The Islamophobic Attempt to Marginalize American Muslim Civic Participation - updated 9/6/12
Posted Sep 6, 2012

The Islamophobic Attempt to Marginalize American Muslim Civic Participation

by Sheila Musaji


The Islamophobia echo chamber seems to have reached some sort of critical mass.  The attempt to marginalize American Muslims and to characterize them as “the other” has become relentless.

ANTI-MOSQUE incidents have become commonplace, including incidents of arson, shootings, firebombing, driving trucks into mosque buildings, etc. and bigoted objections to local mosques being built or expanded. 

An ANTI-SHARIA MANIA is sweeping states across the country, instigated primarily by David Yerushalmi, Frank Gaffney, and other members of the Islamophobia industry, and promoted by elected members of Congress and the Senate who rely on the Islamophobes as “experts”.  These Islamophobes produce ridiculous reports like the Mapping Sharia projects Sharia a threat to America report and Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques report that somehow are taken seriously.  The GOP included an anti-Sharia plank in their platform adopted at the 2012 convention.  The anti-Sharia movement may have unintended consequences for other minority communities.

These same Islamophobes have been behind anti-Muslim COUNTER-TERRORISM TRAINING PROGRAMS for law enforcement, and for the U.S. Military

There was the series of RADICALIZATION HEARINGS by Rep. Peter King.  Our article Answers to Peter King’s Claims About the American Muslim Community responds to the claims made, and refers to a series of articles about these hearings.  

There was the NYPD/CIA domestic surveillance of Muslims and Arabs scandal

There was the SMEAR CAMPAIGN instigated by Michele Bachmann, Trent Franks, Louie Gohmert, Thomas Rooney and Lynn Westmoreland, who sent letters to the inspectors general of five government agencies responsible for national security to demand they investigate infiltration by the Muslim Brotherhood into the highest reaches of the federal government.  We discuss their charges, the Islamophobic source of their information, and the implications of such smear campaigns in the article Michele Bachmann Ups the Ante in the GOP War on American Muslims.  In that article, I said

It really does seem as if the GOP has declared war on American Muslims, and that even those in the GOP who are not actively participating in Islamophobia have been silent.  The list of elected representatives who have questioned Islamophobia includes almost no one from the GOP.  Gov. Christie and Susan Collins, (R-Maine), and now Sen. John McCain are notable exceptions.

Elected representatives and military and government officials have openly called for acts like:  purging Muslims from the military or requiring Muslim soldiers to be openly identified as Muslims, considering excluding Muslims from the protection of the First Amendment of the Constitution, requiring a special “loyalty test” for Muslims to serve in government, excluding Muslims from entering some States of the U.S., declaring war on the religion of Islam?  Can you imagine making such statements involving any other minority?

This process of making hatred towards Islam and Muslims acceptable has been aided, sadly, by the fact that such statements have even been made by Jewish and Christian clergy people.  Islamophobic statements are also becoming the norm in the political arena, in political campaigns, and even among our elected government representatives, and military leaders.  The 2008 Presidential campaign was rife with Islamophobia.

This is possible because the American Muslim community has been so successfully demonized by the anti-Muslim/anti-Arab Islamophobia Industry that the attitudes of Americans towards Muslims and Arabs have shown a steady negative trend.  Because elected representatives, government officials and even clergy have also gone unchallenged when making anti-Muslim statements, Islamophobia itself seems “reasonable” and has become mainstream.  Many polls and reports document this increase in negative attitudes.  James Zogby of the AAI in the article US hate campaigns against Muslims and Arabs show results discusses at length, the results of the most recent poll.  Here is the introduction to that article:

It is one thing for US voters to be deeply divided on issues such as health care, taxes and the role of government. These are matters of political philosophy that can and should be debated. But the depth of the partisan, generational and racial divide on attitudes towards Arabs and Muslims is frightening because the values Americans claim are central to their definition as a society are at stake.

A new JZ Analytics poll reveals that Arabs, Muslims, Arab Americans and American Muslims have the highest overall unfavourable ratings of all the ethnic and religious groups covered in the survey. The poll, conducted for the Arab American Institute, found that while more than seven in 10 US voters had favourable attitudes toward the main Protestant denominations, Catholics and Jews, less than five in 10 were positively inclined towards Arabs, Muslims, Arab Americans and American Muslims. In fact, Muslims were the only religious group to receive a net unfavourable rating, with a score of 40 per cent favourable to 41 per cent unfavourable.

