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The Center for American Progress is guilty of repeating a sinister history by searching for easy answers to difficult questions at the expense of an American minority that is already the victim of the vast majority of religion based hate crimes. And the Democratic Party is guilty of not paying attention to where its talking points are coming from.
In “Fear Inc.”, Muslims appear only as victims and Jews appear over and over again as villains, out to make them look bad. There is no acknowledgment that Jews, Christian Arabs and Greeks, whom Shakir’s report also targets, are persecuted minorities in the Muslim world. And that such attacks on persecuted minorities who are trying to tell their story by a member of the persecuting majority is unworthy of a party that claims to defend the rights of minorities.
Should peoples who have been subject to generations of genocide and persecution be intimidated into silence this way? Are the stories of the minorities of the Middle East to be labeled “Islamophobia”? And will the voices of moderate Muslims like Zuhdi Jasser and Tawfik Hamid who advocate reform and tolerance (and who are attacked and defamed in this report), also be silenced?
“Fear Inc.” labels any dissent from the Islamic view of history as “Islamophobia”, and blames the most scapegoated group by the Muslim world for its spread. But blaming Jews for Islamophobia, is as useless as blaming them for the overthrow of Mubarak, as the Egyptian government did, or the removal of Saddam Hussein, as many American progressives have.
The handful of mostly Jewish terrorism experts blamed in “Fear Inc” did not cause the bubbling violence and fanaticism in the Muslim world that is now spreading through immigration. And silencing them, or those Muslims who speak out for reform, will not change the perceptions of Americans who are regularly confronted with terror alerts, beheadings and videos of splattered body parts.
It is not the Jews who have turned Americans against Islam—it is the Muslims who have done it. If Shakir wants to improve the image of Islam, then he needs to do it by tackling its ills. Reform does not happen when critics are silenced, but when their criticisms no longer apply. Muslims who claim to be progressive, but defend organizations associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, are living a lie. And Muslims who are not willing to address the problems with Islam that have led to terrorist plots and attacks, including some against Jewish targets, but instead launch their own verbal and written attacks against Jews– are equally part of the problem.
The problem is not Islamophobia– it is the Islamic jihad, and its host societies which rely on conspiracy theories while rejecting reform, and which naturally seeks to silence those who oppose it. By employing Faiz Shakir and his co-authors and distributing the conspiracy theories of “Fear Inc.”, the Center for American Progress and the Democratic Party do the work of the jihadists and have thus also become part of the problem.
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