Karen Lugo
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The Center for American Progress’s “Fear, Inc: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network” in America claims to have exposed America’s Islamophobes by naming a network of so-called dangerous fear- and hate-mongers. Yet it was the authors of this 138-page report that demonstrated a real phobia when they evaded the urgent question: Does America have a reason to fear Muslims?

Europe warns America that the answer is yes, but – most urgently – Europe also warns that moderate Muslims have the most to fear. The political Islamists who have segregated western Europe into many hundreds of sharia-compliant zones where women’s rights are stripped away and non-Muslims fear to tread (yes, this is real fear) have Europe in a state of panic. For America to foolishly stumble down this road to the same predictable and desperate dead-end would be absurd. Yet by trying to muzzle all who attempt to engage this cultural conversation, CAP’s progressives intend to commit America to the same disastrous course.

It is true that some who encourage the American debate are not careful to make the distinction between moderate and sharia-driven Muslims – and it also may be true that some do not believe there is a distinction to be made. But Fear, Inc. insistently framed all sincere efforts to confront the Islamist agents of radicalization as hate-motivated. I know; I happen to have been pivotally involved in one of the reports’ showcase examples of reported Islamophobia. Not surprisingly, the readily available facts tell a very different story.

It was not fear of Muslims that drove the February protest of two radical imams in Yorba Linda, Calif; rather, it was widespread alarm over news that Abdel Malik Ali would be headlining a local Muslim fundraiser. In fact, there was so much community outrage over the invitation of a Hamas-supporting, extremist agitator, city officials asked that the sponsor group rescind Ali’s invitation. The response: Not a chance. So the only way for the community to express opposition to the imam’s message was to appear for an organized “patriotic and peaceful protest.”

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Karen Lugo

Karen Lugo is the Founder of the Libertas-West Project and a co-director of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence.