Desperately Seeking Islamophobia
Today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune sounds an alarm on hate crimes against Muslims, a common theme in the news lately:
While alleged terrorist acts by American Muslims dominate public debate, terror acts against Muslims are rising sharply, even as other hate crime categories appear to be on the decline, according to researchers and data reviewed by the Star Tribune.
The incidents have alarmed Twin Cities Muslims, though many say they are uncertain whether to notify law enforcement or respond quietly for fear of fanning more hostility.
But what constitutes “rising sharply”? This is the graph that accompanies the article:
There are four lines on the graph: African-American, Sexual Orientation, Islamic/Muslim and Other. Remarkably, the number of hate crimes against Muslims is the lowest on the chart, despite having “risen sharply” to a grand total of nine through October 24.
The largest number of reported hate crimes–30–is against the “other” group. Therein, perhaps, lies a story. “Other” includes White, Arab, Jewish, Asian and Hispanic/Latino. Nationally, according to FBI data, there are around four times as many hate crimes against Jews as against Muslims. What is the ratio in Minnesota? The Star Tribune must know, since it says, later in the article, that the “other” category includes eight hate crimes against Arabs (a new category added last year). That leaves 22–more than double the number alleged against Muslims–unaccounted for. Is anti-Semitism a bigger problem in Minnesota than anti-Muslim sentiment? I suspect so.
The Star Tribune quotes the far-left Southern Poverty Law Center, itself a hate group, as though it were an authority on the subject:
“We’re quite awash in anti-Muslim hate right now,” [Mark Potok, a senior fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center] said. “It seems many Muslims feel that when they walk out the door, if they’re not exactly taking their life in their hands, they’re facing a hostile world.”
However you slice the data, it is absurd to suggest that Minnesota is “awash in anti-Muslim hate.” This is the kind of wolf-crying that gives pressure groups like CAIR (an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism case) and the Minneapolis Star Tribune a bad name.