And, here is the conclusion to that article:

It is striking to compare this year’s poll results with those of earlier years. Since most Americans still do not know the difference between an “Arab” and a “Muslim”, the favourable / unfavourable ratings given to both communities continue to closely track one another. Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the September 11 attacks are not the cause of these negative attitudes.

Attitudes toward both communities were actually better in 2003 and they held steady until 2010 when the organised campaign of incitement against Muslims reached a climax with the anti-Park 51 campaign. That year was the turning point in which we recorded the lowest favourable attitudes toward both communities. Ratings have moved slightly upwards since then, but are still below what they were in 2003.

The lesson is as clear as it is dangerous. Left unchecked, those who prey on ignorance and fear to spread hatred, and those who sow the seeds of division and intolerance, threaten to tear apart the fabric of the nation and compromise the values of openness and inclusion that have made America united and strong.

Purveyors of intolerance also put at risk the rights of Americans as full and equal citizens without fear of discrimination.

Any Muslim or Arab who is foolish enough to want to actually participate as equal citizens in active community service, or any non-Muslim who treats Muslims or Arabs as equal citizens is certain to come under attack.  It doesn’t matter that there are very few Muslims who hold influential positions, as far as the Islamophobes are concerned, the sum total of Muslims who should be allowed to participate in society should be firmly kept to ZERO.  Any number higher than that is a danger to the country.  The members of the Islamophobia Industry, joined by far too many of our elected representatives are vigilant and notice any instance of Muslims forgetting that they are expected to be second-class citizens.

Consider the following examples of this demonization which seems to represent a clear pattern of open and even institutionalized Islamophobia that goes for the most part unchallenged. 

If a Muslim or Arab runs for political office, or even wants to get involved in their local community, or establish any sort of institution, they are demonized.  Outrageous charges of “creeping Sharia prononent”,  “stealth jihadist”, “Muslim Brotherhood plant”, etc. are made by Islamophobes. 

Here are just a few examples of such attacks:

Huma Abedin has been facing bigoted accusations for at least the past year.  — Sh. Muhammad Nur Abdullah was listed as a “stealth jihadist” on the Discover the Networks site for nothing more than being President of ISNA and a member of the FCNA.  — Imam Johari Abdul-Malik was attacked when he was asked to lead the prayer in the Virginia Legislature.— Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was attacked for wanting to built a Muslim community center in Manhattan — Ambassador Akbar Ahmed was attacked for the statement that “America’s Founding Fathers admired Islam”, this was called “an attempt to “Islamize” Americans’ “knowledge” of the origin of their nation.” — Parvez Ahmed’s appointment to the Jacksonville, Florida Human Rights Commission was strongly opposed. — Frank Gaffney’s CSP is pressuring the Gov. of Tennessee to fire Samar Ali from the position of Director of the Economic and Community Development Dept.   — Wajahat Ali was attacked because he was in the MSA in college — Arif Alikhan, the deputy mayor of Los Angeles, was attacked when he was appointed Assistant Secretary for Policy Development at the Department of Homeland Security because he had spoken at an MPAC convention. —  Salam al-Marayati was listed as a “stealth jihadist” on the Discover the Networks site for being President of MPAC.— Debbie Almontaser was attacked when she attempted to establish an Arabic language school in NYC.  — Mazen Asbahi was forced to resign as Obama’s Muslim Outreach Coordinator to avoid further disruption to the office.  — Reza Aslan was attacked by Robert Spencer for speaking out against Islamophobia.  — Laleh Bakhtiar was accused of “lying” in her Qur’an translation — Rep. Andre Carson was recently embroiled in a manufactured controversy.   — Halim Dhanidina, who spent 14 years as a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney, was appointed to a California Superior Court judgeship by Gov. Jerry Brown, he was attacked for having been in the MSA as a student.  — Mohamed Elibiary, a member of DHS’s Combatting Violent Extremism Working Group (CVE). — Khaled Abou El Fadl was attacked by Daniel Pipes as a “stealth Islamist” — Rep. Keith Ellison has faced numerous assaults.  — Rima Fakih was attacked simply for winning the Miss USA Beauty Pageant.— The Fiqh Council of North America fatwa against terrorism was attacked for not defining “civilians”.  — Faisal Gill, a former JAG officer in the Navy and a Bush White House official accused of terrorist connections when he attempted to get involved in local politics.  — Nezar Hamze was rejected for a position in the Broward County Republican Committee because “Islam is incompatible with the Constitution.” — Mehdi Hasan was attacked when he was hired as a Huffington Post Editor. — Rashad Hussein when appointed as special envoy to the OIC.  — Even Zuhdi Jasser, Rep. Peter King’s “ideal Muslim leader” has been accused of practicing taqqiya.— Zaid Jilani was attacked and lost his job over spurious “anti-Semitism” charges. — Rashid Khalidi was attacked for defending the right of Palestinians to resist the occupation.  — Suhail Khan was accused of being a Muslim Brotherhood operative “infiltrating” CPAC.  — Farhana Khera of Muslim Advocates was attacked for giving Muslims common legal advice. — Imam Mohamed Magid, attacked for being President of ISNA.  — Irshad Manji another of the Islamophobes “good” Muslims was attacked by Pamela Geller for distinguishing between “radical” and “moderate” Islam.— Prof. Ingrid Mattson, the first female President of ISNA for being included in Inaugural Prayer Service.— Dalia Mogahed was attached when she was appointed to the White House’s Office of Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.  — Sohail Mohammed faced baseless attacks when he was nominated as a judge on the NJ state Superior Court by Gov. Christie. — Muslim interns on capital hill were accused of “infiltrating” and there were calls for an investigation. — Muslim staffers on capital hill met for prayer and there was a call for a Justice Dept. investigation.  — The comedian Dean Obeidallah was called an “Islamic supremacist hate propagandist”  — Dr. Mehmet Oz was attacked for being a “Muslim Turk, the worst scum of the earth”— Eboo Patel  was called an “Islamic supremacist” for calling for a boycott of Lowe’s for dropping advertising for All-American Muslim under bigoted pressure — Farah Pandith was attacked as “working for the cause of Islam, not America” when she was appointed by Hillary Clinton as Special Rep. to Muslim Communities — Imam Hasan Qazwini was attacked for his opposition to an AFDI/SIOA hate group event in Dearborn. — David Ramadan, a Muslim GOP candidate in a Virginia House of Delegates race and Reagan administration Attorney General and Ronald Reagan Chair in Public Policy at the Heritage Foundation was called a “stealth jihadist” by Pamela Geller.  — Ahmed Rehab faced bigotry when he was appointed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as part of an advisory committee on immigration issues.   — Faiz Shakir was attacked when Nancy Pelosi hired him as Director of Media in her office.  — Imam Muzammil Siddiqui attacked by SIOA when the Human Rights Commission honored him with an award.  — Imam Hamza Yusuf and Imam Zaid Shakir were attacked for founding Zaytuna Institute which Pamela Geller called “academic jihad”  — Fareed Zakaria was attacked as a “Muslim Brother” because his father was an Islamic scholar. 

