Islamophobia- diversionary tactic and real problem
The following is a letter from me to Charles Haynes, syndicated newspaper columnist, and his response. I wrote to him about his article denouncing Islamophobia. Dear Mr. Haynes,
I am a writer and artist working in the area of antisemitism (to see my work google david sokol-antisemitism) or see my new web site (put it in on top since it is not on search engines yet. www.david-sokol.com)
I agree with most of what you have written in today’s article, especially that it is “wrong to demonize Islam and Muslims.” Not only is it morally problematic but it will backfire as a strategic tool against terrorism. I do however believe that you have painted the picture with a braodbrush yourself in blaming Islamophobia. Explaining the problem as primarily Islamophobia does lead to not understanding the real and potential problems we face with Muslims in America
How to address it? I do not have an answer except to explain in writings the comlexity of the situation and support those Muslims willing to be a strong voice against Islamic separatism and extremism. The Muslim Community has big problems and it is not all about Islamophobia.
Racism exists in America. It always has. According to the 2010 FBI hate crime report a Jew in America is eight times more likely to be the victim of a violent hate crime than an Americam Muslim. According to the 2011 reprt of the ADL antisemitism is on the rise in America. But this is not a brand new problem. What is new is a significant group of religious persons who have an anti American agenda. Muslims and other Americans need to be protected from this.
Thanks for your time if you have read this far.
- Views of Support for Extremism
Ten years after 9/11, U.S. Muslims continue to reject extremism by large margins. Still, 21% of Muslim Americans say there is at least a fair amount of support for extremism among U.S. Muslims. Among the general public, far more (40%) say there is a great deal or fair amount of support for extremism in the Muslim American community.
- Mr. Haynes response
- David, thanks for writing and for the work you do.
I agree that the question of how to address extremism is complex. Many in the Muslim American community are working to counter extremism within Islam — and take it seriously (as should we all). Propaganda that promotes the idea that Islam itself is the problem makes this work much more difficult. As you well know, propaganda can be very effective.
Charles C. Haynes
Senior Scholar, First Amendment Center
Director, Religious Freedom Education Project
555 Penn. Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
This entry was posted on Thursday, January 5th, 2012 at 9:05 pm
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