‘Confronting Fear’ offers four-point strategy to counter Islamophobia in the United States
(WASHINGTON, D.C., 6/20/2016) – According to a report released today by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley, 33 Islamophobic groups had access to at least $205 million in total revenue between 2008-2013.
The report, titled “Confronting Fear,” also presents a four-point strategy designed to achieve a shared American understanding of Islam in which being Muslim carries a positive connotation, and in which Islam has an equal place among the many faiths that together constitute America’s pluralistic society.
The report also documents the negative impact of Islamophobia in America, including:
- Anti-Islam bills became law in 10 states.
- At least two states, Florida and Tennessee, have passed laws revising the way they approve textbooks for classroom use as a direct result of anti-Islam campaigns.
- In 2015, there were 78 recorded incidents in which mosques were targeted. In both November and December of 2015, there were 17 mosque incidents reported during each of these months, numbers almost equivalent to an entire year’s worth of reports from the previous two years.
- Two recent phenomenon – “Muslim-free” businesses and armed anti-Islam demonstrations – raise deep concerns.
Finally, the report notes that progress has been observed in the reduced frequency and acceptability of anti-Islam law-enforcement trainings.
“The 2016 presidential election has mainstreamed Islamophobia and resulted in a number of un-constitutional proposals targeting Muslims,” said Corey Saylor, director of CAIR’s Department to Monitor and Combat Islamophobia. “’Confronting Fear’ offers a plan for moving anti-Muslim bias back to the fringes of society where it belongs.”
“The work of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at UC Berkeley is enriched and inspired by the partnership and the hard work undertaken jointly with CAIR to produce another annual report that exposes the bigotry-producing industry in America while providing opportunities and strategies on how best to reclaim an open, democratic and religiously-inclusive society,” said Dr. Hatem Bazian, director of the Islamophobia Research and Documentation Project at the Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley.
Bazian added: “The hope is that this report and others like it will provide the needed grounding for communities across the country to use for effective engagement with policy makers, educators, civil society leaders, and media outlets. Education and applied research is the best avenue to uplift and bring about a social justice transformation in society and this report is a step in that direction.”
CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
The Center for Race and Gender (CRG) is an interdisciplinary research center at the University of California, Berkeley that fosters explorations of race and gender, and their intersections. CRG cultivates critical and engaged research and exchange among faculty and students throughout the university, between the university and nearby communities of color, and among scholars in the Bay Area, in the U.S., and around the globe.