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Raphael Magrik: Commentary Whitewashes Discrimination

Muslims women gather for a special Eid ul-Fitr morning prayer at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

Muslims women gather for a special Eid ul-Fitr morning prayer at the Los Angeles Convention Center on August 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California (Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images)

Commentary Whitewashes Discrimination

by , The Daily Beast

Only three weeks since Passover, and some people already need refreshers.

Over at Commentary, Jonathan Tobin argues that Islamophobia in the United States must be a myth because… look! the Muslims are breeding like rabbits. Citing newly released census data showing that the population of American Muslims more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, Tobin asks: “Is it possible or even likely that Islam would be thriving in the United States if it were not a society that is welcoming Muslims with open arms and providing a safe environment for people to openly practice this faith?”

Yes, it’€™s very possible. Let’s start with the Passover story: in particular, Exodus 1:12, in which the Egyptians discover that, “€œthe more they afflicted [the Israelites], the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad.” It looks like Tobin skipped that section of the haggadah.

And this Biblical wisdom holds up well under scrutiny: historically, discrimination and prejudice haven’€™t done much to hinder population growth. The African American population quadrupled (from under five million to nearly twenty million) between the end of the Civil War and the 1964 Civil Rights Act: does Tobin think that a century of Jim Crow, housing discrimination and the Ku Klux Klan provided Blacks “€œa safe environment”€? The fact is, Islam is growing everywhere: doubling over the last thirty years in Europe, and on pace to reach 2.2 billion worldwide by 2030 (it’€™s currently 1.6 billion). Its growth in America is just one piece of this broader trend.

Here’s another fact: Islamophobia is alive and well in America. Tobin claims that there are “€œno obstacles to Muslim advancement or systematic ill treatment.” Tell it toHani Khan, who was fired from her job at Abercrombie & Fitch when she wouldn’€™t remove her headscarf. In 2009, Muslims filed 803 religious discrimination claims with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. That’€™s about 25% of the total claims, even though Muslims make up, according to the Pew Research Center, less than 1% of the American population. Resumes with Muslim names get lower response rates from employment firms than resumes with names from any other ethnic or religious group. And it extends beyond employment. In a 2010 Gallup poll, 43% of Americans self-reported some prejudice against Muslims, compared to 15% for Jews and 18% for Christians.

What’€™s sad is that we’€™ve seen all this before. Muslims aren’€™t the first religious group to be accused of cooperating with America’€™s international enemies. Just as Muslims today are called terrorists, American Jews were once tarred as the servants of Moscow. Similarly, attempts to outlaw Sharia recall centuries of anti-Semitic paranoia about Jewish religious law. In every generation, my haggadah teaches me, bigots rise up to discriminate against and attack minorities. If Jonathan Tobin cannot see that, if he continues to turn a blind eye to the oppression of Muslims among us, well then, I’€™ve got a couple more Bible verses he ought to read.

 

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  • Sir David Illuminati membership number 16.69

    Insane writes
    Tell it toHani Khan, who was fired from her job at Abercrombie & Fitch when she wouldn’€™t remove her headscarf.

    Which is an issue of clothing attire, not because her employer hated Islam. I believe she took A&F court and I’m sure she won big. “Islamophobia”, indeed.

    Read the court report , it was more than just the headscarf issue .

    Insane, I am not an american so explain to me why the USA gives so much money to Isreal yet neglects its own people ?

    I love it when loons do Math :-) Take a very small number and double it and you still have a very small number .
    If Muslims are a threat with very small numbers then Elvis impersonators are too as they are getting everywhere .

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GargamelGold?feature=mhee CriticalDragon1177

    @Amago

    I didn’t comment on this, in large part because I was having trouble thinking of exactly what to say.

    However, just becouse Muslims in the west are largely successful does not mean that anti Muslim bigotry isn’t a problem. Many Jews living in Europe including Germany, prior to the rise of National Socialism (Nazism) were very wealthy, maybe not too many during the years of the Weimar Republic with all the hyper inflation, but even before than there was a lot of antisemitism in Europe, despite the success of so many Jews.

    Why should we think that the success of many Muslims living here in anyway, proves that Islamophobia does not exist? Raphael Magarik is spot on!

  • DoubleUp

    ..and so the ping pong game of hate continues..imbeciles… we r bad / no u r bad.

  • InPeace

    So what institutionalized discrimination do Muslims experience that needs to be “whitewashed”?

    Here’s another fact: Islamophobia is alive and well in America.

    No, that’s more like an opinion. And one you fail to provide a whole lot of convincing evidence for.

    Tell it toHani Khan, who was fired from her job at Abercrombie & Fitch when she wouldn’€™t remove her headscarf.

