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Long anticipated rash of anti-Muslim hate crimes is yet to emerge

Remember how, in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a number of voices in the chattering classes, in the highest of dudgeon, inveighed against a coming backlash against Muslim Americans, with a skyrocketing number of anti-Muslim hate crimes?

Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case:

Hate crimes directed against Muslims remain relatively rare, notwithstanding the notoriety gained by incidents such as recent vandalism at the Madera Islamic Center.

Jews, lesbians, gay men and Caucasians, among others, are all more frequently the target of hate crimes, FBI records show. Reported anti-Muslim crimes have declined over recent years, though they still exceed what occurred prior to the 9-11 terrorist attacks.

Such crimes did jump right after 9/11 but, as Jonah Goldberg reminds us, have since begun to decline considerably.  

Regardless, 2001 was the zenith or, looked at through the prism of our national shame, the nadir of the much-discussed anti-Muslim backlash in the United States. The following year, the number of anti-Islamic hate-crime incidents (overwhelmingly, nonviolent vandalism and nasty words) dropped to 155. In 2003, there were 149 such incidents. And the number has hovered around the mid-100s or lower ever since.

(Read the whole thing.  Jonah asks a great question about the rush of some on the left to find intolerance in America.)  Guess Americans just aren’t the vindictive, bitter people who cling to their antipathy to people who aren’t like them as a means, you know, to express their frustration.  

Now, catch this anecdote (from the first article I quoted); it gets at the real problem with defining certain crimes hate crimes:

Lodi resident David Halla, for instance, was arrested Monday and charged with assaulting a 76-year-old charter bus passenger while en route from Modesto to Chukchansi Gold Resort-Casino. This could count as a hate crime, as witnesses say Halla was shouting racial epithets at the Spanish- speaking victim.

On the other hand, if Halla had called the alleged victim old, that wouldn’t have been recorded as a hate crime, because age is not covered by federal hate crime laws.

By itself, hate is not a crime.

What if someone targets someone else because they’re good-looking (or ugly), a popular kid in school (or the class geek), rich (or poor), well-dressed & groomed (or slovenly) and as per the above old (or young)?  Is that crime any less deserving of being dubbed a “hate crime” than one against someone because of their membership in a state-identified approved class of “victim”?

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17 Comments

  1. LIE!

    Muslim Cab Driver Stabbed in New York
    by Alex DiBranco August 25, 2010 03:19 PM (PT) Topics: Anti-Immigrant Hate Crimes

    .When a Puerto Rican man happened past an anti-Muslim rally protesting the building of the Park51 Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan this weekend, he was mobbed and swarmed with hostile insults from protesters who mistakenly believed him to be Muslim. The confrontation looked like it narrowly avoided turning violent. Yesterday, in a more fatal incident, a Muslim New York City cab driver, Ahmed Sharif, was slashed with a knife across the face and neck after his passenger inquired after his religion.

    Sharif, a 43-year-old father of four who has lived in America for two-and-a-half decades, commented, “I never feel this hopeless and insecure before.” He also believes that it is the anti-Muslim rhetoric surrounding the construction of the Islamic center that put his life in danger. “Right now, the public sentiment is very serious (because of the Park 51 debate). All drivers should be more careful.” Twenty-one-year-old Michael Enright, his attacker, faces serious charges, including attempted murder as a hate crime, for the attack which put his victim in the hospital. Ironically, Enright works for an interfaith group that supports the Park51 project. Guess he didn’t get the memo.

    In other New York hate crime news, today over in Long Island, four teens who were a part of the hate attack that killed Ecuadorian immigrant Marcelo Lucero were sentenced. The teenage boys had targeted Lucero in a “game” called beaner-hopping, or beating up anybody they happened across who looked Mexican.

    Whether someone is the subject of hate for their skin color or belief system, intolerance and xenophobia can be deadly. Politicians and others who feed a climate of hate, fueling anti-Latino immigrant sentiment in Long Island or using the misnamed “Ground Zero Mosque” for anti-Muslim outrage in Manhattan, create a divided society and put lives in danger. It’s not surprising that white supremacists who attack Latino immigrants as “invaders” are drawn to the anti-Muslim attacks that started with a right-wing extremist blogger. It’s not surprising this hatred finds expression in harassment of mosques across the country, or that Latinos are the targets of hate crimes nationwide, given the xenophobic rhetoric that demonizes both groups.

    On the other hand, organizations like Not in Our Town fight for tolerance and understanding, highlighting communities that have stood up against hatred in their backyards, including examples of interfaith tolerance. Former members of the Bush administration have criticized the opposition to religious freedom, and Republican politicians like Texas Rep. Ron Paul have spoken out against the “hate and Islamophobia” in their own party. Decrying hatred, harassment, and intolerance against any individuals keeps us all safer and and upholds our values as a nation built on freedom.

