A watchdog organization produced an eye-opening report this week that suggests Western media are bending over backward to find and promote stories of anti-Muslim "attacks" while at the same time downplaying the growing violence against Jews.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism detailed how reports of so-called "Islamophobia" often make Page 1 headlines in the mainstream media, while attacks against Jews get downplayed or blamed on the policies of Israel or President Donald Trump.
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As recently as August, the nonprofit U.S. journalism center ProPublica announced it would be working with the terror-tied Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, to feed stories of anti-Muslim bigotry to local newspapers and TV stations across the U.S. The project comes in response to purportedly out-of-control hate crimes against Muslims since the election of Trump.
The vast majority of CAIR's reports of hate crimes against U.S. Muslims are unverified. Some never get pinpointed by police as actual hate crimes while others have later been exposed as total fabrications.
The New York Post is among the few establishment media outlets that have reported on the alarming number of so-called "anti-Muslim" hate crimes that turn out to be fake.
Another source for documenting crimes against Muslims is the Southern Poverty Law Center, which has been compiling a list of hate crimes since Trump's election. Again, the list is unreliable.
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Most of the incidents on the SPLC list, while deplorable, crude and vile if they actually happened, have not included physical violence and hence the use of the term "attack" is misleading. Most involve uncorroborated assertions of verbal threats or racist comments that, while mean and nasty, don't pass the smell test required of a crime.
Nonetheless, the establishment media has been rife with articles recently claiming that in "Trump's America" Americans are committing hate crimes against Muslims in spades.
For example, a Muslim Uber driver from Morocco, now a U.S. citizen, was "verbally assaulted" in Queens, New York City, last November by a man who yelled, "Kiss your visa good-bye," among other slurs, CNN reports.
That incident was caught on video, so there's evidence it did happen. But the vast majority of those making the SPLC list not only don’t involve physical violence, but the allegations of verbal abuse were not caught on video, making it impossible to determine the validity of the alleged "hate crime."
For instance, someone threw a small incendiary device into a mosque window in Bloomington, Minnesota, in July.
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Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton immediately rushed to the scene and declared the bombing, which caused no injuries because it was thrown into the imam's office when he was not there, a hate crime against Muslims. The investigation continues five months later with no conclusions about who threw device.
Muslim Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., also rushed to judgment, saying the Bloomington mosque attack was "definitely a terrorist attack."
Academics have joined the parade, with the sudden emergence of courses on "Islamophobia" at major universities across the U.S.
A female professor at the University of Michigan has even developed a syllabus for educators nationwide to incorporate the study of Islamophobia into their classes across all disciplines.
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During a visit to Saudi Arabia in February, United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres went so far as to say, "One of the things that fuel terrorism is the expression in some parts of the world of Islamophobic feelings and Islamophobic policies and Islamophobic hate speeches."
That statement, suggesting that Muslims kill because non-Muslims say or write mean things about them, blends nicely with the Islamic concept of "fitnah," an Arabic word meaning "persecution" or "oppression" of Muslims. Quran 2:191 states that fitnah is a crime "worse than killing" and must be dealt with harshly.
"Islamophobia is the modern term for fitnah," says Philip Haney, a retired Homeland Security screening officer for nearly 15 years. "It is used by Muslim leaders in a non-Muslim society to paint the Muslim community as victims."
The Investigative Project on Terrorism report shows anti-Semitic attacks are far more common throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe than anti-Muslim attacks, and that the majority of hate crimes against Jews are carried out by Muslims.
In other words, the victims, as described in the establishment media, are actually the biggest persecutors. And the IPT report did not even include the myriad attacks by Islamists on Christians and Christian celebrations, such as the truck attack on the Berlin Christmas market one year ago, the beheading of a Catholic priest in Normandy, France, last year, and the jihadist attack on an office Christmas party in San Bernardino, California, that killed 14 Americans two years ago.
The IPT report deals strictly with a numerical comparison of attacks on Muslims versus those targeting Jews.
The report states:
"But there are significant differences between the attacks on Jews and those on Muslims, the most glaring of which is the wide range of their assailants. While white supremacists perpetrate attacks on Muslims, Jews face violence from both white supremacist and Muslim groups. Not surprisingly, then, according to FBI figures, Jews experience the most hate crimes of all religious groups in the United States – a trend echoed in Canada, France, Australia, and elsewhere. And in Sweden, a New York Times op-ed notes, while anti-Semitism historically was blamed on right-wing extremists, a 2013 study found that "51 percent of anti-Semitic incidents in Sweden were attributed to Muslim extremists. Only 5 percent were carried out by right-wing extremists; 25 percent were perpetrated by left-wing extremists."
But these facts are not borne out by the media headlines in the U.S. or Europe.