    Which is an issue of clothing attire, not because her employer hated Islam. I believe she took A&F court and I’m sure she won big. “Islamophobia”, indeed.

    That’€™s about 25% of the total claims, even though Muslims make up, according to the Pew Research Center, less than 1% of the American population.

    21% is closer to 20 than 25, but I see you decided to generously round up. Wonder why? And the Muslim population is reported to be anywhere from 2.5 to 6+ million in the United States. Again, you went with a figure to sex up your stats.

    In a 2010 Gallup poll, 43% of Americans self-reported some prejudice against Muslims, compared to 15% for Jews and 18% for Christians.

    And that’s significantly better than how Muslims feel of Jews, Westerners and Christians according to the same pollster.

    American Jews were once tarred as the servants of Moscow.

    Once? LoL. According to the late American Imam, Anwar Awlaki, before he became an “extremist”, Jews control the United States for Israel:

    Awlaki began preaching about the glories of jihad and the enemies of Islam in a lecture series from the late 1990s called “Lives of the Prophets.” Evil surrounds Muslims in the West, he said, arguing that U.S. foreign and domestic policy are controlled by “the strong Jewish lobbyists.” His disdain of Jews, whom he terms “the enemy from Day 1 to the Day of Judgment,” is a common theme.

    Oh, and did I forget to mention that these lectures were delivered at Mosques in the United States? I wouldn’t want the author ignore modern day Antisemitism, though I think pointing this example out makes one an “Islamophobe”.

  • http://aayjay.wordpress.com AJ

    Muslims love children, put their sex drives to good use rather than wasting it on celibacy or porn, enjoy life, treat their parents and kids good, trust God to be the one & only that provides for us & PLUS Islam is a fantastic religion so many people convert to it.

    That is the reason that Islam keeps on growing :)

    Hakuna Matata for all of your days and join Islam!

  • Black Infidel

    Isn’t Commentary Magazine a right wing website?

  • mjasghar

    new immigrants always have higher birth rates, the next gen has similar to the rest of the population as girls marry later / work / possible native chemicals in western life that retard fertility / tacit practice of birth (amazingly all my Polish migrant work colleagues say they are Catholic but no problem with admiting to being on the Pill)
    Maybe you should focus on Hassidic birthrates and those of Jewish settlers. Or maybe not as that doesn’t fit your agenda.

  • Reynardine

    Why, no, Abdul. That’s how they talk about liberals, Democrats, Nancy Pelosi, and most assuredly the President and First Family, and my poor dog had a nervous breakdown from all the dogwhistles about blacks and minorities generally. But to experience contempt generally, just try having “too much eddication” coupled with not enough money.

  • Abdul-Rahman

    What does birth rates have to do with the level of overall discrimination a group faces in society? Unless one is discussing the majority group trying to kill off the minority groups, which some of the extreme Islamophobes (like Geller, etc) come close to with people they associate with who call for stripping Muslims of citizenship, nuking the cities of Mecca and Medina in their “foreign policy” crusades, etc.

    @My Two Cents

    Muslims and Arabs are the only two groups of people in modern American society that are allowed to be talked about in a truly dehumanizing manner openly. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9d-9GM9RGQ If you substituted the word Black, Jew, Catholic, etc. for the things, for example Fox “News”, says about Arabs and Muslims in the US on a regular basis it would be widely condemned. But again wholesale dehumanizing language towards Arabs and Muslims is disturbingly accepted in large swaths of American society today.

  • My Two Cents

    You may want to review this link from a CFR which is very reliable:
    http://www.cfr.org/united-states/muslims-united-states/p25927
    http://www2.fbi.gov/ucr/hc2009/data/table_01.html

    Among other things it states that Muslims generally have the have the same social mobility as wider America. Its birth rate is doubled and is the group that is attacked the least of the religions. Even if factoring proportion to population as I’ve worked by the FBI’s statistics. This coupled with a high birth rate seem to indicate that Muslims at least in the US whilst subject to discrimination comparatively have things pretty good. You may argue that they wouldn’t report crime but they seem to be able enough to report religious discrimination. I’m be interested to no what the comparison to other ethnic, racial and/or religious groups that would be.

    I didn’t read the biblical story to an atheist it has little to do with my questions.

    @Zakariya Ali Sher

    Humans are tribal, prejudiced and there with be always the other ‘out-group’ and the in-group. It always has been and will be a reality of the human condition.

  • Zakariya Ali Sher

    @ Mindy:

    Perhaps you should be asking why they spend so much time not even in spreading racism and xenophobia, but rather in trying to JUSTIFY it…

  • mindy1

    I wonder what’s going on with people-why waste energy hating??

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