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Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States


Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States

CAIR’s report “Legislating Fear: Islamophobia and its Impact in the United States” is now available. The report’s key findings are the following:

Finding 1: Subject matter experts perceive a small, but highly welcome, decline in Islamophobia in America during the period covered by this report. In 2012, CAIR rates Islamophobia as a 5.9 on a scale of one to 10, with one representing an America free of Islamophobia and 10 being the worst possible situation for Muslims. In 2010, CAIR rated the state of Islamophobia in America as a 6.4.

  • Context: The reduction makes particular sense given that the 2010 rating interviews were conducted in September and October of 2010. This period was the height of the national controversy over Park 51, aka “the Ground Zero Mosque.” The controversy’s proximity to the 2010 mid-term election made it a campaign issue. It was also right at the time of the planned burning of Qurans by Florida Pastor Terry Jones. This period in 2010 can be seen as the Islamophobia network’s greatest penetration into mainstream discourse to date.

Finding 2: The U.S.-based Islamophobia network’s inner core is currently comprised of at least 37 groups whose primary purpose is to promote prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims. An additional 32 groups whose primary purpose does not appear to include promoting prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims but whose work regularly demonstrates or supports Islamophobic themes make up the network’s outer core.

Finding 3: The inner core of the U.S.-based Islamophobia network enjoyed access to at least $119,662,719 in total revenue between 2008 and 2011. Groups in the inner core are often tightly linked. Key players in the network benefitted from large salaries as they encouraged the American public to fear Islam.

Finding 4: In 2011 and 2012, 78 bills or amendments designed to vilify Islamic religious practices were introduced in the legislatures of 29 states and the U.S. Congress. Sixty-two of these bills contained language that was extracted from David Yerushalmi’s American Laws for American Courts (ALAC) model legislation. While the bias behind the bills is clear, the presence of an actual problem that needed solved was not, even to the legislators introducing the measures. In at least 11 states, mainstream Republican leaders introduced or supported anti-Muslim legislation.

  • Update: So far this year, thirty-seven anti-Islam bills were introduced in sixteen states and became law in North Carolina and in Oklahoma. A bill was placed on the ballot for Alabama’s 2014 election-cycle. Oklahoma’s 2010 law was deemed un-Constitutional by a federal court. Between 2011-2013, anti-Islam bills have been introduced in 32 states and the U.S. Congress. Seven states currently have anti-Islam laws on the books.

Finding 5: Anti-Muslim trainers serving law enforcement and military personnel were dealt a significant blow in late 2011. The tone and content of these training sessions reflected the trainers’ personal biases more than any subject matter expertise. Multiple Federal government outlets agreed to review their training on Islam and remove biased or inaccurate materials. The continued use of such trainers by state and local entities deserves further investigation.

Finding 6: There were 51 recorded anti-mosque acts during the period covered by this report, 29 in 2012 and 22 in 2011. Two notable spikes in anti-mosque acts occurred in 2011-2012: May 2011 (7 acts), likely related to the killing of Osama bin Laden and August 2012 (10 acts), probably all in reaction to the massacre of six Sikh worshippers by a white supremacist in Oak Creek, Wis.

  • Context: In June 2010, CAIR published “CAIR: Who we are,” a review of 1,999 CAIR press releases and action alerts spanning 1994-2008. In that report we noted: “Since 1994, CAIR has detailed at least 64 acts of destruction and defilement of Islamic places of worship–including shootings, vandalism, arson, and bombings.”

Finding 7: Islamophobic rhetoric remains socially acceptable. Research released in 2011 found, “citizens are quite comfortable not only opposing [extending citizenship to legal Muslim immigrants], but also being public about that fact.”  A number of mainstream candidates for the Republican presidential nomination used Islamophobic rhetoric. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) held a series of five anti-Muslim congressional hearings, which were subjected to broad spectrum push back but also enjoyed significant support. Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) partnered with inner core leader Frank Gaffney to launch a campaign accusing Muslims in public service of infiltrating the government on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood. This last episode ended up being a very welcome example of public officials supporting Americans of the Islamic faith in a bipartisan manner.

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  • CriticalDragon1177

    True, but I think it will be easier to change those minds with the law on our side.

  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad

    The easy part of reversing bigotry is changing the law, the hardest part is changing the mind.

  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad


    The bad thing is, they die but a whole lot of innocent people die before they do.

    We don’t have to look very far back in history to find examples. That is if we see all human beings as equal.

  • Nur Alia binti Ahmad

    The finding that wasn’t mentioned is the finding that would destroy any American who tells the truth about the whole campaign against Islam, by connecting the many organizations that make up the anti Islam rhetoric to its ONE SOURSE and ONE agenda.

    We all know what it is too. We wont say it.

  • Jekyll

    Well chap I am in agreement with you on that the US Supreme Court does play on precedent, but terms like “side of tolerance and human decency” are malleable and open to different interpretations.

    I will not argue DOMA here as I made my views conspicuously clear elsewhere, but far as marriage is concerned the bloody
    institution is joke to begin with in the West, so personally I do not care if people want to marry their own dogs. The absurdity of “holy
    matrimony” is quite honestly bullshit.