I can’t think of an active Muslim, or a Muslim organization, that has not been attacked, and that includes Imams, journalists, community activists, scholars, educators, politicians, etc..  In fact, you don’t even need to be a famous individual to come under attack, just a Muslim.  For example, I have personally been the subject of many such attacks for pointing out instances of Islamophobia.  The only Muslim that I can think of that is regularly (although not universally) praised by Islamophobes is Zuhdi Jasser who Rep. Peter King calls the ideal Muslim leader, and a few other “astroturf” Muslims

Muslims or Arabs don’t need to attempt to engage in the public square in order to be demonized.  Here are just a few examples of the open bigotry shown towards Muslims or Arabs doing just about anything at all in the greater society:

— An Eid Celebration for Muslim Special Needs Kids was described as a “stealth jihad”.  — A Muslim doctor had a heart attack and died at the wheel of his car which then crashed into a shopping mall and this was described as “vehicular jihad”.  — A Muslim cab driver objected to what he considered pornographic ads on the roof of his cab, and that became a stealth-jihad plot to impose Sharia on America.  — Any Muslim who has sued an employer for violation of their rights under the EEOC is engaged in employment jihad, or litigation jihad.  — Muslim environmentalists are said to be actually engaged in “civilizational jihad”.  — A cartoon series “The 99” aimed at young Muslims was described as “cultural jihad”. — The victims of the terrorist attack of 9/11 included Muslims, they were accused of dying as martyrs in an act of jihad.  Muslims hoped to open a Muslim hospital in the U.S. and that was called hospital jihad. — A Muslim Family Day Eid celebration at Six Flags was attacked because the date of Eid that year fell to close to 9/11. —A Muslim Prayer event in front of the U.S. Capital was opposed as an example of “Islamization of America”?