    Comment by steve — August 29, 2010 @ 10:44 am - August 29, 2010

  2. OK- Racist groups: neo-nazis have been converting to islam, neo-nazis are radical racist socialists. (leftists)
    The man who slashed the cabbie- radical leftist.
    The slashed cabbie- OPPOSED to the Cordoba mosque.
    Got any evidence of these other bias crimes? Video? Audio? Cell phone pics? Cos I’ve never heard of ‘beaner hopping’ but beat Whitey day just happened @ the Iowa state fair with 50-60 blacks roaming in a group targeting whites for beatings, witnessed by hundreds of horrified Iowans.

    Comment by Brian Reno — August 29, 2010 @ 11:10 am - August 29, 2010

  3. LIE!

    Yeah. What the hell does the FBI know.

    a Muslim New York City cab driver, Ahmed Sharif, was slashed with a knife across the face and neck after his passenger inquired after his religion.

    By a LIBERAL douchenozzle.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 29, 2010 @ 11:15 am - August 29, 2010

  4. Besides, dickhead, Dan didn’t say it never happened, he merely pointed out that it was RARE.

    Comment by ThatGayConservative — August 29, 2010 @ 11:18 am - August 29, 2010

  5. TGC, don’t be so hard on little stevie McCutandpaste. Meth is a hell of a drug.

    Comment by V the K — August 29, 2010 @ 11:29 am - August 29, 2010

  6. Krauthammer has a good piece on how the left attributes all disagreement with their agenda to fear and racism. Nothing that hasn’t been said before, but it’s worth a read.

    Comment by V the K — August 29, 2010 @ 11:41 am - August 29, 2010

  7. Steve, how well do you jump through hoops when your chihuahua demands it?

    Comment by Sebastian Shaw — August 29, 2010 @ 12:22 pm - August 29, 2010

  8. There was a news item in France about two Muslim assaults in Lyon during this month of Ramadan. A Muslim and a perceived Muslim were assaulted – by other Muslims – for not observing Ramadan.

    Comment by Jeremayakovka — August 29, 2010 @ 12:56 pm - August 29, 2010

  9. Hey “steve” — if you are a gay man…. how ’bout you move to Iran and see how Sharia law works out for ya.

    Comment by Bruce (GayPatriot) — August 29, 2010 @ 1:07 pm - August 29, 2010

  10. Hey steve…did you know:
    1) The slasher was a liberal film student IN FAVOR of the Ground Zero Mosque? and
    2) The Muslim cabbie was AGAINST the Ground Zero Mosque?

    Read all about it. Arm yourself with knowledge!
    http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/19987

    Comment by AF_Vet — August 29, 2010 @ 3:05 pm - August 29, 2010

  11. Sorry–here’s the second part–the Muslim Cabbie was against the mosque:
    http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/20017

    Comment by AF_Vet — August 29, 2010 @ 3:07 pm - August 29, 2010

  12. Steve – Instead of leading your post with “LIE!” you should’ve led your posts with “LIE:” to indicate that what follows is a big load of BS.

    Comment by SoCalRobert — August 29, 2010 @ 8:03 pm - August 29, 2010

  13. Heh hey. Nothing better than a post like this to bring out the ranting loonies like Steve, who provides better entertainment than TV

    Comment by Tom the Redhunter — August 29, 2010 @ 10:33 pm - August 29, 2010

  14. […] Long anticipated rash of anti-Muslim hate crimes is yet to emerge […]

    Pingback by GayPatriot » HRC to Blame for Anti-Mormon Hate Crime in California? — August 30, 2010 @ 1:00 am - August 30, 2010

  15. #7

    Watch it Sebastian… I have a chiuhuahua, and he’s too smart to waste time trying to teach steve to jump through hoops. I think he’d be insulted that you’d imply a chihuahua would waste his time.

    Don’t make me go all Emma Frost on you 😛

    Comment by The_Livewire — August 30, 2010 @ 6:48 am - August 30, 2010

  16. steve deserves a little respect. The “context card” can only be played when a liberal black is involved. Until conservatives stop trying to butt in on the liberal playbook, steve has no choice but slap to his palms over his ears and announce: “I can’t hear you!!!”

    steve, unbutton your top button. It is chocking off oxygen and it connects the circuit to the TWIT light that keeps blinking on your forehead.

    Comment by heliotrope — August 30, 2010 @ 8:51 am - August 30, 2010

  17. […] fact, from current data, hate crimes are substantially higher against whites than hate crimes against Muslims. From Sacramento Bee, FBI data: Hate crimes against Muslims rare – Numbers have declined over […]

    Pingback by Imagine That… Hate Crimes Against Whites Higher Than Crimes Againt Muslims « Frugal Café Blog Zone — August 30, 2010 @ 3:10 pm - August 30, 2010

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