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Anti-Muslim bigotry on the rise
Updated:May 10, 2017
 
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Far-right extremist views, recent rhetoric against radical Islam, western media bigotry when it comes to the non-occidental world — not to mention US policies under the stewardship of the Trump administration — we are now witnessing the negative impact of these in the US, Europe and elsewhere.
 
The key findings of a report released by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) this month — The Empowerment of Hate — give certain cause for alarm. It recorded a 57 percent increase in anti-Muslim bias incidents over the 2015 period as well as a 44 percent increase in anti-Muslim hate crimes over the same timeframe. In addition, the period 2014-2016 saw incidents of anti-Muslim bias increase by a whopping 64 percent. Hate crimes include arson attacks, street harassment, employment discrimination and unwarranted contact by the FBI.
 
That such blatant intolerance is on the rise bodes ill for everyone, everywhere. There is one portion of western society that believes the hike in US-based hate crimes is the direct result of Trump’s policies, which have served to inflame hatred against Muslims by introducing immigration bans targeting certain Muslim states. Yet we should not let western media off the hook so easily.
 
There is no doubt that terrorism has many faces and that, currently, religious extremism remains the primary driving force. Although it is never usually so simple. What about those who have lost their homes, seen their communities decimated by western military combat — who, then, takes responsibility when subsequent extremist sentiment takes root? Washington should now work to stop once and for all religious profiling. It would do better to instead focus on providing everyone inside American borders individual safety and equality before the law within a climate of mutual tolerance. Yet, additionally, communities across the world need to focus beyond US borders. We, the people, need to unite for the sake of peace, while taking a stand against all extremist views emanating from religion, nationalism or any other source. We must call for an end to all types of hate mongering and acrimonious debate on Muslim immigration, especially when that is the direct result of western military intervention.
 
And here, we need to remind the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority that by calling on the citizenry to snoop on those believed to have spread ‘blasphemous’ content on social media — it has positioned itself as the guilty party. For incitement to religious hatred is not only so when Muslims are targeted. *
 
Daily Times, May 11, 2017
 
 
 
 
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