The Islamophobes have uncovered countless examples of “shocking” Muslim jihad plots.  They have uncovered:

bumper sticker jihadThanksgiving turkey jihadpaisley scarf jihadmarriage to important men jihadspit jihad —  fashion jihadspelling bee jihadrape jihaddefacing dollar bills jihadpopulation jihadcreeping Sharia jihad —  mosque building jihadterror baby jihad“creeping Sharia” jihadpedophilia jihadbus driver prayer jihadforehead bruise jihadpostage stamp jihadsoup jihad —  banning alcohol jihadfake hate crimes jihadpiggy bank jihadtv reality series jihadhandshake jihadprom jihadinterfaith jihadArabic language jihadpublic school jihadreligious accommodation jihadCrescent moon jihadChristmas tree tax jihadoath of office jihadimmigration jihad community fundraiser jihadpublic school/madrassa jihadpost office jihadfood jihadpyramid jihadcrucifixion jihadfireworks jihadcomputer donation jihadcivic participation jihadOlympic “judo” jihad 

Nothing is too trivial to escape the eagle eyes of these “defenders of Western civilization” against devious Muslim stealth jihad plots.  Christina Abraham (a Muslim) has a name that is not recognizably Muslim enough and so we have stealth name jihad. And, if a Muslim somewhere is not doing anything at all suspicious, then they are engaged in pre-violent jihad.

You don’t even have to be a Muslim or Arab to come under attack by the Islamophobes.  Non-Muslims only need to treat Muslims the same as they would any other citizen to be attacked.  The constant demonization of Muslims doing anything at all outside of the Muslim community, or of non-Muslims who accept Muslims as equal citizens and participants in American society extends to just about any situation:

BUSINESSESBest Buy was attacked for an ad that included a small bubble wishing Happy Eid to Muslim customers. — Butterball Turkey was attacked for selling halal Thanksgiving turkeys —Campbell’s soup was attacked for offering halal soup certified by ISNA-Canada —Google Corp. was attacked for having an “Islamic” crescent in one of their logos. — Lowe’s, and other advertizers were attacked for advertising on TLC’s All-American Muslim program. — Whole Foods was accused of “whoring itself out to Islam” for offering halal foods during Ramadan

JOURNALISTS AND NEWSPAPERS Christiane Amanpour was accused of “enthusiastically fronting for the Islamic supremacists and dissemblers” for her program on Islam in America (and it didn’t help that she is half Iranian).  —Spencer Ackerman was called “the tool of the jihadis” for exposing problems with training on Islam — Bradley Burston was called “a pox on our people” and a “judenrat greasing the wheels of the genocidal machinery” by Pamela Geller for publishing an article critical of her views. — Jeffrey Goldberg was attacked as a “jihadist sympathizer” for writing a negative review of a book by Pamela Geller claiming the “Islamization of America”. — The Israeli paper Haaretz called “viciously anti-Israel newspaper” by Pamela Geller for publishing an article critical of her views.  - The Knoxville News Sentinel was attacked for publishing a children’s page in a newspaper focusing on Eid which was described as a “toxic propaganda plot”. — The Los Angeles Times accused of repeating “Islamic supremacist talking points” in its coverage of the cancellation of a Geller speech. — Jonah Lowenfeld of the Jewish Journal attacked for calling Pamela Geller an “anti-Muslim activist”. — The New York Times accused of dhimmitude for refusing to print one of Stop the Islamization of America’s (SIOA) anti-Islam ads —Philip Weiss was called a Jewicidal kapo for an article pointing out Pamela Geller’s Islamophobia. — Andrew Rosenthal of the NYT was called a dhimmi for an article critical of NYPD spying program. — Diane Sawyer of 20/20 was accused of “proselytizing for Islam” and “advancing a fallacious Islamic supremacist narrative” on a program on Islam. — Max Blumenthal was called a “kapo” and “notorious Jew hater” for an article critical of Pamela Geller. — The Washington Post was called a “dhimmi” press and the “enemedia” and accused of “enforcing Sharia” for not running a SIOA anti-Muslim ad. 

