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Contrary to Media Reports, FBI Hate Crime Statistics Do Not Support Claims of Anti-Muslim Backlash by Jonathan S. Tobin (Gatestone Inst.)

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Dec. 4, 2017

  • Although the instances of hate crimes documented by the government are worrisome and deserving of condemnation, the statistics published by the FBI over the last 17 years refute both the Islamophobia narrative and the claim of a widespread backlash against Muslims in the aftermath of terrorist attacks by Islamists.
  • The myth of a post-9/11 “backlash” against Muslims is politically motivated and spread by groups such as the Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which presents itself as a civil rights group, but was founded to serve as a front organization for the terrorist group Hamas. The effort to persuade the public that America is Islamophobic stemmed largely from the aim to shift the narrative about terrorism to that of an Islamist war on the West to one according to which Muslims are terrorized by and in the United States.
  • Although Jew-hatred remains a greater problem in America than hatred against Muslims, this would not justify a charge that the United States is an anti-Semitic country. By the same token, it is unjust to call America Islamophobic.

“…the widely cited “20 percent increase” in anti-Muslim hate crimes engenders a false assumption about the actual figures. The total of reported bias incidents of any kind in 2016 was 6,121; of those, 361 were directed at Arabs or Muslims. Although even a single such incident would be one too many, in a country whose population is approximately 325 million – including millions of Arabs and/or Muslims — it is hard to argue that the numbers are indicative of a “wave” of hatred sweeping over the nation, either prior to or since the rise of Trump, even if one accepts the assumption that hate crimes are under-reported….”

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