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May 03, 2004

A NORTHWESTERN LAW STUDENT SENDS THIS LINK and observes:

There's been a lot in the news today about incidents of anti-Muslim activity going on here in the States. Sadly, very few if any major blogs have chosen to cover it, which worries me. I am a very patriotic Muslim and to see that treatment of Muslims has gotten /worse/ since 9-11, I think, is absolutely terrifying. When Viet Dinh came to speak at the law school, he discussed the importance of trusting and then verifying. It's impossible to trust or verify if there are acts of pre-emptively stabbing an innocent woman wearing a headscarf and calling her a terrorist. This represents the absolute worst we have to offer as Americans, and we need to be aware of it. Especially with the (rightful) concern over growing anti-Semitism in the world, we risk looking like hypocrites for criticizing Europe and other parts of the world for maltreatment of Jews when we can't fully face up to the ill treatment of Muslims living right
here in America.

This is something I worried about back on 9/11. But in fact most of my fears haven't been borne out. There have been incidents (some of them fake) but there has been no major outbreak of violence. (And the report described above is from CAIR, which has proven itself unreliable even beyond the usual standards of advocacy-group problem-hyping.) Plus there's this bit:

The report cautioned that the jump partly reflected an increase in the number of regional offices opened by the Washington-based advocacy group, which allowed more cases to be documented.

This leads me to believe that the problem isn't really comparable to the revival of antisemitism in Europe, even ignoring the, um, rather different historical contexts. But I could be wrong. Anybody know more?

UPDATE: Reader Barry Dauphin emails:

We should be concerned about anti-Islamic hate crimes. Still it is important to keep relative statistics in mind. On the FBI website anyone can download reports (pdf) of hate crimes for various years. The latest year available is 2002. The number of anti-Jewish hate crimes in US in 2002 was 1039 according to FBI statistics. The number of anti-Muslim hate crimes was 170. This can be checked out at http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm. The site doesn't have information for 2003 yet.

Here's the link -- go to page 18.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Walter Wallis sounds a theme echoed by several readers:

Until CAIR forms an equivalent to the Japanese-American 442nd Infantry Regiment in WWII, I shall continue to consider American Islamic silence as approval of Islam terror. You can't draw money out of the bank until you put some in. The same goes for patriotism.

That's a bit harsh, and one shouldn't have to enlist in the Army to be make one's community safe from hate crime, but the U.S. Muslim community certainly could do more to speak out against extremism. There are some mosques that have rejected Saudi money, etc. -- but I'm not aware of many, much less conspicuous displays of community patriotism of the sort Wallis mentions. But perhaps those things aren't getting much attention. Anybody know of some?

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