LEADERS & POLITICIANSMayor Bloomberg called a dhimmi for supporting the construction of a local mosque.  — John Boehner was attacked for allowing Imam Nayyar Imam to give the prayer invocation in Congress. — When Herman Cain met with Imam Magid of ISNA and other Muslim leaders to apologize for some anti-Muslim statements, Gaffney objected and accused Cain of meeting with Muslim Brotherhood operatives.  — Judge James Cacheris attacked for granting citizenship to a Muslim who had been accused of affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood (after checking the facts and finding the charges false). —  Gov. Chris Christie was accused of “abetting treason” for appointing a Muslim.  — Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana was attacked for accepting an award from the Arab American Institute. — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel criticized for appointing Ahmed Rehab to the mayor’s New Americans Advisory Committee. — GOP Presidential Candidates were asked by Frank Gaffney to sign a “pledge” or loyalty oath against Sharia.  and they were attacked for refusing to sign. — A tea party group is demanding some sort of action against Gov. Bill Haslam of Tennessee for appointing Samar Ali to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. — Karen Hughes, the undersecretary of state for public diplomacy was attacked for attending an ISNA conference. —  Valerie Jarrett was attacked for attending an ISNA convention, and for being born in Iran (to American parents). — Elena Kagan was accused of “enabling efforts to insinuate” Shariah law in the United States.  — State Sen. Ted Lieu of CA called a “dhimmi” for objecting to attack on the TLC program “All-American Muslim” — The Mayor of Redmond, WA, John Marchione,  called a “dhimmi” and an “Islamopanderer” for accepting an award from CAIR. — FBI Director Robert Mueller called a “slave to Islam” for investigation into anti-Muslim training materials.  — Janet Napolitano attacked for defending Mohamed Elibiari — Gaffney claimed that Grover Norquist “is helping the Muslim Brotherhood infiltrate the conservative movement”. — Gaffney called President Obama “America’s first Muslim president”, and claimed that President Obama is advancing Sharia Law and the ‘Radical Homosexual Agenda’ in the Military, and said that Obama’s respect for Muslims is a secret code telling “those who adhere to Sharia [Muslims] that we will submit to Sharia.”  — Pres. Obama was also criticized for holding a White House Iftar. — Nancy Pelosi was attacked for hiring Faiz Shakir. — Gov. Rick Perry was attacked by Islamophobes simply for his friendship with the Aga Khan and not being anti-Muslim enough.  — Gov. Perry was also called an “Islamo-panderer” for not being opposed to the Cordoba House/Park 51 project.  — Gen. David Petraeus was accused of of “submission to Sharia law”.  — Colin Powell was attacked for defending Muslims when he said “And what if he is? Is there something wrong with being a Muslim in this country?” — “Marco Rubio, John McCain, and John Boehner were attacked as “Islamo-pandering Republi-dhimmis” for their denunciation of Michele Bachmann’s charges. — Peter Swiderski, mayor of the village of Hastings-on-Hudson, New York called a dhimmi for opposition to SIOA anti-Muslim ads — State Sen. Dave Thompson of MN called a dhimmi for pulling a proposed anti-Sharia bill.

ORGANIZATIONS — The Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts were attacked for having Muslim badges and an Islamic Scouting group. — Frank Gaffney claimed that the Center for American Progress was part of ‘red-green axis’ with Muslim Brotherhood.  — The Children’s Museum of Manhattan was attacked for an exhibit on the cultural heritage of the Muslim world.
Metropolitan Museum of Art accused of “whitewashing Islam” and “passing off stolen intellectual property as Islamic” in exhibit on Islamic Art Treasures. — National Geographic accused of promoting “Islamist propaganda” in a “fabricated exhibit” that “presents myths as fact” for 1001 Muslim Inventions Exhibit. — NYC Transit Authority accused if “Sharia enforcement” in accordance with Islamic “blasphemy laws”  for stating that they will review their policies on posting of political ads. — Gaffney called the U.S. Missile Defense Agency Logo “evidence of Obama’s ‘Submission To Shariah’.” — The U.S. Post Office was accused of selling a “terrorist stamp” when it issued a Muslim holiday Eid stamp — The U.S. Dept. of Defense, Dept. of State, and Dept. of Justice were accused of having been “infiltrated” by “Islamic supremacist groups and their operatives” — YMCA of San Diego was accused of “enforcing Sharia” for adding an additional time for women only swimming (paid for by the swimmers)

