Not all Republicans are Islamophobes but …

STAN HONDA AFP/GETTY IMAGES Convention Permanent Chairman Speaker John Boehner faces a sea of Mitt Romney supporters on Aug. 28, … Continued

STAN HONDA

AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Convention Permanent Chairman Speaker John Boehner faces a sea of Mitt Romney supporters on Aug. 28, 2012 during the Republican National Convention.

The straw man of the famous post-Sept. 11 slogan, “Not every Muslim is a terrorist but every terrorist is a Muslim” was debunked by a 2005 FBI report.

It showed that only 6 percent of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil from 1980 to 2005 were carried out by extremists calling themselves Muslims. But one group has sustained the Islamophobic rhetoric, nonetheless.

So I wonder if Muslims would rally outside the Republican National Convention this week carrying a banner stating, “Not all Republicans are Islamophobes but all Islamophobes are Republicans.” Trust me. The data supports it.

A new poll conducted by the Arab American Institute asked the attitudes of voters, analyzed along party lines, towards different religious groups, including Arabs and Muslims. Overall, 57 percent of the Republican voters viewed all Muslims unfavorably in comparison to 29 percent of Democrats who expressed a similar opinion. When it came to American Muslims, 47 percent of Republicans, in contrast with 23 percent of Democrats, held an unfavorable view.

Islamophobia in America is not innate, rather it’s the fruit of a decade-long hysteria against Muslims generated by a largely Republican machine comprised of pundits, conservative funders, media conglomerates and fiery politicians.

By pundits, I mean the likes of lawyer/political commentator Ann Coulter who boldly asked Muslims to “take a camel” instead of flying on a plane and talk show host Sean Hannity who compared Islam with Nazism. Others such as media personality Glenn Beck, Middle East Forum PresidentDaniel Pipes, televangelist Pat Robertson, Jihad Watch director Robert Spencer, and activist Pamela Gellerr also mesmerized millions with their imagery of the Muslim terrorist next door.

Then comes the funding component. Fear Inc., a 2011 report by the Center for American Progress, showed that seven conservative charitable groups provided $42.6 million to Islamophobic think-tanks between 2001 and 2009. This fear is then packed and loaded, not on camel backs, but on the airwaves such as the Rush Limbaugh Show and the Savage Nation as well as a plethora of Web sites, blogs, forums, and chain e-mails.

Republican politicians such as Minnesota congresswoman Michelle Bachmann and New York congressman Peter King and almost every Republican presidential candidate in the 2012 primaries save Ron Paul, are then given the megaphone to add trust to this fear mongering. But here is the rub: According to Gallup, 90 percent of Americans don’t even trust these politicians.

You can’t help but wonder: Why is it that nearly all Islamophobes are Republicans? Probably some “data girl” – as Carl Rove calls one of his staff members – in a cubicle reckoned that the American Muslim vote bank is better bashed, than embraced.

The theory is simple. Muslim youth? Tell them to take a camel. Muslim communities? Link them with creeping shariah. Muslim congressmen? Question their loyalty. Do it consistently and it will galvanize the conservative base.

In a tight race, such analysis is fractured and flawed. A 2010 Pew Report estimated that nearly 2.6 million Muslims live in the United States, with Ohio, Michigan, and Virginia among the top ten states with the largest Muslim populations. An en bloc Muslim vote, therefore, could have a huge impact in these swing states. Just look at the 2012 presidential elections in France where 93 percent of French Muslims voted for François Hollande, enabling him to beat Nicolas Sarkozy. By securing 96 percent of Black voter support, President Obama did the same in 2008.

Frankly, I like many of the Republican Party’s core values, but I don’t like their posture against Islam and Muslims. Just as Latinos don’t like their anti-immigration policies, and the Blacks don’t like their racial stereotyping. Just as the LBGT communities don’t like their stance on gay marriage, and women don’t like their idea of a legitimate rape.

So the 2012 Republican voices should stop telling me to “take a camel” and worry instead about the American Muslim vote – united against them. Who knows? It might prove to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

Dr. Faheem Younus is a clinical associate professor at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and he teaches courses about Islam at the University of Baltimore. He is also founder of Muslimerican.com and can be reached at [email protected]

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  • WmarkW

    In recent times, Muslims have been 100% of the people who…

    executed teenagers for dancing
    assassinated filmmakers for their message
    stoned women for adultery
    bombed places of worship
    thrown acid on girls for going to school
    whipped rape victims

    Only a mind “informed” by the belief that a book as ridiculous as the Quran is man’s gift from the most supreme intelligence in the universe, could believe these acts don’t represent barbarism.

  • dferraez

    Yes, I like the core values of the republican party compared to the core values of the democratic party also. And if the core is correct or right the outside tends to be right or correct. and if the core is wrong the outside tends to be wrong. And by the way, the republican party is not against immigration, but illegal immigration. Where did the accusation of racial stereotyping come from. You are correct that a core value of the republican is not to redefine the concept of marriage.