Following the release of the 2016 FBI report, for instance, Vox announced: "A new FBI report says hate crimes – especially against Muslims – went up in 2016" while CNN stated, "Hate crimes rose in 2016 – especially against Muslims and whites." And a Guardian report on hate crimes in the U.K. emphasized attacks on Muslims, yet made no mention to hate crimes against Britain's Jews."
Also overlooked has been the nature of these crimes, according to the IPT report.
Anti-Jewish incidents worldwide tend to be more violent than those against Muslims. While some U.K. mosques were firebombed after the Manchester concert and London Bridge attacks, for instance, there have been no reported episodes of hostage-taking or murder (such as the 2014 attack on four Jews at the Jewish Museum in Brussels, or the beating death of Sarah Halimi last April).
Daniel Pipes, president of the Middle East Forum and a scholar of Mideast history, said there is plenty of blame to go around for the uneven coverage of hate crimes against various religious groups.
"The establishment, or what I call the six Ps (the politicians, press, police, prosecutors, professors and priests), long ago decided to overlook Islamist and leftist misbehavior in general and violence in particular," Pipes told WND. "They notice only what the right does. This explains the focus on anti-Muslim activities."
Pamela Geller is an anti-Shariah, free-speech activist who was herself the intended victim of a plot by two Muslim men in 2015 in Garland, Texas. One of the men, David Daoud Wright, was convicted earlier this year and sentenced this week to 28 years in prison for the plot to shoot up Geller's Mohammed cartoon contest and behead Geller, who is Jewish.
There has been virtually no mainstream media coverage of the trial or sentencing of Daoud Wright. If she had been a Muslim woman in a hijab threatened with violence while holding an anti-Jewish rally, Geller believes the coverage would have been intense and continuous.
Geller said the hysteria about Islamophobia is a propaganda initiative leftists hope to milk to their benefit by marginalizing conservatives who offer reasoned and even moderate criticism of Islam. These critiques tend to pick up following violent jihadist attacks on Western nations.
"Statistics universally show that anti-Semitic attacks are far more common than ones against Muslims (many of which are faked), and yet there is no international outcry against anti-Semitism," Geller told WND. "University programs studying Islamophobia are the result of Saudi millions, not a genuine response to a real problem."
Robert Spencer, author of the Jihad Watch blog and several best-selling books about Islam, said the media tries to paint a picture of widespread "Islamophobia" being perpetrated by "right-wing extremists" as a diversionary tactic designed to divert attention away from the nature and magnitude of jihad terror.
While the FBI recorded a substantial rise in anti-Muslim crime in 2016, there are still relatively few of these attacks compared to those launched against Jews.
"In the U.S., FBI statistics annually show that there are few 'hate crimes' against Muslims, and it isn't clear whether or not the FBI takes into account the frequent incidence of 'anti-Muslim hate crimes' that have been faked by Muslims," Spencer said. "The general indifference to anti-Semitism, and relentless drumbeat of propaganda about 'Islamophobia,' is a manifestation of the skewed moral compass of the establishment media and global 'human rights community.'"
The whole idea of "Islamophobia" came out of the United Nations in the 1990s, pushed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, a network of 57 Muslim-majority countries that makes up the largest voting bloc at the U.N.
- In 1999, the OIC began to promote the concept of "defamation of religion" and the idea that an entire religion, not merely individual members of a religion, can be defamed by acts or words.
- In 2005, the OIC adopted its "10-year Strategic Action Plan" to overcome Islamophobia and soon after began pushing for the United Nations to adopt U.N. Human Rights Resolution 16/18 banning religiously-based hate speech.
- In March 2011, with the aid of then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the U.N. adopted Resolution 16/18.
- In July 2011, the OIC launched the Istanbul Process in cooperation with the United States with the stated goal of forging an implementation plan for Resolution 16/18, urging the nations of the world to pass laws banning religiously-based hate speech. Nations across Western Europe and Canada obliged. Because no tradition of curtailing free speech exists in most other religious faiths, only speech critical of Islam tends to get reported and prosecuted in these countries.
- In December 2016 the OIC issued another document called "A media strategy for countering Islamophobia" with special focus on the U.K., U.S., and Europe.
The Society of Professional Journalists and the Poynter Institute, two of America's foremost providers of continuing education for working journalists, have both latched onto the "problem" of Islamophobia in the United States. SPJ endorsed a free e-book by Lawrence Pintak on "Islam for Journalists" that recommends special cultural sensitivity when covering stories involving Muslims.
Abigail Esman, the author of the IPT report, said many "very respectable people" now view assaults on Jews almost as a form of protest against Israel, or "as political rather than hateful."
"This could well be true. Or it could be that after a long history of anti-Semitism, the public – and the writers of headlines – no longer see anti-Jewish hate as being quite as newsworthy or dramatic or important."