And of course it is a central point of the victimhood posturing of Islamic supremacist groups such as the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which tries to portray Muslims as victims so as to deflect attention from the reality of jihad terror and blunt calls for greater scrutiny of mosques and Islamic schools.
“Time and again, Left-leaning campaigners and observers respond to terror attacks in the West by panicking about the possibly racist response of Joe Public — and time and again, their fears prove ill-founded and Joe Public proves himself a more decent, tolerant person than they give him credit for. What this reveals is that liberal concern over Islamophobia, liberal fretting about anti-Muslim bigotry, is ironically driven by a bigotry of its own, by an deeply prejudiced view of everyday people as hateful and stupid.”
“Where is the mob of Muslim-hating Americans going crazy after Boston? It’s a figment of liberals’ imaginations,” by Brendan O’Neill in the Telegraph, April 24 (thanks to Twostellas):
Where has the backlash against America’s Muslims been?
Whenever a bomb goes off in America or Britain, some liberals” first reaction is to wonder whether stupid white people will go crazy and attack Muslims. Even while the dust of said bomb is settling, a certain breed of heartless commentator will shift his attention from those who were hurt in the attack to those who might be driven mad with racially tinged fury upon observing the attack: that is, the allegedly Islamophobic mob, the unenlightened public, for whom every Islamo-bombing is apparently a sign that Muslims are evil and must therefore be shouted at, spat on, and possibly punched.
So just hours after the bombing at the Boston Marathon, even before we knew who was responsible, there was media handwringing over the masses” potentially intolerant response. Part of the reason David Sirota of Salon infamously hoped the Boston bomber would turn out be a white American is because he was fearful of the “societal response” if the bomber were a Muslim, concerned there would be “collective slandering” of Muslims by Americans. Likewise, two days after the attack, the Guardian published a piece implying America is already a country where the ill-educated think “all Muslims are terrorists”, so things could get really hairy if “the perpetrator of the Boston bombings turns out to be a Muslim”. There was a tsunami of post-Boston commentary about “the damage that Islamophobia can cause”, about the “ignorance and prejudice [that emerge] in the aftermath of a terrorist attack”, about Americans undergoing a “collective freakout steeped in Islamophobia”.
Clearly, some observers fear ordinary Americans more than they do terrorists; they fret more over how dangerously unintelligent and hateful Yanks will respond to bombings than they do over the bombings themselves. But where is this Islamophobic mob? Where are these marauding Muslim-haters undergoing a post-Boston freakout? They are a figment of liberal observers” imaginations. In the years since 9/11, the American public has been admirably tolerant towards Muslim communities. According to federal crime stats collected by the FBI, in 2009 there were 107 anti-Muslim hate crimes; in a country of 300 million people that is a very low number. In 2010, a year of great terrorism panic following the attempt by Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad to detonate a car bomb in Times Square in NYC, there were 160 anti-Muslim hate crimes. In 2011, there were 157. To see how imaginary the Islamophobic mob is, consider a state like Texas, fashionably mocked as a backward Hicksville full of Fox News-watching morons: there are 420,000 Muslims in Texas, yet in 2011 there were only six anti-Muslim hate crimes there. It simply isn’t true that mad racist Yanks are biting at the bit to attack Muslims.
There were similarly wrongheaded fears of an outburst of mass Islamophobic hysteria in the wake of the 7/7 bombings in London, too. Policemen were posted outside mosques. NHS trusts encouraged doctors and nurses to keep their eyes peeled for anyone who expressed anti-Muslim hate. Trade union officials warned of a “backlash” against Muslims. But the backlash never came. Brits did not rise up in spite and fury against Muslims. Crown Prosecution Service crime figures for 2005-2006, covering the aftermath of the 7/7 attacks, showed that only 43 religiously aggravated crimes were prosecuted in that period, and that Muslims were the victims in 18 of those crimes. Eighteen prosecutions for anti-Muslim crimes — all those crimes are unfortunate, of course they are; but this was far from an “Islamophobic backlash”. As the then Director of Public Prosecutions, Ken Macdonald, said: “The fears of a [post-7/7] rise in offences appear to be unfounded.”
Time and again, Left-leaning campaigners and observers respond to terror attacks in the West by panicking about the possibly racist response of Joe Public — and time and again, their fears prove ill-founded and Joe Public proves himself a more decent, tolerant person than they give him credit for. What this reveals is that liberal concern over Islamophobia, liberal fretting about anti-Muslim bigotry, is ironically driven by a bigotry of its own, by an deeply prejudiced view of everyday people as hateful and stupid. The anti-Islamophobia lobby poses as the implacable opponent of bigotry, yet it spreads a bigoted view of ordinary white folk as so volatile, so brimming with fury, that they are one terrorist bombing away from transforming into an anti-Muslim pogrom. Yes, some prejudiced things have been said about Muslims post-Boston; but far more prejudiced things are being said or implied about ordinary Americans.