“Through the publication and distribution of this report on Islamophobia, and how it impacts our state and country, it is our hope that we can shed some light on the realities of this damaging trend and its impact on our social discourse on Islam and Muslims.”
“Islamophobia is as real a threat to peaceful coexistence, just as racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and other issues that seek to create division and confusion in society.”
Highlights of the Report Itself:
INNER CORE OF THE ISLAMOPHOBIA NETWORK
The groups and individuals discussed in this section are those whose primary purpose is to promote prejudice against or hatred of Islam and Muslims and whose work regularly demonstrates Islamophobic themes.
Included in this section is Act! For America’s Brigitte Gabriel who is the most recent of Islamophobes to speak in Oklahoma at a recent event held at Fairview Baptist Church in Edmond, Oklahoma on September 10th, 2013.
In addition, Frank Gaffney, who is also featured in this section, spoke at a press conference at the Oklahoma state capitol in the Spring of 2013 as a part of Rep. Sally Kern’s campaign to promote her House Bill 1060.
BEST LIST INDUCTEES
These are individuals, institutions and groups that deserve recognition for their outstanding contributions to pushing back against Islamophobic trends in 2011 and 2012. This list is neither comprehensive nor offered in any specific order. However, those listed below do deserve particular credit for their contributions to American pluralism.
Inductees on this list include:
Rais Bhuiyan, a Muslim man that was shot in the face shortly after the 9/11 terror attacks, later forgiving his attacker and advocating for dismissal of his attackers death penalty.
Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersy for his defense of his nominating Sohail Mohammed as a New Jersey Superior Court Judge.
As well as Wired Magazine, CNN’s Anderson Cooper, and NPR for their coverage of unbiased issues relating to Islamophobia and its impact on America.
WORST LIST INDUCTEES
These are individuals, institutions and groups that were at the center of pushing Islamophobia in America during the period covered by this report. This list is neither comprehensive nor offered in any specific order. However, those listed below do deserve particular note for their intentional efforts to spread fear and prejudice.
Lowe’s is featured on the list of Worst inductees for what PR Daily ranks #5 on its “Top PR blunders of 2011” list for removing its advertising from TLC’s reality series “All-American Muslim” because of an anti-Muslim campaign initiated by Islamophobic hate-groups such as the Florida Family Association.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin ignored the Constitution’s proscription against government censure of religion when she threw her weight behind House Bill 1552, a version of Yerushalmi’s model ALAC, saying, “I personally believe that a law should be made on American law, on our constitution. The people of Oklahoma spoke pretty clearly when there was a vote…on Sharia law.…” Four federal judges have currently ruled that the vote Fallin was referring to resulted in a law that is likely un-Constitutional.
The 2010 amendment to Oklahoma’s state constitution, which prohibits courts from applying—or even considering —”Sharia law” and “international law,” explicitly subjected Islam to government censure. It immediately faced a legal challenge from then CAIR-Oklahoma Executive Director Muneer Awad. A federal judge put the law on hold after determining that the challenge had merit and the law would likely be ruled unconstitutional.
In January, 2012, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit upheld the lower court’s decision to block implementation of the Oklahoma state constitutional amendment.
In 2013 Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange struck down the amendment as un-Constitutional, a victory for the first amendment rights of Oklahomans and Americans.
Also in 2013, Rep. Sally Kern made it very clear that her campaign surrounding HB 1060, a measure that would prohibit the application of foreign laws when it would violate either the Oklahoma Constitution or U.S. Constitution, was an attempt to target Sharia Law. On April 12 of this year, Rep. Kern participated in a press conference in which she said HB 1060 was filed after a similar ballot measure, State Question 755, was appealed in a federal court. At this press conference, Rep. Kern stood with noted Islamophobe, Frank Gaffney who is featured in this report, as Gaffney worked to spread misinformation about Islam and Muslims in the state of Oklahoma.
CAIR Oklahoma is an organization that at its core, seeks to build bridges of understanding of Islam, encourage peaceful and productive dialogue, protect the civil liberties of all, and empower the Oklahoma Muslim community. Through the publication and distribution of this report on Islamophobia and how it impacts our state and country, it is our hope that we will shed some light on those that seek to undermine the efforts of our organization, and many other organizations, to foster a peaceful coexistence for individuals of all walks of life.