  • WmarkW

    Random individuals everywhere attack their family, acquaintences, and sometimes strangers just because they’re violent people. But violence of this kind motivated by well-thought ideology is largely restricted to one group.

  • Americana 33

    I disagree. What you call “ideology” is actually “cultural ignorance”. Such acid attacks are committed by non-Muslims in the middle east all the times. Because its a cultural menace.

    Don’t let this change the fact though that muslim leaders are corrupt. probably more corrupt than our leaders and their clerics are the worst being under the sun.

  • Americana 33

    What do you say when Newt made the comments about “food stamp president?” I asked my black friends. They considered it stereotyping. Big time.

  • WmarkW

    Replying to Americana33 from the land of more:
    “What you call “ideology” is actually “cultural ignorance”. Such acid attacks are committed by non-Muslims in the middle east all the times. Because its a cultural menace. Don’t let this change the fact though that muslim leaders are corrupt. probably more corrupt than our leaders and their clerics are the worst being under the sun.”

    This is the same sort of thing defenders used to say about Communism — thousands of peaceful individuals in the United States lived happily by sharing among each other. It’s only the corruption among the power-hungry leaders of nations using the philosophy that give it a bad name.

    Maybe there’s some theoretically possible form of idealized Islam that accomplishes all the wonderful Godly virtues it pontificates. But as a real philosophy implemented by actual humans, it’s been a disaster for everyone, most especially the ones living under it. Every religion is theoretically perfect. Their worth is whether approximations can be accomplished by humans.

  • WmarkW

    I don’t like deep threads under this software, so I’ll reply above.

  • ThomasBaum

    Faheem Younus

    You wrote, “So I wonder if Muslims would rally outside the Republican National Convention this week carrying a banner stating, “Not all Republicans are Islamophobes but all Islamophobes are Republicans.” Trust me. The data supports it.”

    “Islamophobes” is a made-up word and just what do you mean by it?

    You then wrote, “Islamophobia in America is not innate, rather it’s the fruit of a decade-long hysteria against Muslims generated by a largely Republican machine comprised of pundits, conservative funders, media conglomerates and fiery politicians.”

    Do you think that it might have anything to do with present day reality and not just some “decade-long hysteria” campaign?

    Seems that you might be surprised to find out that some have come to their opinion of islam on their own, looking at events, rather than being swayed by some “hysteria”.

    As far as the poll that you site asking about Muslims, can you site a poll that asked about islam the religion rather than Muslims who are people?

    As I have said many times: The True, Living, Triune, Triumphant God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack therof”.

    In other words, even tho God takes a person’s beliefs into consideration in looking at a person, God looks at the person.

  • Americana 33

    Why go that far. Isn’t this the same kid of things defenders were saying about capitalism in the recent wall street movement?

  • ccnl1

    To my sister and brother Muslims,

    What instigated the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon?

    And what drives today’s 24/7 mosque/imam-planned acts of terror and horror?

    The koran, Mohammed’s book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means.

    Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed.

    Then we can talk about the safety and location of mosques and what is taught therein.

    Until then, no Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere…………………………….

  • Americana 33

    You were accurate as long as you were focused on the Muslims. The moment you mention Islam and the book, it becomes obvious that you have only read the selected passages of quran.

    What does it have to do with the Republican bigotry anyway?

  • AmmarD

    “I like many of the Republican Party’s core values, but I don’t like their posture against Islam and Muslims. Just as Latinos don’t like their anti-immigration policies, and the Blacks don’t like their racial stereotyping. Just as the LBGT communities don’t like their stance on gay marriage, and women don’t like their idea of a legitimate rape.”
    Very true. I always wonder why Republican party take these stance and what is its future going to be ?

  • ccnl1

    On the koranic passages and world domination:
    o
    “Mohammed could not have known the size of the world, but several passages in the Koran show that he envisioned Islam dominating all of it, however large it might be: “He it is who sent his messenger . . . that he may cause it [Islam] to prevail over all religions´(Koran 9:33, M.M. Ali; see also 48:28 and 61:9). M.M. Ali designates these three passages as “the prophecy of the ultimate triumph of Islam in the whole world.”

    Mohammed’s successors, the caliphs, quoted passages like these to inspire Muslim armies as they advanced out of Arabia, imposing Islam by the sword upon a peacefully unsuspecting Middle East and North Africa, as I described in the previous chapter.

    Islamic armies, imbued with what Mohammed claimed was divine authorization, imposed Islam by force over vast areas, all the while extorting wealth from subjugated Jews and Christians to fund their ongoing conquests. As I noted, major defeats at Tours, France, in A.D. 732, and again at Vienna, Austria, in A.D. 1683, halted Islam’s attempt to take all of Europe by force. Gradually Islamic forces were forced to retreat from Europe, except for part of the Balkans. But Islam has again set its sights on a conquest of Europe and of European civilization, wherever the latter has spread to North and South America and other regions. Muslim strategists ask their followers, Why do we find in these modern times that Allah has entrusted most of the world’s oil wealth primarily to Muslim nations?

