In a sop to Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), House Democrats who didn’t have the guts to condemn their anti-Semitism have passed one of the most anti-Democratic measures since the creation of the House Un-American Activities Committee, creating an envoy for monitoring “Islamophobia.” A few Republicans’ bigoted attacks helped turn the two into self-declared martyrs and provoked this travesty aimed at silencing critics of anti-Semitic Muslims.
Make no mistake, “Islamophobia” was invented primarily as a means of allowing Muslims who delegitimize Israel and defend radical Islamists and Muslim terrorists from being called out for their prejudice. It is no coincidence that the new envoy was created as a parallel to the position created to combat anti-Semitism because many Muslims believe Jews use accusations of anti-Semitism to silence Israel’s critics.
There are certainly people who hate Muslims because they are Muslims, but it is hard to argue that there is an irrational fear (the meaning of phobia) of radical Islamists after 9/11 and if you pay attention to world affairs.
The attempt to compare hate crimes committed against Muslims in America with those targeting Jews requires ignorance of the statistics. According to the FBI, a total of 124 Muslims were victims of hate crimes in 2020. Only 9 percent of all religious hate crimes (and 1 percent of all hate crimes) were directed at Muslims, while 59 percent targeted Jews. Contrary to claims by proponents of the legislation, crimes against Muslims have been decreasing. In fact, the number of victims was the lowest it has been since 2000.
How many government positions are created to address a problem that has diminished and affects 1 percent of the population?
The position is modeled after the anti-Semitism envoy, who is tasked with monitoring Jew-hatred abroad, not in the United States. So a new envoy should have no role in protecting American Muslims like Tlaib and Omar.
The envoy should, however, monitor Muslim countries. A first step could be to condemn Iran whose constitution says Iran’s army and Revolutionary Guards “will be responsible … for fulfilling the ideological mission of (Shi’ite) jihad in God’s way; that is, extending the sovereignty of God’s (Shi’ite) law throughout the world … in the hope that this century will witness the establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others.”
In addition to monitoring Iran and other Shi’ites’ persecution of Sunni Muslims, the envoy must investigate Sunni hatred of the Shia.
The envoy must also spend time in Saudi Arabia, which promotes its own brand of radical Islam, Wahhabism, which is also at war with its rival sects. The 9/11 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia and the Saudis have financed mosques and madrasas around the world to spread their radical version of Islam. This provokes fear of Muslims.
The envoy could be based full-time in Lebanon, where Shi’ites and Sunnis are at war with each other and Christians.
Muslims persecute Christians throughout the region (where the population continues to decline), so the envoy will have to address their behavior if they don’t want Christians to hate Muslims.
Qatar is another stop to address that country’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, whose approach to Islam also puts it in conflict with fellow Muslims and stimulates fear among non-Muslims of its agenda of global conquest.
Another agenda item would be addressing the LBGTQ communities in Muslim countries and the Palestinian Authority. Are they Islamophobes because they fear being murdered for their sexual orientation? Should the envoy advocate silencing them so as not to upset other Muslims?
Similarly, should Muslim women be silenced so they don’t protest being treated as second-class citizens or being targets of honor killings?
Since the Biden administration doesn’t believe in radical Islam, the envoy won’t have a role in protecting those who fear ISIS, the Taliban or Boko Haram. Muslims can never be persecutors only victims in the world of Tlaib and Omar.
The targets of condemnation by the envoy are most likely to be our allies. Israel, which guarantees freedom of religion, will undoubtedly be condemned for objecting to Muslim anti-Semitism generated by Hamas and the P.A. Israelis would have to be Islamophobic to object to Palestinian preachers calling Jews descendants of apes and pigs or Palestinian calls for jihad or the glorification of killers of Jews as martyrs.
Our European allies will be in the envoy’s crosshairs since they closely monitor their Muslim populations for extremism and act against Islamists in their midst. They also have been getting away with a variety of activities that could be considered Islamophobic. For example:
- The European Union’s highest court ruled that countries can ban ritual slaughter used by Muslims.
- France disbanded Muslim civic groups and shut down a mosque where thousands worship.
- The E.U. court said companies can ban the hijab if justified by an employer’s need to present an image of neutrality to customers. France prohibits the wearing of headscarves in state schools.
- France, Switzerland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Austria, Denmark, the Netherlands and Norway have full or partial bans on Muslim women wearing full-face veils.
- The Swiss constitution prohibits the construction of minarets.
- France passed a law designed to prevent Islamic separatism by allowing greater surveillance of Muslims, requiring strict religious neutrality for civil servants and private contractors of public services, and making it more difficult for Muslims to educate their children at home.
The envoy would have work to do in Asia as well. For example, India’s Prohibition of Unlawful Religious Conversion Ordinance is aimed at discouraging Hindu women from converting to marry Muslim men.
Rather than protect Muslims, if the envoy does their job, they are more likely to create conflict with Muslims around the world and our allies. The Senate would be wise to block the creation of the position.
Mitchell Bard is a foreign-policy analyst and an authority on U.S.-Israel relations who has written and edited 22 books, including “The Arab Lobby, Death to the Infidels: Radical Islam’s War Against the Jews” and “After Anatevka: Tevye in Palestine.”