Jason L. Miller is the Director of Campaigns and Development at the Franciscan Action Network in Washington, D.C. One might think such a person would be minimally honest, but alas, no.
Follow his link attached to his claim that Muslims in the U.S. have been “killed just for being Muslim.” It goes to a Washington Post story from February 28 entitled “The mysterious ‘execution-style’ killings of young men in Indiana.” It says this about the victims: “Local outlets described the victims as Muslim, but Darfur People’s Association founder and vice president Motasim Adam, who visited with the families Saturday, told the Associated Press that Omar and Tairab were Muslim and Mekki was Christian.” And: “Rusty York, the city’s public safety director, told WPTA-TV that investigators do not think the killing was motivated by the victims’ religious affiliation. ‘Hopefully, you know, we’ll be able to focus in on exactly what the reason was, but as I said before, no reason to believe this was any type of hate crime, or focused because of their religion or their nationality whatsoever,’ he said.”
The Post story goes on to note that Ibrahim Hooper of Hamas-linked CAIR was on the case, and Muslims on social media were claiming that the murders were motivated by anti-Muslim hatred, but there was no evidence for this whatsoever — just an assumption by the usual victimhood-mongers. Miller accepts their version uncritically, without even bothering to note that one of the victims was Christian or that a city official said it wasn’t a hate crime.
Miller’s piece just goes downhill from there. More below.
“The ugly reality of Islamophobia (and how Catholics should stand up against it),” by Jason L. Miller, Catholic News Agency, June 28, 2016 (thanks to John):
As a Catholic, I’ve found the recent headlines about our Muslim brothers and sisters in the United States to be quite troubling. People are being kicked off of planes for speaking Arabic or for doing mathequations, and in some instances, are even killed just for being Muslim. And the 2016 election has only seemed to stoke the fear of American Muslims.
It’s actually noteworthy that the only link Miller can find to substantiate his hysterical claim that Muslims in the U.S. are being killed for being Muslim goes to a questionable case in which the victims weren’t even all Muslim and were found in a house associated with all sorts of crimes. This in itself illustrates that Muslims in the U.S. aren’t really in danger, aren’t really being killed, and that claims to the contrary are politically motivated and manipulative.
Politicians have always been quick to demonize “the other” be they Latinos, immigrants, the LGBT community, or Muslims. But somehow this year seems different. Islamophobia has been on the rise in recent years and the 2016 election has done American Muslims no favors.
Miller is as shifty with his links as Cathy Young. His link for “Islamophobia has been on the rise in recent years” goes not to hate crime statistics (which wouldn’t establish what he wants), but to a story about a professor giving a lecture about the supposed hatred the West has always had for Islam.
The Bridge Institute at Georgetown has noted that since the primary season began last March, there have been 180 anti-Muslim attacks in the US. There is no doubt that hate crimes against Muslims are on the rise. And despite the recent horrific attack in Orlando having no evidence yet to a direct link to ISIS, it’s inevitable that Islamophobic rhetoric will only increase because the shooter was Muslim.
Miller doesn’t bother to inform you that Bridge Initiative is a Saudi-funded entity designed to further the “Islamophobia” narrative; nor does he tell you that the concept of “Islamophobia” itself was developed in order to intimidate people into thinking it wrong to oppose jihad terror. The Bridge Initiative report to which he links is full of the usual fudging of the facts, such as its inclusion as an anti-Muslim hate crime the murder of two Muslims in a Florida convenience store. An Arab-American News story about those murders states: “Detectives say the motive appears to be robbery, despite some cries that it could’ve possibly been a hate crime” — and if it had been a hate crime, Arab-American News would have been all over it.
Meanwhile, note Miller’s sleight of hand regarding the Orlando jihad massacre: Miller says there is “no evidence yet to a direct link to ISIS,” but he doesn’t bother to tell you that the murderer himself, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State. He completely ignores the ideological affinity between ISIS and Mateen and dismisses the massacre on the basis of the likelihood that there was no actual contact between the killer and the Islamic State.
The whole of Miller’s article tiptoes around the elephant in the room: Islamic jihad terrorism. In his disingenuous scenario, some people were attacked by people who happened to be Muslims, and in response, racist xenophobes are demonizing and victimizing Muslims. Jihad terror? Pah! Muslims are just victims of gratuitous hatred!
Anecdotally, the Islamophobia and fear that American Muslims are feeling across the country is even worse than immediately after 9/11. I heard one story from a colleague that Muslim school children in Fairfax County, Virginia eat lunch alone in the bathroom because they’re so afraid and bullied.
How likely is this hearsay story to be true? Well, consider this: do you think school administrators would allow it? Do you think the school district would allow it? It’s beyond preposterous, especially in today’s politically correct climate.
And while all Americans, no matter their religious persuasion should be concerned about violent attacks across the globe, the vast majority of Muslims worldwide have condemned such attacks and despite the media portrayal, many have spoken out publicly. In fact, the first targets of the so called Islamic State are Muslims who end up becoming refugees fleeing from the war and persecution in the Middle East….
The condemnations — Miller doesn’t tell you — have not been backed up by any action to teach young Muslims why they should reject the ISIS/al-Qaeda understanding of Islam. The targets of the Islamic State are Muslims because they are considered to be apostates for rejecting the Islamic State’s authority — and execution of apostates is supported by all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence.
It’s easy for many Americans to forget that Muslims are part of the Abrahamic tradition just like Christians and Jews. Muslims lift up many of the same messages of the Bible, celebrating the lives of Mary (who has her own chapter), Jesus (who is mentioned twenty five times), and many of the Old Testament prophets. And while Muslims are currently being demonized by some politicians, pundits, and media outlets, all Americans must not forget the history of our own country: there have been times when Irish, Greeks, Chinese, and many other groups were demonized for being “the other.”
Miller doesn’t tell you that the Qur’an repeatedly denies that Allah has a son and says that those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers (5:17, 5:72), and that those who say Jesus is the Son of God are accursed (9:30). Nor does he tell you that the Qur’an commands Muslims to wage war against Christians and subjugate them under Islamic law (9:29).
As people of faith, there are ways that we can support our Muslim brothers and sisters. Refugee Welcome dinners are being planned across the United States on June 20th ahead of World Refugee Month. You can join or plan one in your own community or join a similar initiative with Shoulder to Shoulder who are conducting interfaith Iftar dinners during the month of Ramadan. At the Franciscan Action Network, we’re part of a coalition of national Catholic advocacy organizations who are taking action. But there’s an even simpler action that each of us can take in support of our Muslim neighbors.
Catholics are being bamboozled into ignoring the impossibility of distinguishing jihadis from peaceful refugees by tendentious and dishonest articles like this one.
Now is the time for all Americans to speak out. We are better than the politicians and pundits who espouse bigotry and make Americans fear one another for being different. Though there is fear of violent acts worldwide, we must realize that American Muslims are fearful too, not just of terrorism but of what those in places of privilege and power might say or do to them because of their religion. As fellow Americans, as people of faith, and as allies of American Muslims it’s up to us to speak out against Islamophobia and fear in whatever form it manifests. Quite simply Islamophobia is wrong and to remain silent would be immoral. We are our brothers and sisters’ keepers and we must stand together against bigotry and Islamophobia, before it’s too late.
Even to the point of civilizational suicide, apparently.