RELIGIOUS & INTERFAITH LEADERS & ORGANIZATIONSKaren Armstrong was attacked by Robert Spencer for speaking at ISNA. — Auburn Seminary and its Center for Multifaith Education, Interfaith Center of New York, Intersections International, Odyssey Networks, Quest, and The Tanenbaum Center and its Religion and Diversity Education Program were accused of being part of a “leftist/Islamic machine”, and setting up “Goebbels-style propaganda websites” producing “jihadist propaganda” by Pamela Geller for an interfaith 9/11 program promoting healing and reconciliation. — The ADL Interfaith Coalition on Mosques was called a “dhimmi-Jew stunt” which was “kowtowing to the Islamic Jihad”. — Abraham Foxman of the ADL was called a “dhimmi Jew” “kowtowing to the Islamic jihad”. — Any Jew who suports, organizes, or fund raises for Pres. Obama was accused of being like Jews who had a gathering in 1933 Berlin in which uniformed Nazis participated. — J Street accused of being “Jewicidal” and “traitors and JINOs” “masquerading as a Jewish organization” for its positions on Israeli policy and the Palestinian issue. — The Los Angeles Jewish Federation were called “Dhimmi Jews” and “Jewicidal, JINOs” by Pamela Geller for not allowing her speak at their offices. — The Pope was accused of “engaging in dawah” for expressing respect for Islam — Cardinal McCarrick was attacked for his friendship with Imam Mohamed Magid — Rabbi Marc Schneier called a “dhimmi Rabbi” for his involvement in Jewish/Muslim dialogue. — The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops was attacked for signing an interfaith letter on anti-Muslim prejudice. —  Rabbi Shmuly Yanklowitz was attacked for writing an article against the anti-Sharia movement.  He was accused of “doing the bidding of Islamic supremacist Sharia” and an “enemy” of the Jewish people. 

TELEVISION & RADIO PERSONALITIES AND PROGRAMS — Conservative personalities Michelle Malkin, Matt Drudge, Rush Limbaugh, Kathryn Lopez of National Review, Mark Levin, Michael Savage were all accused by Pamela Geller of “sanctioning the jihad and sharia” for not being vocally anti-Muslim enough. — The Family Feud television game show was attacked for simply having a Muslim family compete. — The Learning Channel (TLC) was accused of engaging in a “cultural jihad” for running a reality program featuring ordinary Muslims. — Dr. Phil McGraw was called an “Islamo-panderer” for being sympathetic to Muslim guests. — Rachel Ray accused of being unpatriotic and supporting terrorists for wearing a floral paisley scarf in a Dunkin Donuts ad. — Jon Stewart called a “judenrat” for his defense of Muslims and condemnation of Islamophobia.— Donald Trump was called a “dhimmi” over a Muslim beauty contest winner. — Oprah Winfrey was attacked when she aired a program on Islam

The RNC and DNC conventions for the 2012 election are winding down.  The article Muslims not included in DNC or RNC official events discusses the fact that Greek Orthodox, Evangelical Protestant, African Methodist Episcopal, Jewish, Roman Catholic, Sikh, and Mormon clergy were included in the official programs of the DNC and the RNC.  That is more diversity than we have seen in the past, and a good thing.  However, Muslims and Arabs are glaringly absent from this list.

While Muslim and Arab delegates may have been on the floor, none were visible officially or on the stage.  Although the Islamophobia echo chamber was hysterical about a Muslim Jumah prayer being part of the DNC, the reality was that it was an event in a local park arranged by a group called BIMA four days before the DNC began, and was never any part of the official program.  See Islamophobes discover “DNC Muslim Prayer Jihad”? for a complete discussion of this event.

There is an Islamophobia Industry working full time to demonize and marginalize American Muslims.  CRITICAL REPORTS ON THE ISLAMOPHOBIA INDUSTRY

— The ACLU reports:  Blocking faith, freezing charity: Chilling Muslim charitable giving  and Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System 5/2011 — ADL report Anti-Muslim bigotry since 9/11 — The Bureau of International Information Programs report Muslims in America: A Statistical Portrait  — The CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations) reports: Western Muslim Minorities: Integration and Disenfranchisement; The status of Muslim civil rights in the U.S. 2009: Seeking Full Inclusion;   The Mosque in America: A national portrait; and CAIR and the University of California, Berkeley’s Center for Race and Gender (CRG) report Same Hate, New Target:  Islamophobia and its impact in the United States   — The Center for American Progress (CAP) reports: Understanding Sharia Law:  Conservatives’ Skewed Interpretation Needs Debunking, by Wajahat Ali and Matthew Duss and FEAR INC.: The roots of the Islamophobia network in America.  The key researchers for this report were Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir.  The report itself is the result of a six month investigative project, and is 132 pages in length. Article about the report, with article collection here  — Communique Partners report Western Perception of Islam and MuslimsHope Not Hate Campaign report Counter-Jihad’ Movement profiles over 100 individuals who are central to the international anti-Muslim network. — The Institute for Social Policy and Understanding published A Portion of the People: Islam in a ‘Christian’ AmericaMAPOS The Muslim American public opinion survey by Matt A. Barreto, University of Washington and Karam Dana, Harvard University — MPAC report COUNTERPRODUCTIVE COUNTERTERRORISM: HOW ANTI-MUSLIM BIAS IS UNDERMINING AMERICA’s HOMELAND SECURITY  — New York Civil Liberties Union (NYCLU) White Paper Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State charts rising anti-Muslim trends.  — People for the American Way (PFAW) report The Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism  which discusses strategies used. — Political Research Associates report MANUFACTURING THE MUSLIM MENACE: PRIVATE FIRMS, PUBLIC SERVANTS, AND THE THREAT TO RIGHTS AND SECURITY  — Political Research Associates report Toxic to Democracy: Conspiracy Theories, Demonization, & Scapegoating by Chip Berlet. — SPLC reports: Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle by Robert Steinback in their Summer 2011 Intelligence Report