    The founding fathers were more interested in protecting their own property and political
    power than anything else (Federalist Papers, An Economic Interpretation of the Constitution). The idea that the Second Amendment armed the people is ridiculous and likewise of
    Separation church and state [in my opinion] was to “opiate” the masses with religion so they would stay the hell out of the
    politicking sphere.

    What is the real purpose of America ? aside from Many Hall’s interpretation? No other nation has risen to the top so quickly as the US (perhaps second only to Israel). And of course we do live in a Post American World (i.e. Russia, China and very soon India). The US has three ultimate weapons. The most powerful and agile military force in human history [‘shut the fuck up or we’ll just bomb you’], the complete and utter domination of the world’s monetary and economic policies (IMF, WTO, WB, all really American piss pots) and the last and most lethal weapon “Hollywood Cultural” [everybody knows American film stars and have Mcdonald’s
    and Starbucks pop up on their streets.
    Alternative lifestyles, disrespect of parents, the obstruction of the nuclear family, etc, etc all are by products of the third weapon).

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Actually yes you can. We can objectively say for example that the religious right’s reading of the constitution’s first amendment that does not include the separation of Church and State is wrong. Read what the founding father’s wrote and look at the meaning of the words they used at the time.

    I don’t want to go into it right now, but I would argue that DOMA actually was unconstitutional. The arguments against it were on pretty solid constitutional grounds. I also don’t see why gay people shouldn’t be allowed to marry.

    Also if you’re going to pass discriminatory laws against Muslims in the US, the time to do so is now. With level of anti Muslim bigotry slowly declining in the country, its going to get harder and harder to do so. In the meantime the supreme court has struck a major blow to the efforts of the “counter jihad” by striking such anti sharia laws down. If the county as a whole is slowly getting less and less Islamophobic, not only will it get harder and harder to get people in office who would pass such bigoted anti Muslim laws, but they’ll be more and more likely to be struck down by the courts, now that the precedent has been set that these laws are unconstitutional.

    The supreme court, largely operates on precedent, which was one of the reasons why it took so long for Plessy VS Fergusions to finally be overturned. Most of the time, judges don’t just make legal decisions on a whim. This time however, the court took the side of tolerance and human decency from the get go. Its going to be very difficult for anti Muslim bigots to radically change the makeup of the court, especially if as stated in this article, the level of Islamophobia in the country is slowly declining.

  • Jekyll

    The Supreme Court did not do it’s job ? Well is it doing it now by striking DOMA ? As someone who had a very optimistic interest in American History, the whole ‘checks and balances’ is really turning out to be a fairytale.
    Who is to say whether the court interpreted case correctly or not ? Sure Jim Crow laws were “illegal”, but interpretations are just that, interpretations One really can’t say they were wrong.

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Also, actually even back than it was seen as racist, but back than most people in our country didn’t see racism as inherently bad, like they do today.

  • Talking_fish_head

    From idiots willing to pay every penny to reinforce their bigoted views and from people who just plain hate anyone who isn’t a White Angelo-Saxon Protestant

  • CriticalDragon1177

    The supreme court simply didn’t didn’t do its job back than. Jim Crow Laws were never really constitutional. The earlier supreme court ruling was interpreted the fourteenth amendment incorrectly. It wasn’t the Constitution that allowed “Separate but Equal” but a bad ruling by the court, that would eventually be overturned on solid constitutional grounds by a better ruling that more accurately reflected the meaning of the 14th amendment, and intent of the people who wrote it.

  • thegreenmantle

    So its 120million Thats a lot of money .
    WHERE IS IT COMING FROM!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    It freaks me out that people are not asking the important questions . Gun control lobby, global warming , big pharma , tobbaco companies and ……( fill in your own department of evil ) all spend lots of money to get you to buy/use their products at inflated prices / poison your mind/ stifle debate .
    So many people never question the whole scam.
    Come on folks wake up!
    Sir David

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  • CriticalDragon1177

    There’s already been violence, including but not limited to the mass murder committed by Anders Brevik. Lets hope there isn’t a lot more. Besides the bigots have already lost every single court case so far.

    You could argue that the biggest turning point in the civil rights movement in the United States was Brown VS Board of Education, where the supreme court finally started to do its job, and over throw the clearly unconstitutional and just segregation laws we once had in much of the country.

    Its doubtful that the civil rights movement would have been very successful if not for that court ruling, everything in the south might still be segregated along racial lines.

  • CriticalDragon1177

    Also, I hope it will start to gain momentum, I want to live to see the day, that the anti Muslim “counter Jihad” is no longer a viable movement.

  • mindy1

    The decline will hopefully be slow, but steady-movements like this die slowly, but they do die.

  • CriticalDragon1177


    For the most part this is pretty bad news. I’m glad to hear through that there’s been a small decline in the overall level of Islamophobia in the country according to the report.

    I’m also glad the supreme court has done its job and over threw many of the Anti Muslim laws for the unconstitutional acts that they are.

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