News & Politics

Islamophobia? On 9/11, There Were 1,200 Mosques in the U.S. Guess How Many There Are Now?

(AP Photo/Julio Cortez, File)

If you believe the establishment media, which is something I would never recommend, you know by now that Muslims have had a very, very tough time in the United States since 9/11. The week before the twentieth anniversary of the jihad attacks, and on the day itself, media wonks treated us to story after story about how Muslims in the U.S. have had to deal with “Islamophobia” and hate on a massive scale over the last twenty years. America for Muslims is a dismal hellscape of Trump-supporting yahoos screaming “Islamophobic” abuse at frightened, hijab-wearing grandmothers. Yet over that very same time span, the number of mosques in the U.S. more than doubled. Islamophobia? Really?

The sob stories came thick and fast. I touched on a few of the early ones here, but their numbers dramatically increased as the terrible anniversary drew closer. On the day itself, ABC News informed us that “20 years after 9/11, Islamophobia continues to haunt Muslims.” ABC quoted the winsome and staunchly patriotic Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Mogadishu) claiming a victim status for Muslims equal to that of the 2,977 people who were murdered: “As Americans, as people who are living here, we were also attacked. This is our community, this is our country, and there were Muslims who lost their lives in those towers, who were Muslim firefighters, who lost their lives. There is a desire by many to use our faith and our identity as a weapon against us and to ‘other’ us. That has been really harmful in so many ways.”

This harm was apparently international. CBC chimed in with a story entitled, “‘It’s like living in a nightmare’: Canadian Muslims describe their experiences after 9/11.” The story begins with the sad story of a poor Muslim attorney who has suffered so very, very much since 9/11: “Growing up in Edmonton in the 1970s and 1980s, lawyer Dany Assaf never saw himself as any different than his friends and neighbours. His family had a rich history in Canada — his great-grandfather moved to the country from Lebanon in 1927 and helped build the first mosque in Canada. Like many boys his age, Assaf also dreamed of becoming an NHL player. His family’s Muslim faith never came in the way of their Canadian identity. ‘We never imagined, we never even thought that we could ever be portrayed as the “other.”’”

But all that changed on the fateful day. Now Dany Assaf says: “It’s like living in a nightmare because now you’ve got stereotypes and prejudices that are being attributed to you when you have absolutely nothing to do with this kind of terrorist act.” What does Assaf do for a living again? That’s right, he’s a lawyer. Apparently all the “stereotypes and prejudices” he has supposedly had to suffer with since 9/11 have not prevented him from notable professional success.

Muslims have suffered over in Britain, too. A Muslim woman named Nesrine Malik took to the Guardian to lament about how good she had it before the jihadis hijacked those planes and, she would contend, her religion along with them: “I try to remember what it was like to be a Muslim before 9/11. It is hard. It gets harder every year. I think I remember that being a Muslim didn’t mean much to others, and was mostly a private identity, one that different people wore in different ways.”

Related: To His Everlasting Shame, ADL Chief Apologizes for the Organization’s Opposition to Ground Zero Mosque

The irony of these people talking about their sufferings in fawning feature stories published in major establishment media outlets seems lost upon both those who write these pieces and the people they write about. And so in a long, weepy piece about the difficulties that a group in Tennessee allegedly faced in building a mosque, Aymann Ismail in Slate lets drop a few details that belie his entire victimhood scenario: “The American Muslim population is now nearing 4 million, roughly twice the size it was on 9/11. And with that came a need for more mosques. On 9/11, there were only about 1,200 mosques across the U.S. That would nearly double by 2010, and rise to nearly 3,000 by last year.”

Okay, so let me get this straight. Muslims face terrible “Islamophobia” in the United States, but they’re nonetheless streaming into the country in record numbers. (The reality is that FBI hate crime statistics show that anti-Semitic hate crimes are far more common than attacks on Muslims, which actually dropped 42% in the last year.) And Muslims face terrible trouble trying to build mosques, and yet the number of mosques in the United States has more than doubled since 9/11.

You’ll never hear it from any establishment media source, but the fact is that Muslims are freer in the United States of America than they are in many majority-Muslim countries. The media’s avidity to portray Muslims as victims of large-scale harassment and discrimination in the U.S. simply isn’t borne out by the facts. It seems that in every case, the narrative that makes America look the worst is the one the media chooses. Now, why is that?