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28 Jan, 2014

U.S. exporting anti-Muslim sentiment worldwide – Dispatches from the Underclass

Gadeir Abbas, Staff attorney with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR): I agree wholeheartedly that the fear of Islam, the fear of Muslims, is a notion I think has been cultivated by policy choices at the federal level. The use of airport screenings, that inevitably cultivates and reflects the bias that people have against Muslims, has I think created space for an anti-Muslim movement to take root.

Right after September 11, you didn’t have your Act for America’s, your David Yerushalmi’s, your Center for Security Policy’s—this well-organized, well-financed movement dedicated towards marginalizing Muslims and that gave rise to essentially and engine of generating ant-Muslim sentiment that creates this terrible and despicable cycle where now you have the overt argument being made that Muslims are here in the United States to abrogate the US constitution, to overthrow the US government and replace it with Sharia law, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

As the facts would have it, the American Muslim community is a well-educated, well-integrated and looking to continue to do so in the world. You can’t identify an American Muslim radical voice in the United States, whereas if you go to Europe, you can find people that have a platform that say despicable objectionable things. In the US, that’s just not the case.

But we still have in the US, which is really exporting anti-Muslim sentiment to other parts of the world especially Europe, we still have this fear of Islam that absolutely does give rise to justify these surveillance policies.

Read the rest: How NSA Spying Impacts Muslim Communities and Cultivates Islamophobia | Dispatches from the Underclass.