WASHINGTON — A civil rights group for American Muslims says Islamophobia, or anti-Muslim propaganda, is no longer on the fringe of American society but becoming mainstream.
In talking about its Confronting Fear report, national director of the Council for American-Islamic relations, Nihad Awad pointed to rising instances of hate crimes and vandalism at mosques. He said the discriminatory policies suggested by mainstream political figures, like Ted Cruz and Donald Trump, only have added fuel to the fire.
“Political candidates such as Donald Trump have suggested unconstitutional policies such as banning Muslims from the U.S., profiling American Muslims just because of their faith, creating databases of American Muslims, which reminds me of what happened to the Jews in Europe,” he said referring to the Holocaust.
Awad wants U.S. leaders to embrace the tenets the country was founded on and reject all forms of extremism and hate.
“Some organize anti-Islam legislation in cities and states across the nation,” Awad said.
The report identifies 33 core groups that exist primarily to promote and fund anti-Islamic discrimination in society. A second tier includes organizations that have taken stances against Muslim interests, but it is not their primary purpose.
Researchers looked at more than 80 pieces of state and national legislation, 500 federal tax filings and 2,500 media articles spanning two years to identify the core groups.
CAIR’s Corey Saylor worked with the University of California Berkeley Center for Race and Gender to compile the detailed report.
“Islamaphobic hate is the exact same as anti-Semitism, white supremacist hate,” Saylor said.
Some of the groups named at the core of U.S. Islamophobia are:
- Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI)
- Investigative Project on Terrorism
- ACT! For America
- Center for Security Policy
- Abstraction Fund
- Clarion Project
- Florida Family Association
- David Horowitz Freedom Center
- Straight Way of Grace Ministry
- Middle East Forum
- Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporrting (CAMERA)
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