    Their answer: Allah foresaw Islam’s need for funds to finance a final politico-religious victory over what Islam perceives as its ultimate enemy: Christianized Euro-American civilization. So, Islam follows Nazism, fascism and communism as the world’s latest hostile takeover aspirant.

    Nazis, fascists and communists failed. Does Islam have a better chance at success? I believe it will flounder if we awaken to its threat in time; yet, if there is not adequate planned resistance, Islam doe

  • ccnl1

    And that mistake was the final nail eventually clamping a lid on communism’s coffin. Communism, on a historical scale, perished while still in its childhood.

    Islam is not repeating communism’s mistake. Mating political cunning and incredible wealth with religious zeal, Islam does have a chance to succeed and will succeed unless major parts of the Western world unite to take appropriate countermeasures. But many Western leaders, unable to believe that a mere religion could possible be a serious political threat, keep proclaiming themselves as Islam-friendly, reasoning that all religions are good-aren’t they?

    A Muslim strategist in Beverly Hills, California, declared several years ago, as quoted by a friend of mine: “Now that the struggle between Western democracies and international communism is winding down, it is time for the real and final struggle to begin, and we are going to win!”

    Don Richardson

  • Americana 33

    Please explain the relationship of your comment with the article. Why are the Republicans linked with Islamophobia?

  • ccnl1

    Bigotry? Since when is concern about one’s safety bigotry. Might want to read about what is going on in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt etc. And then there is 9/11, another koran/mosque driven act of horror and terror!!!

  • Ahmed Khan

    You do realize that “Islamo-faschism” is a made up word too but guess who made it up….you guessed it, by “islamaphobes.”

    Muslims are as much confused when people throw around the word “Islamo-faschism.”

    What comes around goes around.

  • ThomasBaum

    pho·bi·a   

    a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.

    I have heard and I could be wrong that it was CAIR that came up with the word, Islamophobia, is this correct or not, do you know?

    Seeing as some may base their opinion of islam on recent events around the world rather than “a persistent, irrational fear” based on non-happenings, could calling this a phobia rather than a justifiable opinion be a smokescreen, so to speak?

    If one were to truly look into just who has a less than favorable opinion of islam, as opposed to Muslims, I would think that the statement “all Islamophobes are Republicans” would be both stereotypical and inaccurate.

  • SulaymanF

    Well said. As a Muslim Republican, I was very very disappointed when the GOP announced “screw you” to all Muslims in their party this week by formally adopting anti-Muslim language into their party platform. Well, we made a large swing vote in Florida (back in 2000 Muslims bragged about being the deciding few thousand votes in Florida that got Bush elected), I’m sure we can swing it the other way this time.

  • SulaymanF

    Yes, islamophobia is an irrational fear. When people assume the American Muslim doctor who works in a New York hospital are somehow plotting to kill people, as Pamela Gellar claims on her blog, you know you’ve reached crazy.

  • SulaymanF

    What a weak argument. Christians and Buddhists have carried out recent atrocities too (remember Kony 2012? Massacres of Rohingyas? WWII?), but you don’t see me picking on my fellow Americans for it.

  • Americana 33

    You are right Sulayman. But when I talk to Muslims – the rich Muslims for sure – they are still strongly leaning towards Republicans for self serving financial reasons. So I am not sure if the Muslim vote is really that united.

  • Americana 33

    See once again, I agree with you on all that barbarism. But why do you fail to see the Koran burnings, abortion clinic bombings, sikh shootings, and other terrorist activities by non Muslim groups and implicate their faith and their book?

    We, the West, have a much greater chance of winning this war on terror by partnering with moderate Muslims. Republican party is annoying them by smearing all 1.7 Billion of them.

  • Americana 33

    Well said Mr Khan.

  • ScottRose

    Yes, but then you say you might vote Republican, which also is crazy.

  • Kingofkings1

    Patriotism wrapped in fear of the the other is the lazy politician’s way to ascendancy. When you have have several interests aligned toward a common goal, such as islaophobia at present, truly evil things can occur, such as occurred in Germany of 1930′s, Yugoslavia of 1990′s or Gujarat, India, of 2002

  • Sohail Husain

    Thank you Dr. Younus for looking in the Elephant’s mouth. Sadly, there are a lot of cavities that need filling. The Republican party has become a smoking propaganda machine that is as much disliked for the forays of its officials in nightclubs as it is for its misrepresentation of minority groups, particularly Muslims. This Muslim American for peace and loyalty to his county thanks you for your exposing the Elephant’s poor hygiene.