western countries, many of whom were already underprivileged in their societies for a variety of reasons, are further alienated and targeted by hatred and discrimination.”

Discrimination against Muslims is certainly a growing problem. We are all familiar with the stories of Muslims being unable to practice their faith freely. Mobs have burned down mosques in many places. Christians and Jews who convert to Islam are often harassed and threatened with death unless they return to their original faith. Muslims who proselytize are imprisoned. In some places Muslims must flee their homelands to save their lives.

Oh, wait. None of that is happening. Actually, all of that is happening, only not to Muslims. Everything I have said above is part of everyday life if you happen to be a non-Muslim, especially a Christian, in a Muslim country. This article from To the Source tells what is happening in the real world.

Marzieh Amirizadeh spent 259 days in Tehran’s notorious Evin prison – witnessing firsthand the horrifying reality of a “global humanitarian crisis” largely ignored by the media and the world’s democratic nations.

“One of the worst things (I saw) was the execution of two of my fellow prisoners,” recalls Amirizadeh, 32, who was accused by the Iranian state with being an “anti-government activist,” a charge that masks the real reason behind the imprisonment – her faith in Jesus Christ.

“I had never experienced such a thing. One of those killed was my roommate. We had spent a lot of time together. And one day they took her to be executed. For a week I was in shock that killing a human being was so easy.

“After these executions the spirit of sorrow and death hung over the prison. There was deadly silence everywhere. We all felt this. The sadness was overwhelming. We stared at each other but had no power to speak. It was horrifying and tangible.”

Amirizadeh’s experience is part of what experts say is a growing “humanitarian catastrophe” that dwarfs recent ones in Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Haiti and other nations. More than 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Jesus, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation.

In Egypt and France, the increases were mainly the result of government restrictions. Restrictions on religion were particularly common in the 59 countries that prohibit blasphemy, apostasy or defamation of religion. While such laws are sometimes promoted as a way to protect religion, in practice they often serve to punish religious minorities such as Christians whose beliefs are deemed unorthodox or heretical.

“Christians are harassed in the largest number of countries,” says Brian Grim, a senior researcher at Pew.

The Middle East and North Africa had the largest proportion of countries in which government restrictions on religion increased. Egypt, in particular, ranked very high – in the top 5 percent of all countries in 2009 – on both government restrictions and social hostilities involving religion.

“There are a few patterns we can point to,” Grim says. “One is that in the Middle East and North Africa where government restrictions on religion are already high, and the highest of the five regions of the world we looked at, we saw substantial increases of up to 30 percent.”

Throughout the Middle East and North Africa, persecution of Christians has intensified with church burnings and slaughters in Iraq, Egypt, Iran and other nations, Farr says.

Eight of the top 10 countries on the Open Doors 2011 World Watch List of the worst persecutors of Christians have Islamic governments while 38 of the top 50 are Muslim-dominated societies. A study by Open Doors found about 2,000 Christians – the most of any nation – were killed in Nigeria in 2010 in religious riots involving Islamic extremists.

Iraq came in second as the country with the largest number of martyrs in 2010 with 90 Christians murdered. The worst atrocity occurred Oct. 31 in Baghdad when Islamic extremists held hostage and then killed at least 58 Syrian Catholics as they met for a Sunday evening mass in the Cathedral of our Lady of Deliverance. Tens of thousands of Christians are fleeing Iraq. The number of Christians in Iraq has dropped in half to 334,000 since the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime in 2003.

“Christians are caught in the crosshairs,” says Jerry Dykstra, spokesman for Open Doors USA. “We thought in Iraq that Christians would have more freedom, but that is not the case at all. In fact, more Christians are fleeing Iraq than ever before.”

The persecution of Christians seems to be bad in Communist countries like China, North Korea, and Vietnam, most likely due to their governments’ continued anti-religious policies.

Chinese Christians have experienced six years of “escalating persecution” from the government, not only those who attend house churches, but those at government-sanctioned churches too, says Mark Shan, spokesman for the China Aid Association.

One of the largest cases of persecution occurred in September 2009 when 400 police and government officials descended upon the Linfen house church in Shanxi, demolished the building and clashed with hundreds of the church’s 50,000 members. Dozens were severely beaten and more than 30 were hospitalized. Nearly a dozen church leaders were sentenced to prison or labor camps.

“The means of persecution includes detention, fines, labor camps and prison sentences – or mafia methods such as beatings and disappearances,” Shan says. “But the house church movement in China is getting bigger and stronger through persecutions, and Christianity is growing rapidly. Christian faith will overcome any restrictions and hostilities and transform Chinese society. No one can stop that. We may see that happen in this generation.”

Persecution is also very bad throughout the Middle-East and North Africa. I am not at all sure why. These countries are not Communist. In fact they are all known to be very religious. Islam is the dominant religion there, but as Islam is a religion of peace that respects everyone’s beliefs, I am mystified. Perhaps the answer will come to me.

For some reason, this persecution is not getting much attention in the mainstream media. This is something that has to change and Christians in the United States need to get involved in this fight for freedom.


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