Mona Charen
The Obama administration is quite worried about stereotyping Muslims as violence-prone terrorists. They fear that any acknowledgment that some Muslims commit acts of terror because they are religiously motivated (however twisted the terrorists' interpretation of Islam may be) is to encourage a backlash of intolerance (at best) and violence (at worst) against Muslim Americans.

It's not crazy to worry about anti-Muslim violence. There have been vicious attacks on innocent Muslims. Last November, a Queens, N.Y., man was stabbed six times as he stood outside his mosque by an attacker who shouted "F------ Muslim, I'll kill you." In the wake of the Boston bombing, a drunk Northern Virginia man reportedly attacked and broke the jaw of a cab driver (an Army reservist who served in Iraq and at Guantanamo) after snarling "If you're a Muslim, you're a (expletive) jihadist. You are just as bad as the rest of them."

The worst instance of what was probably intended as anti-Muslim violence was the August 2012 attack on a Sikh temple in Wisconsin. Sikhs, who wear turbans, are frequently mistaken for Muslims. Wade Michael Page opened fire in the temple, killing six and wounding four (including a police officer) before turning the gun on himself. Page reportedly had links to white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups.

Anti-Muslim bigotry clearly exists, as does bias against every other group or conceivable group in American society. Such bias is obviously misguided and counterproductive. It's also fairly uncommon.

According to the FBI's compilation of hate crime statistics, there were 1,480 incidents of religiously motived crimes in America in 2011. Of these, 63.2 percent were directed at Jews, 12.5 percent at Muslims and little over 9 percent at Catholics and Protestants. The rest were all over the map. This hardly constitutes a wave of anti-Muslim violence.

As Andrew McCarthy, who prosecuted the first World Trade Center bombers, has said regarding Muslims who serve their country: "Without them, we could not have infiltrated jihadist cells in New York and stopped terrorists from killing thousands of people. Without them, we could not have translated, understood and processed our evidence so it could be presented to a jury as a compelling narrative. Pro-American Muslims serve honorably in government, in our military, in our intelligence services and in our major institutions."


Mona Charen

Mona Charen is a syndicated columnist, political analyst and author of Do-Gooders: How Liberals Hurt Those They Claim to Help .
 
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