JEFF JACOBY’S logic is flawed when he cites the relatively low number of reports of hate crimes against Muslims (much lower than reports of anti-Semitic crimes) as proof that Islamophobia in the United States is a “myth’’ (“The ‘Islamophobia’ myth,’’ Op-ed, Dec. 8). All he has proved is that this statistic is not a good barometer of public sentiment.
Too often I hear people say quite openly that Islam is a violent religion, that all Muslims want to kill the infidels, etc. Often these people are quite reasonable and open-minded about other subjects. They are not the sort of people who throw rocks at mosque windows, yet their prejudice is no less real.
During the brouhaha over the Islamic center proposed near New York City’s Ground Zero, there were quite a few TV commentators who barely bothered to make distinctions between Muslims in general and jihadist extremists. We were told, for example, that 10 percent of Muslims are terrorists, and that people wearing traditional Middle Eastern clothing in an airport are legitimate grounds to be fearful.
Is America Islamophobic? Not all of America, but too much of it — and that’s no myth.
David A. Rozenson