Indeed they do, and as I have pointed out for years, such fears don’t just hamper the fight against the Islamic State, but against all jihad terror. People are afraid of being branded “Islamophobes,” and so they do nothing to oppose jihad activity. Charges of “hatred,” “bigotry” and “Islamophobia” are powerful weapons in the hands of the enablers of jihad.
“Islamophobia Fears Hamper War Against ISIS,” by Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary, August 17, 2015:
After their release of a series of videos depicting graphic murders of prisoners by ISIS terrorists, you might have thought there was nothing the Islamist group could do to further horrify the world. But last week’s graphic report in the New York Times describing the system of sexual slavery the so-called caliphate has set up in Iraq and Syria and which is sanctioned by their view of Islam makes clear the depths of barbarism into which this group has sunk. If that wasn’t chilling enough, last week we also learned that Kayla Mueller, the American aid worker who was held as a hostage by ISIS, was not only tortured but repeatedly raped by the leader of the Islamic State Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Yet the response of some in the liberal media to this is to question whether such reports make us think ill of Islam or Muslims. While this is surely the view of only a minority, it does seem to reflect the persistent strain of thinking that sees the supposed spread of Islamophobia as greater than the threat of terrorism. But whether such thoughts are expressed by cable news personalities or demonstrated by the statements of the U.S. government, the refusal to think clearly about the nature of Islamic terrorism is at the heart of our failure to confront this danger.
The Islamophobia mania was illustrated on CNN this past Friday morning when morning host Chris Cuomo was doing a segment reacting to the New York Times feature that it aptly termed a “Theology of Rape.” As Mediate reported, while interviewing an advocate for the rights of Muslim women, Cuomo said the following:
“Let’s finish this part of the discussion on a point that you feel often needs to be made,” Cuomo said to Muslim woman’s rights activist Qanta Ahmed. “This feeds the impression that these Muslims are animals, savages and their faith makes them that way. And it feeds an impression of what Islam is. What is your response to that?”
Ahmed ignored Cuomo’s cue to switch the discussion from one about ISIS behavior to the possibility that learning the truth about their activity might cause some in the West to think ill of Islam. But, as shocking as it was, his statement must be viewed in the context of the last 15 years of liberal commentary that has worried less about the rise of Islamist terror than it has about the possibility that some Americans might think ill of a world religion that they are about the terrible deeds committed by people who say their actions are motivated by their faith.
The fact is the overwhelming majority of Americans are smart enough to understand that the behavior of members of ISIS, al Qaeda, Hamas or Hezbollah doesn’t mean their Muslim neighbors are disloyal or violent. Though many in the media have attempted to portray American society as hostile to Muslims or to speak of a post-9/11 backlash, there has never been any objective evidence brought forward to prove these theories. To the contrary, American popular culture and our government — under both George W. Bush and Barack Obama — have consistently bent over backwards to draw a distinction between Islam and terror. Nor has there been any surge in hate crimes against Muslims, as a decade’s worth of FBI hate crime statistics have proven.
But the fear of Islamophobia runs deep and not only in a media environment where statements like that of Cuomo seem unexceptionable. It is the same thinking that lies behind the refusal of President Obama to label ISIS or any other such group as an example of Islamic terror. The administration has taken the view that to speak of ISIS in that manner gives credence to the group’s claims to speak for Islam. The question of what is or is not Islamic isn’t something the U.S. government should be worrying about but the U.S. remains determined to ignore the connection between a popular form of Islam and the actions of ISIS….