Islamophobia in the Age of Trumpby Derek Davison
The frequency of anti-Muslim behavior in the United States is increasing at an alarming rate. A study released earlier this year by California State University-San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that incidents of anti-Muslim and anti-Arab violence in the United States increased drastically from 2014 to 2015, by 78.2% and 219% respectively, reaching levels that haven’t been seen since the immediate aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The Council on Arab-Islamic Relations (CAIR) found that 2015 saw the highest number of attacks directed against mosques in any year since it began tracking such incidents in 2009. So far in 2016, the Huffington Post’s “Islamophobia tracker” has catalogued 289 anti-Muslim acts, which includes both violent and non-violent incidents.
The recent wave of Islamophobic incidents can’t be tied to a single large event like the September 11 attacks—though fears over events in the Middle East and terrorist attacks in Western cities like Paris, Brussels, San Bernardino, and Orlando have undoubtedly had something to do with it. Rather, the driving force behind Islamophobia of late seems to be anxiety over the very presence of Muslims in Western society, rather than animosity toward a particular group or anger over a particular act.
Speaking to an audience at the Atlantic Council on October 20, Johns Hopkins University’s Vali Nasr argued that this kind of Islamophobia is tied to populist fears over immigration and globalization, and said that “the challenge for Muslims is now much, much bigger [than it was after 9/11], because this is not about defending activities that are happening ‘over there.’ It’s really about defending their place in American society and European society going forward.” http://lobelog.com/islamophobia-in-the-age-of-trump/#more-36332