The same individuals and organizations are named over and over again.  Here is a summary from some of those reports:

The CAP Fear, Inc. report includes:  Funders - Donors Capital Fund; Richard Mellon Scaife Foundation;  Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation; Newton and Rochelle Becker Foundation and Newton and Rochelle Becker Charitable Trust;  Russell Berrie Foundation,  Anchorage Charitable Fund and William Rosenwald Family Fund; Fairbrook Foundation.  Misinformation Experts - • Frank Gaffney at the Center for Security Policy;  • David Yerushalmi at the Society of Americans for National Existence;  • Daniel Pipes at the Middle East Forum • Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch and Stop Islamization of America;  • Steven Emerson of the Investigative Project on Terrorism.

The Hope Not Hate report lists 100 key players.  Their top 12 players include:  Europe - Anders Gravers, Lars Hedegaard, Peder Nostvold Jensen, Stephen Lennon, Ann Marchini, Geert Wilders.  U.S. - Christine Brim, Brigitte Gabriel, Pamela Geller, David Horowitz, Robert Spencer, David Yerushalmi.

The Political Research Associates report includes:  Trainers, Instructors, and Speakers - Mark A. Gabriel, David Gaubatz, Walid Phares, Clare M. Lopez, Tawfik Hamid, Stephen Coughlin, Nonie Darwish, Det. Ebrahim Ashabi, Walid Shoebat.  The Industry - International Counter Terrorism Officers Assoc. (ICTOA), Security Solutions International (SSI), Centre for Counterintelligence and Security Studies (CI Centre).

The SPLC list of active anti-Muslim groups by state includes:  9/11 Christian Center at Ground Zero, Aggressive Christianity, The American Defense League, American Freedom Defense Initiative, Atlas Shrugs, Bare Naked Islam, Casa D’Ice Signs, Christian Action Network, Christian Guardians, Christian Phalange, Citizen Warrior, Concerned American Citizens, Concerned Citizens for the First Amendment, Escaping Islam, Faith Freedom, Insight USA, Islam: the Religion of Peace , and a big stack of dead bodies), Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch, Political Islam, Radio Jihad, Sharia Awareness Action Network, Silver Bullet Gun Oil, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), Sultan Knish a blog by Daniel Greenfield, Tennessee Freedom Coalition, The United West, U.S. Justice Foundation.

The SPLC Anti-Muslim Inner Circle report includes:  Bill French, Center for the Study of Political Islam - Brigitte Gabriel, ACT! for America and American Council for Truth - David Gaubatz, Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE) - Pamela Geller, Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Stop the Islamization of Nations (SION) - David Horowitz, Front Page Magazine, David Horowitz Freedom Center - John Joseph Jay, Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) - Terry Jones, Dove World Outreach Center - Debbie Schlussel - Robert Spencer, Jihad Watch, Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), Stop the Islamization of Nations (SION) - David Yerushalmi, Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE), Stop the Madrassa


**********

There is a reason that many, even outside of the Muslim community see such demonization of Muslims as Islamophobic.  There is a reason that the ADL has stated that Brigitte Gabriel’s Act for America, Pamela Geller & Robert Spencer’s Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), David Yerushalmi’s Society of Americans for National Existence (SANE)  are “groups that promote an extreme anti-Muslim agenda”.  There is a reason that The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated SIOA as a hate group, and that these individuals are featured in the SPLC reports Jihad Against Islam and The Anti-Muslim Inner Circle.  There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured prominently in: — the Center for American Progress reports “Fear Inc.” on the Islamophobia network in America and Understanding Sharia Law: Conservatives skewed interpretation needs debunking. — the People for the American Way Right Wing Playbook on Anti-Muslim Extremism.  — the NYCLU report Religious Freedom Under Attack:  The Rise of Anti-Mosque Activities in New York State.  — the Political Research Associates report Manufacturing the Muslim menace: Private firms, public servants, and the threat to rights and security.  — The ACLU report Nothing to Fear: Debunking the Mythical “Sharia Threat” to Our Judicial System — in The American Muslim TAM Who’s Who of the Anti-Muslim/Anti-Arab/Islamophobia Industry.   There is a reason that the SIOA’s trademark patent was denied by the U.S. government due to its anti-Muslim nature.   There is a reason that these individuals and organizations are featured in just about every legitimate report on Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred. 

