Seven million-strong American Muslim community remained in the dock 11 years after 9/11 with Republican Party's witch-hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government and meteorite rise in anti-Islam and anti-Muslim rhetoric in the 2012 election campaign.
This is an
election year and for many hysteria-peddling politicians fear-mongering remains
the best tool to exploit the fear among masses fomented by the anti-Islam and
anti-Muslim rhetoric by media and extreme right politicians as well as some
surprisingly, the Republican Party has adopted Islamophobia by including a
plank in its platform that opposed the imagined threat of Sharia. It will not
be too much to say that just as the threat of undocumented
Kris Kobach, Kansas' secretary of state who may be best known as the brains
behind Arizona's "show me your papers" law, also pushed an amendment to the GOP
platform to support a ban on foreign law (read Islamic law). Kobach hopes that will give anti-Muslim
activists a tool for pressuring more states to pass their own anti-Sharia laws.
In 2011 and 2012, 73 anti-Islam bills were introduced in 31 states. So far, six
states have passed the bills.
and rhetoric continue to add to the culture of hate and violence and lead to a
dramatic surge of violent activity and harassment directed at places of
worship. In a climate of increasing fear-based rhetoric, we have seen a rise in
hate crimes not only against American Muslims and but also fellow Americans
perceived to be Muslim. On August 5, 2012, a gunman killed six people at a Sikh
temple south of Milwaukee and critically wounded three others, including a
days of the Sikh Temple shooting there were at least eight attacks and
harassment were directed at Mosques, Islamic Institutions and an Arab-Christian
after Rep. Walsh told a room of people at a town hall meeting that "Islam is a
threat," an assailant launched a homemade bomb at The College Preparatory
School of America -- A private
Americans are not the only ones impacted from the hate and bigotry. Shortly
after vandals defaced the Mother of the Savior Church in Dearborn, MI, the Rev.
Rani Abdulmasih wrote to Arab American Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC)
stating, "As a Christian Arab and Middle Eastern congregation, we have sensed
the profiling in more ways than one. [...] It is unfortunate that racial
profiling, bigotry and racism continues to exist and flourish in our beloved
country, as we live under a Constitution that supports freedom, justice and
equality for all."
to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) with its manufactured
controversy over the Park51 Muslim community center in New York City also known
as the Ground Zero Mosque, at least 88 American mosques and Islamic centers
have been targeted by hate, including 13 acts of violence and 31 acts of
vandalism since 2010.
GOP leaders' rhetoric
against Islam and Muslims
succession of Republican candidates have attempted to run to the right of party
favorite Mitt Romney by asserting that only a true conservative can defeat
Obama in November, says John Feffer, the author of the just-published Crusade
2.0: The West's Resurgent War on Islam. He went to say that most of them
boasted of the same powerful backer. Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry,
and Rick Santorum all declared that God asked them to run for higher office.
"Together with Newt Gingrich, they have deployed various methods of appealing
to their constituencies, but none is more potent than religion. "..ugly
Islamophobia has already insinuated itself into the 2012 elections in a
potentially more damaging way than the 2008 elections."
national security debate in November 2011, Rick Santorum, the former
Pennsylvania senator and once GOP presidential candidate said he would support
profiling Muslims at airport checkpoints as a tactic to protect against
terrorist attacks. "Obviously Muslims would be someone you'd look at,
absolutely," Santorum said.
has consistently held a hostile discourse on Islam, belittling almost anything
or anyone resonating Muslim. Among many instances we may take as example Cain's
opposition to the construction of an Islamic Center in Murfreesboro, Tenn.,
unreasonably arguing that it's not religious discrimination for a community to
ban a mosque.
state Republican legislator, Rick Wommick in November last called for the
removal of all Muslims serving in the military. In an interview on the
sidelines of an anti-Shariah conference in Nashville, TN, Womick told
ThinkProgress that he doubts that any devout Muslim could be loyal to the US
military. "Personally, I don't trust one Muslim in our military," he said.
last, Connecticut Republican congressional candidate Mark Greenberg questioned
whether Islam was a peaceful religion and said he believed it was "a cult
in many respects."
Saucedo Mercer, a Republican congressional candidate from Arizona questions the
presence of "Middle Easterners" in the US by asking, "Why do we want them here,
either legally or illegally."