Wednesday 29 June 2011

Islamophobia on the rise in US, report says

Dubai: In the middle of a Minnesota winter, Muslim schoolchildren are routinely left to freeze on the roadside by a bus driver. When the pupils do make it to school, their teacher hands out an air freshener, telling the class to spray as the Muslim children walk in.

In Arizona, two men are taken off a US Airways flight and questioned after a passenger hears them speaking a foreign language.

And in Michigan, a Nigerian man is removed from a plane when other passengers say he spent too much time in the plane's toilet. He is simply ill.

Everyday incidents

These are just everyday incidents of anti-Muslim actions detailed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in a major study on Islamophobia in the United States released last night in Washington. Gulf News obtained an advance copy of the report.

The study says that Islamophobia has actually increased since the election of President Barack Obama, with right-wing Republicans feeding on anti-Muslim sentiments and fears over Sharia law.

American values

According to the report, some 45 per cent of respondents said they believe Islam is contrary to American values.

A Muslim police officer said: "On 9/11, I responded to Ground Zero with some of my colleagues and as we were being driven to the site, we saw many people lined up on both sides of the road with signs cheering and thanking us. ... Now it is 2010 and I dare not go anywhere near Ground Zero with the fear of being attacked because I am a Muslim."


1 comment:

  1. The first example about the air freshener, assuming it's true, is disgusting. The second is very difficult to believe. At an airport (at least an international one), you are likely to hear many languages. It seems unlikely that a foreign language alone would be responsible for security singling one out.
    I don't support anything that would hurt people. I would never countenance vandalizing a person's home or spraying air freshener after kids from Muslim families. However, there are many incidents in which what you might call "Islamophobia" I might call "a bite of a reality sandwich." For example, it's true that in some Muslim countries, women and girls are forced to wear birkas or veils. That's not "Muslim-bashing." It's accurate.