18 January 2012

The False Narrative of Anti-Muslim Bigotry

I'm pretty well informed on the day to day events happening around the United States and around the world - but this had to be brought to my attention.
Wednesday’s attack on Congregation Beth El in Rutherford was the fourth bias incident within a month against a Jewish religious institution or center in northern New Jersey, police said. Within the last three weeks, a fire was intentionally set at a synagogue in Paramus and anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered at synagogues in Hackensack and Maywood.
Why didn't I hear about any of these events? I would imagine molotov cocktails being thrown into a synagogue would be repeated several times on the evening news. Perhaps a Jewish institution being attacked isn't considered "news" anymore; not worthy of three minutes of footage.

Perhaps an attack on a synagogue doesn't fit the narrative that so many like to believe - that Muslims are the only minority that find themselves under attack. Imagine how much time would be dedicated to a similar story if the focus were a mosque. Oh my, we'd never hear the end of it. Hour after hour of "poor me" and "why us" stories would hit the airwaves.

2010 FBI statistics prove that the anti-Muslim narrative is false.
Hate crimes motivated by religious bias accounted for 1,409 offenses reported by law enforcement. A breakdown of the bias motivation of religious-bias offenses showed:

65.4 percent were anti-Jewish.
13.2 percent were anti-Islamic.
9.5 percent were anti-other religion, i.e., those not specified.
4.3 percent were anti-Catholic.
3.8 percent were anti-multiple religions, group.
3.3 percent were anti-Protestant.
0.5 percent were anti-Atheism/Agnosticism/etc.
The numbers are startling. A full 65.4% of all religious-bias offenses are oriented toward Jews. Incredible.

Why should it be that attacks on Jews and their institutions don't merit the coverage they deserve? Is it because Jews don't complain - go along to get along? Or is it something else?

Perhaps the "something else" is the narrative built up by the media. The false narrative that so many take at face value without question. Perhaps attacks focusing on Jews just aren't as newsworthy as if it would be if Muslims were on the receiving end.

Certainly something to wonder about.

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