Now we know why Ahmad Khan Rahami had packed on a few pounds: it wasn’t the fried chicken he was peddling pre-jihad, it was “Islamophobia.”
Goleen Samari is a postdoctoral research fellow at The University of Texas at Austin, and one wonders if they accept this level of “scholarship” from her. Here the Dallas Morning News gives her space to claim, without a shred of evidence, that “Islamophobia” — which Samari represents as irrational hatred of and discrimination against Muslims — leads to “paranoia, psychological distress and reduced happiness as well as high cholesterol, obesity and other health problems,” including depression and even cancer.
Well, she is right about the paranoia.
“Americans,” she claims, “are exposed to political campaigns, news coverage and movies that portray Muslims as outsiders and villains. One study found that the coverage of Islam and Muslims in The New York Times was more negative than the coverage of cancer, alcohol and cocaine. Structural forms of discrimination, forms such as media coverage or political campaigns that call for a ban on Muslims, help normalize discriminatory attitudes and create the institutional system of discrimination.”
Goleen Samari, like all “Islamophobia” victimhood-mongers, presents this narrative of victimization of Muslims, as dubious as it is, as the result of bigotry and, of course, racism. She never entertains, even long enough to dismiss, the truth: any suspicion that Americans may have of Islam or Muslims stems not from “political campaigns, news coverage and movies,” but from acts of jihad terror. Ahmad Khan Rahami, with his bombs in New York and New Jersey, is a much more effective purveyor of “Islamophobia” than I could ever be, even if I were the hate-filled gargoyle of the “Islamophobia” victimhood industry’s fantasy.
“Another study finds that a lack of social support leads to depression for Arab Muslim immigrant women. Islamophobia also prevents Muslim Americans from seeking health care, resulting in more late-stage cancer diagnoses.” Are they denied care by cackling, “Islamophobic” physicians with Trump bumper stickers? It’s much more likely that if they’re depressed or afraid to go to the doctor, it’s because they’re brutalized at home and their husband doesn’t want them seen undressed by some Infidel male.
But no, it’s all about “Islamophobia.” “Islamophobia” — which in reality is wildly exaggerated, as anti-Semitic hate crimes are far more common, according to FBI statistics, than “Islamophobic” crimes, and which in fact is a term designed to intimidate people into thinking it wrong to oppose jihad terror — is making people sick, folks, and you know what that means: it has to be forcibly suppressed. Those “political campaigns, news coverage and movies” that dare to criticize Islam and Muslims, or that are claimed by Muslims to do so, but be silenced. Free speech? Pah! It’s a public health issue!
“Why we should treat Islamophobia as a public health issue,” by Goleen Samari, Dallas Morning News, September 21, 2016:
When I was 16, a Texas police officer pulled me over and said “it’s people like you that are ruining this country. Go back to your country.” People who speed, I thought? Girls who are late for figure skating practice? I wasn’t sure what he meant. What country was I supposed to go to? I was born and raised in Austin. Then, it dawned on me. It was a month after 9/11, and he meant Muslims.
Islamophobia is widespread. In the 15 years that have followed the Sept. 11 attacks, many Muslim or Middle Eastern Americans have been repeatedly exposed to hate and discrimination in the United States.
The unfounded hatred of Islam or stigmatization, fear and dislike of Muslims rose to 67 percent in 2015, the highest it has ever been. Right after 9/11, unfavorable attitudes toward Muslims were at 60 percent. In fact, hate speech and crimes against Muslim Americans tripled after the San Bernardino and Paris attacks. Muslim Americans have been harassed on college campuses, they have lost jobs, mosques have been vandalized, Muslim charities have had their assets frozen, and racial profiling has occurred at airports and on the streets.
But there is an effect of all this that has not been widely reported: the impact on health.
Simply put, Islamophobia has grave physical and mental health consequences for Muslims in the U.S. It is a public health issue. Yet, research on the health implications of this is understudied and often ignored by the masses.
We, as Americans, can and must do better.
Muslims are often represented as coming from non-white groups, so their religious identity is linked with racial identity. In reality, Muslim Americans include many nationalities and racial categories, including black and white, and anyone who appears Muslim-like, Sikhs and many non-Muslim Arab, Iranian and Indian Americans.
Unfortunately, Islamophobia is deeply institutionalized. Americans are exposed to political campaigns, news coverage and movies that portray Muslims as outsiders and villains. One study found that the coverage of Islam and Muslims in The New York Times was more negative than the coverage of cancer, alcohol and cocaine. Structural forms of discrimination, forms such as media coverage or political campaigns that call for a ban on Muslims, help normalize discriminatory attitudes and create the institutional system of discrimination.
A system of discrimination can lead to differential access to fundamental determinants of health such as education and employment. Moreover, when people are targeted based on their identity, the persistent exposure to discrimination has a pervasive, negative effect on health. Being a victim of Islamophobia can be traumatizing, with severe and lasting health impacts.
Members of stigmatized groups have greater stress, strained social relationships and unequal access to resources or medical care. Social marginalization increases the physiological response to stress. Discrimination against Muslim Americans has been linked to paranoia, psychological distress and reduced happiness as well as high cholesterol, obesity and other health problems.
Another study finds that a lack of social support leads to depression for Arab Muslim immigrant women. Islamophobia also prevents Muslim Americans from seeking health care, resulting in more late-stage cancer diagnoses….