- The Washington Times - Friday, May 14, 2004

Understanding between the West and Islam is quite possibly at an all-time low. Adding to the problem is the anuual report of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on “anti-Muslim incidents,” released earlier this month, which unashamedly exaggerates the number of such incidents.

The study reported a 70 percent increase in anti-Muslim incidents and a 121 percent increase in hate crimes during 2003. But the data is phony.

People filed complaints online, or downloaded the complaint form and mailed it in with optional supporting documents, such as photos, police reports, etc. CAIR urges the offended to file a report with them, “even if you believe it is a ‘small’ crime.” Consequently, with every e-mail detailing a perceived injustice, CAIR adds another complaint to the hate-crime list, despite the lack of authentication. This simplistic method of information-gathering violates every rule of professional crime analysis.

David Skinner takes CAIR to task in the Weekly Standard, noting that a college student’s writing in a campus publication that “a true Muslim is taught to slay infidels” is one of the incidents mentioned in the report. Other incidents included in the report: A man flung a Mr. Potato Head at a Muslim woman shopping in Brooklyn; a woman asked to remove her hijab for a school-identification photo; reports of anti-Muslim rhetoric that claim Islam promotes killing, a topic debated in Islamic intellectual circles.

CAIR blames the increase in such “hate crimes” on prowar rhetoric, post-September 11 fear and “abuses associated with the implementation of the Patriot Act.” CAIR ignores the repeated statement from administration officials that Islam is a religion of peace and that our war is against terrorists, not Islam. CAIR also contradicts itself when the same report that attributes perceived injustice to the Patriot Act also acknowledges that reports of abuse in passenger profiling and “unreasonable arrest, search and seizure” have “dropped significantly.”

Until CAIR follows proper academic standards for its analysis and distinguishes between true acts of violence and mere political debate, its findings are not worth considering.

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