second anniversary of the ghastly tragedy of 9/11 I wrote:
after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Muslim community in America, victim
of guilt by association, remains under siege. Profiled, harassed, reviled,
attacked, peeped at by the CIA and the FBI, interrogated and permanently
controlled at airports, the whole community felt excluded of American society.
After the Japanese attack on the Pearl Harbor, more than 110,000 Japanese
Americans on the West Coast were imprisoned in 10 relocation camps in the United States.
But after 9/11 2001, the whole country is converted into a virtual detention
camp for the Muslims by abridging their civil rights."
later, this is true today as the seven-million American Muslims remained
besieged through reconfiguration of US
laws, policies and priorities in the post-9/11 era. Alarmingly, the post-911 America has
become less friendly to Muslims to the extent that they have probably replaced
other minorities - Hispanics, Native Americans and Afro Americans - as targets
of discrimination, hate and prejudice. Many American Muslims have a story of
discriminative treatment ranging from physical attacks, a nasty gaze, casual
comments to work place harassment, burning mosques and the Quran. Muslims have
witnessed the ever-growing marginalization of their communities.
According to a PEW survey released on August 30, 2011, forty-three percent had personally experienced harassment in the past year. The survey also said that 52 two percent of Muslim Americans complained that their community is singled out by government for surveillance.
attacks have left a lasting and damaging image for American Muslims who to this
day are still fighting stereotypes and a negative image. The challenge that
most Muslims face is their concern in the way they dress or their name might
make them an easy target for stereotyping. Arab and Muslim Americans
increasingly feel targeted by negative media portrayals and concerned about
A decade after 9/11, the backlash against American Muslims shows no signs of improvement and 2010-2011 witnessed a wave of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim hatred campaign sweeping the country in the shape of the so-called anti-Sharia bills introduced in about 20 states. The bills were patterned on a template produced by leading Islamophobe David Yerushalmi, a 56-year-old Hasidic Jew, who founded an organization in 2006 with the acronym SANE (the Society of Americans for National Existence) with the aim of banishing Islam from the US. He proposed a law that would make adherence to Islam a felony punishable by 20 years in prison. In February this year Tennessee State Senator Bill Ketron and Representative Judd Matheny (both Republicans) had introduced similar bills to make it illegal to follow Islamic moral code which includes religious practices like feet-washing and prayers.
fallout on Muslims of these anti-Sharia campaigns which began November 2010 in Oklahoma when the voters
by a 70-30 percent margin passed a ballot question that barred "state courts
from considering international or Islamic law when deciding cases." The new law
-- which was widely considered as unfairly targeting the Muslim community and
blaming it for the non-existent threat of Sharia law in the United states -- was
blocked by an injunction issued just a few weeks later by federal judge Vicki
Miles-LaGrange. The judge argued that the Sharia ban was unconstitutional
because it violated the establishment clause of the First Amendment and
unfairly singled out Muslims.
anti-Sharia campaigns increase bias among the public by endorsing the idea that
Muslims are second-class citizens. They encourage and accelerate both the
acceptability of negative views of Muslims and the expression of those negative
views by the public and government agencies like the police.
surprisingly, January 2010 Gallup Poll showed that 53% of Americans have
unfavorable views of Islam, more than any other religion, and 43% admit to
feeling "at least a little prejudice" toward Muslims. This negative attitude
was corroborated in the latest Gallup poll (released on August 2, 2011) which
says at least 4 in 10 in every major religious group in the U.S. say Americans
are prejudiced toward Muslim Americans, with Jews (66%) saying this.
The non-existent threat of Sharia, or Islamic law, to the American way of life is going to be a major debate topic among Republican presidential candidates this cycle. As the Republican presidential nomination process begins, at least two GOP potential candidates - Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich - are making a name for themselves as the Islamophobia candidates.
seven-million strong American Muslim community was dismayed at the anti-Muslim
sentiment displayed by Republican presidential candidates during June 13, 2011
debate in New Hampshire.
Presidential candidate Newt Gingrich's compared Muslims to Nazis.
there has been a steady rise in Islamophobia, however during mid-term election
campaign there was an exponential rise of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim bigotry.
Many Religious Right leaders and opportunist politicians asserted repeatedly
that Islam is not a religion at all but a political cult, that Muslims cannot
be good Americans and that mosques are fronts for extremist "jihadis.' There
was a substantial increase in the number of political candidates using
Islamophobic tactics in an effort to leverage votes, and use such tactics as a
platform to enhance their political visibility. 
Muslims rejected the Republican Party at the polls in 2008 and 2010. According
to the American Muslim Taskforce on Civil Rights and Elections, just 2.2
percent of Muslims voted for Sen. John McCain in 2008.
Salisbury reported, during the 2010 midterm election campaign, virtually every
hard-charging candidate on the far right took a moment to trash a Muslim, a
mosque, or Islamic pieties. In the wake of those elections, with 85 new
Republican House members and a surging Tea Party movement, the political
virtues of anti-Muslim rhetoric as a means of rousing voters and alarming the
general electorate have gone largely unchallenged. It has become an article of
faith that a successful 2010 candidate on the right should treat Islam with
revulsion, drawing a line between America the Beautiful and the
destructive impurities of Islamic cultists and radicals. 
Peter King's Muslim
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