The reason is that these individuals and organizations consistently promote the false what everyone “knows” lies about Islam and Muslims (including distorting Islamic terms such as taqiyya, jihad, sharia, etc.).    They see “jihad” plots everywhere, particularly where they don’t exist.  They generalize specific incidents to reflect on all Muslims or all of Islam.   They consistently push the false memes that:  - we are in danger from creeping Sharia, - the Muslim population is increasing at an alarming rate, - 80% of American Mosques are radicalized,  - Muslims in government are Muslim Brotherhood plants, stealth jihadists, and creeping Sharia proponents and should be marginalized or excluded.  Every Muslim organization is connected to the infamous Muslim Brotherhood document or the unindicted co-conspirator label.  Individual Muslims and Arabs, and their organizations are accused of not condemning Hamas.  When Islamophobes are caught in the act of making up or distorting claims they engage in devious methods to attempt to conceal the evidence.

The claim that they are “truth-tellers” and “defenders of freedom” who actually “love Muslims” and have never engaged in “broadbrush demonization” or “advocated violence” are nonsense.  The claim that they are falsely being accused of Islamophobia for no reason other than their legitimate concerns about real issues and that in fact there is not even such a thing as Islamophobia, or their claim that the fact that there are fewer hate crimes against Muslims than against Jews or that some Muslims have fabricated such crimes “proves” that Islamophobia doesn’t exist,  or that the term Islamophobia was made up by Muslims in order to stifle their freedom of speech, or that anti-Muslim bigotry is “not Islamophobia but Islamorealism” are all nonsense

The reason that this is so obvious to so many is that rational people can tell the difference between legitimate concerns and bigoted stereotypes.   The Islamophobia Industry exists and is engaged in an anti-Muslim Crusade.  They have a manifesto for spreading their propaganda. They produce anti-Muslim films.  They are forming new organizations and coalitions of organizations at a dizzying speed, not only nationally, but also internationally.  They have formed an International Leadership Team “which will function as a mobile, proactive, reactive on-the-ground team developing and executing confidential action plans that strike at the heart of the global anti-freedom agenda.” The Islamophobia of these folks is very real, it is also strikingly similar to a previous generations’ anti-Semitism, and it has predictable consequences.  

You would never know from listening to any of the members of the Islamophobia Industry that Muslims have defended  freedom of speech, participated in interfaith dialogue, defended freedom of faith against apostasy laws,  condemned blasphemy laws, condemned holocaust denial and anti-Semitism, promoted non-violent solutions to the many problems we face, called for protecting all houses of worship and condemned any attacks on churches or synagogues anywhere, condemned violent responses to numerous incidents including the response to the Innocence of Muslims film, spoken out against child marriage, are working to stop domestic violence in our community, etc.  Type condemn into the TAM search engine and 145 statements of condemnation come up in addition to the collections in our lengthy section Muslim voices against extremism terrorism and violence  Muslims speak out loudly and clearly condemning our own extremists, and their extremist statements and actions.  Type “lunatic fringe” into the TAM search engine for many such articles condemning particular extremists and extremist groups and activities.

You would never know that Muslims are decent, hardworking, productive citizens, making a positive contribution to this society.  Muslims haven’t just spoken out against abuses carried out anywhere in the world that dishonor Islam, but also worked doing positive things.  our TAM collection of good news stories about Muslims for this year of 2012 notes that Many people are not aware for example:

that a Sacramento Christian congregation was invited to hold their Easter services at a mosque: that an East Bronx Jewish community was invited to hold their services in a mosque when they lost their building; that a Northern Virginia Jewish community invited local Muslims to pray Jumah in the synagogue; that a Virginia mosque held an interfaith Jewish Seder. All of those things have happened already this year.  Or that there are many active programs and efforts in the community to counter radicalization and extremism and to work to protect minority rights in Muslim majority countries, or that Muslims are involved in community service, interfaith work, peacemaking work, free clinics, volunteer efforts, civil rights efforts, disaster relief efforts, environmental efforts, etc.  Read the article for specific information and links to sources