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Reason: Islamic extremism is real, but so is American Islamophobia

by Brad A. Greenberg

July 23, 2011 | 9:25 am

If you’re familiar with the clash of civilizations going on in Tennessee and other parts of the United States, then you know that there is an American market for the kinds of anti-Islam comments that Herman Cain has been making.

Reason has a great examination of this “Fear of a Muslim America.” Here’s an excerpt:

Islamic extremism is indeed a serious global problem today, to a degree unmatched by the radical fringes of other major religions. While violent fundamentalism is far less of a problem in the United States than in many other parts of the world, radicalism within the American Muslim community is not entirely an invention of the Islamophobic right. The 2009 Fort Hood shooting by U.S. Army Major Nidal Malik Hassan is an extreme but real example of what some Americans are willing to do. And a 2007 Pew poll found that 27 percent of American Muslim men under 30 believe suicide terrorism in defense of Islam is at least sometimes justified.

But bias against American Muslims isn’t a P.C. myth. Once confined mainly to a few right-wing blogs, anti-Islamic bigotry has become a visible presence in Republican politics and the respectable conservative media. All around the country, right-of-center activists and politicians are trying to use government force to limit the property rights of Muslims and repel the alleged menace of Shariah law. Islamophobia has crossed the line from fringe rhetorical hysteria to active discrimination against U.S. citizens of the Islamic faith.

Read the rest here.

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