Seems like an open and shut case of anti-mosque sentiment spilling over into real-life attacks against Muslims in the United States, doesn't it? But this case isn't as open and shut as it seems.
For starters, the victim- a 43 year old Bangladeshi immigrant named Ahemd Sharif- was reportedly against opening up a mosque in the former Burlington Coat Factory in which Imam Rauf wants to open up a 13 storey mosque and cultural center. On the other hand, Enright was a volunteer with an interfaith group called Intersetions International that is pro mosque. Enright also reportedly travelled to Afghanistan as a civilian photographer in May of this year to document US Army comat patrols in the Helmland province.
The story apparently died with a whimper because it didn't fit the media template of incidents of racist bigots (who were against the mosque, naturally) viciously attacking innocent Muslims dramamtically rising as a result of the Ground Zero mosque debate. So the mainstream media is left scrambling to shift the narrative with less than 24 hours before the 9 year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. However, the reality is that according to the most recently available statistics, there are more hate crimes comitted against Jews and Chrisitans than there are against Muslims in the USA. Of the 1,732 victims of anti-religious hate crimes:
66.1 percent were targeted because of an offender’s anti-Jewish bias.The rates for hate crimes against people of Middle Eastern background is even lower when compared to crimes directed at blacks (72.9%) and whites (16.8%).
7.5 percent were victims because of an anti-Islamic bias.
5.1 percent were victims because of an anti-Catholic bias.
3.6 percent were victims because of an anti-Protestant bias.
0.8 percent were targeted because of an anti-Atheist/Agnostic bias.
12.8 percent were victims because of a bias against other religions (anti-other religion).
4.0 percent were victims because of a bias against groups of individuals of varying religions (anti-multiple religions, group).
ELSEWHERE: It's been all over the news this week to the point where I'm sick of hearing about it, but a pastor in Gainsville, FL has promised to mark the 9 year anniversary of 9/11 by publicly burning Korans on Saturday.
Just like the Ground Zero mosque and Imam Rauf, pastor Terry Jones is well within his rights to be a pedantic dickweed.....but that doesn't mean he should. That also means the government shouldn't intervene on behalf of a bunch of inanimite objects to avoid offending the sensibilities of people who were pretty antipathetic towards us in the first place.
While I think making a spectacle of publlicly burning the Koran is in bad taste, I also think that Muslims burning down Christian churches in Indonesia and Nigeria....with worshippers still inside in many cases...is much worse. Hell, I'd even be willing to go a step further and say that beheading an Islamic cleric and then setting the decapitated corpse on fire is much worse than a Koran-burning publicity stunt.
It's also worth noting that as offensive to some as this Koran burning stunt by a small Florida church may be, it's a one day affair. If completed, the Ground Zero mosque will be around for much longer than that.
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