'Islamophobia fruit of US hate rhetoric'
Tue Aug 31, 2010 8:13AM
A Muslim group ties climbing Islamophobia in the US to hate rhetoric by politicians.
The growing phenomenon of Islamophobia in the US is the 'poisonous fruit' of hate rhetoric generated by controversy over the NY Islamic Center, says the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
The number of hate crimes against American Muslims is increasing by the day, especially since the announcement of plans to build a mosque and an Islamic Center in Manhattan, New York.
On August 22, around 1,000 people demonstrated at Park Place in New York against plans to construct an Islamic center two blocks from Ground Zero, where the Twin Towers used to stand prior to the September 11 attacks.
There have also been reports of suspicious fires at two mosques in Tennessee and Florida, one of which the FBI is investigating as a hate crime, says CAIR spokesman Ibrahim Hooper.
"We have seen hate vandalism at two mosques in California, we have seen now an arson attack on a mosque in Tennessee, so I think we are starting to see the poison fruits of this hate rhetoric that was generated by this Manhattan controversy," Hooper says.
According to Hooper, the rise in anti-Islam incidents in the US stems from a combination of factors, though it is mainly the right wing politicians that are "stoking the fires of hate" against Muslims.
"The very right wing Republicans have obviously decided that Muslim-bashing is a winning political strategy, also you are seeing a little push back from the left. It seems the Democrats are not willing to take this on as an issue."
Adding fuel to the fire were announcement of plans by an evangelical Church to burn Islam's holy book of Quran on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist incidents in a supposed effort to commemorate victims and take a stand against Islam.
Human Rights Lawyer Paul Wolf says, "The country is in a crisis now, the economy is bad…we are losing two wars, a lot of people are unemployed," leading Americans to take their anger out on "minorities."